Love stories that made news in the sixties, so effortlessly narrated, shifting from saccharine to laconic as the stories unfold, by that cynic romantic, Nick Joaquin.
It's not so much the love stories that fascinated me. It was more the sepia-hued window into the ghosts of love affairs past that drew me in. And reflected here is a Manila in its heyday, the Manila idyll I keep hearing old-timers hark back to. A Manila in the Age of Aquarius, with its post-war topography and straight-laced, if sometimes ridiculous, mores. Where decorum dictated you must marry a man you were out with overnight, never mind if you were literally kidnapped, and with your yaya the entire time you were away. Where a scion's courtship of a South American beauty queen dominated the headlines for months. Where sons and daughters who were educated abroad, children of well-to-do families, had to struggle tooth and nail for their family's approval. Where jaded journalists sincerely played Cupid to an absurdly lovestruck Japanese girl, whom today would be diagnosed positively certifiable.
In other words, a Manila that no longer exists.