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‘Expensive bag’ tales

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DISPLAY OF – Yes, display of wealth….in social media in particular. You see some ladies, including actresses, show off their costly bags on Facebook. The likes of Hermes (the most expensive), Chanel, Gucci and, of course, Louis Vuitton, favored by Filipinas.

Aside from hand bags, Louis Vuitton has unisex lines such as travelling bags, wallets, backpacks, picnic bags, shoulder bags,body bags. Even cigarette and cellphone holders.

Highspeed focuses on Louis Vuitton as this columnist has “ancient” LV tales, which I am retelling. Involved are Maricel Soriano, Giselle Sanchez, and Aster Amoyo. For the uninformed, Aster is radio-TV host, columnist, talent manager, and businesswoman.


Let’s start with Giselle, bright comedienne (graduate of Poveda, valedictorian,and UP, magna cum laude). She recalls that she entered a Louis Vuitton shop in Paris when a haughty salesclerk (male) confronted her, accusing Filipinas of carrying fake LV’s. He didn’t say it outright, but Giselle sensed she was mistaken for a domestic helper.

Her Pinay pride wounded, Giselle answered back. “I’m an actress back home. And even if I am a domestic helper, what’s wrong with that? It’s an honest job.”

And then in a voice loud enough to be heard all over the shop, Giselle said, “ I’ll take this, I’ll take that. To the max ang credit card ko. Actually, wala akong balak mag-splurge.”

Giselle said she waved away the haughty salesclerk and asked for another to assist her. “ Nawalan siya ng commission.”

Now the LV tale of Maricel. But this one actually came from her good friend Dolor Guevarra, talent manager and line-producer. In a Hong Kong store, the salesclerks ignored her, until she pointed at the luggage line and several handbags, buying all of them and paying in cash. The store staff members were all over her, but Maricel remained aloof.

ASTER AND AILA – Here the LV tale with Aster and daughter Aila.

Aster asked a Hong Kong Chinese salesclerk, how much was the LV bag on the display window. The “despatasadora” ignored Aster, pretending to be busy with something else.

“Don’t be rude. I’m talking to you,” Aster shouted.

Clerk was jolted and apologized and showed Aster the LV bag. ( At that time, she was with Aila, who’s now an executive of a big company based in Tokyo, with branches all over the world, including the Philippines. Aila finished economics in a prestigious university in Osaka.

It happened that Aster’s wallet matched the bag in contention, prompting the salesclerk (now polite and attentive) to ask: “Did you buy your wallet here?”

“No, I bought this in New York,” Aster said, fishing out her credit card, “I”ll buy the bag.”

Aila asked: “ Mommy, did you really intend to buy the bag?” Her curt reply, “No.”

FIRST AND ONLY – And now, this columnist’s LV Tale.

Years back, a friend gifted me with an LV clutch bag, which I kept in my cabinet. Then the daughter of a friend dropped by, proudly saying she just graduated from college. On an impulse, I gave her the clutch bag, expensive (P3,000,perhaps?) but then okey lang, graduation gift naman.”

This ignoramus was amused (nanghihinayang?) when I learned that the bag couldn’t be less than P25,000. It would have been my first LV.

Ah, but it paid to be unselfish. Many Christmases ago, Aster told me she had a “ surprise “ for me. “Magugustuhan mo.” It turned out to be an LV shoulder bag. “Bihirayan.” Sa Guam ko binili, nag-iisa.”

Of course, I was very thankful, finally I had an LV. But when I learned how much it cost, I joked,” Sana pinera mo na lang.”

A joke? Maybe I really meant it.