Imelda Marcos will always be a Filipino Icon. She was the First Lady of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. Her husband, Ferdinand Marcos, was oust for charges of corruption, as well as countless human rights violations. During their reign, Imelda was known to have spent money like there was no tomorrow. She was even reported to have owned more than 5,000 pairs of shoes. She adorns herself with stunning clothes and accessories, wearing jewels that cost millions and million pesos and going on shopping sprees that could empty the national treasury. Her flamboyant personality gave her the nickname Steel Butterfly, greeting everyone with grace and power.
With this, Imelda has done a few things that can only be defined as “Imeldific”. Here are 10 of the most outrageous “Imeldific” things Imelda Marcos has ever done.
A Lecture on Cosmic Rays
Just so you know, Imelda has no background in physics or any related subject. However, she has her own odd beliefs about cosmic rays. She believes that a hole on the atmosphere of the Philippines allows cosmic rays to reach the country, making the Philippines special. It also showed that God favored Filipinos. Her belief in this was so strong that in 1982 she shared this story to a group of American scientists, saying that these cosmic rays were powerful enough that they were able to deflect Soviet missiles. She even bragged about how we were able to develop and use these rays to protect the country and its allies from missile attacks.
Ugly Was the Only Way to Describe It
Sometime around December 1972, there was an assassination attempt on Imelda Marcos. Usually, people who go through a life threatening experience like that, they’d say that the feel afraid or even become traumatize. However, when Imelda was asked about what was going through her head while her assassin came at her with a bolo, she commented on how ugly it looked. Carlito Dimahilig, the assailant, ran towards her onstage. He was stopped by the surrounding guards, but Imelda was more horrified at the fact that she almost got killed what she considers as an ugly weapon. If anything, she really places a certain standard on everything, including how she would be assassinated.
Fly Into the Storm and Destroy It
A little rain never stopped anyone’s parade. But not for Imelda, oh no. She went to her husband to ask him to deploy the Philippine Air Force to stop a typhoon from forming. This was so the 1974 Miss Universe pageant, which was held in Manila, would have beautiful weather. To stop the rain clouds from forming, the Air Force continuously seeded the surrounding clouds, resulting to the typhoon not materialize. She even ordered the construction of the Folk Arts Theater or the Tanghalang Francisco Balagtas, which was finished in just 90 days, so the pageant can have a venue.
Hanging Around for Death
Whether it be a birthday party, a wedding, or even a death of a well-known person, Mrs. Marcos is in attendance. Showing up uninvited was also something she often did. She’s known to gate-crash international events and demand for everyone’s attention. This did not go so well with other countries. The State Department even released a memo describing her as more of an unwanted guest. In the memo, the State Department mentioned of how madam loitered around New York City, for no official reason. Not saying that the first lady can’t have a visit without official reasons, but it was later revealed that she was allegedly waiting for the death of Francisco Franco, the Spanish dictator, so she could proceed to Madrid to attend his funeral.
When it comes to the first lady, what she says must be done, no matter who you are or how high your status and rank. Imelda Marcos made her husband’s generals dress like hula dancers for a two-day party she planned during his 56th birthday at Malacañang Palace. She made a few hundred soldiers and Marcos’ own generals, including Fidel Ramos and Fabian Ver, to put on makeup and wear a hula skirt and bra for the party. Juan Ponce Enrile, who attended the event, said that he and the others could only suffer in silence at the embarrassing display. Must have been a fun night.
The $800 Million Promise
Although the family were ousted by the people, Imelda Marcos and her children still presently hold a seat of power in the government. Bongbong Marcos, the eldest son of the family, is currently a Senator, Imee Marcos is the Governess of Ilocos Norte, and Imelda is a member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Ilocos Norte’s Second District. Before their current positions in politics, the family did try to reclaim the throne with Imelda running for president in 1998. Although she withdrew her candidacy, Imelda did promise to give away $800 million that she had in her bank accounts to the public and to pay off the country’s debts. While she did publicly admit that she had a lot of money, Mrs. Marcos denies that it was ill-gotten.
Mrs. Marcos was never one to be outmatched when it came to organizing a party or an event, especially if it’s for her own family. For her daughter Irene’s wedding, she went as far as renovating a whole town and make it look like something out of a history book. In 1981, Irene Marcos married Gregorio Benitez Araneta of the Araneta clan. Imelda gave the small town of Sarrat (the birthplace of her mother-in-law) into a replica of a Spanish-era town. Antiques were sent in from all over the country while the town’s people were fitted with costumes to give the wedding an authentic feel. The whole cost for the wedding was about $10.3 million.
Sand…. from Australia
While hosting an opening for a new beach resort sometime in the late 70’s, Imelda noticed that there was a lack of white sand by the beach, which she thought was embarrassing for her guest which included European royalty. As a solution, she ordered that a plan be sent to Australia to get sand to fill the beach. As to why Imelda didn’t just get sand from the many beautiful beaches here in the county, we’ll never know.
As mentioned before, Imelda has a knack for going on crazy shopping sprees. Buying clothes, shoes, and jewelry costing over millions of pesos. But she also splurged on properties in the US worth tens of millions of dollars. Among her properties are Manhattan skyscrapers such as the 66-story Woolworth Building in 40 Wall Street, the $51-million Crown Building, and the $60-million Herald Center. At some point, she was even thinking of purchasing the Empire State Building for $750 million. However, the price was “too ostentatious.” At least we know she has some kind of limit.
Great Cheese Scandal
Being able to order a pilot around is one of the many perks of being Imelda Marcos. However, there was one certain event that really makes it “Imeldific” is the Great Cheese Scandal. While flying back to the country after one of her shopping sprees in Europe, she discovered that the she forgot to buy some cheese. So she simply asked the pilot to fly back to Rome so they could buy some. The incident received so much attention globally that it was dub the Great Cheese Scandal.
Love her or hate her, Madame Imelda Marcos has left her mark in Philippine history. What other crazy stories about Imelda Marcos do you know? Leave a comment below. Don’t forget to share this article.