Imelda R. Marcos
(born Imelda Remedios VisitaciÃ³n RomuÃ¡ldez on July 2, 1929)
is a Filipino politician and widow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. Upon the ascension of her husband to political power, she held various positions to the government until 1986. She is the first politician elected as member of the Philippine legislature in three geographical locations (Manila, Leyte, Ilocos Norte). In 2010, she was elected to become a member of the House of Representatives to represent Ilocos Norte's second district. She is sometimes referred to as the Steel Butterfly or the Iron Butterfly. She is often remembered for symbols of the extravagance of her husband's political reign, including her collection of 2,700 pairs of shoes. Imelda Marcos is well loved specially by the people of Ilocos Norte and Leyte. In 2011, Imelda Marcos has declared her net worth to be 932.8 million pesos (US million), parliamentary records show, as she continues to fight the government over her assets more than two decades after her husbandâ€™s reign ended. Imelda is the second-richest Philippine politician behind boxing hero and congressman Manny Pacquiao.
Marcos was born in Manila, Philippines. Her paternal ancestors were wealthy, landed and prominent, and claimed to have founded the town of Tolosa, Leyte. The Lopezes were descended from the Spanish friar and silversmith Don Francisco Lopez[disambiguation needed], originally from Granada, in the Andalusian region of Spain. Together with Fray Salustiano Buz, he arrived by way of Acapulco to build Roman Catholic missions in the island provinces of Samar and Leyte (Buz would establish his home base in Palapag, Samar, the exit-entry point of the Manila Galleons in the Visayas islands).
Her branch of the family was not political. Her father, Vicente Orestes Romualdez, a law professor at Saint Paul's College and the administrator of the Romualdez Law Offices founded by his brother (Imelda's Uncle), Philippine Supreme Court Justice Norberto Lopez Romualdez, was a scholarly man more interested in music and culture than public life. He was a traditionalist, preferring to teach in Spanish while the rest of the students and faculty spoke English and Tagalog. Marcos had a younger brother, Benjamin Romualdez (1930-2012).
Her mother, Remedios Trinidad y de Guzman or Remedios T. Romualdez, a former boarder at the Asilo de San Vicente de Paul (Looban Convent) in Paco, Manila, was said to have been born out of wedlock, the child of a friar. Remedios was from the town of Baliuag, Bulacan, and her own mother was from Capiz.
Marcos spent her childhood in the shadow of the MalacaÃ±ang Palace in San Miguel District in Manila, since her family then lived near San Miguel Pro-Cathedral. (The MalacaÃ±ang Gardens across the Palace used to be owned by her grandfather Daniel Romualdez. He sold the land for the education of his sons Norberto, Vicente Orestes and Miguel at the Ateneo de Manila). After Marcos's mother Remedios died in 1938, and their home was nearly foreclosed, her father, Vicente Orestes, moved his family back to Leyte to live on their abaca and coconut plantation given to him by his deceased mother, DoÃ±a Trinidad Romualdez y Lopez. Marcos earned a bachelor's degree in education in Tacloban's St. Paul's College."
She became a beauty queen and at the age of 18 was crowned the "Rose of Tacloban." She later became "Miss Leyte." Previously, during Philippine-American Friendship celebrations, a daughter of the prominent Price family of Tacloban was crowned "Miss America" while she was crowned "Miss Philippines."
Finally, she flew to Manila in 1950 after her cousin, Speaker Daniel Romualdez y Zialcita (her uncle ex-Manila mayor Miguel Lopez Romualdez's son) saw her potential to attract crowds. She worked in the music stores of the Escolta. Because of her beautiful singing voice, many customers requested for her to sing. She sang frequently and made many profits for the store. However, her father Vicente Orestes found out. He found it below a Romualdez to do such a thing, considering the Romualdez name carried such a cachet (a good name left as an undying legacy by eldest brother Norberto Lopez Romualdez, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court). He took the next flight from Tacloban to Manila. He stormed Danieling's offices and demanded an explanation. "Gin babaligya mo ba ang akon anak?" (Are you trying to sell my child?!) was his charge against Danieling. Thus, Marcos was later hired at the Philippine Central Bank headed by her speaker-cousin's brother, Eduardo Romualdez y Zialcita, in the brand new offices in Quezon City.
She took voice lessons at the music conservatory of the University of Santo Tomas with the help of Norberto's daughter, Loreto Romualdez Ramos and her friend, Mrs. Adoracion Reyes. Her photogenic face soon graced many of Manila's magazine covers and she was named the "Muse of Manila" by then Manila Mayor, Arsenio Lacson, a special title given to her after she protested her loss in the Miss Manila pageant.