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Sep 28th
Home Columns San Diego Happenings Edna's Dog-and-Pony Show
Edna's Dog-and-Pony Show PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - San Diego Happenings
Thursday, 11 October 2007 03:16

The News UpFront (TOP STORY)

- Edna Consing Concepcion's tall tales came tumbling down and with the wreck, her honesty and integrity also splintered. She testified to her own lies in a court of law, perhaps little realizing she wasn't in a dog-and-pony show that's popular in the Filipino community. (Editor's Note: To see 20 pictures of groomed dogs, please go to



Edna's Dog-and-Pony Show


"Mga walanghiya!", Edna Consing Concepcion barked as my brother and I walked past her, husband Dante and daughter Rea on our way to the vehicle in the sprawling parking lot just across from the three-storey structure housing South County's Superior Court in Chula Vista.

The scene was surrealistic. A few minutes earlier, she had exposed her fears to Judge Laura J. Birkmeyer: "I fear that he will . . . possibly harm me". Maybe it's my towering six-foot hulk that had frightened her tiny self. At this moment, however, she threw all caution to the wind. Bristling with anger, she aggressively pursued me.

It was quite a reversal, a far cry from her friendly demeanor. About 10 months ago, the Concepcion family had praised me in this wise: "A man of conviction you are, Romy. Thank you for showing and living it. Proud of you . . ." The card was signed by her, Dante, Rea, Darrell and Marilyn.

Nothing much has changed since. I am still my old self, still standing by the same principles that continue to attract both plaudits and contempt in the community. But Edna is rescinding her approbation in a fiery outburst of hatred.

Her changing behavior, blowing hot and cold when the season is ripe for it or when she's throwing tantrums, is the best characterization of her. Prim and proper as the Belgian nuns at St. Theresa's College, her alma mater, in Manila always reminded them to be she's not. Not today.

Unsure and insecure, she always surrounds herself with dutiful friends. It amazes me how she could rein them in like a shepherd would a herd of goats. Perhaps it's her sweet-talking ways that make bullsh_t sound like genuine platitudes, hence they oblige her.

Well, today (Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007) Edna tried to bullsh_t her way into the Superior Court of California, bringing with her a collection of characters, thought-less jesters and kibitzers who could hardly qualify, in her own words, as "prominent" members of the community.

"Inconsequential" would be a better adjective. But if "prominent" meant involvement in scandals, then Edna was right.

There's Rita Andrews, president of COPAO, whose smirk had worsened to a permanent frown after $27,000 had disappeared and 50 checks had been forged in COPAO. I caught a glimpse of her laughing loudly, her mouth wide open in delight.

Priscilla "Precy" Garrovillas alias Purry Garavillar, the former COPAO secretary who made good money in COPAO alternating between her two identities, was there too, except that I don't know under what false name she came in. Wearing polka dots, she must have thought that the event would bring in more money for her, as some sage say.

There's Rudy Liporada, the self-described "publishing morass" who came without the indescribable thing (perhaps a bag of water) on top of his seemingly sick head. He's the gay, err, I mean guy, who had tried to purloin a community newspaper in Oxnard and brought it to San Diego. "Kupitbahay", I might as well call the paper.

He must be under the impression that he was attending a cookfest to promote his kitchen utensils except that his backers from Kalusugan Community Services were not there.

Present, too, was Beatrice "Betty" Bael, the wife of former Philippine Consul General Edwin Bael whose employers -- Philip Abramowitz, Daniel E. Korenberg and Steven James Rodriguez -- had pleaded guilty to charges related to visa fraud scheme that victimized their clients and are scheduled to be sentenced in December and January.

Incidentally, Edna calls Betty Bael "THE goddess of fine art". I don't know what it was for or if it's a BS, Bael can explain it, but the praise assured her attendance in Edna's events. I just hope the glorification would not make Roman and Greek goddesses any cheaper.

Tony Pizarro made it to the hearing but left hurriedly before it started, probably after realizing that he was being used as one of the props in Edna's debut as director, choreographer and main character actress in this presentation.

And, of course, Edna's husband Dante, daughter Rea and the Concepcions' sympathetic roomer Marilyn C. Mesina who looked like they were soaked for days in Datu Puti vinegar. There were two others whose names escaped me.

All of them crowded the cramp sala of Judge Birkmeyer. They giggled and talked endlessly until the judge walked in and the burly sheriff deputy called for order. Promptly, the judge proceeded with the day's business. Almost an hour later, it was our turn, Edna's and myself.

Edna had filed for a restraining order basically to stop me from writing any more stories about her beloved baby, the organization called Philippine American Business Improvement Districts (PhilAm BID) which zoomed to consciousness for its questionable deals with the giant Microsoft Corp.

She had found the time to go through all the trouble of petitioning the court but not the few moments to answer my questions relating to PhilAm BID. For example, how Microsoft ended up being a PhilAm BID member with a $5,000 donation instead of the regular $2,000 fee.

Her plea did not worry me that much. Simply stated, it had no basis in fact and in truth. Rather, it's her effrontery to spin egregious lies and elevate them to a court of law, essentially mocking the entire justice system. That's what goaded me to fight it.

Edna had narrated incidents where I supposedly stalked, harassed and threatened her. The weeks I visited Chicago in July and enjoyed chatting with friends over cups of coffee were also mentioned by Edna. I didn't tell her I was out of state at that time because I wanted to catch her lies.

At the hearing, she must have thought that she was attending a meeting of COPAO or some other organization. She was parading her supporters and was already introducing her husband as blah blah blah when the judge stopped her. All the judge wanted to know was the number of witnesses she would present.

Then Edna proceeded in her testimony, embellishing and fantasizing events that never happened. She was hallucinating, to be more accurate; acting out parts, groping for consistency. I thought for a moment that her medical treatment had impacted her mentally or how else to explain the brazen lies and the fabricated stories?

The moment of truth soon came when daughter Rea took the witness stand. She was on the verge of tears and occasionally wiped her eyes dry.

Before she told her story, she reminded her mother (Edna) that she had taught her to be honest and truthful and that she had faith that Edna's court declarations were true. So even if she repeated them at this hearing, she would not be lying because her mother had told her truth.

But Edna was not only dishonest; she invented the stories that I stalked, harassed and threatened her. Rea was caught in a dilemma. She wanted to help her mother but at the same time, she did not want to lie. What parent would encourage a child to forsake the truth?

Marilyn Mesina was in the same predicament. Hostage to Edna because she lived in her house in Chula Vista, Marilyn had very little choice but to uphold some of Edna's testimony.

In the end, Marilyn told the judge "I wouldn't say so" when she was asked if she had observed me stalked Edna, much less heard me threatened her. It was just her feeling, she said, that someone seemed to be following Edna around.

It didn't take long for Judge Birkmeyer to see the truth. It was obvious that Edna was weaving tales, falsehoods, even saying she was a "recovering from cancer" patient to win sympathy and showing off her squad of supporters to say she enjoyed popular support.

It all failed. The judge denied her petition.

Indeed, Judge Birkmeyer was no pushover. Neither was she easily mesmerized by a parade of questionable personalities who gave life to what may be rightfully called Edna's dog and pony show.

It was. As Wikipedia explains: "The term (dog-and-pony show) has come to mean any type of presentation or display that is somewhat pathetically contrived or overly intricate, or put on for purposes of gaining approval for a program, policy, etc."

Need I say more, huh, Edna?


Editor's Notes: While it is the policy of this web site to delete comments that attack the person of any of our writers or other readers, we decided to permit the publishing of the unkind postings that assassinate the character of Romeo P. Marquez. This is to let the readers know of the vicious reaction of the community leaders who are the subject of Mr. Marquez's investigative reporting. The critics of Mr. Marquez must address the message and not kill proverbially the messenger. 


PHILIPPINE VILLAGE VOICE - Redefining Community News
BREAKING NEWS - Commentary
Issue No. 75 / News Without Fear or Favor /

 A community service of San Diego's Philippine Village Voice ( or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public. . . . . .

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Last Updated on Friday, 26 October 2007 06:53

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