Monday, May 14, 2007

Untold Pinoy Story No. 12

The Zobel Mansion

The daughter of a noted musician, Ayen Munji was a club singer doing the Asian circuit. In one of her singing engagements at the Brunei Country Club, she was spotted by Prince Jefri Bolkiah of Brunei. The next thing she knew, she was the Prince’s wife. Actually the prince’s fourth wife.

Ayen abandoned her singing career and lived the glamorous life of a true princess. With her newfound wealth, she reportedly gave all her siblings a cool million bucks each. One of her brothers who is a nurse in the United States reportedly owns a gasoline station now. Thanks to Ate Ayen.

Ayen knew that the day will come when she would fall from the prince’s grace. No matter how much she tried to be a good wife to him. And she was smart enough to realize this.

Long before Ayen parted ways with the prince, she started building her dream house in Ayala Alabang. All the materials used for the construction of her dream house were imported. Ayen personally supervised the construction without ever leaving Brunei. She regularly received videotapes of the construction activities. That’s how she monitored her dream house’s progress.

Ayen’s dream house stands on a large lot where the majestic mansion of Inigo Zobel (Don Enrique Zobel’s heir and husband of former Palmolive girl, Maricris Cardenas) used to lord it over. The Zobel mansion was so exquisitely constructed that no one in his right mind would dare level it to the ground in order to build a new house.

Singer and former Keep on Dancing co-host Franco Laurel once passed by the neighborhood to visit his uncle who lives a few blocks away. He was horrified upon seeing that the Zobel mansion was being demolished to build a new house. Franco quipped, “They’re destroying the Zobel mansion to build another house? How OA naman the new owner.

The dream house that Ayen built is really palatial. Ayen’s bedroom alone occupies an entire upper floor. Sharing the space below Ayen’s bedroom are the rooms of her new husband and her children.

But these days, Franco Laurel has stopped criticizing the new owner of the Zobel mansion lot.

In fact, Franco has nothing but praises now for this new owner of the Zobel mansion lot.

Because Franco Laurel now lives in the new mansion that Ayen Munji built on the Zobel mansion lot.

Because Franco Laurel is the new husband of Ayen Munji.

And you probably know the rest of Ayen Munji and Franco Laurel’s love story.

Image from

NEXT: Reaping Untold Fortune and Fame for a Song