The governor is also a cleaning lady

Published April 12, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Floro L. Mercene
Floro L. Mercene

By Floro Mercene


Her detractors are sure to point out that Imee R. Marcos had a cloistered life. She grew up in Malacañang Palace, pursued her studies abroad and was virtually insulated from the harsh realities of life, and politics in the Philippines.

As chief for the defunct nationwide youth organization Kabataang Barangay and the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines, it didn’t’ make her an astute politico; most of her judgment calls were largely to mobilize manpower and money.

We remember her foray into children’s television, producing “Kaluskos Musmos” and “Kulit Bulilit,” veritable Pinoy versions of “Sesame Street,” attempts to inculcate values and mores for Filipino children.

The cineastes among us would remember the gems of Philippine cinema she co-produced: “Himala,” “Oro, Plata, Mata,” “Boatman,” “Brutal,” and “Scorpio Nights,” among many others.

In 2010, as newly elected Ilocos Norte Governor, Imee Marcos’ first task was to clean toilets at the provincial Capitol. She did’t bellyache and gripe and groan over a trifle that can be tackled and solved pronto. No red tape, no calling for others to do it as there was only one janitor (who could attest to the incident) to do toilets. She applied herself to the task at hand– walang kiyeme, walang kuskos-balungos, trabaho lang.

How about the low whispers how she gave one of her kidneys to her ailing father… What does that tell you about her character? A lot, that she can give so much of herself.

She plunged into a good fight for the so-called “Ilocos Six” who were detained at the House of Representatives for refusing to tell lies that would besmirch Imee’s name. She came out triumphant, “smelling like roses while her foes looked silly beyond redemption.”

She launched her brainchild “Paoay Kumakaway!” that sparked rapid growth in Ilocos Norte’s tourism sector, generating at least 300,000 visitors each year to the current two million per year.

And that’s how Imee Marcos gets things done — no job is beneath her competence that she would shrink from. She has both corporate and political savvy. What’s to keep her from taking a well-deserved seat at the Senate?