(I’m reprinting, no, resurrecting my reply to “Ramon Valera Jr.,” who accused me in an email blast years ago of, among other things, favoring certain fashion designers because of the supposed freebies I get from them. He described Dennis Lustico, Ivar Aseron and Joey Samson as my “OCT”–over-confident trio. This reply came out in Cecile Zamora’s Chuvaness and Jenni Epperson’s Mabuhaygirl blogs sometime in April 2007.
(This Valera fellow was not only a classic cyber bully—even before such a term was coined, but also a coward for hiding behind a pseudonym. I’d rather keep my hunches to myself, but had this happened today, it would have been a lot easier to zero in on the guy/s behind this smear campaign due to advances in technology.
(If there are two things I’ve learned from this episode, they are: the importance of having friends and sympathizers who know you fairly well and can vouch for your character and integrity—thanks, guys; and baseless accusations will never stick despite the amount of shit employed by the accuser.–AYV)
“Michael Rivera,” a.k.a. “Ramon Valera Jr.,” ikaw ba ’yan—is that you—or should I say kayo ba yan? Why don’t you reveal yourself and discuss your misgivings with me like a true human being? If you can’t be man enough to stand by the consequences of your actions, at least be human enough. I do reviews and put my by-line into every single one of them regardless of the fallout. Sana ikaw rin (I hope you do the same as well).
You’re pathetic! Imagine, hiding behind the name of a National Artist just to ventilate your unfounded accusations and giving the rest of the country a copy of it. If you have anything against my so-called OCTs and me, why don’t you discuss the matter with us? Why do you have to drag all these people with you just to validate your delusions?
For the record, I’ve never even stepped inside the shops of Ivar and Dennis. The few Joey Samson pieces I own were paid for by my modest income from the Inquirer. My lifestyle will speak for itself. I don’t do the party scene, nor do I live lavishly.
Mag-iingat ka sa binibintang mo (beware of your accusations against me). Should I find out who you really are, I can use this hate email to drag you to court. I’ve been in this business for 20 years (perhaps even before you became as bitter as you are now), six years or so as a fashion writer.
If you truly are what you describe yourself to be, you must know that fashion is not the only area I write about. Given the proper time and perspective, I can write about almost anything under the sun. My world doesn’t begin and end with fashion. There are plenty of more important things to live and die for.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this job, the fashion scene is brimming with talented and respectable people who know when criticisms end and personal attacks begin. Besides, if all your accusations were true, I wouldn’t be living in a one-story house in some obscure village in Cavite, driving a ubiquitous Toyota and keeping an eye out on all the sales in Glorietta. Eh, di sana namayagpag na rin ako (If I were corrupt, then I’d now be living the life)!
I have nothing but my integrity and honor to defend. Should anyone besmirch that just for their own personal ends, I wouldn’t have second thoughts of doing something irrational.
Alex Y. Vergara
P.S. Michael (Ramon), what made you say I was banned from entering Chito Madrigal’s house when I never intended to attend the event in the first place? I don’t even know Ms. Madrigal or Gary Flores personally.
I’d rather let someone like Thelma San Juan (my then former boss, who’s once again my boss at present) write about the event because of the wealth of experience and perspective tucked under her belt. Or do you have any misgivings with the way she writes as well?
It seems you are all praises for the shows and certain designers I’ve missed so why don’t you write your own reviews instead and have them published in your blog or some newspaper or magazine that’s receptive to your views.
All your frustrations (as a failed designer?) are too much for one person (namely me) to wipe away. If you were so impressed with the other journalists who endured each show at Philippine Fashion Week, then why don’t you just wait for their reviews?
How can you blame someone who wasn’t even there in the first place? You’re giving me way too much credit. I think you’re more intelligent than that, Michael!
(Coming up next, how a silly girl and an uncouth whatever you want to describe him cyber bullied me for weeks on end on Facebook)