Tat­tler’s Tale

An­ton San Diego tack­les life be­hind the pages


It was Septem­ber of 2001 when Philip­pine Tatler, with pres­i­den­tial daugh­ters Imee Mar­cos, Jackie Ejercito-Lopez, Luli Ar­royo, and Jo Ramos on the cover, landed lo­cal news­stands. It has also been 15 years since An­ton San Diego, its ed­i­tor-in-chief, first dived into the nar­ra­tives of high so­ci­ety.

Thriv­ing in the crazy world of pub­lish­ing for 15 years and go­ing, San Diego shares what helps him keep sane in ev­ery­day life.

Are you an Anna Win­tour or a Gray­don Carter?

They are both my heroes in pub­lish­ing and their mag­a­zines are my pegs [when it comes to] writ­ing and vi­su­als. Please ask me again in about 20 years or so.

Has any­one begged, pleaded, ca­joled, or tried to se­duce you just to land a cover?

Well, Filipinos are not as for­ward as peo­ple in other coun­tries, but a lot have hinted. Names? As my good friend Mau­rice Ar­cache al­ways says, “My lips are sealed.”

Any­one you have been try­ing to get on the cover who is still play­ing hard to get?

There are many, but as an amaz­ing de­signer told a friend of mine, “Girl, you are 50; they won’t ask you [to be] on the cover any­more af­ter this!”

Fa­vorite bar in your fa­vorite city?

Bac­carat in New York, Boca Chica, Boca Grande in Barcelona, and 5 Hert­ford Street in Lon­don.

Cock­tails, wines, or spir­its?

Cock­tail: Vodka tonic. Wine: I pre­fer white, be­cause red makes me sleepy. Cham­pagne: Ruinart or Veuve Clic­quot.

Why do you hate flip-flops?

Toes just beg to be looked at, and if they aren’t pretty, that just ru­ins my day. I wear flip-flops only to the beach.

Which scent are you ob­sess­ing over at the mo­ment?

I love scents but I change them all the time, be­cause af­ter a while, you get im­mune to their smell. In the morn­ing, I use Her­mès Eau D’ Orange Vert or Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino. At night, Le Labo San­tal 33.

Which trip left you with the big­gest high? Emo­tion­ally, of course!

My sa­fari trip to Botswana was prob­a­bly the most en­rich­ing and spir­i­tu­ally en­hanc­ing. My trip to Florence with my best friends was def­i­nitely the most fun.

Why do you love ac­ces­soriz­ing with lapel pins (or bou­ton­nieres)? How many do you have?

When it comes to dress­ing, I am quite con­ser­va­tive, so I con­sider these bou­ton­nieres great and fun add-ons to my wardrobe. I have about 30 of them.

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