The Words

“I'm allergic to ugliness.”
—BBC, 2000

Her children call her “a political animal,” while her detractors call her, at best, a power-hungry villain. Is Imelda Marcos a brilliant politician, or just plain deluded?

Read some of Imelda's own words from selected interviews below.

On popularity and politics

"When you reach a certain level of leadership, people cannot be neutral with you. They either love, love, love you, or hate, hate, hate you."
—from a 2000 interview with BBC News

On human rights

“We never had such a violation of human rights. In fact, we have had no human rights case here in the Philippines, even to this day. “
—from the film, IMELDA, 1998/2001

“I am my little people's star and slave.”
—Los Angeles Times, 1980

On beauty

“It is not expensive to be beautiful. It takes only a little effort to be presentable and beautiful. But it takes some effort. And unfortunately people think of beauty as luxury, beauty as frivolity, ... or extravagance. Beauty is a discipline, beauty is art, is harmony, in the ideological sense and in the theological sense, beauty is God and love made real. And the ultimate reach in this world is beauty.”
—from the film, IMELDA, 1998/2001

On ugliness

“I seem to be able to only see the positive things in life and the beautiful things in life and when I see, for instance, garbage or ugliness, then I turn my back or I seem to be able to skip it.”
—from the film, IMELDA, 1998/2001

On setting an example

"I am my little people's star and slave. When I go out into the barrios, I get dressed because I know my little people want to see a star. Other presidents' wives have gone to the barrios wearing housedresses and slippers. That's not what people want to see. People want someone they can love, someone to set an example."
—from a 1980 interview in the Los Angeles Times

“We have to stick to the truth because the truth is God.”

On her legacy

"I was born ostentatious. They will list my name in the dictionary someday. They will use Imeldific to mean ostentatious extravagance."
Associated Press, 1998

On “making it”

“’Who is Imelda?’ I come from a third world country, third class province. And I was orphaned—and look, Imelda made it. If Imelda made it everyone can make it. At this age and stage I feel so good I’m still ready to fly.”
—from the film, IMELDA, 1998/2001

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