Posted on April 6, 2009


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Imeldific –adj. Ostentatiously extravagant to the point of vulgarity

imeldaJust a few days after the release of the Philippine Bar Exam results, another woman has made it to the top ten of yet another list. However, being included in this new list is not something that is much coveted. It is not a list of people who are worthy of admiration and honor. It is a list that enumerates the names of notorious people throughout history who are considered to possess one of the worst forms of human character flaws, namely, GREED. Not surprisingly, our very own Imelda Marcos is included in this list. The said list is Newsweek Magazine’s list of The Greediest of All Time.

It is not clear what were the criteria used by Newsweek but it is safe to say that the magazine has accurately and convincingly sampled history’s greediest people. The list is only comprised of eleven names. Imelda Marcos is number eight in the list.  She even outranked the biggest Ponzi (pyramiding)-type WallStreet scammer, Bernard Madoff.  This is somewhat justified because although Madoff  was able to con people and institutions to the tune of more than $50-billion worth of investments, he did not squandered the meager resources of a starving country.  On the other hand, some of the names that outranked Imelda included Genghis Khan and Charles Ponzi.

Newsweek Magazine noted: “She saw it as her duty to provide ‘some kind of light, a star’ for the impoverished Filipino people over whom her husband presided. So she took $5 million shopping sprees to New York and Rome, reportedly owned the world’s largest collections of gems and 3,000 pairs of shoes.”

Imelda Marcos always publicly projected herself as the embodiment of a nationalistic and religious Filipina. She is even fond of wearing the traditional dress, baro’t saya (along with her fancy diamond or ruby necklace). She is also fond of praying the rosary in front of the glaring flashes of cameras. All of these displays are completely hypocritical and expressions of bad taste. Imelda’s greed is legendary that an English word was even invented just to define her brand of extravagance,  greed, and hypocrisy.

Perhaps a more appropriate shorter, alternative title of the Newsweek list would be: History’s Imeldifics.

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