MY WORLD stops each time I see The Madame, former First lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos. Now an octogenarian, she looks as graceful and godly as ever. In a land as benighted as ours, she is the closest thing to a queen. Every time we cross paths, I am, for want of a better term, starstruck, for no Filipino has ever captured the world’s imagination more than The Madame has, no matter if critics consider her life as debatable as her riches.

I am convinced that, driven by the Second District Representative-elect’s mantra of pursuing only “the true, the good, and the beautiful,” wonderful things are on their way, and these we gladly await.  But why does she even have to be in politics at this time of her life?  Her rightful place in Philippine, er, world history is secure.  Why the trouble?

“I just want to be a good grandmother to Ilocos and to the nation,” she said in a speech.

I have had the pleasure of listening to her speak (and sing) many times, and it has always been a joy.  Some people might find her thoughts uncanny, but every sound that comes out of her royal lips are, for loyal and true subjects like me, dogma.  I love it when she speaks of herself in the third person point of view.  It is amusing how my talented friend Ianree impersonates The Madame, but this he does with no tinge of ridicule, only adulation and awe.  (I suggest Catholic priests learn from The Madame, or Ianree at least.  Pathetic in both form and substance, they bore me no end.   They are an insult both to intelligence and to beauty.  ho-hum.)

Allow me to share with you, dear friends, various quotes attributed to The Madame.  I have personally listened to her deliver many of these lines while some are from primary sources.

These statements occasionally run on my head without cease.  They call it LSS, Last Speech Syndrome.

I call it Imeldiction.

Imelda on Imelda

“I am writing a book called ‘mothering.’ It is not about me being the minister for human settlement, it is not about Imelda who… (enumerates achievements)   Now, people may ask, ‘ is Imelda a genius (look left)?’ (shift focus) NO! ‘ Is Imelda brilliant (look left)?’ (shift focus) NO! what does Imelda have? “(silence. gaze.) Imelda has what is common to all. Imelda has common sense.  Common sense is in human nature.  What is natural is true, good, and beautiful.  Beauty is God made real.”

“I have never been a material girl. My father always told me never to love anything that cannot love you back.”

“I was no Marie Antoinette. I was not born to nobility, but I had a human right to nobility.”

“When they see me holding fish, they can see that I am comfortable with kings as well as with paupers.”

“Continuous persecution of widows and orphans is a crime. Even the Bible says there is a specific place in hell for those who oppress widows.”

“I am a criminal element, an evil person, a vampire, a werewolf, a prostitute, a professional thief, a very greedy person, a person who deserves to die, a person whose death will be good for the people, a person who deserves to go to hell for stealing from the dying and starving, a dangerous person, a killer, a power-hungry person, a usurper of authority and a person without conscience who should be condemned.” — (what she claims is the libel in Argee Guevara’s column in Businessworld, August 1996, against which she filed suit)

On beauty and fashion

“I hate ugliness. You know I’m allergic to ugliness.”

“Never dress down for the poor. They won’t respect you for it. They want their First Lady to look like a million dollars.”

“Filipinos want beauty. I have to look beautiful so that the poor Filipinos will have a star to look at from their slums.”

“What’s wrong with shoes? I collected them because it was like a symbol of thanksgiving and love.”

“It is terribly important to do certain things, such as wear over-embroidered dresses. After all, the mass follows class. Class never follows mass.”

“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.”

“People say I`m extravagant because I want to be surrounded by beauty. But tell me, who wants to be surrounded by garbage?”

Told by doctors that she may have to wear therapeutic shoes: “More shoes?  Bring it on!”

“Win or lose, we go shopping after the election.”

On being First Lady

“When Marcos became president and I became First Lady, I asked, ‘Marcos, now that you are president, what is my role? He said, ‘me, as President and father, I will build a strong house for the Filipino People.  You, Imelda, as first lady and mother, make it a home.’ So I reflected, what makes a home?  Love.  What is love made real?  Beauty. What reflects the beautiful traditions, values, arts, dance, music that we have as a people?  Culture. So I built the Cultural Center of the Philippines.”

“The problem with  First Ladies is that you have to set the standard. My role is to be both star and slave.”

“My husband does not like me to give interviews because I say too much. No talk, no trouble.”

On Geography

“The Philippines is right at the center of the globe. … As Chairman Mao said, you can change ideologies anytime, but you can never change geography. Geopolitics! This is what will make the Philippines great and beautiful again.”

“Have you noticed how when you’re traveling from the West to the Philippines, you don’t get tired, but when you travel from here to the West, you’re exhausted? This is because in one instance you’re going with the current of the Gulf Stream; in the other instance, you’re going against it.”

On wealth

“‘Nouveau riche’ is better than ‘no riche.’”  (New rich is better than no rich.)

“If you know how much you’ve got, you probably haven’t got much.”

“If you know how rich you are, you are not rich. But me, I am not aware of the extent of my wealth. That’s how rich we are.”

There you have them, folks.  Love live our noble Queen.  God save the Queen!

Author: Herdy La. Yumul

A hesitant academic pimp, writer

19 thoughts on “Imeldisms”

  1. Yeah, what’s wrong with shoes? Kris Aquino loves shoes. I just love shoes! They are art. I used to buy them in every color before I decided to stop accumulating.

    I also loathe garbage☺

    She’s my dream interview.

    1. Last time I checked, I had 14 pairs of shoes, and I already felt it was too much.

      Hope we can soon organize the bloggers’ community here in Ilocos. Others who have done that elsewhere are empowered to initiate collective action, and are given the opportunity to do memorable interviews with interesting people.

  2. my husband calls me imelda II.although i do not have as many pairs as she does.i organize my shoe closet often and get rid of some that i havent worn in awhile and my husband says “making room for new ones ”
    when i buy shoes i buy it with katernong must be a womans thing..hehehe

  3. Herdy, don’t open your closet to show more assets for your SALN, somebody’s watchin’ yo’. (LoL!) Some men has fetishes also, but I’m contented to have at least 5 good pairs that I could juggle daily whenever I go out to work or play. Come to think about it, I may need to retire one or two of the old pairs that are about 1 year old now…

      1. Ha,ha! LoL! Nah!!! I don’t think shoes are included as assets, unless they are made of gold. These things are disposables. Kaniak lang, I just buy shoes when I need to have a new pair for special occasions, but for daily use, pinapa-repair ko pay laeng dagitay 2 leather shoes ko, but my old ‘Bally’ will retire now, lumang-luma na, bigay pa ng pinsan ko sa Hawaii over 3 years ago! I have become more conservative, para laengen kadagitay ubbingkon ti babbaro ken napipintas nga sapatos. I use Beachwalk mostly; leather sandals or sneakers on casual going out.

        1. Nice, nice. It’s heartwarming how parents feel comfy with Beachwalk while buying thousand-peso Havaianas for their kids. Sacrifice.

          A study made on advertisements in men’s magazines reveals the three things men obsess on: cars, watches, and shoes.

      2. LOoLLLL! Herdy, I don’t think shoes are qualified as assets, these are disposables, unless they are decorated with diamonds and gold linings, not unlike the ones that Maikol and Elvis used to wear, he,he,he.. For me, I buy just enough of what I could truly use. Ungtak pay ketdi ni baket ata gumatang ti adu nga porcelain, ngem sa mi laeng usaren no adda bisita. What a waste! We buy things for visitors, not for ourselves, I scornfully balk at her…

        1. It’s a Pinoy thing. By the way, in 1986, when the mob stormed Malacanang when Marcos flee, part of the items looted were very fine China and silverware. I have seen a framed set displayed as wall decor. Priceless.

  4. old dogs never change their habits. Imelda will always be imelda…. grand, extravagant, pompousm big-spender…
    the marcoses by the way are never known for their humility… Not a single Marcos had shown remorse to what they did to the country from 1965 to 1986… It is as if it, they never did wrong to our country

  5. I have lots of them but mostly regalo, hands me down, arbor hehehe. Your blog is super nice I was able to learn from them..consider me a fan of urs. By the way, Im sherene and you can know me better at htpp://
    Mabuhay Ilokano bloggers.

  6. Imelda has what is common to all. Imelda has common sense. Common sense is in human nature-imelda

    yes ,Imelda is great and yet other people see her as the mother of all sins, common sense makes us different anyway. For Imelda is the honoured and the unloved, she is the wife and the husband, she has the arms of a mother and a muscle of a brawler.

  7. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” this is what the article is all about.
    The former first lady Imelda Marcos is such a beauty, that some people just forget all her faults and short coming when they see her as a graceful, queenly, grandmother goddess.
    Those who have that so called “Imeldisms Syndrome”, let them be because as the saying goes, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.

  8. I also admire Madame Imelda Marcos so much because she is one of a kind (wala siyang katulad). At walang makakapantay sa kanya. She also has a great sense of humor which I have witnessed when I listened to her during the campaign rally last May 2010. I will adore her now and forever.

  9. Imelda will always be Imelda. She might be in politics again or any social event, she still have the elegance in her face. Who would not know her shoes and jewelries; her actions and gestures? All I can say is that, despite the graceful life she has, her fame is lessened now. She might not be the First lady now, she might not have as many shoes and jewelries now, she might not be as high as before, people will never forget her Imeldific aura.

  10. Imelda has what is common to all. Imelda has common sense. Common sense is in human nature-imelda (like! 2 thumbs up)

    yes ,Imelda is great and yet other people see her as the mother of all sins, common sense makes us different anyway. For Imelda is the honored and the unloved, she is the wife and the husband, she has the arms of a mother and a muscle of a brawler for she is everything and nothing, that’s Imelda –the way i see .

  11. What are the priests having to do with Imelda. I love Imelda but do not include or Catholic priest dumb ass.

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