Manners & Misdemeanors
The Truly Rich Lady's 10 'Town' Commandments
To celebrate Town&Country Philippines' 10th anniversary, here are 10 Commandments our Truly Rich Lady follows for living the Truly Rich Life.
IMAGE JP Meneses
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How time flies! Town&Country Philippines, the most fabulous tome for living the Truly Rich Life, turns 10 years old this month.

To celebrate this very important occasion, I'd like to share 10 Commandments I've learned from T&C and the tireless people behind it.

1. Be serious about wealth.

You are not here to spend it (though that would be fun), but to preserve it. Many hands have contributed to the golden sum that now lands in yours. To honor the hardwork of these thoughtful and genius relations, you, the custodian, should only endeavor to keep it and maybe, if you are entrepreneurial, grow it. But the goal is not more and more money, but what it brings: a beautiful life.  

2. Put family first.

Well, actually, God first, and then family. My hysterical mother always says: “Who else do you have but us?” To which I say, “I have Granthy, my cat!” Then Granthy proceeds to scratch my cableknit sweater. But mother is right. Even if there are differences, family will rally to you in times of crisis (and joy). Your allegiance belongs to them.

3. Do not live in a bubble.

This means two things: 1.) Plug in to what's new and happening in the city, from artist Ian Fabrio’s haunting exhibit at the U.P. Vargas Museum to designer Ramon Valera’s well-preserved dresses at St. Benilde to Ballet Philippines' road to its 50th year. And go to enrich your soul or mind or maybe stomach (Kappou Imamura in Okada). 2.) Be attuned to what’s happening in the country and the world, no matter how terrible or horrible it is. And react. 

4. Don't lose your cool.

Of course, you are human and do get angry, but you shouldn’t let passion get the best of you. Keep it in a box. Quell it with meditation. Don't raise your voice. Don't stoop down to other people's level. Don't raise your voice. Talk things out. And if all that doesn't work, put on your iciest smile, turn around, and walk away.

5. Know how to put together a party like a pro.

First, I have to talk about mastering the art of making a good cocktail, which I believe is the starting point for socialization (my personal favorite is the Dark and Stormy because I am dramatic). Then, comes the big stuff: the gathering of the right mix of people, the selection of the musicians and other entertainers, the making of a stunning table with proper china, silver, glasses, and of course, the creation of overabundant food, including always a charcuterie board. You know how to do the perfect scene for five, 50, or 100.

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6. Endeavor always to be well dressed.

I’m not saying that you should be dressed to the nines at all times, but you should appear put together (tidy and neat) always—even on your run to the flower shop because you never know who you’ll run into. A pressed white shirt, a pair of diamond studs, and a classic watch will do the trick.

7. Appreciate the real value of thrillingly expensive objects.

When you have researched about, say, the Patek Philippe Calatrava, the Hermès Mini Kelly, or the Jewelmer golden pearl, then you know that the price tag is sensible: the workmanship is impeccable, the materials are rare, it will last a lifetime, and longer. Beyond this, these objets can represent, not a whim, but a memory or a celebration or proof of hard work. An addendum to this commandment: Never brag about them. 

8. Master your spaces.

Yes, you have an affinity toward shoes, jewelry, and other fine fashion things, but you are also (even more) eager about building your nest, a maximalist pied-à-terre or a minimalist home filled with designer chairs, wallpaper, local art, and, your favorite, the kitchen appliances. A well-appointed home is something you can share with family and friends.

9. Work hard.

You are never idle. Though you can afford to just play every day, you choose to pursue all that life has to offer. Weekends are spent enriching the self through passion projects like organic backyard gardening. Even leisure is a working affair as you have to resist checking your work e-mail and really concentrate on having pure fun.

10. Stay humble.

The rule that rules all: Be good. Go beyond being just nice and try to be good. Before I go to bed, I do a rundown of all the things that have happened in my day. I ask myself, “Si-si, did you make a fool of yourself today?” Maybe I shouldn’t have been snippy with that overzealous security guard? Maybe I should have been warmer to a friend of a friend? Maybe I shouldn’t have said that unspeakable thing that dribbled out of my mouth? And then I take a sleeping aid and all is forgotten. Kidding! Of course, I endeavor to do better tomorrow. I may not be a saint, but I want to be a decent human being always.

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C.C. Coo
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