'Never Selfish, Always Giving': Friends Remember Maurice Arcache
Tributes have poured in for Maurice Arcache, the chronicler of Philippine high society who died peacefully in his sleep on Friday, February 17. The 89-year-old was a fixture of high society events and hobnobbed with the country’s rich and famous, many of whom took to social media to express their condolences and share stories about him.
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Just the other day I asked Alex how you were, because you weren’t returning any of my messages or calls. “Maurice is just in bed,” he told me. Fast forward to this afternoon and I was told you had said goodbye to us in your sleep. The last time we got to hang out was at a birthday party of mine where you climbed five floors just to get to the penthouse—I super appreciate your effort to show the people you love that you love them. Maurice is that kind of a friend, never selfish, always giving of his time and stories from time immemorial. From the time we met, to the times we had misunderstandings (which resulted in us getting even closer), to our trips and non stop talks about life and lessons learned through the years, I will always be thankful to be considered your friend. We laughed, we loved, we learned. Love you and will miss you Momo. RIP, Maurice.
There was a time when Maurice and I would go out six times a week to bars and clubs. He was definitely more than just my party buddy; he was a good friend. We disagreed about a lot of things but at the end of the day, he was always there for me. We traveled to a lot of places together and I’d check in for him, fill out his immigration forms, and carry his suitcases. He’d do the sweetest things to reciprocate. Even if he wasn’t hungry, he’d accompany me to a restaurant to eat since he didn’t want me to eat alone. He’d tag along with me and spend literally hours at supermarkets, drugstores, and bookstores as we both enjoyed these places. He’d generously let me use his baggage allowance so that I’d be able to bring more of what I wanted to bring home. Though I didn’t physically see him during the pandemic, he’d often message me or do a video call just to say hello. Maurice always made me laugh with his blunders and his stories. He even once said that he didn’t care if I laughed at his expense, as long as it put a smile on my face. It’s hard to lose someone who has been in my life constantly for three decades. It is heartbreaking but I do take comfort in the fact that Maurice is now home and will feel no more pain. I shall forever treasure our friendship and look forward to the day we will meet again.
Chef and restaurateur
My sweetest Palangga, dearest Maurice, @iammauricearcache , damo gid nga salamat for your love, support through the years, and beautiful heart. We celebrate an era of you making life so much more joyous and happy for all of us. Salamat gid, palangga ta gid ka kag hindi gid kita malimtan. You will always be in my heart! Dance and celebrate for us in the best party place ever. Palangga ta gid ka!
Maurice, whom I have known for over 50 years, was a must at every gathering whether it be a product launch, a fashion event, a birthday celebration, a presidential inauguration, an art exhibit, a bar or club event, or just a plain gathering of friends, of which he had many. It was always a pleasant surprise bumping into him in different parts of the world. He was a funny and witty raconteur of anything under the sun. A great friend and drinking buddy, he was always there in person or prose to support me in all my endeavors. He will be sorely missed.
Rest in Peace Maurice Arcache for your many years of providing us a glimpse of the colorful chronicles of Manila’s high society. You were always a friendly and warm face eager to greet me with a loving embrace. So many memories over the evolution on PH nightlife with you! You will be missed, dahling!!!
Actor and talent manager
Kada sayaw ko, sa ibabaw ng table sa Giraffe, may dumadating na isang bote ng alak galing kay Maurice Arcache. Rest in Peace Maurice.
Kada sayaw ko, sa ibabaw ng table sa Giraffe, may dumadating na isang bote ng alak galing kay Maurice Arcache. Rest in Peace Maurice.????— John Lapus (@KorekKaJohn) February 17, 2023
Anton San Diego
“To Maurice, my heart breaks not knowing I won't be able to hear your voice, asking what's happening or what are you doing today? Thank you for the years of friendship and all the memories I will treasure of our time together. They were priceless! You are a great friend, a legend and the funniest man I know. God bless you and rest now...No more sadness. You are in a much better place [praying hands emojis] Love you, Mau.
Joanne Rae Ramirez
Columnist and magazine editor
Rest in peace, Palangga! I was his editor for around two decades in The Philippine Star, and again briefly when he returned in 2017. He spoke only in Ilonggo to me. But! He loved to recite this poem in English, with feeling. “Love is like a bird. If you hold it too tightly it will die. If you love it, let it fly. If it doesn’t come back to you, it was never yours in the first place.”
Katrina Ponce Enrile
Everybody’s saying goodbye to you Maurice Arcache! I know I will miss you. I will miss you calling Tonichi and I asking for your stash of Delimondo and our talks about you coming to see mom. Although that never happened, I guess it was for the best. What was and will always be important was that we remember the good old days and that is how I will always remember you. I feel very sad my dear Maurice and shocked that you are no longer here with us because you sounded so well when we last spoke. But no matter what, you are in a better place now and you know that so many people love you. So many are missing you. So many are paying tribute to you. You were the epitome of a life well lived! No one can even come close! Bye for now Maurice!
Model and former magazine editor
From the time I met him in the 90s at fashion shows as a model and during the heyday of (dance club) Faces until I became a magazine editor and traveled with him on press trips and chatted with him at press lunches, Maurice was always genuinely warm, welcoming, caring, and so, so funny. His witty quips and cheeky one-liners (most of which I cannot mention here) will continue to be quotable (in private, haha!).
Maurice was also always so supportive and helpful. He especially loved watching the Cosmo Bachelor Bash. Every year without fail, he would call me weeks before to make sure he attended it. He would scream and cheer for our Cosmo Hunks with the rest of us in the estrogen-dense throng of Fun, Fearles Females—and also always made sure to give it lengthy coverage in his column! At any party or gathering, you could be sure Maurice was always having so much fun. But no matter how much fun he was having, he always carried himself like a gentleman with the most impeccable manners.
He will be sorely missed. Manila’s party scene will never be the same without him. Oh, and he really lived by his mantra “My Lips Are Sealed,” especially about his age, which was Manila’s Best Kept Secret for the longest time—until his obituary came out! Maurice’s eternally youthful spirit, infectious joie de vivre, and generosity are an inspiration for us all to live each day with kindness, joy, and laughter—just like he did. Rest now, Mo!
Arcache’s remains are at the Convent Garden of the Santuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park, Makati.