OK, I’m writing about her again, and at the risk of being suspected as a paid PR. But what can I do? I am a fan.
Besides, it’s enough that God knows how much I value my integrity as a writer. Never have I asked nor accepted payment, monetary or otherwise, for anything I write in this space. Without rendering judgment on those who engage in it, journalistic prostitution is not my cup of tea. I am young, and, when you are young, you are always idealistic, unless of course you are a juvenile delinquent or a Sangguniang Kabataan official, whichever is worse.
The last time I met Imee Marcos was in May prior to the elections. During a barangay tour in Laoag, she spoke at a lightning rally incidentally held in front of our house. Posing for a souvenir photo with my parents, Imee noticed my mom’s garden and told us of her love of plants. Gloria, our househelp, was not to be outdone. She approached Imee to say “thank you.” Luzviminda, Gloria’s daughter, finished college as a Scholar ni Imee. “Kumusta na si Luz?,” asked the then gubernatorial candidate. “Nakapagtrabaho na po siya, at may anak na,” Gloria replied. “Ang tanda ko na pala, may mga anak na ang mga scholars ko,” Imee replied, sounding pensive.
That, dear karikna, was the last time, but I manage to keep track of Manang Imee. I am lucky to know some Capitol insiders who attest to the remarkable work ethic of the lady whose age I mistakenly put at 58 in a previous column. (She’s actually younger, a bit.) Ferdinand and Imelda’s eldest child is said to work long hours and is meticulous on how things get done. True to her campaign promise, the gobernadora is determined to create more jobs here in the province where, as with the rest of the country, unemployment and underemployment figures remain high. I am very confident that Imee will deliver. In fact, I tell my students in the university, especially those in the lower years, that they are luckier than their seniors because more jobs would have been generated in the province when they graduate.
Yes, Imee is a hard worker, but not the nerdy type. Giselle Sanchez, in her Manila Bulletin column Gossip Girl, wrote about Miss Marcos’s lighter side in an article titled, “A birthday tribute to the original ‘babaeng bakla’.” Sanchez attended the Princeton-educated governor’s birthday celebration here in the province last week.
“You know the saying that there’s a thin line between genius and insanity? Imee is a genius but once she cracks her witty one-liners, you are going to go insane,” the comedienne revealed. She then went on to share what she considered as “the top 10 unforgettable quotes of Miss Imee Marcos,” to wit:
1. Celebrity Quote – “You know that there’s something wrong in your province when everyone uses Gretchen Barretto as their Trick or Treat character instead of the typical aswang and manananggal for Halloween. They wear these ‘Magkaribal’ gowns and stick transparent tape on their lips to thicken them and packing tape at the end of their eyebrows to stretch their faces so they can all look like Gretchen Barretto!”
2. Public Servant Quote – Imee: “You know why he lost? Because he and his family are eye-poor.”
Giselle: “Imee, what’s eye-poor?”
Imee: “Eye-poor, Mata-pobre, hello!”
3. Her best friend Bessie Badilla, former model and actress, who is now the Carnival Queen in Sao Paolo Brazil brought some Brazilians over to Manila. They went to a party but Bessie was late so Imee was left baby-sitting Bessie’s Brazilians. When the press asked her who the handsome Brazilians were and why did she have hot Brazilians, she answered,
“I didn’t have time to buy gladiator shoes, so I brought them as my accessories.” – Best quote ever!!!
4. Imee was so mad at President Erap Estrada for endorsing her rival in the gubernatorial campaign after promising her that he was going to endorse her, “I texted him a five-page angst text, then I erased it because I realized I texted it all in English! “(As of presstime, Gov. Imee has forgiven President Erap. In fact, she even greeted Congressman JV when we had dinner in Greenhills).
5. In her party last year, Senator Loren Legarda asked her how old she was. She changed the topic and complimented the senator’s dress. But Loren was persistent.
Loren: “No, really how old are you?”
Imee: “I’m 100 years old! Now, let me bring you to your table.”
6. Quote on her mom Imelda Romualdez Marcos in shopping in Divisoria 168:
“Yes it’s true. My mom goes to 168. Her happiness is to give things away to everyone she sees. If she doesn’t shop it in 168, mamumulubi kami!”
7. Quote about her dad President Ferdinand Marcos.
Giselle: “Imee, it’s pretty windy. The wind is knocking down the entire set and backdrop. You want to call a lunch break first before we resume.”
Imee: “No, it’s my father. Sorry, Dad, we didn’t ask permission that we’re going to shoot in your house. You can stop now ‘coz you’re creeping them out.”
And the wind stopped. (That was the time, we got creeped out.)
8. “What do you wear when you’re a governor? This is a fashion nightmare! Now I have to give all my sexy clothes to you and buy new ones!”
9. “I made my son Matthew commute in MRT everyday from the house to his work in Makati so he would know the value of money and hard labor. Then my mom finds out and gives him her Benz. Purrrrrrfect!”
10. This was the time when Kris Aquino went over the house of James Yap’s lady friend to warn her to stop calling her husband (Kris and James were still together back then). We were all talking about it during dinner because our barkada friend was actually there when it happened. Then Imee stopped all of our babbling, “Everyone in this table should stop talking about Kris Aquino, she’s my p.r.”
Yes, Imee Romualdez Marcos is bakla, and by this we do not refer to gender preference. To be bakla is to be full of life.. caring.. nurturing.. courageous.. passionate.. creative.. fun.. and, above all, beautiful.
When people consider Imee Marcos “babaeng bakla,” there is no way my friends Ianree Raquel, June Gudoy, BJ Guerrero, Manny Morales, and many priests and bishops cannot but feel honored.