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Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (22)  | Personal Quotes (42)

Overview (4)

Born in Manila, Philippines
Birth NameImelda Remedios Visitacion Romualdez
Nicknames The Iron Butterfly
Meldy
The Queen of Sole
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Imelda Marcos was born on July 2, 1929 in Manila, Philippines as Imelda Remedios Visitacion Romualdez. She is an actress, known for Mariquina (2014), Imelda (2003) and Der lachende Stern (1983). She was previously married to Ferdinand Marcos.

Spouse (1)

Ferdinand Marcos (1 May 1954 - 29 September 1989) ( his death) ( 3 children)

Trivia (22)

Mother of three: Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (aka "Bong Bong"), born September 13, 1957; Imee, born November 12, 1955; and Irene, September 16, 1960. Also has an adopted daughter, Aimee.
Passed a screen test with Fred Montilla conducted by director Olive La Torre. However, her parents refused their permission for her to enter become an actress, dashing her hopes of movie stardom.
When the Philippines hosted the 1974 Miss Universe Pageant, she had the cities of Manila and Baguio City painted to welcome the visitors and candidates.
Subject of the song "2000 Shoes" by the British band 'Big Audio Dynamite'. The song is included in the 1988 album, "Tighten Up, Vol. 88". Also mentioned in that song are Muammar Gadaffi, George Hamilton and Zedong Mao.
While serving as the First Lady of the Philippines, she was instrumental in the establishment of the Cultural Center of the Philippines; Philippine Heart Center; Lung Center of the Philippines; Kidney Institute of the Philippines, Nayong Pilipino; Philippine International Convention Center; Folk Arts Theater; and the infamous Manila Film Center.
In July 1966, her husband was infamously snubbed by The Beatles, who were in the country on tour, when they did not accept an invitation to join the First Lady for breakfast. The famous no-show was televised nationally and public backlash towards The Beatles forced them to leave the Philippines immediately.
To this day, in popular media whenever the wife of a dictator is being depicted for the purposes of satire (be it in cartoons, sitcoms, etc.) a large collection of shoes appears to be a functional characteristic, in reference to Imelda.
In the "Madam & Eve" cartoon where South African President Thabo Mbeki is shopping for a second-hand executive jet, the salesman introduces an aircraft owned a by "a little old lady" -- Imelda Marcos. The plane has 1000 pairs of shoes on board.
As a Special Envoy of the Philippines, she was instrumental in the opening of Philippine diplomatic relations with China, the Soviet Union, and the Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe (Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, etc.), Middle East, Libya, and Cuba, in the securing of a cheap supply of oil from China and Libya; and in the signing of the Tripoli Agreement.
Was elected as member of the 165-member Interim Batasang Pambansa (National Assembly) representing the National Capital Region in 1978.
On December 7, 1972, an assailant tried to stab her to death with a knife during an awards ceremony broadcast live on television. The assailant was shot to death by security police; the wounds on her hands and arms required 75 stitches.
When her husband declared martial law in 1972, she assumed a public role in the government. She was appointed to various positions in the government, to name a few: Governor of Metropolitan Manila (now Metro Manila); Minister of Human Settlement; and Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary.
She met then-Congressman (and future husband) Ferdinand Marcos in 1954. After a whirlwind courtship in Baguio City, Philippines during Holy Week, they were married in May of that year at the Manila Cathedral Church with President Ramon Magsaysay as principal sponsor.
Husband Ferdinand Marcos became the 10th President of the Philippines in 1965. Together with Imelda, he would rule the Philippines for more than 20 years.
She also became a beauty queen. At the age of 18, she was crowned the "Rose of Tacloban," became "Miss Leyte", went to Manila in 1953, and was named the "Muse of Manila" by then Manila Mayor, Arsenio Lacson, after she protested her loss in the Miss Manila pageant.
Her extensive shoe collection is world-renowned. When her family fled the Philippines in 1986 during a popular revolt, she left a treasure trove containing jewelry, some 1,500 pairs of shoes, dresses, and paintings by the masters.
Fled with her husband Ferdinand Marcos, children, and closest associates for Hawaii in 1986 when a bloodless, military-backed popular revolt ended his 20-year rule in the Philippines. The Marcos heirs returned to the Philippines after the former president died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, despite a clutch of graft cases filed against them and civil suits against the Marcos estate, variously estimated to be worth about $10 billion.
Grandson Martin "Borgy" Manotoc (Imee's son) is one of the most in-demand models in the Philippines.
Owns fashion line "Imelda Collection" with her eldest daughter, Maria Imelda (Imee) as designer. Products include jewelry, clothing and shoes.
Daughter of Vicente Orestes Romualdez and Dona Remedios Trinidad. Her ancestors founded the town of Tolosa, Leyte. Father was a scholarly man interested in music and culture while her mother was a dressmaker who grew up in an orphanage.
Earned a bachelor's degree in education at St Paul's College in Leyte.
Born and grew up in Manila near Malacañang Palace, but family moved back to Leyte, her maternal ancestor's place, when her mother died and their Manila home was foreclosed. She later moved to Manila where she later became a resident of Malacanan, the official residence of the President of the Philippines.

Personal Quotes (42)

When I left the Phillipines, people looked in my closets hoping to find skeletons, but all they founds were shoes.
I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes, I had one thousand and sixty.
People say I'm extravagant because I want to be surrounded by beauty. But tell me, who wants to be surrounded by garbage?
Life is not a matter of place, things or comfort; rather, it concerns the basic human rights of family, country, justice and human dignity.
I have never been a material girl. My father always told me never to love anything that cannot love you back.
I hardly can sleep. I feel that my target now is really to save Mother Earth for humanity. And it's doable.
Win or lose, we go shopping after the election.
I always say you can never be extravagant with beauty. Beauty is God made real. Beauty is life.
I really had no great love for shoes. I was a working First Lady; I was always in canvas shoes. I did nurture the shoes industry of the Philippines, and so every time there was a shoe fair, I would receive a pair of shoes as a token of gratitude.
Never dress down for the poor. They won't respect you for it. They want their First Lady to look like a million dollars.
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.
God is love. I have loved. Therefore, I will go to heaven.
Ferdinand was a gold trader. He was a lawyer for mining companies. When he entered politics in 1949, he had tons and tons of gold. When Bill Gates was a college dropout, Ferdinand already possessed billions of dollars and tons of gold. It wasn't stolen.
It is shallow people who think beauty is frivolous or excessive. If you are bringing beauty and god, you are enriching the country. Rice feeds the body, books feed the mind, beauty feeds the soul. It is one thing I can really be proud of and stand tall in the world.
Doesn't the fight for survival also justify swindle and theft? In self defence, anything goes.
Filipinos don't wallow in what is miserable and ugly. They recycle the bad into things of beauty.
I love everybody. One of the great things about me is that I have a very positive attitude.
Filipinos want beauty. I have to look beautiful so that the poor Filipinos will have a star to look at from their slums.
We practically own everything in the Philippines.
I hate ugliness. You know I'm allergic to ugliness.
If you know how much you've got, you probably haven't got much.
The Philippines is a terrible name, coming from Spain. Phillip II was the father of the inquisition, who I believe died of syphilis. It is my great regret that we didn't change the name of our country.
I have a different way of thinking. I think synergistically. I'm not linear in thinking, I'm not very logical.
I get so tired listening to one million dollars here, one million dollars there, it's so petty.
You know, not even your British Queen is called just Elizabeth - she's Elizabeth the Second. There's only one Imelda.
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.
I was no Marie Antoinette. I was not born to nobility, but I had a human right to nobility.
The problems with First Ladies is that you have to set the standard. My role is to be both star and slave.
My dreams were always small and puny. All I ever needed was a little house with a little picket fence by the sea. Little did I know that I would live in Malacanang Palace for 20 years and visit all the major palaces of mankind. And then also meet ordinary citizens and the leaders of superpowers.
I am First Lady by accident. I was not elected by the people but here I am.
My husband does not like me to give interviews because I say too much. No talk, no trouble.
It's the rich you can terrorize. The poor have nothing to lose.
My dreams have become puny with the reality my life has become.
The Reagans were dear friends for many years, even when he was governor of California. Nancy appreciated a lot of Philippine-made things.
I beg Osama to stop warring. He is a Muslim, and Islam means peace. Nobody wins in a war... I wish I were tapped in the problem about Iraq. I knew Saddam enough that I could have talked him into surrendering. But it's too late.
When they see me holding fish, they can see that I am comfortable with kings as well as with paupers.
The Marcos era was the golden time for the Philippines. We had the lowest crime rate in the world in Manila and real development then. At last, people are starting to understand this.
I will come up with a project that will wipe out poverty in the Philippines in two years. I want to remove the people from economic crisis by using the Marcos wealth. Long after I'm gone, people will remember me for building them homes and roads and hospitals and giving them food.
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.
The only rich person is a person who is rich in spirit. I have no money deposit. I have only beauty deposit.
They've listed my name in the dictionary - 'Imeldific' is used to mean ostentatious extravagance... But the truth will prevail.
The problem of the world today is the people talk on and on about democracy, freedom, justice. But I don't give a damn about democracy if I am worried about survival.

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