Photo by Brian P. Biller


IMELDIFIC” means anything exaggeratedly ostentatious or in bad taste. It also refers to people who have “the Imelda Marcos Syndrome” or tending to be extravagant and not being afraid to flaunt it, or to describe a lifestyle of “ostentatious extravagance.” To sum up, it means to be, well, like Imelda.

To call something ‘Imeldific” would describe it as shameless and vulgar extravagance. Imelda said that “They’ll list my name in the dictionary someday. They’ll use ‘IMELDEFIC” to mean ostentatious extravagance.”

Long before Ferdinand Marcos met Imelda, President Elpidio Qurino was already head over heels for the young “Rose of Tacloban.”

At 18, Imelda was at the height of her youthful beauty.  She easily stood out in the crowd and it didn’t take long before people in Leyte would invite her in various fundraising events, town fiestas, and civic parades among others.

Relying on her beautiful voice and stunning beauty, Imelda would make Leyteños proud whenever she was invited to welcome visiting politicians, one of whom was President Elpidio Quirino.

When he went to Tacloban in 1949, President Quirino was honored with a banquet and a special program held a the Divine Word University.  The young Imelda Romualdez sang several songs for the high profile guest and President Quirino was immediately captivated.

Quirino was so charmed by Imelda that he reportedly told then Finance Secretary Pio Pedrosa that he seriously considered courting the young girl (he was already a widower at that time).

Imelda Marcos together with her husband, Ferdinand (considered to have been one of the greatest plunderers in history according to the Washington Post), were jointly credited in 1989 by Guinness World Records with the largest-ever theft from a government: an estimated 5 to 10 billion dollars siphoned away.

She is quoted as saying: “We practically own everything in the Philippines from electricity, telecommunications, airlines, banking, beer and tobacco, newspaper publishing, television stations, shipping, oil and mining, hotels and beach resorts, down to coconut milling, small farms real estate and insurance.”

In 2009, Imelda Marcos was listed by Newsweek as being one of the “greediest people of all time.” To this, Marcos replied “I  plead guilty.” For me, greedy is giving. I was first lady for 20 years, you have to be greedy first to give to all. It is natural. The only things we keep in life are those we give away.”