The Last Grandee

Edouard Garcia reveals how he maintains the sweet life, living it to the fullest at his family’s ancestral home in the heartland of the sugar industry, Bacolod.

Edouard L. Garcia continues to live A life of such amazing quality that few realize such a thing exists. Nowhere else is that sweet life felt more vividly than his ancestral home on Lacson St. fronting the Philippine National Bank. The house was in fact, built to celebrate his birth during the peak of the sugar industry of Negros. The first project of the iconic Unson, Benedicto and Jacinto architectural firm, it remains one of the few houses with the sprawling front lawn complete with a winding driveway, reminiscent of that golden era in the nation’s sugar capital.

The well-appointed modernist building with high ceilings, elaborate grill work and tall French door has always been the setting of two generation’s share of warmth and hospitality, the Garcia way. According to Edouard, it was his mother Nena Lacson Garcia who created that atmosphere of gentility mixed with a heavy dose of pure Ilongga style. A portrait by national artist Fernando Amorsolo, which today hangs in the living room, allows us a glimpse of that polished sophistication that Nena Lacson Garcia always had.

For two generations now, this home has been a mecca for a handful of socialites and eccentric personalities that have been attracted to that Garcia charm and lifestyle like moths to a flame. To this very day, the house has an immense feeling of community, friends continue to pour into the intimate infrastructure that permits them to luxuriate in the glow of the owner’s gracious hospitality.

When Edouard is not winding down in this low-key environment, he is otherwise comfortably ensconced in his Parisian address in Le Marais district. Edouard has been a Francophile since his studies at Sorbonne, Paris studying French civilization and language. During these innocent times, he entered the luxury business of fashion after being the first Filipino graduate of the prestigious Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, where the likes of Yves St. Laurent and André Courrèges spent their formative years. This led to a working experience with venerable fashion houses like Jacques Esterel, Guy Laroche and eventually Christian Dior.

Paris in the 70’s became a hot house for live concerts, enchanted summer escapes and tea parties that turned into clubbing ‘til dawn in the name of beauty and style. Edouard found himself in the center of this glamorous milieu meeting people like Kenzo Takada, Carol la Brie, la Viscontess Jacqueline de Ribes, Isabel de Rosnay and the crown prince of Cambodia who he grew intimate with. The rest is social history.

Today he spends his days in Bacolod writing for the Negros Daily Bulletin with a society column titled Sugar High, as well as being a correspondent for the Philippine Tattler. His persistent efforts in social and cultural work landed him the post as Tourism Ambassador for the Resort Association of Negros Island, earning him the title Ambassador Ed. He continues to change with the growing times from wandering globetrotter to the dutiful son that he is, as well as a respective leader in Bacolod’s burgeoning community. A life well lived sums up Edouard Garcia’s chameleon-like personality.

  • by Jing Ramos
  • photography Hans Corral
  • styling Raymond Revilla Fuentes
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