Tuesday, December 30, 2008


BHOYS AND GHELS AND GHEYS, skiers, non-skiers and apres ski poseurs, just because I didn't post anything in the last few days, that doesn't mean that I DON'T KNOW anything...
It's just that more important things came up such as skiing for 6 hours for the last five days, doing the laundry, cooking (plus palengke, ha!) and reading in front of the fire.
HOWEVER, thanks to rebo_k, I found out pala that the Patola Vine has been talking to the Grape Vine, ha...Hindi bale, kamag-anak naman sila. Parehong Vine. This from a 24 December comment:
"this came out in victor agustin's cocktales column (manila standard today)---
Heard through the grapevine
The Christmas party at the East Avenue Medical Center ended up in a rough note when two male doctors mixed it up and gotten physical over a female colleague, Dr. Chin Palafox, daughter of architect Felino Palafox.Details are still hazy, although the hospital’s chief resident, Glenn Carandang, is said to be preparing an assault complaint against fellow doctor Alfred Tengonciang."
WELL--you read it here first, fellow creepers. Buti pa si Vic--short, direct to the point and very profeysional.
This from active commenter Twilight Zone posted on 27 December:
"wow eto naka balandra din ang blogsite mo dito mam kits
I have never openly claimed first on anything and I couldn't be bothered to open this but I know for a fact that pep.ph WAS NOT the 'first read.' This comment is dated 27 December.
I know for a fact that INQUIRER ran the story on 26 December.
So I ask you, intelligent citizens, which day came first? (Hindi ito Mayan Calendar or Chinese calendar, hokay?)
The patola vine told me so!! We are so huli sa balita all because the patola vine can't read!! (So see how important being able to read, is?)
I didn't read the link but from what the Patola Vine found out ---supposedly Ricardo Po left Pa Pa and went back to his famille for bonnes vacances Noel. He will then 'go to Europe for further studies.' (I can only wonder what that means in Hollywood PR parlance. Your guess is as good as mine. It certainly doesn't carry the same meaning as when Jose Rizal said it in his time)
I forgot the other details. The altitude must be getting to me.
Before the end of this year, like everyone and his blog, I will do a year in review----if I have time and if I will be able to remember anything.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Since the Patrola Vine is busy at hospitals, I am setting up a post office.

I be da postmaster and you-s bee da client. (Or da shooter)
'Do you knows dees peoples?'
In the words of Ricardo Po, 'Kilala mo ba ako?' ay este...SILA!????


DR. TENG TENG (short for a name with too long a jail term and too criminal to remember) who injured a resident surgeon at the East Avenue Medical Center kreez-muz parteey.
'Ju want him to lay a healing hand on 'ya?
Dr. Chin-chiminey Filofax (ay Palafox pala but she ain't lookin' too foxy to me!) from the pathological department (as in lyin', falsifyn' and misdiagnosin') of opthalmology where not only can you a) be blinded by the light but also b) get a wrong prognosis from being diagnosed with a PEN LIGHT (maybe a giveway from Neozep!)
(This is why all the equipment behind her is wrapped in plastic--why use medical equipment when you have a trusty pen light?! Ay basta huwag pen knife for surgery, ha...)

PEN LIGHT!! Oh my GASUL!! I don't even use a penlight to check my dogs' ears!!
Di ba yung pen light pang Robinson's Cinema seating lang yan??
Naku ha...Do an MRI (Masterful Removal Immediately!)

I'm calling DR. HOUSE NOW!!
Is there a doctor in da house who can make a responsible decision without worrying about her place in society? What society? The SPCA?? Society for for Prevention of Cruely to Animals....(or patients?)

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Kids, the patola vine who is still diguised as a gay intern in an elf costume has been working over time at the ER (In fact, not one but TWO hospitals. Calling Dr. House and Dr. Arnie Klein!)
Grabe pala the work load kung intern....at grabe rin ang chismis!!
So waddaya ya wanna read first---the drugs or the violence?
Maybe let's do drugs first because it is connected to my previous story on Hayden Kho and Vicky Belo which once again, yup, boys and gheys, you read it here first before it came out in www.pep.ph (look for it--it's all in Tagalog and very long). They only posted today at noon while thanks to the impish patola vine, I knew this two days ago but posted yesterday before 8PM French time simply because I thought it was unimportant...Like--do I even care who these people are? Does my face need help? (yes!) I guess now I should pay attention!!
OKAY--let's get into the drugs first and pep.ph, no copying, okay??!! Get your own moles! I'm in France and you are in the Philippines so how come I get my stories first? And it's snowing, the planes are delayed, so no way can the patola vine get here except by flying carpet!
So as the patola vine was saying, H--K-- has been in prison (ay---hospital pala) for about a week for a suicide attempt due to positive overdose of cocaine, marijuana, shabu and 30 sleeping pills. My, my...when he gets out he better think of changing careers and becoming a dealer. Now I know why my suicide attempt using baby aspirin did not work! You need a LOT of drugs pala to REALLY DIE!!
The good news is, Vicky Belo came to visit him this week---how sweet! Makes your rubber heart really melt.....AND the nurses love him! That's even sweeter! Bring out the oxygen masks!!
Now let's get to the unspeakably fuggly affair at the East Avenue Medical Center involving two doctors, an ex-c0n turned doctor (you don't want HIM treating you!) and a broken arm....tsk tsk...Brian Grazer, are you listening....
The Patola Vine (yes, he is everywhere--next he'll be at the morgue!) reports that a female doctor, let's call her Dr. Chin-chiminey incited her ex-con doctor boyfriend (this is the guy you don't want treating you) to break the arm of a surgeon and chief resident (this is the guy who should be treating you but he's hurt!).
This guy ain't no traditional Chinese medicine bone setter, okay?
He a thug!
Why all this violence at a Kriz-muss party pa! Jealousy, perhaps?
A surgeon needs his hands and arms but if he can use his feet to operate they would have given him a bad pedicure!
Anyway, the thug-doctor DID NOT manage to break the surgeon's arm but it's now on a sling, poor thing!
(So if you go to East Avenue Medical Center and see a doctor with a sling---it's him! Da victim! Go say HI!)
It's bad enough to have an ex-con poking you and prescribing pills but Dr. Chin-chiminey has done worse. An opthalmologist by profession, she has been known to blind people over the course of her medical career because she thinks 'they are just charity patients....'
Ah, ganoon, ha? She ain't gettin' near my new prescription Alain Miklis....
Maybe she hasn't heard that charity begins at home then she should blind her family first! Her dad is an architect. Maybe you also might not want him near your house!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What I picked up in my travels

Isn't this the best compact ever invented? I picked it up at Heathrow T5. It's a pressed powder compact with a section underneath for blotting papers. Not that I will need it this winter but what a great invention!

I hardly ever buy Vanity Fair because it is usually full of movie star profiles and photos, the Music Issue, the Hollywood Issue, etc..plus a lot of their material comes from the British press but written for readers of People magazine.

However, I picked up the January 2009 issue with Tina Fey on the cover because I saw there was a story on Yves Saint Laurent's art and furnishings collection and one on William F Buckley and his wife Pat.
(The Wall Street, Plaza fiasco and 'Christopher Rockefeller' stories are good reads, too!)

I wish I could live a life of love as strong, splendid and fabulous as these two well-loved and animated couples. (I know what you are thinking: Duke and Duchess of Windsor---that was just a case of a closet gay married to a gold digger who looked like a man but dressed well and died unhappy. He missed her so much he couldn't wait for her to get back from the hairdresser..WHELL! My husband also can't wait for me to get back from the hairdresser because....he wants to watch The Wire!!)

William F. Buckley and his wife Pat were powerhouses of the Republican party and close friends of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, yet another couple with a great love story. In fact, they were so right of right you couldn't go wrong with the company they kept....Pat was known to say that she wished Iraq was flattened into a parking lot. The couple enjoyed each other's company so much that when Pat died in 2007, Bill followed in less than a year.

Pierre Berge is selling (through Christie's) most of the important pieces of a collection he put together with his partner ---of what, over 40 years?--Yves Saint Laurent. It is expected to bring in $400 million, illustrating their art choices have outperformed the stock market. But that is not the point. They have always bought what they loved. Proof that it was more about love than investment: Berge is keeping the 'smelly bird', the first piece they bought together, the Yves and Moujik (Saint Laurent's dog) Warhols and the original artwork of the YSL logo. 'I decided to sell everything because the collection doesn't exist if he (Yves) does not exist....'
Now that's love....
How do I love thee, let me count the ways and the dollars.....
Talking about love in the time of cholera...ay este..suicide pala...
The Patola Vine reports from ER--(well, not quite on Dr. House's team----Makati Med lang....): (I'm telling you, this patola vine is relentless. Can you imagine posing as a gay intern in an elf costume?)
Supposedly, (now former) boyfriend (H----- K-- clue:first name German classical music composer) of reigning Walastik na Plastik surgeon VB (not Victoria Beckam but she's platicized, too) has checked into hospital due to a suicide attempt. Supposedly boy-toy fooled around with a girl-toy (no, not a plastic blow-up doll, he was already fuckin' one made of plastic, remember?) and freeze-frame faced VB froze him out.
I'm not kidding, man. I'm tellin' ya with a straight face. From too much Botox.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Like the rest of the free world, I am taking a Christmas and New Year break for a few weeks and hopefully I will be able to finish the rest of my third book which seems to not have a deadline in sight!

December is too cold for the patola vine to be patroling and whoring around unescorted so......

The patola vine is going to turn into holly or mistletoe for Christmas...('yan daw ang cost-chume niya this Christmas kasi we were busy being ourselves on Halloween....)

Unless someone with a personal, sexual or financial scandal goes under the mistletoe to get a kiss, there will be less gossip than there is fake snow at SM.

Right now, the only things going under are institutions, countries and your friendly neighborhood hedge fund.

Of course, if the people who kiss under the mistletoe are MARRIED...but not to each other, then we have a story!!! And if they cheated people that would make an even better story!

In the meantime, forget about being nice because you won't get the gift you wanted anyway.
So check your naughty list twice and email me all the info!

Heard along the patola vine: (last na ito!)

I made a TERRIBLE mistake!!! Si PaPa pala, DID NOT...take note, DID NOT spray bullets in front of RICO PunO's wife's house. Mali..mali...Talaga itong si patola vine, gagawin ko nang bonsai....
But she did do a drive by (not for hamburgers or a tuna sandwich) in front of the mother-in-law's house. (dat's da mudder of da Mrs, you feel me?)

Also, the couple who stays together and sssss--prays together are banned by certain entertainment and dining establishments, many too fabulous to mention.

Someone who witnessed/involved in (who knows!) the s-praying is going to talk. (NOT the patola vine this time) But then...."Kilala mo ba ako???" .....
Abangan....should come out in the local media unless....unless...ma-scoop ko na naman sila!

Friday, December 12, 2008


There are a few reasons (one utterly mad one) why we have chosen to buy a house in the French Alps, an hour away from Geneva.

1) The original (and at that time main) reason was that in case we had to move to London, our dogs would face 6 months quarantine but if we moved them to France (like Lord Patten did with his dogs), we would be able to ditch quarantine. THEN after a few months, they could travel back and forth on pet passports.

2) In case we were insane (or rich) enough to spend most of our time in London, France would be an ideal and convenient location for a second home.

3) And finally---I KNEW IT!! ---because it is only one hour from Geneva, we would be close to a place where we can choose to die voluntarily.
(Of course, tomorrow, I'll probably get run over by a bus in Mong Kok)

Probably because we are childless, my husband and I are big supporters of 'assisted suicide' and as early as 2000, I have done some research on it. (JUST in case..alam mo naman ako..) Dignitas in Zurich is the most famous place to go to but the whole of Switzerland, the Netherlands and some states in America (Oregon and Washington) allow it.

Already there is so little in life that we can control and if we can control when and how we die, depending on our situation, it could be either a right or a privilege.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this topic particularly in the UK (it is technically a crime to assist suicide even outside the country) but no one has been put in jail yet. Prosecuted, yes.
-I'm telling you, it's that bloody religion called Christianity!! Meanwhile Jesus' body might be underneath a parking garage --did you see that on National Geographic???

In fact, I have brought it up at dinner parties and the table would go silent or worse, my dinner partner would turn away. Except if he was Swiss.

Now reality TV has gone a step ahead of Survivor.

Broadcast challenges British ban on assisted suicide
By Sarah Lyall
The New York TimesThursday, December 11, 2008

Almost completely incapacitated by motor neuron disease, Craig Ewert, 59, looked at an interviewer and laid out his options, as he saw them."If I go through with it, I have death," Ewert said. "If I don't go through with it, my choice is essentially to suffer and to inflict suffering on my family, and then die."

He chose the quick way. On Wednesday night, Britons could watch Ewert's death on television, in a film showing how he traveled to a clinic in Zurich in 2006 and took a fatal dose of barbiturates. Broadcast on Sky Television, the film - "Right to Die?" - is said to be the first shown on British television of the moment of death in an assisted suicide case.

It has thrown a new bomb into an already contentious debate. It is illegal in Britain to "aid, abet, counsel or procure" suicide. But while the law is clear, its application is murky. Ewert's wife, Mary, was not prosecuted, despite the fact that she broke the law by, among other things, helping him travel to the clinic.

By coincidence, Britain's director of public prosecutions announced Tuesday that he would not file charges against a couple from Worcester who, in September, took their paralyzed 23-year-old son to the same Swiss clinic, Dignitas, so that he could kill himself.

Nor, said the prosecutor, Keir Starmer, would he prosecute a family friend who helped organize the trip.

In a statement, Starmer acknowledged that while there was sufficient evidence to prosecute the parents, Mark and Julie James, it would not be "in the public interest" to do so.Their son, Daniel, was an avid rugby player who was studying construction engineering. He became paralyzed from the chest down after being injured while practicing with his team in 2007. He had tried to kill himself three times.He then convinced a succession of doctors that he wanted nothing more than to die and that he could not do it on his own. "Not a day has gone by without hoping it will be my last," he wrote to Dignitas.His parents begged him to reconsider, until the end. But when he would not change his mind, they said afterward, they resolved to support him.

About 100 Britons have committed suicide at Dignitas in the last decade, said Jo Cartwright, a spokeswoman for Dignity in Dying, a lobbying group. Those cases have often provoked police investigations in Britain but have never ended in prosecutions, she said.

Meanwhile, the authorities periodically prosecute people who have assisted in suicides in Britain. They are rarely sent to jail, Cartwright said, but face many months of distress while waiting to stand trial."The law isn't working," she said. "People are being forced to go abroad to die because they have no other options."Only a handful of places, including Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington, allow assisted suicide, and only according to stringent criteria.

Britain's law against it is now being tested by Debbie Purdy, who has multiple sclerosis and who is seeking assurances that if her husband travels to Dignitas to help her kill herself, he will not be prosecuted on his return. She lost the case this year but has appealed the ruling.Parliament has been reluctant to debate the issue. But Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday that he opposed legislation that would allow assisted suicide."I believe it's necessary to ensure that there's never a case in the country where a sick or elderly person feels under pressure to agree to an assisted death, or somehow feels it's the expected thing to do," he said.

Mary Ewert, Ewert's wife, said this week that she was not sorry that her husband's suicide had been broadcast."For Craig, my husband, allowing the cameras to film his last moments in Zurich was about facing the end honestly," she wrote in The Independent, a British newspaper. "He was keen to have it shown because when death is hidden and private, people don't face their fears about it."

In the film, Ewert comes across both as severely disabled and absolutely determined that he is doing the right thing. His final moments are almost unbearably poignant.L

ying on a bed at the Dignitas center, he signs a consent form with the help of his wife. In his labored voice, he says, "I love you, sweetheart, so much."

She responds, "Have a safe journey, and see you sometime."

Using his teeth, Ewert presses the button that will turn off his ventilator. He drinks a fatal mixture of barbiturates. And then, as a piece of music he has selected - Beethoven's Ninth Symphony - plays in his room and his wife gently rubs his feet, his life begins to ebb away.

Monday, December 8, 2008


WHAT I DID ON MY LONG WEEKEND---WTF?? by Tracy Isabel Borres
(This is obviously from Fezbook but you tecchies please find the readable version yourselves because I have absolutely NO IDEA how to transfer back and forth between websites)
It seems like the Patola Vine is living up to its name as the Patrola Vine. Just as I let it out of the greenhouse....Monday na Monday pa naman....it's gone from making siko with the "who's who" at Clinton Global Initiative to making silip to the Facebook of "who the fuck is this" from (what many assume) Ateneo de Manila University. My alma mater. JUICE KO!!
(Da same is-kool that did not want to release a copy of my diploma when I lost it after moving several times. The reason? "We gave it to you in 1984 and can't give you another....' So I went to Quiapo and had a real fake made)
When the Patola Vine first made me read this to it (since thank-s God it can't read, only speak), I was MORTIFIED at the attitude of this kid, I couldn't even react! Hindi ako maka-emote, Mudder. I was i-SPEECHLESS, Tita, like in the Famas Awards.
Everyone including me would find it difficult going to poor neighborhoods and sometimes we have to get out of our comfort zones and really have to do it. However, whether you were forced (because of crimes against the papparazzi, speeding tickets or back taxes) or did it voluntarily, there is no need to tell people how horrible the situation was. It is not their fault that they are poor, that they are dirty or that they are not like 'us.'
(In the case of Tracy Isabel Borres, she's more a "Them")
Many of us will say "Ay bata lang 'yan.....Just kids...." BUT that is exactly the attitude that develops future social monsters.
Borres' entry is a lengthy, often incoherent rant of bitching and complaining about a weekend of Immersion with the Aetas, local aborigines politically incorrectly known as "Negritos.' Immersion is a Jesuit Volunteer Program (JVP) where university students VOLUNTEER to live among the less fortunate to make them a) thank their lucky stars they ain't poor, b) practice Christian values, c) get theology credit or d) all of the above.
FYI I chose to study an extra course and take an exam.
Before I pullout 'highlights' from this great example of entitlement by the clearly unentitled, let me say two things:
One: IMMERSION is voluntary. If you are like me (the reigning Miss Turd World 2008) afraid of dirt, disease, poverty, no aircon, no running water, no nuttin' DON"T FUCKIN' JOIN!
(My husband and I spent the millenium at Isla Naburot where there is no electricity and we almost ended up divorced before our marriage began)
Two: If you DO JOIN (as many members of my family have), shut the fuck up and suffer silently. Who asked YOU to go???
Now for the 'highlights" (there's more on Fezbook where THIS came from!)
"I was going to be with alone with a random aeta family.
Translation: OHMYGOD I’M IN HELL."
(The aetas could say: We were going to be alone with a spolied brat from Manila. OHMYGOD WE SHOULD HAVE JUST TAKEN NGO MONEY and a spot on TV Patrol instead of dat bitch staying here and eating our food!!!)
-No proper plumbing....I did not bathe at all during my entire stay there…."
(This was for credit in theology and practice of Christian values, not an exam for housekeeping at the Georges V)

"-There were so many children….So MANY DIRTY KADIRI CHILDREN…either coughing, wet with their sipon….I seriously did NOT WANT ANY OF THEM TOUCHING ME…."
"..AND Children started to flock around me. They were so close that I tried so hard not to breathe so I wouldn’t smell them….Plus it was so dark so God knows whether they were clean or not."
(Personally, I am not a lover of children of all sorts, kadiri or not, but dirt and sipon are part of the territory if you are going to do any charity work. Next time, to be safe, choose a leper colony.)
Tracy also boringly relates her adventures with a drunken aeta but I'll leave that for you to read on your own.
"She freakin’ picked her nose and I think she rubbed her finger against my leggings…Oh Freakin Lord..."
"Gawd lolo, go count your money….. and hover somewhere else….."
"Good for nothing bus dropped us off at the station in Cubao so I had to walk!! "
(In case she has not been outside the Philippines, a) she should see the coughing, spitting and nose picking in other emerging markets, b) people in the free world--Beijing, Hong Kong London and New York, except perhaps LA, and Cubao---WALK!)

"I'm not pregnant knocked up carrying an indigenous offspring.."
(Honey, if you were born in the Philippines, YOU ARE indigenous! Just like the aetas!)
Are these famous quotes embarrassing or what?
Whell, boys and girls and gays, albinos and aetas, I am not as much ashamed for this girl as downright embarrassed (as in I wouldn't even go to Unimart with shades on) to be HER PARENTS!
Do you remember how in the Tagalog movies Gloria Romero or Bella Flores or Rita Gomez (with red nails) or Hilda Koronel would go, "At IKAW! Wala kang pinag-aralan!!"
Clearly, this is time for Tracy Isabel Borres' close-up. 'Di ba, direk?
This is an attitude that simply propagates diminishing national pride and the 'flexible morality' of what we know as 'high society'.....What High Society? Who ARE THESE PEOPLE!???
I am HOPING I do not know her parents!!! (ay--baka nasa Fezbook ko!)
It is also this sort of behaviour that we think makes us so cosmopolitan but once we leave Cosmo Manille and into the real cosmos, people will merely laugh at our ignorance and lack of manners.
(Try the New Age Trustafarian neighborhood of Notting Hill Gate and see where THAT will get you!)
BTW--Borres has to write a 'reflection' paper on this exciting adventure but if I were the school, I would give her an expulsion paper. Or better yet, do remedial in the Kolkata branch.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


WHHHELLL Boys and Girls and Gheys it seems like KC has a big fan base even among my readers of generation snob. That only means one thing: That the Patola Vine and I have to shat-the-fuck-up because we ain't evah gonna win with our snobby opinions. (But we will still find a way to get our opinions through, good, bad or ugleh!)

"KC fought for what she wanted..." A photo? I have a hard time understanding this but then that's me and that's why I am merely a journalist and not the 'Angelina Jolie of Asia"--huh?--uh?--I don't think even a HK movie actress can claim THAT! Not even Karen Mok.
(Oh MY GAS! That's another kwento---I was staring at her at the gym and all I thought was "This is the MOST BADUY person I;ve ever seen in my life!!" but she was probably thinking, "...crazed fan..." SO I asked who she was since there are usually only 2 people at the gym, the staff told me, "Ah--Karen Mok..did you recognize her?" I said, "No but I wanted to know who she was because I never saw such an atrocious outfit out of the circus in my LIFE!" I swear over my new Lanvins that these people need a charity to raise money for their fashion handicaps)

I live with a snob and if my husband even got whiff (on the edge of his patrician nose) that I have such a bakya blog, he would say this, "How common!" What KC did would have been common. What I did was also common. In other words, being star-struck is common. As the mayordomo in Agatha Christie once said, "Crying is common. Going to the police is common."
He once lectured me for talking to Boris Becker (or course I didn't know who HE was--and HE talked to me FIRST!--"Don't you know that guy is embroiled in a sperm scandal??") and for staring at James Hewitt (again, I didn't know who HE was. I just thought he was cute. I find red hair very attractive--"Your mouth is open.") I also know where Dustin Hoffman and Lord Snowdon live but I know not to stare---at their garage doors--when I take the short cut to the Fulham Road and High Street Ken.

For him, common is fitted bedsheets (never mind if they are the best Italian or French), tissue case coverings, any form of lace for dining (worse of all for tissues and loo paper), monograms (unless they are required)---do we have to be reminded through our towels who lives here or that I own my shirt?.....

Now you know why my house looks like a dump.

OH YES! Which reminds me. I know I promised not to talk about India but my husband is reading a great book "Shantaram" on India (and if you care to know what I am reading -----"The Man Who Loved China" and "A Pilgrimage to Angkor") ----and I was reminded of a great idea at the wedding I attended in Delhi. They served drinks at the ceremony complete with wait staff!

I'm going to do that next time I get married (as if!) ---I will serve drinks at church. It's such a bore to wait, don't you think?

Friday, December 5, 2008


The state of California is close to broke. The governor of the world's 8th largest economy (if it were a country) is probably not going to be robbing a bank soon since there are no American banks even worth robbing. Speaking of...The US (c/o Hank Paulson) was lectured by China yesterday about its economy and their need to save. Over 60% of America's 2 trillon USD reserves are held by China. I don't know about America but if you've been to Chinese school (or have had Chinese parents) and didn't hold anything but a Chinese calligraphy brush, you can already feel the pain of a Chinese lecture. Can you imagine if they held 60% of you by the b----.......????


I have received positive reactions to the way KC behaved with Bill Clinton (although I personally would not have done that because as I told someone, I'd rather make siko other editors at press sales than siko to meet Clinton--that makes BOTH Clintons). Prepare yourselves because there will be a lot of digressions in this entry.

The comments said something like "KC seemed more human...she appeared down to earth, etc.." I am happy those comments were made because they made me realize how I (and probably other members of the international media) see things so differently. Jaded? Us???

a) The patola vine and I had lunch together yesterday (yes, like Price Charles, I talk to plants and even feed it cheese with honey and walnuts but it has to pay its bill) and it called to my attention how frivolous and out of touch people like me, members of the fashion world, are.

Let me explain by example:

Exhibit A: Jane Mulvagh, one of Vivienne Westwood's biographers, told me that she left the fashion world because she shocked herself with the shallowness of her conversation when she turned to her dinner companion and said, "How can you NOT own a pair of navy cotton twill chinos?"

Exhibit B: When I was writing for the Wall Street Journal, my editor asked me to gather 5 must-haves and (for me at least) one of them was an Alexander McQueen fur coat in white rabbit trimmed in gold (not real!) braid for HKD 800,000 (or USD 100,000). Let us NOT even bring Fendi, Dennis Basso or J Mendel into the picture because they will only complicate matters and figures.

Editor: I think you have printed one too many zeros.

Me: No, that's right. 800,000 HKD.

Editor: 800,000 is 100,000 USD for a COAT!?? WHY??

Me: Don't you understand? It's MCQUEEEEEN!!! It's beautiful!! Why are you asking me this?? How can you NOT know McQueeenn???

(There was another argument about a Balenciaga jacket so that's why I don't work for the AWSJ anymore! At least with the FT we never discuss money.....)

b) For some of us, we get to meet important people because of WHO WE WORK FOR. I know there are some members of the media who THINK important people will speak to them because of who they are. Big mistake unless you own the network. Therefore, meeting important people is not as important to us unlike say, for KC Concepcion (and others in the free world), who probably doesn't get to meet anyone more important than herself. Being starstruck probably also has to do with the circles, industries or communities one is exposed to.

To me, yoga is a new experience so I am trying to learn as much as I can about it. Although my teacher here in HK is some sort of yoga celebrity, I don't get to meet many. A journo like me who can talk figures and fashion with Kaiser Karl, Michael Burke and Sidney Toledano, Arnault, Diego della Valle, MINOR royalty (like the odd count with no account),CEOs, artists, politicians, senior bankers, etc...COULD NOT even bring herself to ask Sharon Gannon (co-founder of NYC's Jivamukti Yoga) what brand of make-up she uses because it stayed on so well. To think I have even interviewed the CEO of L'Oreal....

O--eto--sideline, okay? (Pay attention) When I met Amanda Harlech at the couture, I was so excited and kept asking her about her clothes and horses that....I forgot about my Kaiser Karl interview!!!

Add to that what happened early this week before I went out to lunch with John Scott (Sting's yoga teacher to you, the unenlightened--hahaha!):

Alex (my yoga teacher in HK): Do you mind if a friend joins us for lunch today?

Me: No, of course not.

Alex: It's John Scott. I'm sure you've heard of him. Think of it as a treat for you.

Me: (amidst the quiet of the Landmark Mandarin Spa) JAAHN SCAAATTT!!!???? HE'S FAAAAMOUS!!!! OH MY GAAAAWWWD!! (Of course, there was John Scott sitting next to me...)

So, girls and gheys, as much as I think making siko is uncool, I did have my KC Concepcion moment this week. Of course there was also the time I thought Whoopi Goldberg was a waiter and I thought Bryan Adams was an architect then worse, changed my opinion to a starving musician.....(HOPELESS! No wonder I can't be taken out in public---buti pa yung patola vine)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

KC ng-siko ng Clinton Se-kiu (security)

Before I get to the main event via the patola vine who was at the invitational CGI in Hong Kong(that's Clinton Global Initiative to the uninvited), I would like to apologize to readers who did not 'get' the PaPa story.

Kids, cyberspace is not exactly the safest place for all the news not fit to print.

I do not know the rules of the blogging game when it comes to the definition of 'public figures' since social climbers start denying they are public figures once they get hit with a scandal. What I am saying is that I am not as bold as Amiel (http://www.donavictorina.blogspot.com/) and his Council of Boldstar and RainB (they are coming out on TV soon!) or Gorrell.

In fact, I am quite the coward.
Mamamaya ma-drive by shooting pa ako, ang liit liit pa bahay kubo ko....

But like I always tell friends and family, fans and foes, it's not the WHO that makes a story but the WHATs and HOWs. That has been the basis of my books and will be the basis of this blog. By no means should you feel alienated if you don't know the people I'm talking about. Who cares about them because they are precisely that---THEMs, while we are US-es.

As I have mentioned before, there are only TWO people in this world: US and THEM.
(based on KC's behaviour with Bill in HK, I would classify her for now as a "THEM"--more on that PUBLIC FIGURE later)

It was a relatively uneventul week in Hong Kong with Jackie Chan, Vivienne Westwood, Kylie, Bill Clinton, money-launderers and corrupt politicians from Third World countries but I was....

....tongue-tied at lunch with celebrity yoga teacher JOHN SCOTT (yoga teacher of Sting to you non-yogis) where we had Indian food.....My yoga teacher, a celebrity himself in yoga circles (only one of 30 authorized by our Guruji Sri Pattabi Jois to teach the ashtanga method) took me out to lunch and invited John Scott to come, too. AND NO---I am NOT intending to follow the downward-dog spiral of Wendy Hotung! (source: Oriental Daily Magazine)

....impressed with his patience (with me) let alone his talent at a Chinese dinner with JOHN PAULINE (Mr. Beijing Olympics Water Sports Ice Cube Stadium architect to you who think SM is an architectural masterpiece).

Now that we got the name-dropping out of the way (there's MORE where THAT came from!), let us get to the main event with the patola vine who was crawling all over the CGI in Wanchai and abso-fuckin'-lutely dyin' to tell all before I lock it up in the greenhouse for the weekend.

The patola had not just one but TWO KC sightings and they were the following Kodak moments. So 'picture this' geddit???

1) At one of the dinners, KC daw made siko the Secret Service standing next to Clinton so she could take a photo with him (arms outstretched) with her camera. It might look something like the photo in this entry but with Bill next to her. You feels me? You picture it in your mind?

2) At the final evening's awards ceremony, when Clinton was giving out recognitions for the event, a CEO of a MAJOR corporation was sitting down and Clinton was standing next to him. Follow so far? You's gets the picture? THEN all of a sudden KC SQQUUEEZZES (like SQQUUEEZING into Bench or whatever-she-advertises jeans) herself in between Clinton and the CEO and the rest is Kodak history. Hindi na sha ma-crop ngayon....

You READ it here FIRST! (I can BET you PEP will come out with a 'similar' story)
(Would you by chance be interested in a Mrs Robert Miller --read: Mrs Duty Free--sighting by the patola vine at the HK Flower market? Guess not. Thought so.)

That's it for this week unless you want to hear about fashion. Baka later na after I sort through the stuff I got 90% off at the press sales today!! WOOOOHOOOO!!
Also, Hermes was on sale (only)today 45% off at the HK airport.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I KNEW IT!!! Fashion opinion always opens a can of caviar with worms! (or in this case, questions) See previous post today.
But that's good because then I don't need to think of the next topic since I feel this week will be uneventful.
Question #1 from Charlotte: "...makes me re-think (about) the chanel i was gonna gift myself with."
Being a member of the fashion press who tells you to go out and buy the next 'must-have,' I do not want to discourage you dedicated followers of fashion to buy Chanel, LV, BV, Fendi, etc. In fact, I should encourage it because I have a job BECAUSE of the luxury goods market.
HOWEVER what I discourage is (and I hate to sound like a Chekua Mama 'during the war we ate champoy and rice', 'we wore our shoes until there were holes and we had no socks," 'our only food was lugaw' --well, you better move to the house with champoy and rice, then!) .....
.....buying stuff when you know the money could be put to better use. You feels me?
(of course we all have those Sex and the City moments of buying something extremely beautiful and expensive but not making the rent. This is why they are called 'moments' and not entire lives or else the whole world would be called the United States by now and there woud only be one road to the world's end: Wall Street)
If Charlotte wants to buy something for herself this Christmas or after closing a deal, then as they say in Pinoy showbiz, "More Power to You."
(Especially if you have a choice between buying electronics for the boyfriend or a bag for yourself, I'd choose you anytime!)
Question #2 from Rain: "does it really require a global recession for the elite to understand that a luxury bag hurts the global economy in the long run and it does not speak well of a person's sense of taste and individual style?"
There are two answers to this--a) the fashion answer b) the economics answer.
THE FASHION ANSWER: NO. For the fashion insider or individualist, the 'It" bag never was because this group of people would rather get caught with their pants down (wearing Myla or Agent Provocateur, of course) than get caught with something everyone wants or has. That slavish behaviour, as the snobby Brits put it, is for 'shop girls."
THE ECONOMICS ANSWER: NO. For the truly elite, and we really don't want to go there since I go there enough with my job, the "It" bag is beneath them because these are the haute couture clients for whom over 50,000 euros of a dress would guarantee them 100% exclusivity and privacy. A 100,000 euro off-the-rack Fendi fur also works. See...I told you we don't want to go there.
THE ECONOMICS ANSWER: YES. The "It' bag died with the recession because most of the free world (including the not-so-free like Russia) were heavily based on credit for the last 10 years. That means, now that credit has tightened and many banks are going to be 'collecting' until next year, there ain't going to be much of "It' going around.
I read somewhere that Americans borrowed up to 120% over their household incomes! This is why "Washington, Wall Street and The City (of London), we have a problem..."
(But on the trend front, the brands knew that the "It' bag idea was dying---for the last two years at least---so they introduced shoes which weren't very successful and now watches and jewellery which has yet to prove itself as a market sector)
Yan lang po....O--sige ibukas niyo na ang mga bag niyo for inspection...
"Bag ma'am...." (Guard with chopsticks)
This is still less irritating than "ID niyo ma'am..."

The (It) bag nothing to brag about....

I hate this look of jeans and t-shirt and heels or loafers and a gigantic "It" bag. It doesn't tell anyone you are particularly stylish. Just that you own 'the' bag. (It could even be a rental!)

I am not one to lust over the Birkin but I wouldn't mind owning this---The Lindy from Hermes...

Or this, the Bellevue from Loro Piana.....

Or the Globe also from Loro Piana, all of which epitomize 'Stealth Wealth."

(Which means only YOU know the cost and get to enjoy it while only those 'in the know' would recognize it)

A dear fashionable friend sent me this from New York Magazine:

Along with the economy, the luxury market faces a major upheaval. Yes, really. Former Morgan Stanley luxury analyst Claire Kent, who is now an industry consultant, spoke in London last week at the Luxury Briefing conference (where, we imagine, attendees examine each other's summer yachting photos on their Prada phones … through monocles). The luxury market has been booming for fifteen years, but all good things must come to an end. Sound scary? Fancy this:
[Kent] pointed to “luxury fatigue” and the growing fear of debt, and said consumers would increasingly be spending more money on fewer items. As a result, “masstige and aspirational brands will suffer the most,” she told the audience, adding that the handbag bubble is bursting now. “An ‘It’ handbag will become an embarrassment — a clear sign that you don’t have your own view of fashion,” she said.
Ho ho, Upper East Siders. If you don't feel embarrassed about your money yet, you may as well start now. And eBay your Birkin bags before the rest of the world catches on to your bank account.


I always believe that any "It" fashion item whether the so-over bags, OTT shoes you can't walk in and now watches and jewellery (the brands HAVE to THINK of SOMETHING!) is not a manifestation of stylishness but slavishness... to fashion. In other words, "It" items were created for fashion victims.
An "It" item only tells the public that a) you have "It" and b) you forked over the money and nothing else. It is like a Pinoy or Chinoy (the biggest offenders!) wedding where people wear jewellery that cost the same as houses or a cars yet wear cheap made-to-order tafetta gowns and even cheaper fabric-covered beaded mules (always mules).

At the top of the "It" bag pyramid is the Hermes Birkin which starts at about 10,000 USD with a rumored waiting list of at least 2 years. (Fashion folks, I can tell you for a fact that depending on who you are, you can get it as quickly as one month, instantly if you get lucky. Four is highly possible depending on who is asking and if they are 'residents'. Only losers and tourists have to wait) One has to wonder what message the person carrying this bag projects. Obviously she wants to be thought of as fashionable but the only thing the bag proves is that someone coughed up a huge amount of money for this bag. (I also have a problem with the idea of the many people in the world with hardly any net worth --such as HK secretaries and back office girls ---owning such an expensive item)

The best feeling you can have is buying an "It" bag before anyone deems it such. (This happens when you have a confident style radar because your guess is only as good as anyone else's) Of course, by the time the entire world gets wind of it, the thing ceases to have any charm for any fashion insider.
By far the most economical and pretentious way to approach this issue is to rent a bag online. (It's like movie stars renting clothes and jewels) There is one service that just launched in HK and is doing very well seeing as this is the right time NOT to own something so fashionably fleeting.
Meanwhile, I am so tired of the public and media going on about the recession. Yes, there is one and it is worldwide but should people who have been prudent and can still spend, be punished?

Yesterday's SCMP deemed "designer sale announcements" OUT because it is 'irresponsible" to tempt us with bargains at a time when we have no money. What about those who DO have money? There is also such a thing as being selective. I don't plan on going to all the sales although the Chloe 90% off was very tempting until I saw the lines. Tod's/Hogan you had to make an appointment (jeeez). I heard there were really good buys at Valentino. Fendi I missed because I was in the Turd World so now I want to kick myself with my Fendi boots. The "press only' sample sales are the best because a) non-media are not allowed- you have to show ID, b) none of the tiny Chinese editors compete with me for shoes (39-40 is model size) and c) I don't compete with them for clothes (size 2-6) and belts. Bags are war! hahahaha!!