Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Love or loathe

Victoria Imelda Marcos!

That was my friend's retort to my response to his somewhat profound question, he asked,  "What would you bring if you were to leave your life in Manhattan for a new life in a far-off land?" I replied with, "My shoes, my memories, and my Husband." In that order, hence the new nickname. I'm grateful he didn't refer to me as the steel butterfly, which is Mrs. Marcos' alias.

Imelda Marcos is not a hero (in my view) or a timeless diva (maybe she is) or even someone I want to emulate, but she does have a funny if not ridiculous story.

Imelda Marcos is a Filipino politician and the wife of, now deceased, Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos. Back in the 80's the President and his wife fled the Philippines after a coop and were exiled to Hawaii until the early 90's. Famed for travelling the world to buy new shoes, Marcos was said to have left behind over 3000 pairs of shoes (amongst other piles of clothes and fashion accessories). Mrs. Marcos' collection was seen as a sign of extravagance, whilst millions of Filipinos were living in extreme poverty. After her husband's death, Mrs. Marcos returned to the Philippines and resumed a political career.

What happened to the shoes you ask? Hundreds are on display at the Marikina City Footwear Museum.

What is the lesson here? Perhaps that shoe-divas existed long before the lovely divas at Sea of shoes or before the launch of Christian Louboutins. Hmmmm.
Or maybe it is to be wise about your extravagance, because you never know when a handsome Prince  or politician will come into your life.

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