7:25 am - 07/03/2009

Imelda Marcos throws lavish 80th birthday party

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — She glided down a red carpet with a bouquet of roses, trailed by tuxedo-wearing violin and flute players who rendered her favorite love song. She blew out the candles on her 80th birthday cake amid glittering confetti and fireworks.

Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos, notorious for her vast shoe collection and unabashed opulence in her days in power, used the celebration late Thursday to express confidence she would defeat the last remaining corruption cases against her. She and her late husband Ferdinand were accused of plundering the country's coffers during a two-decade rule that ended with his 1986 ouster.

"I'm now into the last of 910 cases," Marcos told nearly 1,000 guests, mostly from wealthy families.

"I can brag this to the whole world and say I have no mission that failed, I have no project that failed, I have no case that will lose," she said, to applause.

Newsweek magazine in April portrayed her as one of the world's greediest people, but it did not upset Marcos. She said she pleads guilty for being the "greediest for the good, true and beautiful."

When authorities looked into her closet, she said, "they only found shoes."

Her husband and his cronies allegedly amassed ill-gotten wealth estimated at $5 billion to $10 billion when Marcos was in power. The Presidential Commission on Good Government, created to recover the Marcos billions, says the government has only found cash and assets totaling $1.63 billion.

Despite some 900 civil and criminal cases she has faced in Philippine courts since 1991 — cases ranging from embezzlement and corruption to tax evasion — Marcos has emerged relatively unscathed and never served prison time. All but a handful of the cases have been dismissed for lack of evidence, and a few convictions were overturned on appeal.

Marcos will forever be remembered for the dazzling jewels and 1,220 pairs of shoes she left behind in the presidential palace after the "people power" revolt that toppled Marcos' authoritarian regime in 1986 and forced them into exile in Hawaii.

She remains unashamed of her past, including the many lavish beautification and cultural projects she launched amid the Philippines' extreme poverty. One of them is the swank Manila seaside hotel where her birthday bash was held.

Marcos' party, which aides said was paid for by friends, was reminiscent of the extravagant gatherings she threw in her heyday. Opera singers and a pianist performed on a stage adorned with her portrait. Marcos-era friends showed up, including former Indonesian first lady Ratna Sari Dewi Sukarno, who flew in from Japan for the party.

Asked if the lavish party was too much amid the financially difficult times, Marcos acknowledged that she, too, was overwhelmed.

"It's a little too much," she said. "But there is no extravagance of beauty and love."

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honeypants 3rd-Jul-2009 07:37 am (UTC)

she would
hazurd2s0ciety 3rd-Jul-2009 07:39 am (UTC)
Oooh, my lola was talking about this earlier! Damn, Imelda's looking good for 80!
joannaland Re: ONTD:3rd-Jul-2009 07:44 am (UTC)
my debut. it was a luau
telurica Re: ONTD:3rd-Jul-2009 07:50 am (UTC)
quinces, it was at the biggest club here,violin players, trampolines,dancers and all that jazz, i just did it for the gifts to be honest
euterpe_xx Re: ONTD:3rd-Jul-2009 07:51 am (UTC)
lol, my high school graduation. We had balloons, coleslaw, swedish meatballs, & men with mullets.

My family always keeps it classy.
luvcarltonbanks Re: ONTD:3rd-Jul-2009 07:52 am (UTC)
for my 18th my parents rented a restuarant for my surprise party! good times.
mac_junkie Re: ONTD:3rd-Jul-2009 07:56 am (UTC)
Held? That would be my son's 1st birthday party. We rented out the zoo and had a buffet, magician, face painter, sea lion show, elephant show, carousel ride, pinata, and tons of fun. Too bad he won't remember it. :(

For me, it was probably my grad party.
normalchick Re: ONTD:3rd-Jul-2009 07:58 am (UTC)
mine is more like a poor mans lavish but for a 7 year old i felt like a millionaire so w/e

That year I had four piñatas and over 500 cascarones.

miss_gulch Re: ONTD:3rd-Jul-2009 08:23 am (UTC)
11th birthday sleepover. I HAD STREAMERS!!

lol I don't really do birthday parties :/
juteux Re: ONTD:3rd-Jul-2009 09:25 am (UTC)
16th birthday, 20 friends and me, box seats at a bon jovi concert. the next day i flew to nyc for the weekend to go shopping!
xxthat_girl00 Re: ONTD:3rd-Jul-2009 10:24 am (UTC)
My 7th birthday!! Hahaha
walnuuut 3rd-Jul-2009 08:02 am (UTC)
Really? :O
member00 3rd-Jul-2009 09:22 am (UTC)
overlooking the dictators wife stuff ofcourse
daftylion 9th-Mar-2010 03:36 am (UTC)
fauxparadiso 3rd-Jul-2009 07:43 am (UTC)
Gurl is lookin' fabulous
marsbarscars 3rd-Jul-2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
joannaland 3rd-Jul-2009 07:43 am (UTC)
my friend met her once and she was starstruck haha.
inahurricane 3rd-Jul-2009 07:47 am (UTC)
I'm legit jealous.
hyper_tala 3rd-Jul-2009 09:10 am (UTC)
lol my sister saw her while we were at this chocolate place haha I was sorta sleeping though so I didn't get to see her :( Apparently she had this entourage of bodyguards and shit. lol
xheavenlymex 3rd-Jul-2009 07:45 am (UTC)

damn she still wears those dresses... they are fab though can't blame her
aglows 3rd-Jul-2009 07:47 am (UTC)
Dito ako!
reforzado 3rd-Jul-2009 07:48 am (UTC)
are we counting filipino-americans?!
joannaland 3rd-Jul-2009 07:49 am (UTC)
i want to have a BONGA terno made!
windstreaked 3rd-Jul-2009 07:59 am (UTC)
Hey now
oporcupine 3rd-Jul-2009 08:02 am (UTC)
thr33 3rd-Jul-2009 10:04 am (UTC)
xxthat_girl00 3rd-Jul-2009 10:25 am (UTC)
Psssst! Tae, kumusta naman?
chiare 3rd-Jul-2009 11:56 am (UTC)
heller! :D
marsbarscars 3rd-Jul-2009 05:03 pm (UTC)

ang lola nyo bongga! haha.
dempsies 3rd-Jul-2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
telurica i hate you imelda marcos3rd-Jul-2009 07:52 am (UTC)
1,220 pairs
walnuuut Re: i hate you imelda marcos3rd-Jul-2009 08:00 am (UTC)
boobearbeth Re: i hate you imelda marcos3rd-Jul-2009 08:24 am (UTC)
She is the reason why I'm a shoe whore!!
stimulante Re: i hate you imelda marcos3rd-Jul-2009 09:50 am (UTC)
In 1986. It's 2009, who knows how many she's bought since then. :O
writtenbyhand Re: i hate you imelda marcos3rd-Jul-2009 12:46 pm (UTC)
I saw this on TV tonight and one of the mayors gave her "her 3001st shoe" - a pair of hot pink heels. Imelda cracked up, but damn girl... 3001 shoes.
webofglass 3rd-Jul-2009 07:53 am (UTC)
All I know about her is her ridiculously large shoe collection but I like her anyway. She really neat.
eatyrbabies 3rd-Jul-2009 07:54 am (UTC)
she lavished in opulence while her country was suffering socially and economically. why are you all celebrating her?
mac_junkie 3rd-Jul-2009 07:58 am (UTC)
I hate her actually.
anabanana0714 3rd-Jul-2009 08:10 am (UTC)
Pretty much.
tasheila 3rd-Jul-2009 08:23 am (UTC)

that's the best way to describe us, lol.
dendal 3rd-Jul-2009 08:36 am (UTC)
escapism from the poverty i'd say.
hyper_tala 3rd-Jul-2009 09:12 am (UTC)
lol yes (I'm loling at this now, but it's pretty unfortunate tbh)
chiare 3rd-Jul-2009 11:59 am (UTC)
true. lol.
stimulante 3rd-Jul-2009 09:34 am (UTC)
Philippine media seems to think that anyone wealthy deserves to be celebrated, whether the money was ill-gotten or not. That's the media, most Filipinos actually dislike the Marcos family.
frothies 3rd-Jul-2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
hah, i was wondering this, too. but when it came on our own version of project runway, where this dude explained to us that even though we focused on how much we suffered being under them, we didn't "focus on the good stuff" like how she brought attention to our country, and some other shit like that. *eyeroll*

so yeah, there. i don't really like her, though.
windstreaked 3rd-Jul-2009 07:57 am (UTC)
This woman traumatized The Beatles. She's pretty intense.
ivybgreenflower 3rd-Jul-2009 08:00 am (UTC)
That whole episode is so bizarre. Reading about it made me feel all creeped out for some reason.
oporcupine 3rd-Jul-2009 08:02 am (UTC)
wait, what?
windstreaked 3rd-Jul-2009 08:07 am (UTC)

At least, that's how they're telling it...
colossusx 3rd-Jul-2009 08:03 am (UTC)
what did she do?
love_ology 3rd-Jul-2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
lol that's what I always think of when I hear about Imelda Marcos.
loveteam 3rd-Jul-2009 07:57 am (UTC)
the fact that her family got off scot-free on all those charges is still so ridiculous to me.
colossusx 3rd-Jul-2009 08:00 am (UTC)
i thought it was katherine jackson
anabanana0714 3rd-Jul-2009 08:08 am (UTC)
I hate this bitch. I will never understand how one can come into power in a country that suffers from some of the world's cases of poverty, and then turn around and waste the government's money on shoes. Ugh.
selenia_actimel 3rd-Jul-2009 10:02 am (UTC)
Marie Antoniette is what comes to my mind, whe you think on that. I honestly didn't know about this woman.
reforzado 3rd-Jul-2009 08:14 am (UTC)
ugh I don't even know what to say. i hate that she can be totally unashamed when she looks at what she did/continues to do when there is so much poverty. arghhhhhhhhhhhhh
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