How many shoes can one women own? If you ask Imelda Marcos, 2,700 pairs seems about right.
A politician from the Philippines and widow former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos is known for her wealth, extravagance, and major shopping habit – especially her love of shoes. But Imelda Marcos is much more than the fashionable icon sheâ??s become. Here are several fun facts you might not have know about her.
A Modest Childhood
Imelda Marcos lived in the San Miguel District in Manila, nearby to the Malacanang Palace, until she was 9-years-old when her mother died in 1938. After her motherâ??s death, her father, who was a law professor at Saint Paulâ??s College, almost lost their house to foreclosure. Her family then moved to her deceased paternal grandmotherâ??s abaca and coconut plantation in Leyte.
Imelda Marcos attended university at St. Paulâ??s College in Tacloban where she earned a bachelorâ??s degree in education. She also took voice lessons at the University of Santo Tomas music conservatory.
Before her marriage to Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda Marcos began a brief affair with the heir to Juan Nakpil of Manila, Ariston Nakpil. Aristonâ??s mother was, like Imelda, a former Miss Philippines beauty queen. However, Ariston Nakpil had been previously married and divorced, and Imeldaâ??s family made it clear to her that he was not welcome in their family of strict Catholics, who were staunchly against divorce.
A Quick Courtship
Imelda Marcos met her husband-to-be Ferdinand Marcos is 1953 in Baguio during the Holy Week. They dated for just eleven days, and they were married in May at the San Miguel Pro-Cathedral on General Solano Street in San Miguel, Manila. The marriage was held in the same church that her parents were married in and where her motherâ??s funeral service was held 15 years earlier.
Before her husband became President in 1966, Imelda Marcos travelled all over the place to network and get to know politicians that could help her husband win the Presidency. She was so busy doing so, that she learned how to sleep while sitting upright, allowing her to rest anywhere and at the same time keep her hair from getting messy.
New York Real Estate
Imelda Marcos would spend millions of dollars in single shopping trips in New York City, and she also decided to purchase several buildings in Manhattan. She bought the Crown Building for $51 million, the Woolworth Building, and the Herald Centre for $60 million. She wanted to buy the Empire State Building, but thought that for $750 million it was â??too ostentatious.â?
Beatlesâ?? Last Concert
In 1966, The Beatles had to be protected from violent protests in the Philippines when they were accused of offensively rejecting Imelda Marcosâ?? invitation for them to come to breakfast at the Presidential Palace. The Beatles thought Imelda Marcos wasnâ??t used to hearing the word â??no,â? and they were so upset by the events that they stopped performing live and did so only one more time ever.
Naomi Reyes lives in Manila where she teaches Tagalog to expats. She loves fashion, shopping and shoes.
CC image courtesy of Wikipedia