Imelda Romualdez Marcos: The intriguing and enchanting beauty

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[Conclusion of the column. The first part appeared yesterday, Saturday October 23.]

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Imelda arrived earlier at the launching. As I expected, a vacant seat was reserved for me beside Imelda, knowing the nose for news of Joe Lad. So I took my seat beside Imelda and the cameras started clicking and rolling. Almost immediately after I was seated, Imelda broke the ice, talking with me, saying: “You know Governor, if not for your mouth in Parliament, we will still be in power today. My only consoling thought is that we are out of power and so are you!”

“Ma’am, that’s the law of life and that’s part of the game,” I replied, almost in a whisper.

“You know Governor, you are really one Opposition leader the President studied very seriously,” Imelda continued. I could appreciate that knowing Marcos to be a serious student of Sun Tzu on the Art of War.

Imelda’s thrust impressed me. It was short and to the point, packing a lesson which everyone should learn. The sharpness of Imelda in knowing the political nuances of the struggle for power in the Philippines is impressive. Her trenchant observation that the people I worked with, in the effort to oust President Marcos, were a bunch of ungrateful power-hungry men and women. As if Imelda was telling me subliminally that if I was persuaded to join the Marcos crowd, I would have been in the circle of power and the pretenders to good intentions who took the country to the road of perdition would have earned their rightful place in the dustbin of history.

No greater compliment can visit a person than an opponent acknowledging his ability to produce strategic results by reason of his God-given talents. Imelda did that to me. Whether it was meant to be serious or an act of flattery never makes any difference. The importance is that it was said and no amount of explanation or interpretation later can alter the observation. Either way, Imelda is quite sharp to know her onions.

My paths in life somehow crossed many a time those of Imelda. A friend and compadre, former Caloocan City Mayor Macario “Boy” Asistio, enticed me to see Imelda to explore the idea of whether I can make representations to PCGG Chairman Camilo Sabio, who is my friend from Cagayan de Oro City from way back when, to settle her problems with PCGG.

Boy Asistio and I visited Imelda at her pad at the Pacific Tower, Ayala Avenue, Makati City. It was an impressive condo unit, with many of the furniture gilded with gold. After we were seated, Imelda started telling her story she was living on the graces of her friends. Of course, that was farthest from the truth, in the perception of many.

Then, she displayed to Boy and me, the pile of gold certificates representing gold kept by various banks in the world. They could not be converted into cash because of the disputes on the Marcos gold and Marcos dollar deposits with the Philippine government. Imelda wanted the matter settled with the government once and for all. Imelda and Boy Asistio were of the opinion that I could help settle the problems considering my long standing friendship with PCGG Chairman Sabio.

As Fate would have it, one evening in the series of meetings with Imelda at her pad, came Imee Marcos, the daughter of Imelda. While Boy and I were conversing with Imelda, out of the blue, Imee asked: “What is this all about?”

Imelda meekly answered: “It is nothing special and it does not concern you.”

Then, Imee thundered, “I know what this is all about. It is to settle our problems with the government. Settle with this government? Not in a million years.”

After a while, Boy Asistio and I left, leaving Imelda and Imee to settle their problems.

My last meeting with Imelda was nothing very significant. Imelda invited the members of the Diliman Book Club to her pad at Global City. Not being a member of the book club, Imelda asked the President of the Club to invite me. It was a two-floor condo unit. She regaled the group with stories of the sources of Ferdinand Marcos’ wealth. She emphasized that the wealth of Marcos was honestly earned by him as a lawyer of gold mining companies and the ability of Marcos to maximize that wealth.

After dinner, she brought the group one floor down to see the certified true copies of documents issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the New York Federal Court that tried and acquitted Imelda for violation of the RICO law. The documents show most of the banks and significant corporations owned by Chinese taipans and other economic empires in the Philippines belong to President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

The documents have some grains of truth in them. After all, based on those documents, Imelda was acquitted. But what really is the source or sources of the Marcos wealth? Only Ferdinand E. Marcos can tell the real truth. But the man is dead and the real truth is buried with him.

What about Imelda? She still looks beautiful and intriguing. She still sounds intelligent. She is congresswoman representing one of the congressional districts of Ilocos Norte, the home province of President Ferdinand E. Marcos. She still has grasp of political intrigues and legerdemain in the Philippines. Many Filipinos think she can be a viable candidate for President of the Philippines. But beyond all those, whatever is the judgment of history and of Filipinos, Imelda will not only be remembered for her luxurious habits and thousands of shoes, she will always be in the minds of Filipinos when they go to the Heart Center of the Philippines, the Lung Center, the Kidney Center, the Children’s Hospital, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Philippine Convention Center, the Folk Arts Theatre, the Coconut Palace, the Makiling Center for Arts and Culture and the many five-star hotels which Imelda encouraged built.

Every time you hear Cecile Licad plays the piano, see Liza Macuja dances, and the other artists she has helped sing better or play well their instruments, you will remember Imelda – the beautiful, regal, intelligent, creative and innovative First Lady of Ferdinand E. Marcos and the Philippines.

To have moments with Imelda, as I earlier wrote, is not only a pleasure, it is a privilege.

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10 Comments

  1. This writing only shows that Atty Adaza holds no grudges to those who have done him wrong in the past.

  2. ALMARIO G. ESTRADA on

    Thanks madam for the explanation of your family’s wealth… I believe in you and to add more to make clear things to the readers… the Yamashita treasure am sure is one of the fabulous source of it… pinaghirapan talaga ninyo iyon kaya di makuha-kuha ng gobyerno iyan… wala dapat pakialam ng mga tao kung paano mo iyon lulusyayin… mga ingiteram lang sila. tsek.

  3. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    25 October 2015

    It is quite clear that Homobono Adaza could not resist succumbing to the irresistible charm of once-upon-a-time beauty queen IMELDA ROMUALDEZ MARCOS, as he himself unashamedly relates in this essay of his.

    It is good to know that Mr. Adaza, even at his age, is still capable of being charmed by not only a certified beauty, but by one of the wealthiest Filipinos still around–never mind how she acquired her fabulous wealth.

    Just to add to Mr. Adaza’s recollections here, sometime in 1987, Ernesto S. Medina, the PCGG head in New York City, asked me to help him and the Auditor of the PNB branch in Manhattan to make a physical inventory of the contents of two condos reportedly owned by IMELDA MARCOS at the Olympic Towers on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, close to St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

    This we, the three of us, did, in the presence of two Marcos lawyers, who acted as witnesses to the physical inventory.

    We did a very thorough job of it, listing down everything we found, to the last teaspoon. Under a bed in one room of one condo, I found something wrapped in a woolen blanket. I called Mr. Medina for help finding out what was in it. It was an oil painting! Mr. Medina had it assessed by Christie’s–and after a few days, he was told that the painting was assessed at $400,000! We later learned that the discovery of this valuable painting created quite a stir in Manila.

    After we got done with our physical inventory of the contents of the two condos said to belong to IMELDA MARCOS, Mr. Medina and I proceeded to inventory the contents of a mansion reportedly owned by IMELDA MARCOS in Center Moriches, in Long Island, New York. It took us 3 days to do the job.

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  4. What is the true source of Marcos’ wealth? Consider this story if you can. Before China fell to the communists, Chiang Kai Shek was persuaded by the Americans to give all the gold they could gather in China for safekeeping and in return America issued gold certificates. After the Communists took over China, and the Koumintang fled to Taiwan, the custodianship of those gold certificates fell under a mysterious group of old families in China who “transcend the Communist and Kuomintang divide” and they were tasked to make the representations to the Americans with regards to that hoard of gold. This group then appointed Sukarno of Indonesia to be their legal representative. It is on record that Sukarno and JFK signed some agreements concerning this awesome treasure. After Sukarno fell- engineered by the Americans if you will believe the conspiracy theories- the group designated Marcos as Sukarno’s replacement. Coincidentally, we know that the Americans also engineered the fall of Marcos. The late Enrique Zobel went to Hawaii to visit Marcos, and he saw those gold certificates. In that same interview he swore that they were genuine. It is not known who is the current M1- their code for the representative which Binay copied- but there is a case now filed in New York intended to force the Americans to return the gold. Who was it who said, “there is nothing new under the sun, except the history that you do not know.”

  5. Would a Bongbong Marcos presidency facilitate cashing in on the dollars and gold certificates?

  6. Is this very looooooong love letter of Homobono Adaza a signal that The Manila Times is for Bongbong Marcos for vice-president? I will vote for Senator Marcos. But mentioning Imelda unfortunately puts off people.

  7. I am glad you and Imelda are out of government. Your article does not do justice to thousands who died and the families of those who fought and suffered under Martial Law.