detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Wednesday, July 25, 2001


: . 'The Kay We Loved':

Among the tycoons, world leaders, journalists, and celebrities reminiscing about the late Katherine Graham in this week’s Newsweek is our very own Cory Aquino. There she is, giggly little third world president, wide-eyed, barefoot in the palace, star struck. I’ve always thought that Cory Aquino had a little more self-respect:
Katherine Graham hosted dinner for me in her home in Georgetown. I felt so privileged! I was so impressed, Katherine Graham listening to me. Also, it was the first time I ever tasted white chocolate mousse. I really liked it. I don’t remember much of what we talked about. I found it amazing that she took the trouble to visit the Philippines and to entertain me…

Cory Aquino’s gushing account of her meeting with Katherine Graham reminds me of Madame Imeldific’s similarly embarrassing take on her trip, thirty years ago, to the master’s house:
The Met—it was fabulous—those chandeliers, those paintings, the audience...my God, the Rockefellers, the Du Ponts, the Fords, the Magnins, the Lindsays, the painter Marc Chagall—you know he wanted to paint me but he was reluctant—would my husband allow him to do so? And the jewels the women were wearing—it is a good thing I decided not to wear any diamonds—because those that the Americans were wearing—wow!—strands and strands of them around their necks. My, in America when they’re rich, they’re really rich…when I came in wearing pearls, I was so thankful I chose them because everyone else was wearing diamonds…

Oh my people, my people! When will we ever learn? Once our conquerors brought glittering trinkets to make us go weak in the knees. Five hundred years later and we fall for it again without fail.

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