Former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos

The Iron Butterfly, the Queen Bee, are just two of the names given to the former First Lady of the Republic of the Philippines who is but an epitome of power and beauty. Madam Imelda Romualdez Marcos, is the wife of the former strongman of the Philippines, the late President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. She hails from the province of Tacloban, Leyte, and came from a renowned political lineage of the Romualdez’. It is not a wonder then how someone with a beautiful face can emerge to be a powerful icon in the country’s history.

Far from being a traditional First Lady, Madame Imelda was a force in her own right. Much loved by the late President Ferdinand Marcos, she became a power broker for statesmen, politicians, and bureaucrats alike who thought of her as having her late spouse’s ear. Indeed, she had not only the ears but more so the heart of the late President Ferdinand Marcos who did not want her to be another “politician’s wife” but in all essence, a true and firm political partner hence, the title Iron Butterfly.

For two decades during the reign of the Marcoses, Madam Imelda served in various positions as the Minister of Human Settlements, the Chairman of the Board of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and Envoy and Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary to important “cultural missions” which led to reinforced diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the countries visited by the good Madam, securing for the country important deals and treaties that greatly benefitted the Philippine society. With her state missions, she was considered as among the few who were openly and attentively received by renowned leaders like China’s Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong, US’s Richard Nixon, and the Reagans, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, to name a few.

Madam Imelda also won herself a seat as a member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa (National Congress) representing CALABARZON, and later became the Governor of Metro Manila until the depose of the family in 1986. With politics running in her veins, Madam Imelda reestablished herself in the political scene immediately after her family’s return from exile. She was elected as Congresswoman of the first district of Leyte in 1995, Congresswoman of the second district of Ilocos Norte in 2010 and Chairman of the Committee on Millennium Development Goals in the Lower House. She won the reelection in 2013 in a bid to renew her term, and then again in 2016 for her third and final term.

Madam Imelda until today remained an epitome of power and beauty not only for her family but also to her constituents who have always looked up to her and her family. Madam Imelda continues to be a pillar of strength to her children and grandchildren, and an inspiration to every Filipino who holds the belief that true “beauty is God and love made real”.