Quantcast
Latest Stories

Despite storms, termites, Imelda shoes still dazzle



STATE OF DECAY Branded high-heel shoes, once worn by then first lady Imelda Marcos (right photo) and native Filipino shirts called ‘barong’ that had been often worn in public by then dictator Ferdinand Marcos (left photo), sit among equally damaged shoes and bags in a section of the National Museum in Manila. The items were left to oblivion after the Marcoses were driven to US exile by a 1986 popular revolt. AP

Termites, storms and neglect have damaged part of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos’ legendary stash of shoes and other vanity possessions, left behind after she and her dictator husband were driven into US exile by a 1986 popular revolt.

Hundreds of pieces of the 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 mold and fray after being stored for years without protection at the presidential palace and later at the National Museum, officials told The Associated Press (AP) on Sunday.

The Marcoses fled the Philippines at the climax of the military-backed Edsa People Power Revolution, which became a harbinger of change in authoritarian regimes worldwide. Ferdinand Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989, and his widow and children returned home years later.

They left behind staggering amounts of personal belongings, clothes and art objects at the palace, including at least 1,220 pairs of Imelda’s shoes.

More than 150 carton 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 mold threatened 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 such relics and that was inundated by tropical storm rains last month due to a gushing leak in the ceiling, museum officials said.

Museum staffers, who were not aware the boxes contained precious mementos 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 Imelda’s 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 mold beyond repair, according to museum curator Orlando Abinion, who is heading the effort.

Warped and stained

“We’re doing a conservation rescue,” Abinion told AP. “There was termite infestation and mold 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.

Two AP journalists saw a badly tattered box at the museum with damaged and soiled leather bags and designer shoes of Imelda’s bulging out. Termites damaged the heel and sole of a white Pierre Cardin shoe. Other shoes had been warped out of shape or messed by stains.

About 100 of Ferdinand Marcos’ barong shirts were squeezed tight into another box, some still attached to plastic hangers. A white barong shirt on top, with the colorful presidential seal emblazoned on its pocket, looked disheveled with reddish stains and a sleeve nearly torn off.

Imelda, now a member of the House of Representatives, was not immediately available for comment on Sunday.

Her massive shoe collection, including top US 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.

Marcos’ successor, democracy icon Corazon Aquino, accused the dictator of stealing billions of dollars during his 20-year rule and ordered many of his assets seized.

The clothes and shoes of the Marcoses were not among the assets allegedly stolen by them and sequestered by the government following the dictator’s fall, according to Presidential Commission on Good Government official Maita Gonzaga.

Lavish lifestyle

The government has so far recovered $2.24 billion worth of cash, bank accounts and prime real estate from the Marcoses and their cronies, she said.

After the 1986 Edsa revolt, Aquino had Imelda’s 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 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 the shoes in Marikina in 2009.

About 765 pairs, including famous brands like Gucci, Charles Jourdan, Christian Dior, Ferragamo, Chanel and Prada, survived the 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.  AP


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Culture , fashion , History , Imelda Marcos , Lifestyle , Martial Law , Shoes

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BOMBWNHA5FVY4JOVKT56VZRS24 Coolasas

    Marikina took advantage of Imelda’s lavish shoe lifestyle … i am sure Jimmi Choo, Manolo and the new  brand names would have loved dressed up Imelda’s foot if they were existing them … whose not guilty for not having more shoes than what your feet can wear … 
    Anyway, my point is that if we can generate money out of the items confiscated from the Marcoses why didn’t we do that then … now we have to spend money reviving some of those you can salvage from the termites … utak talangka kasi kayo eh akala nyo lahat mali eh hindi nyo tinitignan na baka naman may positibo na pwede pakinabangan! 
    I am sure if we check Imelda’s closet, so is Loren, Miriam and soon Sereno we will find shoes more than their feet can wear too ;) 
    cheers!



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement

News

  • ’30-minute no fly zone’ over NAIA, Palace on Obama arrival, departure—CAAP
  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
    Marketplace