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“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.” ― Archibald MacLeish

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“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Imelda Marcos and Evita Peron: The Twins in Parallel Universes

Evita and Imelda:Twins in Parallel Universes?
“Keeping books on social aid is capitalistic nonsense. I just use the money for the poor. I can't stop to count it.” Eva Peron
"I'm like Robin Hood. I rob the rich to make these projects come alive... not really rob. It's done with a smile." -- Imelda Marcos in Fortune, 1979
Their Royalty Fantasies
Evita
Evita made herself into the glamorous and romanticized ideal of the modern Latin American woman, who rose above her humble origins to a position of prestige and influence. She created an aura of style and sophistication about herself. Remember that jewels and furs have always carried social significance and status, and Evita used these props to great effect. From NYU.edu
Imelda
She was the barefoot beauty from the provinces with royalty fantasies. She would become famous for her shoe collection and profligate spending on fine art including works by Van Gogh, expensive jewelry including a 37-carat diamond, and Manhattan real estate including the Crown Building on Fifth Avenue. From William Rempel

 Don't Cry For Me Argentina (Evita) 
It won't be easy
You'll think it strange
When I try to explain how I feel
That I still need your love
After ll that I've done
You won't believe me
All you will see
Is a girl you once knew
Although she's dressd up to the nines
At sixes and sevens with you

Don't cry for me Argentina

“Ninoy was my first love/ But he said I was too tall/ A rich girl stole the sweetheart/ Of the Rose of Tacloban”
THE ROSE OF TACLOBAN
(based on verbatim transcripts of Imelda quotes)
Ninoy was my first love
But he said I was too tall
A rich girl stole the sweetheart 
Of the Rose of Tacloban
The heart grows slightly colder 
Necessary to survive
And money makes it easy
In many people’s lives
Their Parallel Lives
Evita:Her Early Life
Evita's career of self-creation is well documented in Frank Owen's biography, Perón: His Rise and Fall. While primarily tracing the life of Juan Perón, this book chronicles the extraordinary role played by Evita in Argentine politics and society. The book introduces us to Evita as the illegitimate child of a poor peasant woman. 

At age fifteen, Evita determined that she would rise above her squalid life by becoming an actress. Using all her feminine beauty and guile she charmed her way into a radio acting career. Though by all accounts she was only a mediocre talent, she soon became one of the highest paid performers in Buenos Aires. Evita made herself a star, or, at least, made herself appear as a star by always insinuating herself into the right circles. She constantly sought to identify those men who could best help her, and by flattery, romance and other manipulations, made them her allies. From Uncovering The Megalomania Behind Evita Perón

Imelda: Her Early Life
Born on July 2, 1929, in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos is best known as the former first lady of the Philippines. First, however, she was Imelda Remedios Visitacion Romualdez, the oldest daughter of a lawyer and a homemaker. She grew up with her five younger siblings and several older half-siblings from her father's first marriage.

Marcos experienced a number of hardships at a young age. She lost her mother to pneumonia in 1938, and her father's law practice fizzled out around the same time. He then moved to the family to Leyte, his home province. The family continued to struggle financially. To put food on the table, Marcos sold off a small diamond from a necklace of her mother's whenever money was tight. Marcos attended an all-girls school called Holy Infant Academy in Tacloban. She studied English there, among other subjects.

Evita and Imelda: Their Loves
Agustin Magaldi and Eva
"the first man to be of use to Eva Duarte".
Evita (from the Evita, the film)
Eva decides to leave Junín,her hometown to seek a better life in Buenos Aires with a tango singer, Agustín Magaldi, with whom she is having an affair.
After Magaldi leaves her, she goes through several relationships with increasingly influential men, becoming a model, actress and radio personality.
She meets with the older and handsome Colonel Juan Perón at a fundraiser following the recent 1944 San Juan earthquake. Perón's connection with Eva adds to his populist image, since she is from the working class (as he is). Eva has a radio show during Perón's rise and uses all her skills to promote Perón, even when the controlling administration has him jailed in an attempt to stunt his political momentum. The groundswell of support Eva generates forces the government to release Perón, and he finds the people enamored of him and Eva. Perón wins election to the presidency and Eva promises the new government will serve the descamisados (literally, "those without shirts"—i.e., the poor).
At the start of the Perón government, Eva dresses glamorously, enjoying the privileges of being the first lady.
Soon after, Eva embarks on what was called her "Rainbow Tour" to Europe. While there she had mixed receptions; the people of Spain adore her; the people of Italy call her whore and throw things (such as eggs) at her, while the Pope gives her a small, meager gift; and the French, while kind to her, were upset that she was forced to leave early. There are hints of the illness that eventually caused her death. Upon returning to Argentina, Eva establishes a foundation and distributes aid; the film suggests the Perónists otherwise plunder the public treasury. The military officer corps and social elites despise Eva's common roots and affinity for the poor. From Wikipedia
Imelda
Seeing the potential of his cousin Imelda, who was by then the undisputed Rose of Tacloban title holder and was renowned throughout the provinces for her singing voice, Danieling Romuladez and other cousin Loreto Romualdez Ramos brought Imelda to Manila.
Before that, Pacing Gueco would ask her nephew Benigno Aquino, Jr (Ninoy) to escort her husband's first cousin Imelda in the taxicab on her way home from her job at the Escolta and at the Central Bank of the Philippines. (Ninoy and Imelda first met during a Gueco family picnic on the Parua river which straddles Magalang to the south and Concepcion to the north).

Imelda had the complete package -- the looks, the intelligence, the charm and the talent. But during those times, having the complete package meant having the right connections.

A beauty queen in her own right, Imelda was also a fixture in several beauty pageants during the 1950s. Imelda was crowned the “Rose of Tacloban” at the age of 18. In 1953, she also competed in the Miss Manila beauty pageant. Although she placed among the top winners, the pageant - and Imelda - generated controversy due to Imelda's complaints about not winning the title.
This prompted then Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson to bestow upon her the title of, “Manila's Muse.” 
The controversial incident would prove to be the start of a life surrounded by one controversy after another.
In the early 1950s, Marcos moved to Manila to live with a cousin. There, she met a young politician on the rise named Ferdinand Marcos. Only 11 days after meeting each other, Imelda and Ferdinand married in a small civil ceremony. The couple then threw themselves an elaborate bash for friends and family a month later.
He was the populist champion of Philippine democracy with a messianic complex. He would resort to bribery and vote fraud to retain power, use red-baiting and trumped-up charges to imprison his more popular political rivals, and would finally impose martial law – shutting down democracy for the last 13 years of his presidency.FromWilliamRempel