Imelda Marcos

This is Imelda Marcos
(the wife of Philippine Dictator, Ferdinand Marcos).

"They call me corrupt, frivolous. I am not at all privileged.
Maybe the only privileged thing is my face. And corrupt?
God! I would not look like this if I am corrupt.
Some ugliness would settle down on my system."
-Imelda Marcos
(cited in Beatriz Romualdez Francia's Imelda: A Story of the Philippines)

The Marcos couple was in power the year before I was born and stayed in power until I was a sophomore in college.
We were trained from a very young age to hate the Marcoses
(and rightly so).
We actively participated in ballot box guarding during elections (when the dictator, pompously confident that he could rig the elections decided to allow elections),
We freedom marched, strung banners in support of ANY opposition, boycotted whatever we had to and started a noise barrage in our neighborhood to express outrage.

The other day, I got this picture from my friend, Aimee Alampay (Kowalak).
After her wedding celebration in the Philippines,
she and some of our other good friends bumped into Imelda.
(arrow pointing to her)

Liesl Lim, John,Jeff,Aimee,Imelda,Missy Jurado,Jojo,Mariza Gatmaitan &Jet Custodio
I showed Steve the photo and he said
"now why would they allow themselves to be photographed with her???"

I explained,
There is some charm to the psychopathic nature of Imelda that makes people forget for a minute who she is.

When I was 16, my family and I attended a Bolipata concert.
Imelda, a Bolipata Trio fan, was also there.
At the end of the concert, we were somewhat instructed to stay in our place until Imelda walked out surrounded by her 20 or so bodyguards.
Without any warning, my brother Peter, stepped onto the aisle and extended his hand.
I swear to God the entire concert hall froze.
There may have been some people that instinctively ducked down,
bodyguards with hands on their weapons and all--but Imelda, I hate to use the word regal--but,
she regally accepted this crazy man's attention and extended her hand graciously.
She exchanged a few words with him...before she was quickly escorted out.
We were stunned.
My siblings and I were just upset that Peter acted like a fan--
Our father on the other hand looked ashen, clutched his heart before berating his son with clenched teeth, not for honoring the woman,
but because he was frightened that the seemingly innocent gesture almost caused Peter his life.

It has been said many times that sociopaths are notoriously charming people.
Heck, I would have posed with her...and I am sure that Steve would have too.


  1. Growing up in the Southern U.S. where international news is often cast aside in favor of the local farming report, I knew nothing of Imelda Marcos other than her role as the wife of a Philippine dictator and a vast lover of shoes.

    This was extremely informative, thank you.

  2. emailedtome12:57 PM

    Chesca, tell Steve that the reason people have their picture taken with Imelda is because she is but a novelty now. Liesl and I didn't want to join kaya lang nakakahiya nang umatras. That's my excuse. Sabi nga namin after she left, marcha tayo ng marcha tapos pa-pa-picture din pala.
    Ang consuelo natin ay pinagtatawanan na lang si Imelda.

  3. emailed to me1:00 PM

    From Aimee:
    Hey, I just found this old article by Roby on Imee Marcos, which amazingly is even in Imee Marcos' website. I had forgotten how funny her comments are on her mother and how even she uses the term "Imeldific". Read it when you get a chance - http://www.imeermarcos.com/contents_articles/content-art-flipapology.html

  4. emailed to me1:09 PM

    From Benjie:
    and did you notice the forced grin on Liesl?

  5. emailed to me1:11 PM

    From Jenny:
    It's funny you mentioned Imee. I guess we are doing confessionals of
    run-ins with the Family.

    When I was about 8 or 9 yrs old, I ran into Imee twice. I have to say,
    that age, I thought Imee was the smartest and most impressive of the
    children (anyone who was educated and was in the theater was tops to me
    then). My dad brought me to one of the plays she was performing at in
    and I was so delighted to be brought backstage to congratulate her
    afterwards. I was very tongue-tied in the presence of celebrity and
    couldn't say a word but she graciously shook my hand. The next time
    was in
    Puerto Azul where the Presidential yacht was moored. My dad took Liza
    me on board to greet Imee. This time, I whipped up the courage to say
    this is like the Love Boat!" Of course, I had hoped to say something
    more intellectual than that, but again, she graciously patted me on the
    head. In high school, Tiny Martel kept inviting me to go visit her at
    Malacanang (remember, she was a Romualdez), but we never got to push
    with it. That was my last encounter with the Family before they were
    out of the country! I still regret not having seen the shoe collection
    before it was bared to the public.

    Anyway, it was interesting to read from Roby's article how old these
    Marcoses are now. Imee is almost 50! And I guess we are almost 40 ...

  6. emailed to me1:13 PM

    From Bobbie:
    Wow! Exciting naman, nakita niyo si Imelda Marcos (was just reading
    her recently - she seems a bit, er, out of touch with reality?)


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