TRAVEL

Imelda Marcos House Tour


Photographer: Ben Hoffman

Imelda Marcos gives W a tour of Old House, the over-the-top villa outside Manilla where she and Ferdinand lived their “Imeldific” life. Read the full article.

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Photographer: Ben Hoffman

Imelda Marcos at Old House, the lavish villa outside Manila where she and Ferdinand lived during his presidency. Imelda doesn’t actually live here anymore (she lives in a faux Louis XVI-style high-rise in the city) but keeps Old House as a sort of museum and warehouse.

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Photographer: Ben Hoffman

Huge, kitschy portraits of the Marcoses line every wall in the villa. Here, the house’s main salon with a larger-than-life portrait of the lady of the house.

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Photographer: Ben Hoffman

One corridor in the villa is lined floor to ceiling with her fabled shoe collection, neatly arranged on shelves and wrapped in plastic. And Imelda is more than happy to show them off. When she was first lady, she says, she was expected to change seven times a day. She couldn’t possibly receive one “VIP,” as she calls them, wearing the same outfit in which she’d met another. “It was a sign of respect,” she insists.

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Photographer: Ben Hoffman

During the later years of Ferdinand’s presidency, when his health was declining, many speculate that Imelda was more or less in charge. Here, a tribute to Ferdinand at Old House.

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Photographer: Ben Hoffman

“Every politician was always happy to come here,” says Imelda of Old House. “This is where we gave them cash for their campaigns.” Here, the villa’s lavish ballroom.

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Photographer: Ben Hoffman

In the Philippines, the Marcos clan has definitely regained popularity. Here, Imelda with her daughter Imee, 51, a member of congress, and Imee’s 24-year-old son Borgy, a national heartthrob and occasional underwear model.

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Photographer: Ben Hoffman

Perhaps the eeriest room at Old House is Ferdinand’s study, which is now a shrine to the Marcos’s U.S. trial. Some 350,000 pages of documents pertaining to the case sit there in endless piles, all meticulously labeled. In Imelda’s view, those papers are proof of her innocence.

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Photographer: Ben Hoffman

Imelda has mostly kind words about the dictators she has known through the years (think Mao, Castro, Qaddafi) whose framed photos are displayed throughout. “They were nice to me,” she says. “The newspapers were so nasty about these people! When a leader is there for more than 10 years, he must have been doing something right for his country.” Here, a photo of Imelda with Saddam Hussein sits atop the piano.