Sunday, 9 March 2014

Imelda’s Vanity

            I have read and watched many things about Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator during the martial law, and of course his wife, Imelda Marcos. They became a symbol in our country however, not in a good way. They were seen as plunderers, dictators, oppressors of the Filipino mass, and on a larger extent, an enemy of the state. Because of the declaration of the martial law by the late president, the Filipino people became more skeptical and assertive of their rights and freedom.

            They say that “Behind every great man is a woman”. It was probably the same for Ferdinand Marcos. He has Imelda by his side all the time, from campaigning to being seated in power, until he was removed from it. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, was the first lady of the Philippines for 20 years. She was a powerful woman, holding almost as much power as his husband; others even say that she’s more powerful than him.

            She was born in Manila, but her family moved to Tacloban later on where she was raised. She met Douglas MacArthur at Tacloban in her youth. After a few years, she went back to Manila where she won 2nd place in the “Miss Manila” beauty pageant in which she was given the title “Muse of Manila” after contesting the results.  She met Ferdinand in Manila, and married him only after 11 days.  Many accounts say that their marriage is politically motivated, which is mostly likely due to their family backgrounds. Moreover, having a charming wife would also improve the image of Marcos, whilst on Imelda’s side; it would be great to have a husband who holds a position in the government. They produced three children: Imee, Ferdinand Jr. and Irene. When her husband was in power, she also made orders of her own. She ordered the construction of the different organ centers, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Philippine International Convention Center, Coconut Palace, the Manila Film Center,and the Folk Arts Theater. She became friends with many political figures like Richard Nixon, Fidel Castro, Muammar Gaddafi, Joseph Tito, and Sadam Hussein.

            Besides her having a president husband, she is known for being a luxurious and extravagant woman. The term “Imeldific” meaning ostentatiously extravagant was coined from her. She owned about 3000 pairs of shoes and more than 500 gowns. From her possession also were a number of really valuable jewelries and accessories. She is also known for throwing lavish parties and public events, and spending large amounts in her trips to other countries. Their family also owns a number of real estates, even in other countries, that sums up to millions of dollars.

            It would be hard to believe that Imelda is the first lady of only a 3rd world country wherein many are poor and starving. While their first lady spends millions of dollars, the citizens suffer and labor. Her sense of aesthetics is too much that it is already ludicrous.  Imelda is the kind of person whose judgment became so clouded because of her vanity. Imelda thinks that she is helping other women in the barrios by spending too much on beauty so that they can have someone to look up to, claiming to be the symbol or model of a Filipino woman. But then, what she truly symbolizes is greed and avarice. She said that “It is not expensive to be beautiful”, but this clearly contradicts her actions. If it really not expensive to be beautiful, why spend millions for clothes, shoes, bags, etc.? What is more insulting is that the money that she used for these is the money of the nation and she got away with it. Imelda Marcos is charming, smart, cunning and powerful. And perhaps, those are the reasons why she was able to mask the ugly truth all these years. 

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