Interesting day. While going along my regular route in Intramuros, an older Italian man and his Filipina wife listened in and decided to tag along. After the tour, I chatted with them for a bit and found out that the man was Stefano Piroli, former design head for luggage at the luxury brand, Gucci from 1971 until 1991 (the year when Gucci would have a major creative revamp top to bottom thanks to Tom Ford) . When asked about what he thought of Tom Ford and the new direction of the fashion house, Stefano only replied "Yes, I know Tom Ford but I don't see him anymore." Um. Ok. Fine. The most interesting tale was about the time in 1973 when Imelda Marcos ordered a set of personalized luggage and jewelry cases ("Of all sizes and plenty of them...and with all of these little tiny drawers", he said.) Apparently, all suitcases, trunks, and cases had to be done in the colors of blue and red with gold details ("The colors of the Philippine flag she wanted.") and the orders flown by charted Philippine Airlines jet ("arranged for personally by that nice "Mr. Toda"). Sigh, I know this anecdote isn't something that should make me wax nostalgic but nevertheless, it's nice to remember that Philippine Airlines was once one of Asia's leading airlines and that they actually had regular flight service between Manila and Europe.