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Elections are the craze

By BARBARA GONZALEZ- VENTURA, The Philippine STAR Published Nov 28, 2021 5:00 am

Last week I wrote about Imelda’s 3,000 pairs of shoes. You cannot imagine the love and hate mail I received.

Many people asked me to keep writing political articles like that, making me realize that many of them are much younger than me and have no memories of 1986 and the events that led up to 1986. They were little children then.

I was in my early 40s. Someone said those 3,000 pairs of shoes were cheap gifts from Marikina shoemakers who sent them to Imelda Marcos as gifts to be displayed.

That’s probably how they now want to position the 3,000 pairs of shoes found in Malacañang back then. At the time, those shoes were on everyone’s mind and everybody’s conversation here and abroad.

The Marikina Shoe Museum, where many of Imelda’s confiscated shoes are displayed. Yes, many pairs were made by Marikina shoemakers, but also a lot of Gucci, Farragamo, Oleg Cassini, Charles Jourdan, etc. 

Now we have become dismissive. Those shoes were cheap. They were from the Marikina shoemakers who just wanted them displayed. 

Now who seriously remembers Thanksgiving, or Christmas, for that matter? Elections are the craze. Life will go on this way until... until what? Another peaceful revolution?

Anyone can reinvent things. One might also say that if she was the wonderful, generous First Lady and Governor of Metro Manila, could she not have given those cheap shoes away to people who really needed them? 

There are many creative things we could have done after the Marcoses left the country.

I remember evenings spent with friends talking about what to do with the houses they left behind. For example, what they then called the Palace in the Sky, a huge home somewhere near Tagaytay. Or the house in Paoay.

I thought they could turn those into inns. Not regular inns but posh hostels that the Department of Tourism would sell to tourists who want to experience how the lives of dictators are lived.

I envisioned the menu. On one side would be the favorite food of Ferdinand Marcos. This would be dinengdeng, saluyot, simple Ilocano fare. On the other side would be the favorite food of the First Lady. This would be Beluga caviar, pancit luglog washed down with Dom Perignon champagne. 

Ferdinand Marcos receives a kiss from his wife Imelda following his victory in the 1986 presidential election. 

For sports there would be a golf course. Ferdinand Marcos was a good golfer and I think he also waterskied. Those are the sports we would have for the male tourists.

For the females we would just have discotheques, wigs and high-end jewelry shops. We would all break down into giggles just imagining.

But, I thought, all that idle talk made a point. We illustrated the difference between the President and his First Lady. He had very simple tastes. His lady had very expensive tastes. That might make them better understood. 

But we couldn’t move on any of our wild ideas. First of all, none of us wanted to take our crazy ideas to the government. Second, none of us had the money to make these things happen.

At the very base of all our ruminations was the fact that we were all Filipino, people who loved to sit and imagine things but don’t really get up to do them.

Presidential candidate Leni Robredo

For the 2022 elections I notice a change in our temperament. Now people are more willing to go out there and do things.

Someone has printed comic books for Leni Robredo. You can order. It will be delivered to you. What languages is it available in, people ask. We need it in Visayan, in Ilocano, in other dialects.

Maybe the same things are happening for the other candidates. I don’t know. I only know I declared myself Kakampink and now I receive all sorts of pink news.

Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos

I honestly wish I had more time to dedicate to campaigning but I’m still so busy meeting Christmas orders, selling drugs — not cocaine, but stem cells — and taking care of my husband.

But do not underestimate the power of your cell phone. You get everything on it. A pretty photograph of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that morphs into the smiling albeit menacing face of our President now that morphs into the boring face of BBM that morphs again into the pretty face of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and repeats itself constantly.

I wonder who did that and how he did it! It’s definitely clever. Underneath is the caption “M A D for Marcos, Arroyo, Duterte.” This is followed by a pink poster that says “FIGHT THE MADness.”

From the posters I have received, I must say I am awed by our Filipino talent. Especially on social media. One of the ladies who ordered rosaries sent me a text saying she should have ordered more pink ones.

When I watch TV I am amazed at all the women who scream hysterically about their candidate Isko Yorme — since I can’t focus on which surname he’s running under — and how handsome he is!

Omigod, we didn’t used to do that when we were younger. But now it looks like it’s okay! What can you do? He is good-looking, after all. Scream out the truth! I wish it would be for more than his good looks!

Now who seriously remembers Thanksgiving, or Christmas, for that matter? Elections are the craze. Life will go on this way until... until what? Another peaceful revolution?