The Donya Takes the Stairs.
The Donya lives in a pre-war mansion. At that time, Papa (accent on the 2nd syllable) was just starting to build his wealth when he decided to build the family home, and it was for this reason that Papa (accent on the 2nd syllable) did not have enough money to have an elevator installed. The Donya does not resent her Papa (accent, etc.) for this and even thanks him for her good health. Climbing up and down the grand staircase is one of the best exercises (while running down people is bad exercise.) The Donya takes pride in the quality of wood used for the handrails, the superb job done on the wrought-iron banisters, and the specially-ordered machuca tiles on the floor. The Donya is used to excellent-quality items having grown up in these elegant, rich surroundings. It is the same excellent taste that attracted the Donya to Loungewear and Sleepwear by Merry Mary. Well-made, handcrafted outfits for the home carry high quality craftsmanship even when turned inside-out. The best part is always the pockets. The Donya needs pockets because she always has cash lying around and when she needs some, she stashes them inside the pockets. The deeper, the better. Pockets and cash remind the Donya of a fugitive from the former Czechoslovakia. He was a midget and he was wanted by the police. So, he ran and ran until he came upon a house in the woods. His frantic knocks woke the owner who cautiously peered through the slightly-opened door. The midget nervously asked, “Please, Sir, can you cache a small Czech?” This joke never fails to crack the Donya up; she loves anything that refers to money.
The Donya Woke Up Like This.
Imagine waking up looking bright and cheery. The Donya makes sure that she looks pretty the night before so she’ll have pleasant dreams and pleasant mornings. This was a lesson taught to her by her mamà (accent on the 2nd syllable) that the Donya took to heart. To feel pretty, the Donya wears pretty sleepwear especially ones exclusively made for her by Merry Mary. Only natural fabrics touch the Donya’s flawless skin. Merry Mary makes sleepwear and loungewear in cotton and linen with designs that defy trends. Even Sophie, the French maid, born and bred in an arrondisement in Paris exclaims, “Quelle belle!” These Parisians know their fashion, n’est-ce pas? One look at the tacky, garishly-printed dasters of some matrons is enough for Sophie to cry, “Merde!” Merry Mary styles can be quirky, too, and youthful. Just like this short-sleeve shorts set in crisp cotton fabrics with a combination floral design.
The Donya is bright and cheery and she makes the first call of the day to her dear, dear fabulously wealthy bosom buddy Donya Metring. Donya Metring has just jetted in from the States where spring has ended. Donya Metring complains of the hot and humid weather here. The Donya is quick to advise to “stop wearing your velvet sleeping gown and get yourself a whole new sleepwear wardrobe by Merry Mary. They are perfect for the tropics.” The Donya puts down the phone and mutters, “Manul.”
Photography: Mark Anthony Samorin
HMUA: Bing O. Montinola
Venue: Spaces by the Negros Museum
Fashion: Merry Mary
The Donya Visits the Bodega.
The Donya wonders why all the hand-crafted, commissioned espadings are on the wall. Not one is gone. This means one thing – the sacadas are not out there working on the campo. Ha! They loaf! The Donya needs to check on these workers enseguida. That is why the Donya wears Loungewear by Merry Mary. It can take her from home to the field. Done stylishly in classic designs, Merry Mary Loungewear is comfortable to wear at home, but is pretty enough to wear outside, too.
“Munding, ang bagon!” “Sophie, venez!” How lovely to be fabulously rich! The Donya has what you don’t – her very own train. The railroad tracks had been laid out there by her very, very, very wealthy Papa (accent on the 2nd syllable) to take her from the manse to the fields without her having to walk a long way. The Donya and Sophie, her French maid, rode all the way to the hacienda to see for themselves why the workers were not working. (Isn’t that why they are called “workers”?) The Donya works hard herself. She turns her pretty nose up at those who call themselves the idle rich. One does not keep wealth that way. The Donya sees the cabo and demands to know where the workers are. The cabo tells her, “Tapos na ang tapas kag galing, Donya.” (The harvest and milling season is over, Donya.)
Ah, well…the Donya is sheepish.
Photography: Mark Anthony Samorin
HMUA : Bing O. Montinola
Location: Negrosmuseum TNM
The Donya Becomes Maudlin and for a Good Reason.
The Donya never says, “I have nothing to wear.” That will never happen. Jamais. You should see her extensive wardrobe. It has everything she needs including the perfect outfit to go to the store to buy “itlog na pula” which to the Donya actually means a ruby-encrusted Fabergé. Excuse me, Corazon! (pronounced “kora-thon”.) Today is the perfect day to just stay home and slip into something comfortable. The Donya thinks it is time to explore the other rooms of the mansion. With Sophie, the French maid born and bred in a Paris arrondisement, the Donya can dart in and out of the antediluvian chambers that hold memories of the grandiose past. Sophie picks out some housedresses to show to the Donya and the Donya settles on a cool sleeveless shift with a frilly edge by Merry Mary. It is feminine without going over the top. Restraint is usually the mark of elegance regardless of where the source of fabrics is. It may be from high fashion houses of major world capitals, or from that popular strip for hoi polloi shopping called La Rue de Divisoire. That’s Divisoria for you, Peasants! Now that the Donya is chic-ly comfy in her Loungewear by Merry Mary, she starts going through the fantastic collection of artwork, furniture, and bric-a-bracs. There is just too many. The Donya is beset once more by rich people’s problems. She takes an old silver-framed photograph of her great-grandmother Lorenza (pronounced lo-ren-tha) the one who left her with one thousand hectares of farmland. “O Abuelita! Mi vida es muy rica pero hay muchas problemas porque no hay lugar para mis cosas y mis dineros.”The Donya was not really fond of the abuelita. Stories in the clan circulate that she was mean and greedy and exploitative. The Donya was surprised that the tatarabuela left her with 1,000 hectares. The Donya laments. She sighs deeply and pleads to high heavens for mercy on her tatarabuela. A little birdie told the Donya, and the Donya just knew that the farmlands had other owners. Lorenza (don’t forget: lo-ren-tha) was a scheming landgrabber.