Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2011

Rich woman, poor woman

Rich Woman, Poor Woman
By Danton Remoto
Posted at 02/26/2011 1:14 AM | Updated as of 02/26/2011 7:22 PM

I was in high school when the great Armida Siguion Reyna portrayed the role of a lifetime – the wealthy woman who was the tormentor of the atsay (housemaid) played by, who else, but by the iconic Nora Aunor. Tita Midz was in her element, kicking the housemaid down the stairs and then using the atsay’s face to wipe the floor clean.

It was only a fortnight ago when I was surfing from channel to channel when I saw Gretchen Barretto playing a rich woman who attends a party. Loud and calling attention to herself (the role, not the actress), she brandished a piece of jewelry for all her similarly wealthy friends to ohhh and ahhh after.

Between these two poles – a time-frame of 30 years – lies our stereotypes of the rich, and the way movies and television portray them. All to a person, the rich are seen as ruthless, corrupt and number-one violators of human rights, whether i…

The passages of love

By Danton Remoto
Philippine Star
February 14, 2011

It’s Valentine’s Day and I know many singles who like to mingle, and they’re now frantically looking for a partner they can display on D-Day. Some of them ask me what gifts would turn on their potential lovers. Junk chocolates and roses, I tell them wryly, and give a book to your object of affection.

I recommend The Spirit of Loving for this most ilusyonada of days. The book is a compilation of reflections on love and relationships by writers, psycho-therapists, and spiritual teachers. Emily Hilburn Sell edited this book, which comes from the imprint of Shambala, which has a long backlist of lovely spiritual titles.

I like this book because it isn’t a silly compendium of words that you could find in a typical greeting card. It has philosophers like Plato and Martin Buber, novelists like Marcel Proust and Virginia Woolf, even writers who were once called pornographers, like Anais Nin, D.H. Lawrence, and James Joyce.

And it has the gr…