Your mantra for the week: “As I renew my mind, I renew all things in my life.”
The most prevalent negative state of mind in the world is depression.
Suicide cases have increased significantly, and it all begins with depression, a feeling of severe dejection and despondency, extreme sadness, and a general loss of interest in life.
In IAMISM, we usually describe depression as the effect of not loving oneself enough. There are many signs—shyness, lack of confidence, self-criticism and failing to see the good in oneself and most of everything else.
Add to this a feeling of inferiority caused by comparing oneself to others who may be better off physically, mentally, professionally and financially. As a result, one’s self-worth suffers new lows, bringing about loneliness and gloom.
People suffering from depression are advised to seek help from psychologists or psychiatrists. I will always remember a very good friend who used to visit a few of these doctors, but who somehow found herself having to visit more often.
Until one evening, we had a long talk till morning and I was able to convince her that there was nothing wrong with her, and that it was only the world around her that was truly willy-nilly.
Two days later, she wrote to me: “Today, I called my psychiatrist and told him I no longer needed his services… I found a friend.”
Manila, a long time ago
Last Monday, I arrived at the Anahaw Room of Manila House for the launch of Arnel Patawaran’s book, “Manila Was a Long Time Ago,” and lined up to have my copy autographed. But the room was so packed, I never got close to the table where Arnel was signing his books.
Guests were coming in and out of the room: debonair Kevin Tan on his way out; the very in-demand designer Ito Curata with former Visa head Bob Miller, who whispered to me, “Confidentially, I am straight.” With a big smile, Ito said, “Straight—to bed.”
Likewise present were Tina Jacinto, who was excited about the launch of her own book, “Having a Ball: A Decade of Celebrations”; veteran columnist Deedee Siytangco, looking sprightly and giving Arnel full support; colorfully dressed Fortune Ledesma and Tina Cuevas, who invited us to a belated birthday party for Sal Panelo next month; Priscilla Awards: Dressing at Its Best recipients Kaye Tiñga, Kai Lim and Heart Evangelista-Escudero, whose artwork appears on the cover and inside pages of Arnel’s book.
Also spotted were Mario Katigbak, who leaves for London this week; Babette Aquino; luxury retail doyenne Nedy Tantoco; National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose; bag designer Carissa Evangelista; an all covered-up Louie Cruz; Tatler’s Anton San Diego; and the lovely Monique Madsen.
I took to reading the book that very evening and traveled with Arnel’s life story with his meandering through reveries, and meditations through his own style of poetic prose.
He takes us to his visions and impressions of 16 different cities, ending in Manila—the filament that ties together his sophisticated literary adventure.
Ines del Prado
In Arnel’s book, the chapter titled “Whatever happened to Ines del Prado?” is about a fictional character from the old high society in the Philippines before martial law. I can personally share with you the many hours I spent with the likes of Ines, who was a member of “De Buena Familia,” the prominent 60 families that settled in Manila, later on known as Manila’s 400.
When martial law was declared, the “new high society” was born—composed of cronies and tycoons who used their talent, industry and imagination, or had been elected or appointed to high positions in government and intermarried with members of De Buena familias, and who became known as the “binuenas na familia.”
At present, the so-called alta sociedad with the binuenas take center stage through conspicuous consumption.
The old families, including those of Ines, have slowly retreated from the limelight, mixing around mostly with their own kind in private dinners not covered by media.
Many have migrated to the paradise town of Harar in Ethiopia, although there will be those like Monique Baumann who would simply just yearn to be in Harar, but will definitely stay in Manila, hobnobbing with social climbing party-goers proudly bannering that they have “penetrated” high society. Penetration had finally lost its sexual implications. What a pity!
At a recent dinner, a popular hostess said, “I have no skeletons in the closet, mine are simply fat and old.”
A successful businessman has a wonderful suggestion to solve the so-called rice shortage in the Philippines. He proposes that all obese Filipinos should stop eating rice, which will make them look better and healthier and will definitely contribute to solving the rising inflation, while the overweight enjoy the benefits of deflation.
E-mail the author at [email protected]; catch him live in his lectures on IAMISM every Sunday, 7 p.m., on his Facebook page