WHILE Malacañang apologists are pointing to Rep. Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez as the one who paid the $20,000 dinner tab at Le Cirque of the presidentita, his own staff are now denying this. They say it was actually Romualdez's brother, celebrated New York architect/interior designer Daniel Romualdez, who picked up the tab.
I have it on good authority though that Daniel didn't pay for the dinner either. Apparently it's a well-known fact among those close to the Romualdezes that while Daniel may be generous in charitable events, he is "too kuripot" to shell out that much for a lavish dinner where he doesn't even personally know half of the guests. "It's actually Martin who is galante," as per a source. Martin is so galante, he is said to have gifted the presidentita a Rolex w/c costs anywhere bet. $3,600 to $11,000. Hmmm....
A bit of trivia: One of the most well-known design projects of Daniel Romualdez is the Manhattan apartment of fashion designer Tory Burch, w/c was featured in the Oct. 2004 issue of Vogue. Also, here's a story on Daniel in The Departures magazine published in 2001.
(Romualdez, far right, with friends Dan Moe, Brian Kinsella, and publicist James LaForce at the Sag Harbor fund-raiser of God's Love We Deliver, on June 30, 2007. Photo from the New York Social Diary.)
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(UPDATE 3:25 pm) Manolo Quezon gives a good rundown of the presidentita's activities in the U.S., including another dinner whose details are still-to-be uncovered, but revealed (unwittingly or sadya?) by Rep. Danilo Suarez. Btw, the good congressman now claims he paid for Bobby Vans steak escapade.
Comment ko lang, ang tagal naman na afterthought nito ni Rep. Suarez. What, he just woke up yesterday morning and suddenly he remembered he paid for the meal pala? Whatta joke!
Anyhoo, Bukidnon Rep. TG Guingona reveals that the presidentita has spent close to P3B in her foreign trips. Now accdg. to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, foreign direct investments into the Philippines are down $103 million as of the first quarter of the year. So how can Malacañang justify that GMA's trips abroad are benefiting the Philippine economy?
(UPDATE) Here's a list of the presidentita's trips abroad, and how much she spent on travel expenses, as per GMA News TV's research.