Oooh, la! You people must think this person is really out of hand. I mean, there you are, battered by typhoons and here I am talking about having dinner of boeuf bourguignon. Little do you know…
Papá, the doctor, the island’s refuge from pain was dying and I had some time to be with him. I left Paris holding on to a low paying job but promised millions for the tourism industry of our island nation.
The French knew of this paradise in the sun. We found one such island out of the 7,100- which was probably Boracay because of its fine white sand and balmy winds. This was the “insider’s tale” upon discovering the Philippines, in my debut multinational corporation role, whose fully rigged newly bought five giant masted sailboat the “Trident” which I last sailed in Tahiti, now called The Royal Clipper but then, that’s a completely diff story.
Anyway, the company called Club Med was so IN with its jet set clientele during that era of sun, sea, SEX and was zeroing on the Philippines as their new gateway to Asia.
ClubMed took me in for a boutique job in a signature resort. Of course, I knew something was up. Barely a week in the exotic center of Morocco, Marrakech and I was already sent back to Paris with one of its director posing as his male secretary, when he only wanted to introduce me to the rest of the board of directors, who were then, mainly gay!
Yes, dahlinks, this was the 70’s and YSL was the power suit of a woman. Sex revolutions, liberal thinking, progressive leftists and Big Corporations racing to be listed in the Wall Street Exchange in New York. I was barely 20 years old.
Fast forward to the 80’s and out of the blue in Bacolod, I get a phone call from the VISAYAN DAILY STAR’s Ninfa Leonardia! She’s all excited that I’m in town because Mamá wanted me to be a writer and told her so. I couldn’t say no. It was a good thing, to get my thoughts off Papá all the time. “Sweet and Sour” was the society column and I wrote every week for the next 20 years. Twenty years!
Well, I take this time to say “Merci, Ninfette cherie adorable.” I’m almost doing the same time with my “UNMASKED” column. Underpaid, seldom praised but we’ve done our piece (some say, peace) to chronicle a certain time in social history that would be dehors from Maria Ressa’s Nobel Prize.
You’ll always be my literary impresario, much to the regrets of Palanca multi-awarded litterati Elsie Martinez-Coscolluela, once La Salle’s jewel in its crown of deans. You’ll always be “Twinkling” to your sister’s “Ducky” and there will always be a space in my heart for you, even if you’d prefer Maurice Arcache, in reality, your true crush! Mwah, mwah, mwah!!
MY PRAYER. And Mary said: “My soul praises the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name.” Luke 1:46–49, NIV*