Imelda and Evita: Their Parallel Lives
Their Royalty Fantasies
“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
"One cannot accomplish anything without fanaticism."
Evita PeronEva Perón, wife of Argentine president Juan Perón, was the first lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death in 1952. As first lady, Eva Perón, fondly called “Evita” by many, played a major role in her husband's administration. Argentines intensely disliked her, believing Eva's actions were driven by a ruthless ambition to succeed at all costs.
Maria Eva Duarte was born in Los Toldos, Argentina on May 7, 1919 to Juan Duarte and Juana Ibarguren, an unmarried couple.
As a teenager, young Eva became fascinated with the world of movies; in particular, she loved American movie stars. Eva made it her mission to one day leave her small town and life of poverty and move to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, to become a famous actress.
Against her mother's wishes, Eva made the move to Buenos Aires in 1935 when she was only 15 years old.Eva traveled to the capital on a train with her mother, ostensibly to audition for a radio station. When Eva succeeded in finding a job in radio, her angry mother then returned to Junin without her. In the other version, Eva met a popular male singer in Junin and convinced him to take her with him to Buenos Aires.
By 1943, although she could not claim movie star status, 24-year-old Eva Duarte had become successful and fairly well-off. She lived in an apartment in an upscale neighborhood, having escaped the shame of her impoverished childhood. By sheer will and determination, Eva had made her adolescent dream something of a reality.
Meeting Juan Perón
On January 15, 1944, 600 miles from Buenos Aires, a massive earthquake struck western Argentina , killing 6,000 people. Argentines across the country wanted to help their fellow countrymen. In Buenos Aires, the effort was led by 48-year-old Army Colonel Juan Domingo Perón , the head of the nation's labor department.
Perón asked Argentina's performers to use their fame to promote his cause. Actors, singers, and others (including Eva Duarte) walked the streets of Buenos Aires to collect money for earthquake victims. The fundraising effort culminated in a benefit held at a local stadium. There, on January 22, 1944, Eva Duarte met Colonel Juan Perón.
Perón, a widower whose wife had died of cancer in 1938, was immediately drawn to Eva Duarte. The two became inseparable and very soon, Eva proved herself Juan Perón's most ardent supporter. She used her position at the radio station to feature broadcasts that praised Juan Perón as a benevolent government figure.
Perón was forced by a group of army officers to resign on October 8, 1945, and taken into custody. President Farrell —- under pressure from the military -— then ordered that Perón be held on an island off the coast of Buenos Aires.
On the morning of October 17, workers all over Buenos Aires refused to go to work. Shops, factories, and restaurants stayed closed, as employees took to the streets, chanting " Perón!" The protestors brought the capital to a grinding halt, forcing the government to release Juan Perón. (For years after, October 17 was observed as a national holiday.)
Just four days later, on October 21, 1945, 50-year-old Juan Perón married 26-year-old Eva Duarte in a simple civil ceremony.From history1900s
"I have a different way of thinking. I think synergistically. I'm not linear in thinking, I'm not very logical." Imelda MarcosImelda Marcos spent more than 20 years as the first lady of the Philippines. She became infamous for her spending habits and enormous shoe collection.
Born in the Philippines in 1929, Imelda Marcos went to Catholic girls school in Tacloban. She married politician Ferdinand Marcos in 1954. Marcos became the first lady of the Philippines in 1965. While her husband held office, she had several government positions. In 1986, Marcos and her husband fled the country. She eventually returned home and was elected to the national congress in 1995, and again in 2010.
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.
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.
As her husband climbed the country's political ladder, Imelda Marcos cared for the couple's growing family. They eventually had three children together: Imee, Irene and Ferdinand Jr., also known as "Bongbong." Ferdinand was elected president in 1965, and Imelda, with her beauty and poise, soon drew comparisons to another famous first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy.
In her role as first lady, Marcos met a diverse mix of world leaders, from U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson to Cuban leader Fidel Castro, to Libyan dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi. She sought out political opportunities for herself in addition to supporting her spouse. In the mid-1970s, Marcos served as governor of the metro Manila area. She spearheaded many costly beautification and development projects. Marcos later served in the interim national assembly and as the minister of human settlements.
While many Filipinos lived in poverty, Imelda Marcos became known for her lavish spending. She traveled to New York City and other destinations to buy expensive fashions, high-end jewelry and other luxury items. Marcos had to have the finest of everything for the presidential residence—the Malacañang Palace. But all of this splendor was gained at the cost of the Filipino people. It is believed that the Marcos family and their cronies took billions from the country's coffers. From biography.com
"For God, country and the people, all the time this was his obsession and yet this selfless man was made to look like a thief, tyrant and dictator when he was a great democrat, a patriot and a humanist." -- on Ferdinand Marcos, quoted in The South China Morning Post, March 1998
"I am only a sparrow amongst a great flock of sparrows."
"They call me corrupt, frivolous. I am not at all privileged. Maybe the only privileged thing is my face. And corrupt? God! I would not look like this if I am corrupt. Some ugliness would settle down on my system." -- cited in Beatriz Romualdez Francia's Imelda: A Story of the Philippines
"I am only a simple woman who lives to serve Peron and my people."
Evita Peron"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 house dresses and slippers. That's not what people want to see. People want someone they can love, someone to set an example." -- from the Los Angeles Times, October 1980
My biggest fear in life is to be forgotten.
"More than life, I value vindication. When you are at peace with the truth and you know that you are on the side of the right and God is on your side, you are not afraid of anything, including jail." -- Imelda quoted in Today, April 1998