High Society Scandals
That Shook the Alta Sociedad
By Dani Panopio
Admit it: if you were born in the 90s there’s a high chance that one of your favourite hobbies or guilty pleasures is to watch Gossip Girl, which took us on a six-year roller coaster ride that took us deep into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.
As Filipinos, we are well-known for our flair and thirst for drama. Hence, we don’t need to look across the ocean for our daily fix of the latest chismis that has everyone talking. Why, we were all dragged once more to such a juicy scandal recently when the Comelec Chairman and his estranged wife started airing their dirty laundry in public. Here we list down some of the juiciest, most controversial scandals that rocked Manila’s High Society. Lift your little finger up while you sip that tea!
The Murder of Enzo Pastor
Enzo Pastor was a promising race car driver that’s well known not just in his social circle, but also to race car enthusiasts. Pastor’s life was tragically cut short when he was ambushed by motorcycle-riding gun men on his way to to Clark, Pampanga. Rumors started that the main perpetrator of his slaying was his own wife, Dalia Guerrero-Pastor. Dalia is the great-granddaughter of Don Ramon Roces, whose family owned The Manila Times. It is alleged to be a crime of passion, with Dalia’s (alleged) lover businessman Domingo de Guzman III being the mastermind of the murder.
In what seemed to be an episode of Gossip Girl, the Gucci Gang controversy fired up the internet and every bloggers’ domains during its heyday. The controversy started when Australian Expat Brian Gorrell claimed that his ex-boyfriend, socialite and grandson of controversial Philippine Senator Justiniano Montano, DJ Montano, swindled him out of $70,000 for purportedly putting up a restaurant and travel agency business. Gorrell set up his own blog wherein he exposed how Montano duped him into sending crazy amounts of money. Some of the members of the ‘gang’ were Celine Lopez (member of the popular Lopez clan), Tim Yap, Wendy Puyat, Tina Tinio, Hindi Weber, and a lot more. You can find the whole list posted at Gorrell’s blog.
Madrigal vs. Ortigas
We all know the premise of The Good Wife (a philandering political man whose wife divorces him), this scandal somehow mirrors it. Former Philippine Ambassador to Mexico Francisco M. Ortigas III was sued by his wife, Susana Madrigal Bayot-Ortigas (member of the prominent Madrigal clan) after she accused him of having extramarital affairs during their four-decade marriage. Susana even called her husband a “scrooge” and a “pervert” after she accused his husband having affairs both with her best friend, Ma. Antonia Legarda and their house maid, Wilma Balingasa (his alleged “sex slave”).
The Pepper Spray Incident at Embassy
Oh, how love drives us do the craziest of things. In what supposed to be a celebration at the infamous Embassy (which deserves a separate list) turned into a catfight among Manila’s elites. The fight between socialites Patricia Panlilio (daughter of famed jeweler Fe Panlilio) and Neny Montinola ensued during the birthday celebration of Ronald Singson, son of politician Chavit Singson. The two socialite beauties ran into each other outside the club wherein Panlilio pointed a pepper spray can at Montinola’s face and began spraying at her. What drove Panlilio in doing such thing was her alleged “jealousy” towards her boyfriend, Ricardo Po Jr. and Montinola’s friendship.