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The queen of social climbing

by Jullie Yap Daza

Jullie Yap DazaThere’s a little Jenny in each of the many of us. But whereas our delusions come and go, she lived her dream, working, clawing, pushing, and pulling to climb the ladder to become the most successful social climber of the year (at least).

Which of us has not dreamed of owning a car, more than one car, more than one house, more than one measly bank account, and more than nine insurance policies (one for each of our nine fabulous lives)? Who are we not to try to hitch our wagon to a star, to use rather than be used? Why miss out on the glittering life, attending parties of the rich, the glamorously famous?

For all the stuff we have been reading to make us green with envy around the gills, little is known of Ms. SC’s background. Friends do remember how she threw a blast of a party for her son at the NBC tent, the finale of which was the unveiling of her gift, wrapped in nylon-silk covers, to reveal a Hummer (this was just before the “macho” vehicle was phased out by its manufacturers). Friends recall how two daughters were named Manila’s Loveliest in a fund-raiser for charity. The same friends cannot say where or how she made her first hundred million.

Who cares to keep track after ten billion? (One billion is 1,000 million.)

But considering her husband’s military background, the mate who sounds like a man of few words — “no talk, no mistake” – it’s possible, says an acquaintance, that she learned the ABC of networking from his connections.

Say what you will of our queen of climbers, but she created a fiefdom with practically no capital investments and resources except her charm, glibness, and penetrating insights into the psychology of greed and venality. Her fault was not in the stars – a lucky streak allowed her to live like the elite she admired — but in refusing to acknowledge her own weakness, that she could not stop, and more was never enough. In the end (is this the end, hmm?), she got what she wanted, perched on the highest rung of her ladder. A President available to her as escort and bodyguard. How many of us would dare to entertain a fantasy like that?