When Manila’s society columnists were from high society (‘de buena f’) | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

ELVIRA Manahan
ELVIRA Manahan

Your mantra for the week: God within me, teach me to be more loving and understanding; guide me to my highest good and greatest joy.


It is Lent, and a lot of people program themselves to do sacrifices at this time. But what is the true meaning of “sacrifice?”


In the world of old, it meant offering the life of an animal or a person or some object to a deity. But then in the Bible, it says in Isaiah 1:11, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? Saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of the goats.”


I believe, as in the I-Ching and the Bible, that a sacrifice is not done for anyone other than ourselves. And so the best sacrifice you can make is to give up negative and destructive thinking for constructive thoughts that promote harmony, peace and love.


It is, to start with, giving up the lesser for the greater. In the game of baseball, there is the so-called sacrifice hit to make sure the real hit would result in a home run.


Another example would be the practice of unloading cargo from a distressed ship to lighten the load, to enable the ship to reach port.


LORNA Perez Laurel

In the metaphysical principles that I teach, the real sacrifice is to give up all ideas that cause sickness, poverty, ill will and all debilitating emotions. How many people practice all kinds of rituals, ceremonies and pilgrimages, and fast and follow every rule and tenet of their churches, and yet most of their lives are chaotic and sometimes even tragic?


All these so-called sacrifices will end up for naught unless there is a true change in consciousness, or what is better known as a change of heart.


What is it that you really believe deep down in your heart? If you do not feel you are worthy of the good you desire, no amount of external activities that appear like sacrifices will manifest what one is praying for. You may think it, but if you don’t feel it, you do not get your desire.


The word “desire” is derived from the word “sire,” which is to father. It is really a gift from the Father of us all. The best sacrifice we can make, therefore, is to bring forth fruit from God’s gift.


In other words, a fulfilled desire is the best way to show our gratitude to the Universe.


After all, God needs nothing from us because God is everything.


Golden days


I would like to do a belated Throwback Thursday on the society columnists of the golden days of Manila’s 400. Those were the days when high society (beau monde) was spoken about with awe and admiration, unlike today when it is simply referred to as hi! society, the “left-to-right” group.


CHITO Madrigal

At that time, the society pages published and featured only people from Manila’s 40 old families (the old families I enumerated in my debut column). As a matter of fact, most society columnists came from the ranks of these families.


Nang Sevilla (Conchitina Sevilla Bernardo’s mother) wrote under the pseudonym Mariquita Perez, after a popular doll that was the Barbie of that time, and her column was entitled “Manila Carousel.”


Lorna Perez Laurel, the statuesque mother of Ricky and Jojo, used Lilian Cobb as her pen name. Cobb was the maiden name of Lorna’s mother.


Chito Madrigal, the darling of the elite circle, chose to write under the Greek goddess name Cassandra.


The well-informed Virginia Benitez Licuanan (yes, former Miriam College president Patricia Licuanan is her daughter) had a column entitled “Incidentally.”


“Mary Go-Round” was the chosen title for the column of vivacious Mary Prieto.


At one point, I was required, as was the custom, to call these well-admired ladies “tita.” It was only after I dubbed myself Conde de Makati, and they discovered my true identity, did they relent and allow me to address them on a first-name basis. They ultimately relished the idea, because it made them feel that they belonged to a younger age group.


When I was a teenager, one of my favorite pastimes was watching my parents and their friends party frequently in our home, so much so that one day, the scintillating Elvira Manahan invited me to sit beside her.


I truly enjoyed conversing with her about astrology and other adult matters, and apparently, as she showed through her contagious laughter, the feelings were entirely mutual.


It was then that my father approached us and jokingly commented, “Elvira, I always knew you were juvenile!”


Little did I know that one day I would be part of her long-running TV show, “Two For the Road,” as an in-house astrologer.


That evening served as my intro to the cocktail set.


Thereafter, I got invitations to whatever they were launching, exhibiting and celebrating. I really found these occasions most enjoyable. I felt I was part of this privileged group, except I wasn’t financially independent, and that was really frustrating.


But that’s another story…





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