Maurice Arcache: Hello dear, how have you been? Here’s my opening question: we’ve been friends for so long why do you think we click?
Edouard Garcia: It was mutual admiration-at-first-sight. You were the inimitable Mediterranean gigolo-playboy; I was the prancing exotic boytoy. We both really didn’t give a damn for all those fortunes being laid down at our feet. We dreamt of being gold diggers but we had enough cash to buy fancy cars and expensive clothes. And the mere fact that we both had ties to Silay, “the Paris of Negros Island,” was enough to break the generation gap and focus more on “love and lots of fun.”
I admired your Adonis curls and hairy chest while you emboldened my narcissistic abandon in loving famous women and delighting tycoons.
MA: Were you flamboyant even as a child?
EG: I was more of a terror as a child! But I looked so loveable that I could get away with everything. A Gaston from Silay recounts that I peed in the middle of their sala during a party. Everyone just laughed and smothered me with kisses.
MA: How was it like growing up gay in Bacolod? How did your parents react?
EG: Gay?! I never thought of myself as gay. Everyone just wanted a piece of my ass. And my parents were so liberal that I would tell them all my sexcapades which would amuse them terribly. I was some sort of a male Lolita.
MA: You’ve been with your partner for so many years. He lives in Paris and you live here. How do you make it work?
EG: He’s just an old bad habit.
MA: Since this is our fashion issue, who are your stylish women?
EG: My stylish women are Maricris Zobel, Kathy de Guzman, Maria Parsons, and Rica Gonzalez. I’m always surrounded by beautifully fashionable people, dahlink. You must remember, I was in haute couture in Paris for 15 years.
MA: What are you are looking forward to in 2017?
EG: 2017 will be a turning point in my life. I can’t tell you what I am planning to do except that I’m seriously contemplating about entering a Carmelite monastery.
MA: What’s your current state of mind?
EG: My mind is always a mess, dahlink! But God is so good to me that He pulls surprises way beyond my imagination and makes me end up where I’m happiest.
MA: How does one age gracefully?
EG: To age gracefully is to be at peace with one’s family. Dahlink, get a good Carmelite confessor and a nun to guide you into the desert. Have lots of money to sprinkle around so you can make people happy. And love yourself like nobody can.
MA: You have had a larger than life persona; what’s your tagline in life?
EG: Be frugal with yourself and if you have to spend, make sure everyone notices!
MA: We have had so many scandalous escapades together. Recall one that we can print.
EG: We were in Side, Turkey when it was just an undiscovered tourist spot known only to modest local tourists. We were then staying above a village café that served as the only boarding house for transient salesmen and the rare traveller at that time. In the middle of the night, some military men came to inspect the place. I can still remember the sound of their boots as they circled our beds and we held our breaths trembling in fear seeing their heavily bearded faces in the dark. As they left, Freddy Olbés crept behind them. You and I looked at each other, our eyes ashed, and we excitedly leapt out of our beds to follow him. We ended up in the military barracks being questioned in separate rooms. They barely spoke English but with some hand signals, we all ended up having a ball!
MA: Am trying to remember: did we ever have a bad ght? And do you recall why?
EG: How can I get into a fight with my social mentor, my idol? No, Mamá wouldn’t tolerate it at all!
MA: If you can give me a makeover, how would you do it?
EG: I don’t want to give you a makeover. I want you exactly as you are.
MA: What do you want to tell me since I am interviewing you?
EG: Thank you for the laughter you brought into my life. You are my male version of Auntie Mame and Gigi’s Tante Alicia. My life is a musical because of you.
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 Issue of Philippine Tatler.