display imelda’s jewels

the pcgg wants to display the famous imelda jewels in the metropolitan museum, as tourist attraction, preparatory to selling them to the highest bidders.  fun-ny the reactions.  the prez is hemming and hawing, he’s not into jewelry, what if merong fake, nakakahiya, and is this the right time to sell?  tourism sec jimenez is cool to the idea, notoriety is not the best way to attract tourists.  imelda, of course, is claiming the jewels should be returned to her, the rightful owner, and in the next breath agreeing that they deserve to be displayed.  but de quiros takes the cake: his concern is, what will the world say?

You exhibit the jewels in hopes of luring in the curious, the curious will ask about something even more curious: If Imelda is a thief, indeed if Imelda is one very big thief, how come she is still free? How come she is not in jail?

The DOT does what Bautista suggests and it will give new, and not very savory, meanings to “It’s more fun in the Philippines.” Among them, stealing is more fun in the Philippines. Thieves have more fun in the Philippines.

whatever the world will say is something the world has long been saying about us, so what else is new?  and those are valid questions that pcgg chairman andres bautista has answers to:

He said the Office of the Ombudsman could go after fixers in the PCGG. “We have filed cases against them at the Ombudsman and some of them are pending in the Sandiganbayan,” he said.

Bautista also blamed the gridlock in the court cases against the Marcoses for the PCGG’s disappointing performance.

“Most of the cases are being dragged to death in court. The failure of the PCGG in the past is mirrored by the failure of the courts. Our cases are over 20 years old—over 260 of them. The courts should not have been allowed to indefinitely delay these cases. Hopefully, with the new Ombudsman, the new Chief Justice and the secretary of justice, we will have a better output with our cases,” he said.

in fairness, de quiros makes an about-face in the end:

Maybe we need to parade Imelda’s jewels to the public, if not to the tourists, to remind us of what we failed to do. But more than that, we need to build a museum of horrors, if only in the public mind, to remind us, as we approach Friday next week, what of we still need to do.

how about, let’s do it for us, and let’s do it for the tourists.  let’s not sell the jewels just for cash that government would quickly spend, and then it’s gone.  jewels are forever, the value appreciates, notorious or not, and these jewels are special because they are fabulous glittering proof that we didn’t make it up, imelda’s conspicuous ostentatious outrageous consumption using the people’s monies in a time of poverty and terror in the time of ferdinand.  those jewels are for passing on to the next generations as historical artifacts of the conjugal dictatorship.

if we display the jewels, the tourists will come.  and not just foreigners, but filipinos, too, from far and wide, to see for themselves the famous three collections: the 300 or so pieces that were left behind in the palace, the 400 or so that they carried out but lost to u.s. customs officials in hawaii, and the 60 pieces, including a 37-carat diamond, that philippine customs officials confiscated from a greek, demetriou roumeliotes, on his way out of the country soon after EDSA.

that’s more than 750 pieces of tiaras, necklaces, watches, earrings, brooches, bracelets, of rubies, emeralds, jade, pearls, and diamonds, some from gucci, van cleef and arpels, bulgari and philippe patek.  that would be quite a spread and quite a sight to behold.  cleverly curated — throw in the shoes and gowns and soaps and perfumes as well — that would be quite a show, an imeldific extravaganza for the ages, the one, the only, in the world!


Jewels of Imelda Marcos, The Story
Imelda’s Jewelry
Imelda’s Amazing Jewelry
Imelda’s ‘crown jewels’ to go under the hammer 2003
Imelda Marcos on Seized Jewelry: It’s All Mine 2005
She’s Baaack! Imelda Marcos Gets $310M Jewels Returned 2009
Arroyo stops auction of Imelda Marcos jewelry 2010


  1. Interesting. I feel the same way about the gold in the mountains. It would be better used to make gold necklaces in the Philippines. I also agree the jewels should not be retained, but displayed, perhaps in some cathedral somewhere, so that people can ask, how did the moral custodians of the Philippines, in charge of values for 400 years, end up with Mrs. Marcos in the House.

  2. Diamonds are forever and a girl’s best friend, etc. Yes, of course, an ersatz jewelry dealer wannabe approach just might work to remind ourselves of the insanity and inanity of baubles throughout history.

    Would the average Juan rate highly the jewelry fashion tastes of the former First Lady? That seems to be the Hamlet question, if anyone would, of course, care to ask.