Friday, 7 November 2014

Imelda Marcos: she is often remembered for her collection of more than a thousand pairs of shoes.

Imelda Marcos is the widow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. she spent more than 20 years as the first lady of the Philippines. She became infamous for her spending habits and enormous shoe collection.
Imelda Marcos.jpg
Imelda Marcos
First Lady of the Philippines
In office
December 30, 1965 – February 25, 1986

Born Imelda Remedios Visitación Trinidad Romuáldez on July 2, 1929 in Manila to Remedios Trinidad and Vicente Romuáldez, brother of Philippine Supreme Court Associate Justice Norberto Romuáldez. Her paternal ancestors were from a land-owning family inTolosa, Leyte, descended from Granada, Andalusia, Spain.

She has five other siblings: Alfredo, Alita, Armando, Benjamin (1930-2012), and Concepcion, they spent their childhood in San Miguel. However, after their mother death in 1938, the family moved to Tacloban, where she was known as the "Rose of Tacloban", and was raised by her servant Estrella Cumpas.

Imelda returned to Manila in 1950, and took up employment in a music store on Escolta street as a singer to attract customers. She took voice lessons at the music conservatory of the University of Santo Tomas. She late a beauty pageant known as "Miss Manila" where she placed second but was named the "Muse of Manila" after she contested the results.This led her to become a local model with her pictures appearing in local magazines and newspapers.
Sa likod ng karangyaan at mga magagandang hiyas ay isang mapait na kwento.  Si Unang Ginang Imelda Romualdez bilang isang Reyna sa paglalarawan ni Ralph Wolfe Cowan, tagapagpinta ng Prinsipe at Prinsesa ng Monaco, Rainier at Grace.  Mula sa Marcos Presidential Center.
Muse of Manila
Before she met her husband, she briefly dated Benigno Aquino, Jr., who later became a political rival.On May 1, 1954, Imelda married Ferdinand Marcos, a Nacionalista Party congressman from Ilocos Norte, to whom she was introduced by her uncle. The marriage resulted in three children: Imee, Ferdinand, Jr., and Irene. She also adopted a girl named Aimee.
Imelda and  Ferdinand

On December 1965, her husband, Ferdinand, was elected as the 10th President of the Philippines and she became the First Lady. She secured the Miss Universe 1974 pageant for Manila, which necessitated the construction and completion of the 10,000-seat Folk Arts Theater in less than three months. She also organized the Kasaysayan ng Lahi, an extravagant festival parade showcasing the history of the Philippines. Imelda initiated social programs such as the Green Revolution that intended to address hunger and a lack of farming by encouraging the planting of vegetables and fruits in people's gardens. Other programs included a national family-planning program and an African safari on Calauit Island. During the early 1970s, she took control of the distribution of the bread called the "nutribun", which came from the USAID.

In 1978, Imelda was appointed as a member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa representing Region IV-A. later appointed Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary and toured numerous countries, most notably the United States, China, the Soviet Union, Libya, Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Cuba. Throughout her travels, she became friends with a variety of political figures including Richard Nixon, Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, and Joseph Tito.

To justify the multi-million U.S. dollar expenditure of traveling with a large diplomatic entourage using private jets, she claimed that her tours include securing a cheap supply of oil from China, Iraq, and Libya, which she also said was instrumental in the signing of the Tripoli Agreement of the Moro National Liberation Front. She continued her extravagant lifestyle with US$5-million shopping tours in New York, Rome, and Copenhagen in 1983.

One of her excesses included sending a plane to pick up Australian white sand for a beach resort. During her trip to the dedication of the Sydney Opera House, she tried to upstage Queen Elizabeth. Besides being an ambassador, Imelda also held the position of Minister of Human Settlements, allowing her to build institutions including Cultural Center of the Philippines, Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine International Convention Center,Coconut Palace, and the Manila Film Center, most of which are still used in the 21st century.
Imelda and her husband and her
son visit The Pentagon
Imelda purchased a number of properties in Manhattan in the 1980s, including the US$51-million Crown Building, the Woolworth Building in 40 Wall Street, and the US$60-million Herald Centre. It was stated that she declined to purchase the Empire State Building for $750m as she considered it "too ostentatious." Her property also included jewels and a 175-piece art collection, which included works

by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Canaletto, Raphael, as well as Monet’s “L’Église et La Seine à Vétheuil” (1881), Alfred Sisley’s among others”When criticized, Imelda responded that it was her "duty" to be "some kind of light, a star to give the poor guidelines."

Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in 1972, basically making himself the country's dictator. This move allowed him to crush growing resentment among the people and prevent his adversaries from unseating him from power. The Marcos government could be brutal to those who opposed it. Some were tortured and others were executed without trial. Martial Law was later lifted in 1981 and her husband, Ferdinand, was again elected president in what was considered a sham election. As her husband began to suffer from lupus erythematosus, Imelda started to effectively rule in his place. Aquino returned in 1983 but was assassinated at the Manila International Airport. With accusations against her beginning to rise, her husband ordered the Agrava Commission, a fact-finding committee, to investigate her, ultimately finding her not guilty.

In 1986, snap elections were held between Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino, the widow of former Senator and opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr. In spite of Ferdinand winning the elections, allegations of vote rigging led to mass protests that would be later known as the People Power Revolution. On February 25, Imelda and her family fled to Hawaii via Guam. After they left Malacañan Palace, Imelda was found to have left behind 15 mink coats, 508 gowns, 1,000 handbags, and 1,060 pairs of shoes. The exact number of shoes varies with estimates of up to 7500 pairs of shoes. However, Time reported that the final tally was only 1,060 The location where her shoes and jewelry were being kept was later destroyed and the contents stolen. Even a painting of Imelda was destroyed outside the Palace.
Impressive: Just some of the 3,000 plus shoes in the former First Lady's collection
MailOnline                                     Her impressive shoe collections                 

Archives: As this 1986 picture shoes Imelda Marcos' shoe stash was stored on shelves in the basement of the Malacanang Palace in Manila before being transferred to the National Museum
some of the 3,000 plus shoes in the former First Lady's collection               MailOnline 

In October 1988, Imelda, her husband Ferdinand, and Adnan Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian former billionaire and arms dealer, were tried by a Federal grand jury in Manhattan in a racketeering case. Charges included embezzlement of more than US$100 million from the Philippines used to buy three buildings in New York City and fraudulently borrowing US$165 million from American banks to refinance the buildings and buy additional property. The couple pleaded not guilty and were represented by trial lawyer Gerry Spence. Imelda's US$5-million-dollar bail was posted by tobacco heiress, Doris Duke, who befriended her while she lived in Hawaii. Actor George Hamilton was a witness for her defense. The case ended in acquittal in 1990. Ferdinand died in exile in Hawaii on September 28, 1989. Aquino refused to permit the repatriation of his remains because of national security reasons. The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the government in Marcos vs. Manglapus

Shoe lover: Imelda Marcos' love of shoes extended to other objects as well, as this 1999 picture of her holding a shoe-shaped telephone shows
Her love of shoes extended to other objects as well,
 as this 1999 picture, of her shoe-shaped telephone show

After her fall from grace, Imelda was allowed to return to the Philippines by Corazon Aquino on November 4, 1991 and was arrested the next day for tax fraud and corruption. She was then released on $6,400 bail. The following year, she ran for president in the hotly-contested 1992 presidential elections, finishing 5th out of 7 candidates with 2,338,294 votes. In trials held that year, Imelda claimed that her fortune came from Yamashita's Gold.

In September 1993, Imelda was found guilty of corruption by a Manila court and sentenced to 18 to 24 years in prison. She was set free on bail and filed an appeal. This was just one of approximately 100 cases involving US$350-million allegedly held by the Marcos family in Swiss banks. The Swiss federal tribunal ruled in December 1990 that the money would only be returned to the national government in Manila if a Philippine court convicted Imelda in a fair trial.

In 1995, she was elected as a congresswoman of Leyte, representing the first district. Imelda defeated Cirilo Montejo with a victory of 70,471 votes to Montejo's 36,833. Initially, a disqualification case was filed against her, but the Supreme Court ruled in her favor. In 1998, Imelda again seek the presidency. She ran but later withdrew to support the eventual winner Joseph Estrada, whose administration was instrumental in the dismissal of the cases filed by the Aquino government.
Imelda and her husband with Ronald Reagan

In contrast to Imelda's very public life in the 1990s, her life in the first decade of the 21st century was a bit more private as she had retreated from politics and focused on her trials. In December 2000, she suffered a blood clot in her brain but recovered. In 2004, the Global Transparency Report published a study that showed she and her husband amassed $5–10 billion. By September 21, 2007, Imelda still had 10 pending graft cases. She was acquitted on March 10, 2008 by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch of 26 of 32 counts of dollar salting involving Swiss bank accounts due to reasonable doubt. Imelda, in reaction to her acquittal, said: "First of all, I am so happy and I thank the Lord that the 32 cases have been dismissed by the regional court here in Manila. This will subtract from the 901 cases that were filed against the Marcoses." Imelda still had 10 pending criminal cases remaining before the Sandiganbayan Courts.

Imelda ran for the second district of Ilocos Norte in the 2010 elections to replace her son, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., who was running for Senate under the Nacionalista Party. She defeated her nearest rival Mariano Nalupta, Jr. with 80% of the vote. She held the position of Millennium Development Goals chairperson in the Lower House.

In 2011, the Sandiganbayan's Fifth Division ordered Imelda to return US$280,000 in government funds taken by her and her late husband from the National Food Authority. In 2012, Imelda declared her net worth to be US$22-million. She was listed as the second-richest Filipino behind boxer Manny Pacquiao. On September 27, 2012, Imelda attended the book launch of Juan Ponce Enrile's autobiography, Juan Ponce Enrile: A Memoir, in the Rigodon Ballroom of The Peninsula Manila near her home in Makati. There, Imelda met with Benigno S. Aquino III.Imelda filed her certificate of candidacy on October 3, 2012 in a bid to renew her term as Ilocos Norte's second district representative, saying she wants to continue serving the province despite her age. In 2013, she won the election with 94,484 votes against her opponent Ignacio with 11,221 and Madamba with 1,647.

. Imelda caused a stir in January 2014 when she called the hospital arrest of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo by Benigno Aquino III as "cruel, unjust."
Marikina Shoe Museum, where her shoes rest.
Imelda's lavish collection of 3,000 pairs of shoes including white Pierre Cardin heels now lie partly in the National Museum of the Philippines and partly in a shoe museum in Marikina. Typhoon Haiyan damaged her ancestral home in Tacloban, which also serves as a museum, although she still retains homes in Ilocos Norte and Makati, where she resides. Her net worth is assumed to be US$5 billion making her the third richest Filipino after Henry Sy and Lucio Tan and the richest woman in the country. Towns in Biliran, Bohol, and Zamboanga Sibugay are named after her. She is known by her nicknames "Iron Butterfly" or "Steel Butterfly", which she has earned through surviving challenges in her life such as the deaths of her parents and her husband. Her beauty has led her to be known in the Philippines as a fashion icon.


Quotes by Imelda


Popularity and Politics

"When you reach a certain level of leadership, people cannot be neutral with you. They either love, love, love you, or hate, hate, hate you."

BBC News(2000)

Human Rights

“We never had such a violation of human rights. In fact, we have had no human rights case here in the Philippines, even to this day. “



“It is not expensive to be beautiful. It takes only a little effort to be presentable and beautiful. But it takes some effort. And unfortunately people think of beauty as luxury, beauty as frivolity, ... or extravagance. Beauty is a discipline, beauty is art, is harmony, in the ideological sense and in the theological sense,beauty is God and love made real. And the ultimate reach in this world is beauty.”



“I seem to be able to only see the positive things in life and the beautiful things in life and when I see, for instance, garbage or ugliness, then I turn my back or I seem to be able to skip it.”


Setting an example

"I am my little people's star and slave. When I go out into the barrios, I get dressed because I know my little people want to see a star. Other presidents' wives have gone to the barrios wearing house dresses and slippers. That's not what people want to see. People want someone they can love, someone to set an example."

Los Angeles Times(1980)

Her Legacy

"I was born ostentatious. They will list my name in the dictionary someday. They will use Imeldific to mean ostentatious extravagance."

Associated Press(1998)

Making it

“’Who is Imelda?’ I come from a third world country, third class province. And I was orphaned—and look, Imelda made it. If Imelda made it everyone can make it. At this age and stage I feel so good I’m still ready to fly.”

Fighting Emotion (3)

Chapter 3 Ifeoma suddenly found Fred dogging her heels; it was most likely for him to fall into step with her on her way back ...