I purchased the premiere issue of Town & Country (Philippine Edition) about a week ago, and have been leafing through it, and actually reading several of the articlesâ€¦ Brava!!! to the editorial team and congratulations on the launch issue, it is really rather good! Mrs. MM and I donâ€™t normally purchase what some might simply label â€œsocietyâ€ or â€œsosyalâ€ magazines. In fact, I find most of the local society magazines incredibly boring and feature the same faces in different clothing, and if I can be catty, the bigger and older the waistline, the larger the rocks or pseudo-rocks as wellâ€¦ if you know what I mean. But when Mrs. MM and I had unlimited access to U.S.-based magazines when a previous employer provided us with a weekly mail pouch, Town & Country was one of two dozen magazines that we received every month. An â€œancientâ€ title by U.S. standards, at 150+ years old, it was always considered a more â€œgenteelâ€ magazine that was good for discreet society watching, great ads for all those non-essentials in life, and a good travel story or two. So when I heard that the Philippines would be publishing the first foreign edition, I was more than a bit curiousâ€¦
Fascination with movie stars or society figures is something I think most people will rarely admit to in public, but I suspect 97% of all folks in a dentistâ€™s waiting room, faced with a Tatler or People magazine, will most likely leaf through either or both of them… I have never really MET a star, but I have been in close proximity more than a few times, mostly when they didnâ€™t have their STAR wattage onâ€¦ I once sat back to back against Christie Brinkley, when she was with Billy Joel, while they enjoyed an Italian meal in Easthampton, and again a few months later, she pulled a chair up and sat on our row at a Billy Joel concert in Boston. I got stuck with John F. Kennedy, Jr. in a Seoul hotel elevator (together with one wickedly serious looking Secret Service Agent), because JFK, Jr. didnâ€™t know how to use his room/elevator key (how MANY times did he take the Bar exam???) and since he looked familiar and I thought he might be an old college classmate, I said hello and he warmly greeted me back, at which point I looked down and realized I didnâ€™t know him from Adam, only to notice he was wearing the most humongous shoes ever! I used to run into a reclusive and neurotic Woody Allen in the lobby of my nieceâ€™s primary school, where he waited with all the other parents famous, infamous and anonymous. I also ran into Brooke Shields on the sidewalk when she lived a block away from my sister, and Yul Bryner lived in a townhouse a stoneâ€™s throw away when he starred in The King and I on Broadway many eons ago. And I also ended up directly behind Kim Basinger (gee, she is utterly STUNNING in person) and Alec Baldwin waiting in line at a west-side NYC sushi restaurant. But in all these cases, I applied the NY unspoken rule for celebrities, which is to never acknowledge who they are, they are just like any other citizenâ€¦
Anyways, back to the local Town & Country. For me, the mark of a good magazine about the finer things in life is if I can relate to the topics covered or feel a kinship with some of the writers or destinations or foods featured within. On this front, the Premiere Issue hit a lot of common marksâ€¦The cover and feature article is on Lizzie Eder Zobel, who usually doesnâ€™t seek cover publicity, and who I apparently went to college with, though I didnâ€™t know it at the time. If the article is correct, we were at university together and came from the same graduating class though she was taking Philosophy and I was across the campus getting a Finance degree. She supports several causes such as literacy and education that are likewise important to me. Teddy Montelibano (a reader of this blog), writes about food finds as well as the Chelsea Market & CafÃ©, which I also featured a few weeks back. A gorgeous photo of the Lizares ancestral home in Talisay, Negros Occidental is a part of the country I would definitely like to visit, preferably guided by insiders with access to the finest kitchens. Little blurbs about guava jelly by trappist monks, flowers by Fiori di M (Margarita Fores) and Abaca restaurant in Cebu are all things I would gladly consume. Arts & Culture blurbs on a Filipino conductor at Carnegie Hall and a Filipina Soprano in Vienna were interesting as well. An article on Amanpuri, one of the few â€œoriginalâ€ Amans that Mrs. MM and I have not had the opportunity to visit (two planned trips cancelled), and a blurb on Bulgariâ€™s supposedly STUNNING property in Bali which just seems a bit out of reach at the moment… And finally a feature on Guimaras, an island I have written about before, after it was struck by that horrific oil spill last year. This magazine has classâ€¦ and it doesnâ€™t have to scream it. Frankly, I thought the PHP150 cover price was well worth it.