Critical point of View on Imelda Marcos’ Legendary Shoe Collection People say I’m extravagant because I want to be surrounded by beauty. But tell me, who wants to be surrounded by garbage? We practically own everything in the Philippines. I hate ugliness. You know I’m allergic to ugliness. Win or lose, we go shopping after the election. -Imelda Marcos Take them seriously from the woman of the hour. Imeldific. She is Imelda Remedios Visitacion Romualdez-Marcos.
Current parliamentarian, and widow of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos is still famous world-wide for the massive collection of shoes that she amassed as First Lady of the Philippines in the 1970s and 1980s. Who would not recognize Mrs. Imelda Marcos for being so addicted with shoes? In fact, she’s the one who coined the word “imeldific”, meaning an ostentatious extravagance. By the name Imelda in the Philippines, she’s known for her sets and collections of jewelry that make her glow every time she’s out of the palace.
Justly, she’s very well known for her shoe collections that according to Time magazine, she has 3000 pairs of shoes; still, that is a lot of shoes for one pair of feet! According to Wikipedia, for whatever else the Philippines and this first lady are famous for, in the Western media they are known for Imelda’s hoarding of shoes. They are not only a symbol of the ethical and intellectual shortcomings of this woman, and of her husband, but have become a symbol of their contribution to social guidance and political priorities for the Philippines in the decades prior to the modern democratic era.
In September 2012, a Google search of “Imelda’s shoes” led to 3,670,000 hits whereas the search of “Donald Rumsfeld” led to 1,620,000 hits. What’s this? The money of the Filipino people for Imelda’s “extravagant” feet? Imagine how much the Marcoses manipulated the government for their own advantage, at the same time, how much they have put Filipinos at risk. The world knows of the volume of shoes she has. When the Marcoes were swept quickly from the country and taken away, the shoes were left behind, a symbol of all that had been accumulated during the reign. Imelda’s shoes are a part of the movie The Red Shoes directed by Raul Jorolan.
The movie is about a young boy who managed to get one pair of Imelda’s shoes in the aftermath of the Marcos family departure from Malacanang on the night of February 25, 1986. The movie is the story of the lives of the boy and the two ladies he divided the pair of shoes among, his mother and his girlfriend. Recently, she has opened a museum in which most of the exhibits are her own footwear. The Marikina City Footwear Museum in Manila contains hundreds of pairs of shoes, it’s almost 3000 pairs, many of them found in the presidential palace when Imelda and her husband, President Ferdinand Marcos, fled the Philippines in 1986. This museum is making a subject of notoriety into an object of beauty. ” The museum management hopes it will help attract tourism to Marikina, a district known as the shoe capital of the Philippines. They went into my closets looking for skeletons, but thank God, all they found were shoes, beautiful shoes. The exhibits include shoes made by such world-famous names as Ferragamo, Givenchy, Chanel and Christian Dior, all size eight-and-a-half. There are also shoes belonging to former President Fidel Ramos and other well-known figures.
During her time as first lady, Mrs Marcos was famed for travelling the world to buy new shoes at a time when millions of Filipinos were living in extreme poverty. President Marcos’ successor, Corazon Aquino, ordered many of Mrs Marcos’ shoes to be put on display as a demonstration of her extravagance. While Ferdinand Marcos died in exile, never seeing his country again after his fall from grace in a popular uprising, his widow has reintegrated herself into Philippines life. She has twice run for president and analysts say she may run for mayor of Manila next May.
Last December Mrs Marcos underwent surgery to remove a blood clot close to her brain, which doctors say could have killed her. Some 200,000 people work in the Marikina district making shoes, with roads carrying names such as Sandal Street and Slipper Street. This very controversial. Would someone in a normal state of mind buy several shoes that she could not even afford to use all of them ‘till she dies? But spare Imelda. That’s a question for me if she’s normal. That’s funny. Recently, it has been aired that lots of her shoe collections were ruined.
Part of Imelda Marcos’ shoe stash, left behind after she and her dictator husband were driven out of the Philippines, has been badly damaged by termites, floods and general neglect, officials said today. The Marcoses fled the Philippines at the climax of the army-backed ‘people power’ revolt in 1986 and left behind staggering amounts of personal belongings, clothes and art objects at the palace, including at least 1,220 pairs of the former first lady’s shoes. Among the damaged shoes are a pair of white Pierre Cardin heels, the sole of one destroyed by termites.
Other shoes have been warped out of shape or messed by stains. Hundreds of pieces of late strongman Ferdinand Marcos’ clothing, including the formal native see-through Barong shirts he wore during his two-decade rule, have also begun to gather mould and fray after being stored for years without protection at the presidential palace and Manila’s National Museum, officials added. Ironically, more than 150 boxes of clothes, dress accessories and shoes of the Marcoses were transferred to the National Museum for safekeeping two years ago after termites, humidity and mould hreatened the apparel at the riverside palace. There they deteriorated further as the fragile boxes were abandoned in a padlocked museum hall that had no facilities to protect them. Last month the pieces were further damaged by tropical storm rains from a gushing leak in the ceiling, museum officials said. Museum staffers, who were not aware the boxes contained precious mementoes from the Marcoses, opened the hall on the fourth floor of the building after noticing water pouring out from under the door. They were shocked to see Marcos’ shoes and gowns when they opened the wet boxes, officials said.
Workers hurriedly moved the boxes to a dry room and some were later brought to a museum laboratory, where a small team of curators scrambled to assess the extent of the damage, a process that may take months given the huge volume of the apparel. Some items have obviously been damaged by termites and mould beyond repair, according to museum curator Orlando Abinion, who is heading the effort. ‘We’re doing a conservation rescue,’ Abinion said. ‘There was termite infestation and mould in past years, and these were aggravated by last month’s storm. It’s unfortunate because Imelda may have worn some of these clothes in major official events and as such have an important place in our history,’ he said. Imelda Marcos, now a member of the House of Representatives, was not immediately available for comment Sunday. The 83-year-old’s massive shoe collection, said to be in the region of 3,000 pairs, including top U. S. and European brands, astounded the world and became a symbol of excess in the Southeast Asian nation, where many still walked barefoot out of abject poverty.
After the 1986 revolt, Aquino had Imelda Marcos’ shoes displayed at the presidential palace as a symbol of the former first lady’s lavish lifestyle. The shoes were then removed from public view and stored in the palace basement when Aquino stepped down in 1992. Imelda Marcos claimed many of the shoes were gifts from Filipino shoemakers in suburban Marikina city, the country’s shoemaking capital, for endorsing their products. Marikina officials borrowed 800 pairs of her shoes in 2001 for a shoe museum, which has become a tourist spot.
Massive flooding, however, damaged dozens of pairs of Marcos’ shoes in Marikina in 2009. About 765 pairs, including famous brands like Gucci, Charles Jourdan, Christian Dior, Ferragamo, Chanel and Prada, survived the Marikina floods. The shoes still look remarkably new due to meticulous museum care, which includes displaying them in airtight and dust-free glass cabinets in an air-conditioned gallery, away from direct sunlight. The shoe collection draws a daily crowd of 50 to 100 Philippine and foreign tourists, who almost always leave in awe, museum manager Jane Ballesteros said. The first word they utter is “Wow,” followed by the question, “Was she able to wear all of these? ” ‘When I say, yes, look at the scratches on the soles, the next reaction is, “Really? ” It’s amusing. Her shoes never fail to astound people years after. ‘ Ferdinand Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989 and his widow and children returned home years later. How do I react? Well, just want to say here, WOE TO HER, if I may say that. More please. More. God forbid. Well, if you personally have the money, the looks, the power to do what you want in life, perhaps, you would have to ask for good pairs of shoes.
Awesomeness, Imelda. Truly with her fashion and love for shoes, she is really IMELDIFIC. But c’mon, if the money wasted for these shoes was used for the poor Filipinos, we could day, by that, the money was useful. Definitely, that would be destroyed by any storm. Right, Imelda? So sad. It has been said that after the 1986 revolt, the new president Corazon Aquino had Imelda Marcos’s shoes displayed at the presidential palace as a symbol of the former first lady’s lavish lifestyle. The shoes became a symbol of excess in a nation where many still walked around barefoot in abject poverty.
At the end of the day, we can’t blame Imelda for being into shoes. We have discretions in life that may sound different compared to others’. With that, I say, her shoes have truly brought her to a lot of places. Her shoes were here trademark. Her shoes were her “name”. Her shoes were her addiction. Her shoes were her brilliance. I hate ugliness. You know I’m allergic to ugliness. Let every Filipino say that. Say no to ugliness in the government. Say to no corruption, right, Imelda ?