Friday, March 7, 2014

A Thousand Pairs of Shoes and More

Perhaps one of the most notorious yet respectable figures in Philippine political history is the Marcos family especially the late President Ferdinand Marcos and the former first lady and now a member of the House of Representatives for the second district of Ilocos Sur, Imelda Marcos who have held political seats for an incredibly long period of time. Considered as the Steel Butterfly, Imelda Marcos has been said to have lived a lavish life, owning more than three thousand pairs of shoes, millions upon millions worth of jewelry and accessories, tons of expensive uniquely hand-tailored gowns and dresses, and a handful collection of masterpieces and real estate that cause some people to question the source of the money that she and her husband used to pay for these luxuries.

The film documentary about Imelda peculiarly shows a specific idiosyncrasy that she often tries to portray and thinks of herself to be. She has this belief that through beauty, she is able to express her love for God, love for her country, love for nature, and love for humanity in general and that to cultivate beauty is her role in society so that she may become a model and a champion for the poor masses of Filipinos. Of course, to some extent, I do believe that there is beauty in all of us and that there is good in people but I think Imelda pushed this idea to such an extent that she seemed to appear as conceited and egoistic at a certain point. Although, I do understand the point that she wanted to get across but I think the way that she tried to execute this idea or to make it concrete or real swerved from the essence of what she wanted to do.

I guess one of the best legacies that Imelda Marcos was able to leave in the history of the Philippines is the building of different infrastructures and cultural centers. Despite the collateral damages and the lives that have been lost, those buildings still stand today and are being used for good purposes. I think that Imelda's concept of enriching the lives of Filipinos through a patronage of the arts and humanities did have some impact on reconstructing the unique culture and picking up where our culture left off when the Spaniards conquered the Philippines. With all this in consideration, I do think that Imelda did something positive for the betterment of the Filipinos' quality of life and I would give her kudos for that.

For me, the documentary illustrated Imelda's point of view quite in a manner that may cause you to change your own perspective of her or it may give you all the more reason to suspect that something was definitely awry during the Marcos regime. But biases aside, Imelda definitely had her own intentions and in her view, she and her husband were doing the best that they could to serve the Filipino people to the utmost. 

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