THERE is a story you may have missed amid the Flor Contemplacion hubbub. As the poor woman was being unloaded at Ninoy Aquino International Airport there was a spirited little drama unfolding inside the arrivals hall. Rose Marie 'Baby' Arenas was there, dressed in black, a-weepin' and a-wailin' like a pig with lip gloss on a stick. We must pause and take stock. You may know nothing of Baby Arenas, in which case you can consider yourself none the worse for it. She is a socialite, a noun usually used to describe people who are at a loose end. If we were in Manila, where the very free press spews rumour and innuendo with a ferocity matched only by tai-tais and their hairdressers, I could write about Baby with alacrity. In Hong Kong, where we must consult lawyers before publishing the Sevens results, we can only talk about her in terms of the alleged. So, Baby is allegedly the woman who put the Ram in Ramos. Their alleged affair is an open secret in Manila. Allegedly, Ramos fathered Baby's child. Baby, allegedly, allegedly thinks she would make a better Mrs Ramos than Mrs Ramos allegedly does. This is background, mere Makati coffee shop tsismis (gossip) and grist for the mill. Whether or not it is true is less important than the colour of my underpants. But it shows how big a place Baby has in modern Filipino folklore. She's got cash, she's got spunk, a hotline to Steady Eddie the Pres, and she's a bit of a looker. She's Grace Kelly without the acting talent. Baby is famous for being famous and to stay famous she has to stay in front of the cameras, without making it look like she was there on purpose. This explains her Madonna-like appearance (the Holy Mother, stoopid, not the one with the pointy bras) at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the day Mrs Contemplacion was sent back by the Singaporeans with a note that read: 'Guilty as charged, but if she's not it's too late anyway.' Baby, a bloodhound in a sexy dress, sniffed a photo-op. One for which she wouldn't have to wear a hard hat or plant a tree. Her performance at NAIA - they're fond of their acronyms over there - was incontrovertible proof that she has become a legend in her own imagination. Baby is an usurper to the throne of Imelda, now that Imelda has become so weighed down by her make-up that she can no longer move. Like Imelda, Baby sees herself as self-appointed wet nurse to the downtrodden. She often expresses surprise at her critics and says: 'I am only trying to help people and bring a little happiness into their lives, etc, etc.' This, you will notice, is straight from the Imelda Marcos Book of Insane But Highly Quotable Quotes. What Baby should have said Mae West beat her to: 'When I'm good, I'm very good. When I'm bad, I'm better.' We digress. Back at the airport, Baby was taken on to the tarmac to see the coffin. She sobbed uncontrollably, pausing only when convenient to utter sound bites to reporters. They, like the Three Kings on Christmas Eve, sensed something big was about to go down. 'Ms Ramos has no right to be here,' Baby said, referring to the wife of the President - Mrs Ramos to you - who probably had as much right to be there as the half million or so other people scrambling for a view. 'She just went shopping in Turkey and Dubai instead of proceeding to Singapore to help Flor.' Baby was on a roll. She had a gift for the President on his birthday, she said, a red mahogany table from Italy worth 500,000 pesos, give or take a chicken. But now she had decided not to give it to him as a protest against his failure to save Flor's life. And just as everyone thought it couldn't get any better it did. How had she managed to get on to the tarmac in the first place, someone asked. The tarmac is traditionally reserved for aircrafts. 'I got here with help from the Virgin Mary,' she said. Baby was left to weep some more while the entire journalistic population of the archipelago rushed off to fight over the only working telephone in Pasay City. I know what you are thinking. You are thinking: 'This woman sounds like a bit of a fruitcake.' But the Filipino press is right to get itself into a lather over the jibberish that issues from between her lips. If only we were so lucky. In Hong Kong, there is no-one to match Baby. The best I heard during the past weeks was Mr Hugh 'full and frank exchange' Davies on the Court of Final Appeal. He said: 'We responded positively.' Richard Hoare was almost as good. He said: 'We are going to enter a serious and productive dialogue.' It is not difficult to see why reporters invent their own quotations. The boys in blue could do with some Baby Arenas sound bite tuition. When Chris Patten was almost hit by an egg thrown from a window, they issued a statement saying they had classified the case as 'an object falling from a height'. The headlines were big, but would have been bigger still if Asia's Finest had said: 'We have classified the case as attempted murder by egging, or cruelty to an egg.' Baby, we love you. If you don't make it as Mayor of Makati please try the Joint Liaison Group. Front page publicity guaranteed.