I’m not alone in hoping that next year, Christmas and the New Year will not sneak up on us just like it did this year. It went—just like that. It’s becoming harder to relish a moment, much less a season. Time—the most precious, most perishable commodity—is gone in a blink.
You’re not just imagining the dizzying speed of time; it’s real, according to my friend and Lifestyle columnist Lia Bernardo. (Time is faster because of the shift in the vibrational energy of the universe, she said. Like I wrote last week, don’t make me explain that.)
Two dear friends left us this year without saying goodbye. Veteran writer, tennis buff and diehard Noranian Eddie Pacheco died in the dead of night. This was, if I remember well, last September. For once, I watched the US Open on TV without Eddie’s unsolicited opinions—via text—that made me laugh and curse at the same time. He had this special thing for Serena Williams and Andy Murray’s mom. Sad, he never saw Nora Aunor triumph in “Thy Womb.”
Dr. Eleuterio “Teyet” Pascual woke up at 3 a.m. one day last month, gasping for breath. He died a few hours later, and two days before my book launch, an event he surely would have loved to style-critique, for Teyet, without his having planned it, was a style arbiter, not only a Filipiniana collector. At the launch, with his dear friend Letty (Magsanoc, our editor in chief), we decided to keep a chair on the front row empty, in memory of Teyet.
No proper goodbyes
We will remember 2012 as the year we lost these two dear friends. There were no proper goodbyes, but then, sometimes in life, we’re really unable to plan our goodbyes.
We will remember 2012 for these moments and quotes—some funny yet telling, others not so funny, but all reflect the year that was, if not the times we’re in:
“Huminga ka naman…” (Why don’t you take a deep breath?)—President Aquino turned to me on stage and whispered, during the launch of my book “i’m afraid of heights (or why I can’t social-climb).” He sensed how dazed I was.
Later, right after the program, as we repaired to the back of Rockwell Tent for dinner, the guest of honor looked amused as he repeated—“Huminga ka na….” (You can breathe now). The presidential advice went unheeded; that was how stressed I was. But I will remember 2012 as the time I dared launch a book with hardly any planning, but with a great boost from longtime friends.
Our senior citizen friend recalled what she saw as she dined in a restaurant.
“At the next table was this young man, must be about 30, who stood up to pull out a chair for his older woman companion, perhaps his mom… We don’t see that often among today’s young guys, not even older guys… I wanted to give that boy a pat on the back.”
We can’t agree with her more. Men today aren’t used to opening doors for women and the elderly, or offering them seats. You even get stepped on in the elevator as men, old or young, try to beat you to the door.
A high-society insider and social pundit, after attending one of this year’s biggest birthday bashes, asked, “Why have party guests developed the habit of bringing home table centerpieces?” His jaw dropped as he watched matrons in long evening wear lugging out of the well-decked ballroom, the trees—yes, real trees (albeit medium size)—and fruits that decorated the tables.
The sight is actually nothing new. The matronly practice—who knows how and when it started among the well-heeled crowd—has been around for some time. Sometimes matrons even enlist the help of waiters to carry the decor out of the ballroom to their cars.
Unless the party host asks the guests to feel free to take home the decor, bundling up the centerpiece and whatever party decor there is, is a tacky practice, if you ask me. If a matron can spend a five-figure sum on her evening wear, surely she can live without somebody else’s party decor. A party loot of wilting roses doesn’t look nice with that serpentine dress.
A seasoned party hostess had a subtle, if gracious, way of preventing the guests from bringing home her decor. She had staff stationed at the door to tell departing guests to please leave behind the floral centerpieces because they would be donated to a chapel.
Two mothers of boys in their tweens obviously are wary of today’s tween girls who they find much too aggressive, especially for their sons. “When his girl classmate returned his cap which she borrowed, it smelled of perfume. She had the nerve to spray it with her seductive scent. Foxy,” said the suspicious mom.
“I was surprised to see how these girls know how to pose seductively for the camera. A hot pose—with pouty lips and inviting eyes—is cool, to them,” said the other mom. They’re talking of girls who are barely 14. (Times like these I’m glad I don’t have daughters.)
Speaking of seduction, this year’s “it” hunk Derek Ramsay was overheard telling a friend, after my book launch, how he was taken aback when, during the launch, a woman of a certain age (meaning no spring chicken, really) greeted him and stuck out her tongue to lick her lips, as if to say “yummy.” Surely she wasn’t referring to Vicvic Villavicencio’s special lechon served at the launch.
A fragrance industry executive talked of a growing market— “Men—more and more they’re using scents, and heavy at that.”
Magnum’s big boss John Concepcion on the Filipino’s ice cream-eating habit—“They eat ice cream only three times a year.” So—his company tried to make sure Magnum would be that ice cream. How? “Good quality but affordable. And good marketing.” Concepcion was proud of the very first step they took—good use of social media.
Over our holiday dinner, Korina Sanchez said, when asked about her non-engagement in her husband’s job: “When he (Interior Secretary Mar Roxas) comes home, we don’t talk shop. He comes home to a wife and a playmate.”
A wise friend, in an attempt to tone down the catty remarks of the ladies who lunch, said, “Words carry their own energy and power. They can harm or they can uplift. They bear the physical energy to be self-fulfilling.”
With that, we went to the dessert buffet, after having talked about diets.