Bastille Day stirs memories of spending time in Elvira Manahan’s home | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Your mantra for the week: “From sadness to happiness, it’s just a shift.”


A reader has asked me what IAMISM is all about. The most succinct reply is to describe it as a course on happiness. This course involves 10 basic factors:


  • The importance of Desires


Webster’s dictionary defines desire as: to wish earnestly for; to request fervently; to crave for something; to long for or a yearning.


However, all these should have an emotional push strong enough to move one to pursue whatever it is being desired or craved.


The Bible says, “Where there is no vision (or clear picture of one’s desire), the people will perish.”


Also, “decree a thing (you are the king in the kingdom of your mind) and it shall be done unto you.”


2) The factor of Wealth which is often ignored by religions is important in the pursuit of happiness in IAMISM.


Truly, blessed are the rich for they shall inherit the capacity for self-sufficiency, comfort, stability, luxury, and the ability and power to help others.


In contrast to the Church’s emphasis on love for the poor, it is actually the richest institution in the world.


The beatitude actually reads, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This means humility earns you a key to heaven and has nothing to do with having money or not.


3) The third factor in the pursuit of happiness is Emotional Management.


Each of us must judiciously learn how to control emotions and not let our feelings get the better of us. We should handle our relationships with harmony through communication and concession.


Also, we must make an effort to be aware when our egos take over and push us constantly to prove we are right while others are wrong.


4) Accepting our Genetic Makeup


IAMISM believes that our souls choose who our parents will be and that our genetic composition is part of our learning process.


I have often underscored that our families are our original karmic harvest and each member is another self of you—a reflection of something in you that is like them.


It is our duty to put in order our relationships with each member. Otherwise, we will encounter them in future lifetimes.


If you do not agree with this belief system, remember that it is just as important for you to resolve all differences with family members.


It is imperative for us to be aware that we tend to recreate the emotional atmosphere of our early home life. If the experience was not joyful, it is a must to practice forgiveness and understanding in the context of pursuit of happiness.


5) Health and Beauty


It is true that health is your greatest wealth. Many rich but sick people would quickly give up their wealth to regain perfect health. The bottom line is that healthier people are definitely happier.


Beauty is sought intensely because people who believe they are good-looking tend to be happier. Life seems to be kinder to those who are physically attractive.


To wit: “The global beauty care products industry clocked revenues worth $379 billion in 2013, which is anticipated to reach $461 billion by 2018.”


Religion condemns vanity but it goes a long way in supporting the world economy. Thank God for vanity, it makes things fair.


The succeeding five factors will follow next week.




The recent meetings between Sen. Grace Poe and P-Noy have led her admirers and supporters to ask me for a slogan in case she runs for any position in the 2016 elections.


This is my suggested slogan: Amazing Grace… Malinis, Matalino, Makatao. Love Ko Poe!


If somebody turns that into a catchy jingle, it just might help Grace win.




Bastille Day on July 14 at the residence of French Ambassador Gilles Garachon was, for me, a trip down history, as it was for all the French.


It was freedom day in Paris. They lighted the Eiffel Tower to the utmost. Ours is on Feb. 25 and it brought back the same feeling that the French people were celebrating.


The difference was, theirs was violent and ours was peaceful.


I was nostalgic because it was in the residence of Dr. Tito and Elvira Ledesma-Manahan where I first met our own version of Marie Antoinette: Imelda Romualdez-Marcos.


But Filipinos having a different mindset, Mrs. Marcos was merely exiled in a country filled with her husband’s people.


The meeting that time was arranged by Elvira because Imelda was interested in getting a copy of the tape from the press conference of Dovie Beams. The tape was deliberately being kept from her by the minions of then President Marcos.


It is still fresh in my memory how Imelda entered the Manahan French provincial home designed by Luis Araneta, my boss in Graphic magazine where I wrote the column “Social Climbing with the Conde de Makati.”


She appeared in a tiger-print chiffon blouse that showed off her then slim waistline.


I experienced for the first time Mrs. Marcos’ capacity to talk for almost six hours straight. What stood out in her peroration was her denial of wanting to become President.


But Ernesto Maceda was also interested and made no bones about it. He even went as far as relating his encounter with a fortune-teller, who saw a star on his palm indicating that, one day, he could become President.


To which Mrs. Marcos excitedly showed us the star on her own palm.


Nothing came of Ernie’s star but Imelda ran for president in 1992 against all odds.

She now represents the 2nd District of Ilocos Norte in Congress.


What followed was an impromptu dinner at Malacañang because of Doctor Manahan’s request that we escort the First Lady back to the Palace.


Elvira used to say, “I am not a Blue Lady but Tito is a Blue Boy.”


The Manahans’ Anahaw residence in Forbes Park was like a second home to us who were involved in Elvira’s TV show “Two for the Road.”


We spent hours every week in this luxurious but homey abode.


Best-dressed lady


I have many more wonderful stories to tell but let me go back to Bastille Day when honorary consul of Monaco Fortune Ledesma was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (Knight of the French National Merit).


Ambassador Garachon was effusive in his praises for the work and the help that Fortune provides for the betterment of Philippine relations with France through her honorary position.


I did not realize that the place could take so many guests until I saw many cars parked bumper to bumper on at least six roads.


Tingting Cojuangco was surely the best-dressed lady of the evening in her colorful saya, wearing it like only she could carry in her inimitable way.


She was having a conversation with the US Deputy Political Counselor Matthew Cenzer, who clearly knows his business. He is also aware that Loida Nicolas-Lewis is raising funds for the Hillary Clinton campaign.


It is always a pleasure to meet people in the diplomatic corps who are relaxed and not so formal.


I had a chat with artist Mav Rufino and her cousin Tony; and Cultural Center of the Philippines president Dr. Raul Sunico who informed me that the kundiman concert of Pilita Corrales and tenor Miguel Castro was not canceled but merely postponed by its producer Danny Dolor.


Raul also introduced me to Austrian Ambassador Wilhelm Donco.


Young billionaire Joseph Calata was happily in tune with diplomatic manners under the mentorship of Glen Gale. Mildred Ramos ordered mantra beads that helped her focus more on the positive, like revolutions that can transform things for the better.

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