Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Memories

It's not enough that Borgy Manotoc is pouting his way all over fashion ads back home, now his grandmother Imelda Marcos is launching her own fashion label. Read the story here (the link of which I'm filching from Carlos Celdran's blog). I won't be surprised if she sells well and you see people strutting around Greenbelt in pink sneakers with diamond-studded laces. Martial Law has been dead 20 years, and the old dictator is himself refrigerated away in Batac, so, what with the Filipino's infamously short memory, let's forget about the whole awful of episode of thieving and murdering, why don't we. Let's make the Marcoses cool again.
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Opposites do attract, however, and my husband is still reeling from what the Hundred Years' War has embedded on the collective French consciousness. Centuries after his ancestors made peace with the neighbors, Pierre is still disliking all things Brit. Some of his notable quotes:

"You just have to ask about the poverty of a culture whose national food is fish and chips."

"I ordered bread, they gave me bread. It wasn't bread. There was only air inside."

"The accent! The accent! Even when they're speaking French, they still have a British accent!"

"I don't dislike them, I just have bad chemistry with the entire country."

"I asked for some salt. Believe me: Their salt is not salty."

Such is his conviction that one time she was here on vacation, his daughter Angie, before flying off to where she lives in England, reminded me at least two times to please pack in her suitcase a box of the French salt, fleur de sel. She was, after all, going back to a place where the salt is not actually salty.

11 comments:

tommpouce said...

Always better than the brits having an italian accent when speaking french, right?

Though, there's nothing quite like fleur de sel, it does have something else (compared to regular salt, even french) and it's tough finding really good bread in the UK. However, nobody can brew a bitter ale like a brit, and that's a fact.

:p Good memories

tuesday said...

forget fish and chips, they produced shakespeare.

tuesday said...

i do understand though where he´s coming from. anglo-saxon culture has always been qualified as uncouth and unsophisticated.

Katrina said...

You know what makes me sad & angry (mostly angry), Apol? How the younger generation thinks we should just "move on" and forgive & forget what the Marcoses did. How the **** could they have the right to say that, when they have NO IDEA what actually happened?! Not to mention the fact that the Marcoses have never admitted their crimes, never apologized, and never returned what they stole. I had an officemate who, after watching the documentary "Imelda," said he really sympathized with her and was in awe that she met Gershwin. I promptly lectured him on what the Marcos years were like. Don't people realize that when you ignore history, you will never learn from it?

apol said...

TOMMP, Exactly! on the accent.

TUESDAY, Don't try to understand... as the guy says, it's really about bad chemistry :)

apol said...

KATRINA, I worked with journalists who really went through hell during Martial Law, imprisoned and tortured and lost friends and family. I asked one of them how come not many have made the effort to document their experience, that a lot of us young people are really ignorant of what happened because, really, not much material is available. My journalist friend said, "It's still too painful." How wickedly efficient, right? Psychological gagging. Now I'm thinking, we're not gagged, we're both writers, you're in advertising, I was in publishing, maybe we can do something about this lack? Just a thought... Tell me if it's interesting...

katrina said...

That actually *is* interesting, Apol...Though, frankly, I don't know how much interest there'd be among the rest of the Filipinos even if we did try to shed light on this topic. A couple of books have come out recently about the Martial Law years, but apart from people who were actively part of it, I don't know anyone who's even heard of the books, much less read them. Most Pinoys seem to be apathetic about the past, as if it had nothing to do with them. I don't think it's even taught in schools; if it were, then why are the youth so ignorant about it? I wouldn't be surprised if they're still using the old textbooks we grew up with -- the ones that made Marcos look like a hero!

apol said...

How does one make Martial Law hip? Will e-mail you this weekend.

haze said...

When people ask me where did I come from, I said from the Philippines ! And first thing that they will remember is Marcoses because of dictatorship.... & take note they even said "ah oui la femme qui a tellement des chausseurs dans son placard! On sais pas combien mais on dirait magazin des chausseurs" !!! What a shame, I was expecting something... but since Philippines is not very well known especially for French who doesn't travel out of the country! Hence, they're not aware that we have a lot of beautiful spots to visit and how hospitable Filipinos are!

jacqueline suzette yu said...

i sympathize with the french...but really, this is quite funny...and aren't they learning english using the british system? but the fish and chips and salt quotes--those were hilarious!
i'm a silent reader of your blog by the way...until now ;) keep on writing please.

apol said...

I hear you, HAZE! Dyahe no?

Hey, JACQUELINE, nice to sort of meet you. Will hop on to your blog for a look :)