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ML@50: Marcos myth-making

Now You Know PH


ML@50: Marcos myth-making

Former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and his wife, Imelda, saw the chance to fashion themselves in the images of Malakas and Maganda, who both embody unique and true traits of a Filipino man and woman physically and emotionally. Using the Malakas and Maganda narrative, the First Couple portrayed themselves as the mother and father of the country.

Ferdinand was Malakas (the strong one) and Imelda was Maganda (the beautiful one). As glaring as it is, the myth-making is the couple’s obvious attempt to hide their intense and selfish desire for power and wealth. It was their way to achieve “mythic legitimacy for 1970s authoritarianism,” as mentioned by educators Pia Arboleda and Peter Cuasay in a book on folklore and folklife.

The University of the Philippines History Department released a statement in 2016 rejecting the “brainwashing” of the Marcoses. The professors declared, “The sad thing indeed that could happen is to fall for the trap of seeking a better society from a mythical ‘golden’ past. In that past, Marcos myth-making served to hide the power grab and greed of a Malakas at Maganda. Today, Marcos deception seeks to evade accountability.”

While relying on his father’s established symbols, Pres. Marcos Jr. is also forging his own identity to somehow set himself apart from the late dictator.

The choice of the tiger by Marcos Jr. as his campaign symbol complemented Sara’s Philippine eagle of Davao. The Tiger and Eagle uniting envisioned a “soaring” Philippines.





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