I got a taste of the Philippines 80s when I visited the famous late Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos hometown; Batac, Ilocos Norte.
The landmarks of Ilocos Norte, Marcos Museum and Mausoleum is an attraction that I did not expect, not just seeing the glass-encased coffin of an embalmed body of the late president Marcos but the history behind the big man himself. 'HIS'tory that surprised me. Knowing his name when I was a kid, his dictatorship, his infamous wife's shoe collection kind of sum him and his nation up to a teenager who don't have any access to internet back then. And that picture of him left untouch, until May 2014, when I visited his country, his birth place, his museum. Now, all have changed.
Strangely, Marcos whom studied law at the University of the Philippines, president of the Liberal Party, led anti-Japanese guerrilla activity during World War II, won the Philippines presidency in 1965 was not the person that awed me when I was there, nevertheless, I now know him better now and have a little more respect of this man than before. What caught my attention was Imelda Marcos, yes; his wife.
Imelda Marcos, infamous because of her shoes collection that reached more than 1000 pairs, expensive high-end fashion and jewelry, and corruption cases among others. But what many of us did not know is that at the age of 18, Imelda was dubbed as 'The Rose of Tacloban, Leyte'; her home town, not only that, she was also the 'Muse of Manila' in 1953. A pure Malayan* beauty, she was endowed with a mezzo-soprano voice.
*(For those wondering about the Malayan are those from Malay Archipelago, main refers to archipelago between mainland Southeast Asia and Australia. This name was taken from the nineteenth century concept of a Malay race and this includes Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and East Timor. Source Wikipedia).
The other interesting story about Imelda is her 11-Day Romance with Ferdinand Marcos.
Do you know that she is the one person that popularized the Philippines "terno" in the fashion industry. 'Terno' is basically the butterfly sleeves that became synonym with her worldwide, wearing terno at many formal events and jazzing it up with modern style. Imelda Marcos also put Manila in the world map by securing Miss Universe 1974 pageant, showcasing the history of the Philippines in Kasaysayan ng Lahi; an extravagant festival parade aside from being active in political activities.
"I was born ostentatious. They will list my name in the dictionary someday. They will use 'Imeldific' to mean ostentatious extravagance." Said Imelda Marcos. And now, "Imeldific" or having the "Imelda Marcos Syndrome" refers to people who is extravagant and are not afraid to flaunt it.
In awe, indeed.