Essay Issue 22


Christian Tablazon

“The [g]host is a ghost, no fiction”
—Donald Davie, “The Comforter”

“They went into my closets looking for skeletons, but thank God, all they found were shoes, beautiful shoes”, Imelda Marcos was quoted as saying what was supposedly a comic remark at the opening of the Marikina Shoe Museum in 2001.1 The irony is hard to miss, and even more blatant is the unwitting and chilling allusion to the enforced disappearances throughout the martial-law years, the obliterated, now traceless bodies.

In one recent interview, Senator Marcos asked, hinting at the alleged golden era of infrastructure that his father’s loyalists claim to be unprecedented in the history of our country: “[W]ill I say sorry for the thousands and thousands of kilometers [of roads] that were built? [….] What [am I] to say sorry about?”2 In the rampant insistence of Marcos supporters that one of the darkest periods in our history has in fact been the country’s golden age, and in such denial of the crimes and atrocities perpetrated by the Marcos regime, the disappeared are doubly erased.

“There was no martial law memorial to remind the people of the atrocities of martial law,” Dr. Prospero E. de Vera III lamented. “What the people see now are the gains of martial law like infrastructure projects, roads, and bridges built during martial law years”.3 The state-sponsored infrastructure that then functioned, in part, to euphemize and anesthetize the fascist rule of the Marcoses, now facilitate in the production of oblivion, as supporters vehemently and repeatedly enumerate the names of edifices and other structures that for them are Marcos credentials and testaments to the nation’s progress at the time: the specialty hospitals, road networks and bridges, the LRT, and the buildings that comprise the CCP complex, to name several.

There are no other monuments for the disappeared save for one at the Baclaran Church, and there are not even markers for the graves of those whose bodies have never been found. But while the grand buildings such as the CCP, cited as monuments to the greatness of the Marcoses and their reign, continue to obfuscate the victims and the crimes the Marcoses have committed, one can resist the labor of effacement by rereading these structures from the ‘glorious past’ as constituted instead of traces of the catastrophic event that is the Martial Law. Both Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos felt the need to fabricate the “country’s ‘deep structures’” that would” endure the passage of time”, on the top of “roads and bridges, buildings and houses” that “are mere ‘surface’ structures”.4 Ferdinand Marcos has acknowledged that “no Taj Mahal, no Angkor Wat, no Great Wall stands with us to remind the colonial intruder of his insolence in affecting to ‘civilize us’ in exchange for exploitation”.5 Conversely, the same structures that the conjugal dictatorship erected in the absence of glorious pre-colonial monuments should stand with us now to remind us of the exploitation and damage wrought upon the country in the name of the “New Society”.

As the realization of “the First Lady’s vision”6 and “[g]randiose dream”7 and her first major building project, the CCP is probably foremost in the Marcos couple’s exercise of state power, the illusion of modernity, and oppression through official architecture and art. Drawing from the logic of padugo, a local ritual that necessitates the sacrifice of animal blood to ensure the strong foundation and safe completion of buildings and bridges, and exploiting what is perhaps a semantic slippage of the collective imaginary in the urban legend that the San Juanico bridge, at the First Lady’s behest, had been sustained by the blood of street children (whose bodies were either mixed with cement or thrown in the river below, depending on which version), and of course, its perverse real-life counterpart, the Manila Film Center tragedy, where over a hundred workers were killed in the collapse resulting from the construction’s frenzied pace to meet the First Lady’s deadline, and where bodies are said to have also been buried under the cement, we turn to what Imelda Marcos has claimed to be “our Parthenon built in a time of hardship”,8 “the sanctuary of the Filipino soul and a monument to the Filipino spirit”,9 and the testament to her slogan “Truth, Beauty, Goodness”10—the CCP. “[T]his gift to the Filipino people”,11 whose construction Imelda Marcos justified as “for the development of the Filipino soul”12 since “the spirit cannot be starved while we minister to the body”,13 and whose inception is hence “above legalities and beyond economic constraints”,14 would turn out to have been founded on the lives of the victims of the couple’s brutal regime, subsisting in part on the massive theft of public funds, widespread poverty, the famine in Negros and Muslim Mindanao, the estimated 3,257 who were killed and the 40,000 tortured,15 among other tragedies. Fortified by blood “to stand through time as a living tribute to a First Lady’s indomitable spirit”,16 the CCP as an edifice threatens to subsume and overwrite the bodies of these individuals in its “majestic architecture”.17 In the task of rearticulating these structures of “oppressive architecture”18 as buildings tainted with blood, the padugo ritual can act as a potent and subversive analytic in reading the implications of power and desire in the many aspects of collaboration in the arts and culture during the traumatic period of the Marcos dictatorship, with the CCP at its center as a site of haunting, i.e., an overdetermined and remanent space cast as an archive of spectral traces.

The inauguration of the Center in 1969 promised “a new dawn in Philippine cultural history”19 that would “[usher] an unprecedented flowering of the arts”,20 with the “First Lady of the Land”21 as “its Principal Patroness”22 —“a new era”23 that would also mark the threshold of massive plunder and abuse by the Marcoses. Even at present, the halls of the Center remain venue to the indices of fervent delusion, the baroquely decadent extravagance that has characterized Imelda as an adjective, and the beginning of a series of unsustainable debting sprees that would swamp generations of Filipinos until 2025. The preserved and sustained physical constitution of the CCP—Locsin’s architecture, for one, or the “three magnificent chandeliers” made of brass, over 20 thousand capiz shells, and Viennese crystal prisms that “secure an aura of elegance”24 and “[cost] a total of approximately $10,000”25 (restored this year with an approved budget of 1.7 million pesos),26 or the photographs of the Marcoses during their glory days that still hung in the building—lays out and underlines even more the continuum between CCP’s inception and the present. To this day, the details of “the Center’s dazzling interiors” that “lend easily to exclamations of awe and marvel”27 lavishly described in the Center’s initial press releases and public-relations materials remain intact, conjuring the unsettling here and now of Martial Law and the same Center that has persisted through the fascist years from the time it was inaugurated: the octagonal pool that “serenely mirrors the front of the Cultural Center’s edifice”;28 the “giant [German-built] fountain of dancing waters”,29 the “main vault […] plastered with reinforced Romblon and Italian marble slabs”; “lush carpets”; the “grand stairway [rising] out of the polished marble floor”, “[c]offered ceilings covered with an antique gold-foil paper”; the “four interconnected pavilions and rooms”;30 Manansala’s “powerful mural [fashioned] out of bronze”,31 the Main Theater curtain designed after H.R. Ocampo’s painting “Genesis”, the Kyoto-woven tapestry in the Little Theater based on a painting by Chabet, and the Gift Shop,32 which still displays pictures and biographies of the former First Lady.

Apart from its physical features, the Center has also retained its logo from Marcos’ time—emblematic, of course, of the institutional and bureaucratic trappings, however little, that must have persisted as well, along perhaps with the dregs of the former First Lady’s vision. The acronym KKK, ironically styled after the Katipunan flag, expropriates an originally Platonic dictum to celebrate and enforce the opiating and anaesthetizing potential of the arts during the couple’s despotic reign. The logo’s maxim had conveniently abstracted and eluded the material conditions under the New Society, privileging instead the supposedly “transcendent”33 and divine34 facets of human life. This same logo is worn by the students of the Philippine High School for the Arts, an offshoot institution of its mothership CCP. The school’s profile on the PHSA’s official website traces its beginnings to “the young former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, [who] yearned for a people born to greatness and envisioned a society worthy of the heritage of the Filipino people” and still cites the National Arts Center’s formal dedication “to the pursuit of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful”.35 In the conference room hangs a group photo of the school personnel with Imelda Marcos in the middle of the front row, taken during her visit at the school several years ago.

The problematic Filipinist discourse characteristic of Imelda Marcos’ program and its basic objective of “Filipinization”36 that coaxed “Filipino artists to articulate their decidedly Filipino identity”37 and “uphold what is truly Filipino”38 still largely informs the PHSA’s arts curriculum. One of the Center’s publications during Martial Law stated that “new works are commissioned yearly to encourage [artists] to experiment on native themes as basis for larger works of Philippine identity”.39 Incidentally, Gerry Leonardo’s Mebuyan-inspired giant Christmas tree at the CCP will be launched in November this year.

The aforementioned continuum culminates in “Seven Arts, One Imelda” a “lavish tribute”40 for the Center’s founding chair Imelda Marcos and her “life-long patronage of the seven arts”, staged by the CCP in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Center in 2009, on the 92nd birth anniversary of Ferdinand Marcos.41 “Staged at a cost of less than one million pesos because the artists performed for free”, the “Imelda extravaganza”42 was spearheaded by acclaimed concert pianist, then CCP Artistic Director, and now CCP President, Raul Sunico, who he himself was one of the First lady’s beneficiaries during the Marcos years. This “‘strictly by-invitation-only’” gala event “featured nine of the country’s most talented musicians, all of whom received assistance from Imelda”,43 and “[extolled] the seven arts through signature pieces created during the period of Imelda’s patronage”.44

In 2011, Mideo Cruz’s Poleteismo at the CCP was reported to have been “shut down […] at the urging of former Philippine First Lady-turned congresswoman Imelda Marcos”.45 Imelda Marcos said during the height of the controversy that “she immediately called Sunico and asked him to take down the exhibit and also spoke with other board members on the phone to ask them to close the exhibit”46 after the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines “had reportedly sought her intervention in the matter”.47

I was born shortly before Martial Law ended and I do not have my own memories of the period. I can only vaguely remember a televised image I saw as a child of the dying former dictator in his exile in Hawaii. My parents grew up in Coron, Palawan, and Martial Law as relayed to us children were limited to stories about that time of curfews, rice sold with corn grit, and the ghost stubs the farmers in Coron and the rest of the country had accumulated for their supposed, respective claims to the coco levy fund. To quote Bing del Rosario, my parents were ordinary Filipinos whose everyday lives and inhabited spaces the “atrocities only tangentially touched”. Having grown up in the province and being a young and impressionable student at the time, I was predictably overcome with fascination the first time I set foot at the Center. Back then the edifice and its interiors seemed so innocent, so removed from the brutal context of a fascist regime.

My position now as someone working in the field of the humanities and as a teacher, where during a teaching stint at the PHSA, I encountered some student artists who have not even heard of the word desaparecido, or who, without batting an eye, would say yes to working for the Marcoses, has compelled me to look further into the implications and vicissitudes of the Cultural Center, which turns fifty a few years from now. I recently learned that my great-grandfather Enrique Gimeno Piedad’s 1930s version of the komedya Prinsipe Baldovino that he had staged over the years on the different islands of Calamianes during fiestas was adapted by Rolando Tinio (regular theater director for the CCP during Mrs. Marcos’ time) into a spectacular and contemporized costume drama in 1971 to inaugurate the CCP Little Theater, barely a year after Piedad’s death. The discovery of my family’s oblique connection to the former First Lady’s Cultural Center during its early years has led me to problematize notions of ‘innocence’ and inquire about the varied nuances and degrees of complicity and its subsequent paradoxes, between agent and State towards the realization of work, in the context of artistic and cultural production during the Marcos regime.

Distinguished artists who have been key figures in realizing “The First Lady’s Dream”: National Artist for Music Lucrecia Lucrecia R. Kasilag (CCP President for a decade, from 1976 until Marcos’ overthrow), painters Roberto Chabet and Ray Albano, poet Alejandrino G. Hufana, and National Artist architect Leandro V. Locsin. Those who were ‘simply’ commissioned, such as writers Adrian Cristobal, Ileana Maramag, National Artist Virgilio Almario, and Carmen Guerrero Nakpil; composers National Artist Felipe Padilla de Leon, Lucio San Pedro, Levi Celerio, and George Canseco; the couturiers behind the Steel Butterfly, National Artist Ramon Valera, Pitoy Moreno, Auggie Cordero, Joe Salazar, and Inno Sotto; and painters Malang and Serafin Serna. The signees of the Coalition of Writers and Artists for Freedom and Democracy, who include Teo T. Antonio, Ruth Elynia Mabanglo, Lamberto Antonio, S. V. Epistola, Manuel Baldemor, at Mike Bigornia.48 The consistent beneficiaries of Mrs. Marcos patronage: among others, National Artist for Visual Arts Arturo Luz and National Artist for Literature Rolando Tinio, whose “Teatro Pilipino was a resident company of the CCP in Imelda’s time, and Tinio himself enjoyed a close relationship with the former First Lady”49 Recipients of the former First Lady’s assistance who were practically children at the time and who, to this day, have kept more or less positive relations with the Marcoses, most notable of which were pianists Cecile Licad, Raul Sunico, Rowena Arrieta, and Jaime Bolipata; violinists Julian Quirit and Joseph Esmilla; cellist Ramon Bolipata; flutist Antonio Maigue; and singer Lea Salonga. The National Artists appointed by Ferdinand Marcos. All other artists who, in one way or another, have been instrumental to the Marcos propaganda machine. How does one measure the extent of complicity and to what degree can the artist be held accountable? If the halls of the Center had been tainted with blood, who among these favored artists then have blood on their hands, so to speak, especially since their counterparts on the other side of the field who had chosen to speak against, resist, or fight, were silenced, tortured, or destroyed?

How does one appraise Carmen Guerrero Nakpil who claims to have collaborated with the Marcoses for survival, and who, “despite her closeness to the Marcoses, […] was one of the very few that never made money”? Nakpil recounts that she worked for the Marcoses “in exchange for the freedom of her daughter” and son-in-law, who were “then allied with the Left.”50 She was on the arrest list ”[y]ears after martial law was declared” but “Nakpil got it from the former first lady that […] the latter vouched for her and her name was removed from the list.”51

Furthermore, what do we make of former PHSA scholar and renowned visual artist Leeroy New, who was commissioned by Governor Imee R. Marcos in 2012 and 2014 to build giant “avant-garde installations” that now comprise the “Art Installation Park”52 on the Paoay sand dunes, facilitating the creation of Marcos-sponsored spectacles for the people during the governor’s province-wide La Virgen Milagrosa Festival? Where do we draw the line between Marcos and LGU sponsorship? How does one set about the artist’s complicity in the context of public commission work—in this case, a project of the Ilocos Norte provincial government that was supposedly for the people—in contrast to private commissions? Bringing art to the community and utilizing local materials and labor, Governor Marcos, according to New, claimed that “this project was for regional development.”53

At the groundbreaking ceremonies in 1973 for the now close-to-stagnant and seemingly phantom satellite of the CCP, the National Arts Center, a 13.5-hectare “art-oriented Shangrila” on Mt. Makiling, the First Lady’s message delusively cited its realization as an “[embarking] upon the end of alienation between the artist and his society”.54 In another occasion, however, Mrs. Marcos iterated that “culture and the arts are hardly political”.55 With her motto “Katotohanan, Kagandahan, Kabutihan”, she perversely sought a corrupted sense of apotheosis and the sublime that limited the arts to “enjoyment”, “appreciation”, “pleasure”,56 and, at best, to “the things of the heart and the longings of the spirit”57 that were anomalously removed from social realities. The same principles resonate in the people who have worked for or benefited from the Marcoses during and after Martial Law, underlining further the traces of the period that persist in the present order.

Then CCP President Jaime Zobel de Ayala defended “[the CCP’s] commitment […] to art and art alone. It shall not be subservient to any ideological belief.” He insisted that the artist’s “creation is not a product of the dictate of his creed or political affiliation or ideological belief. Art’s only commitment is to truth and beauty.”58 Similarly, Purita Kalaw Ledesma has intoned that “[a]rtists should be united in a common endeavor which is the expression of beauty.”59

In his defense of the stand taken by the Coalition of Writers and Artists for Freedom and Democracy in 1986, Virgilio Alamario asked, “Ano ngayon ang masama kung ang isang makata ay pumanig kay Marcos[…]?”60 Perhaps failing to grasp the relationship between an artist’s integrity and its praxis, he finds no contradiction in serving Marcos and aspiring to pursue and develop nationalist concerns in literature. “Dahil ba sa naging tauhan ako ni Marcos ay wala na akong karapatang magpanukala ng landasing nasyunalista para sa panitikan? [….] Parang hindi kayo nagkakamali. Hindi kayo marunong tumawa.”61

In view of criticisms regarding Leandro V. Locsin’s hand in the propaganda and myth-making “by way of state-sponsored edifices”, Andy Locsin confidently shared that his father had been “[p]ossessed of the knowledge that he undertook [Marcos’] commissions fully in good faith and mindful of the integrity of his delivery as a professional”.62

Ryan Cayabyab, who himself was a product of Marcos-founded Metropop,63 has acknowledged that “Martial law was a time of fear and division” and that some “who went underground died and those who survived now narrate tales of torture.”64 At the time of “Seven Arts, One Imelda”, however, Cayabyab served as a musical director and the composer to the tribute’s main theme. Suggestively nostalgic for the years that well coincide with the height of Mrs. Marcos’ patronage of the arts under the dictatorship, the song aims to “capture the spirit of an age and the distinct sensibility of a woman who has shaped so much of our culture” and cites Imelda Marcos as “our muse” whose “dreams led us” to “Tragic, tender / Vision, splendor[,] / [a]ll because [she] dreamed we could”.65

Also along these lines, prima ballerina Lisa Macuja Elizalde, wife and daughter-in-law to Marcos cronies Fred J. Elizalde and PANAMIN Head and plunderer Manuel Elizalde, respectively, and one of the artists who also performed for free at the CCP’s gala tribute to Imelda Marcos, staged her comeback this year with Rebel,66 in time for the 30th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution. In this full-length ballet that recounted the tyranny of the Marcoses and “[celebrated] the spirit of People Power”, Macuja Elizalde played the role of Inang Bayan.67

“Let art and politics be separate,” Sunico announced in his welcome remarks at “Seven Arts, One Imelda”.68 To criticisms heaped at the same event, the CCP board of trustees remarked, “we have always been committed to the propagation of the Filipino arts and culture and to keeping politics at bay as fiercely as we can”.69

Lea Salonga, when asked about her stand on the Marcoses, waxed nostalgia over the time presentations were held at the Palace, when “every presentation showed how beautiful our fashions were, and how talented our artists were”, and when “Bayanhihan danced our folk dances, Pitoy Moreno showed his wares, and [she] sang.”70 She also insisted that “[t]o be fair, to sing at the palace is always an honor, regardless of who’s sitting.”71

Accused to have benefited from the Coco Levy Fund Scam, artist and cultural worker Clara Lobregat Balaguer, progeny to Maria Clara Lobregat who was directly involved in the scandal, snapped at her critics on Facebook that she is not legally implicated, that her grandmother was long dead, and that her family’s actions and political views have nothing to do with her.

What do we make of virtuosity, especially since a number of these artists, and especially given our trying context as a ‘developing nation’, owe the apex of their careers to the slew of commission work or a “patronage of some kind”? What do we now make of these statements if, and since, art can never be sheer form and mastery of craft, and politics can never be possibly “kept at bay”, the artist’s person cannot be divorced from its art, form cannot be wrestled away from ideology, artistic practice from moral integrity, and ethics and aesthetics should remain inextricable from each other? And lastly, where does one fit Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan awardee Magdalena Gamayo in all this, and how does her example further complicate the said issues pertaining to collaboration? In anticipation of the late dictator’s imminent burial, 93-year old Gamayo, together with other inabel weavers in Pinili, Ilocos Norte, has lovingly and painstakingly “prepared with pride a special death shroud” for Ferdinand Marcos as her utmost gift and pabaon,72 and what appears to be the culmination of her lifework.

That we can speak in these dark times means that we have been spared, we remain unscathed and intact, that our capacity to be lucid and articulate entails a privileged position marked by our distance from the trauma, and that the least we can do is overcome ignorance and respond. In the absence of monuments and testaments to the atrocities in the wake of the Marcos rule and the persistence of the same crimes to this day, it is our task as writers, artists, cultural workers, and educators to propose and negotiate critical and ethical means of reading and writing the past, generate memorials and elegies that facilitate in historical inquiry and upkeep of social justice, and engage in technologies for conjuring and reinscribing what have been effaced or written out to accord the disappeared their rightful place in history.

1. “Homage to Imelda’s shoes”, BBC News, Feb. 16, 2001,

2. Maila Ager, “Bongbong ‘apologizes’ to victims of Marcos regime”,, Aug. 26, 2015,

3. Perseus Echeminada, “‘Martial law abuses not affecting Bongbong’s bid’”, Philippine Star, Mar. 28, 2016,

4. Visitacion R. de la Torre, Cultural Center of the Philippines: Crystal Years (Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1984).

5. Reynaldo C. Ileto, “The ’Unfinished Revolution’ in Philippine Political Discourse”, Southeast Asian Studies 31, no. 1 (June 1993),

6. Ileana Maramag, History of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 19__).

7. “CCP: dream come true”, Evening Post, Mar. 29, 1975.

8. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, “Sanctuary of the Filipino Soul” (1969), speech delivered at the formal dedication of the CCP, in History of the Cultural Center.

9. Cynthia D. Balana and Philip C. Tubeza, “CCP shuts down controversial exhibit on Imelda Marcos’s prodding”,, Aug. 9, 2011,

10. “Sanctuary of the Filipino Soul”.

11. Crystal Years.

12. History of the Cultural Center.

13. “First Lady, Patroness of the Arts”, Philippine Daily Express, July 2, 1980.

14. Crystal Years.

15. Niña Calleja, “‘NEVER AGAIN’: Marcos victim recounts torture”,, Feb. 25, 2016,

16. History of the Cultural Center.

17. Crystal Years.

18. Gerard Lico, Edifice Complex: Power, Myth, and Marcos State Architecture (Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2003).

19. Crystal Years.

20. Exequiel S. Molina, “1081 and the Arts”, Focus Philippines, Nov. 17, 1973.

21. Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1969).

22. Lucresia R. Kasilag, “Message from the President”, in Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 197_).

23. History of the Cultural Center.

24. Crystal Years.

25. “CCP: dream come true”, Evening Post, Mar. 29, 1975.

26. Policarpo P. Canales, Jr., “Rehabilitation of Three (3) Units Chandeliers at CCP Main Theater Lobby”, Cultural Center of the Philippines Notice of Bids (Manila, 2016),

27. Crystal Years.

28. Ibid.

29. Rodrigo L. Villa, Jr., “Cultural Center Unmatched for Space, Mass”, Manila Chronicle, Sept. 6, 1969.

30. Crystal Years.

31. Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 197_).

32. Crystal Years.

33. “First Lady, Patroness of the Arts”, Philippine Daily Express, July 2, 1980.

34. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, speech delivered at the inauguration of the NAC, in National Arts Center (Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 197_).

35. “Profile”, Philippine High School for the Arts,

36. Sentrong Pangkultural ng Pilipinas (Manila: CCP Cultural Center of the Philippines).

37. Crystal Years.

38. Sentrong Pangkultural.

39. Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 1976).

40. Gibbs Cadiz, “Seven arts, one Imelda, 12 people who remembered”, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sept. 13,2009,

41. Ibarra C. Mateo, “The Madness of ‘Seven Arts, One Imelda’”, GMA News Online, Sept. 20, 2009,

42. “Madness of ‘Seven Arts’”.

43. Ibid.

44. “‘Seven Arts, One Imelda’ at CCP”, Philippine Star, Sept. 7, 2009,

45. Julie Zeveloff, “Shoe Queen Imelda Marcos Shuts Down An Art Show Featuring Jesus Covered In Dildos”, Business Insider, Aug. 9, 2011,

46. “CCP shuts down”.

47. Charlson Ong, “Imelda Redux”, News Break Archives, Aug. 9, 2011,

48. Alexander Martin Remollino, “Ang ‘Edukasyong May Diwang Filipino’ ayon kay Virgilio S. Almario”,, May 3, 2009,

49. “12 people who remembered”.

50. Danton Remoto, “Remote Control”, ABS-CBN News, Oct. 2, 2008,

51. Pablo A. Tariman, “From Francisco Tatad to Carmen Guerrero Nakpil–how I ended up rubbing elbows with architects and victims of martial law”,, Sept. 21, 2014,

52. Mizpah Grace Castro, “Art installations by int’l artist Leeroy New to be refurbished for ‘Himala sa Buhangin!’ 2016”, Ilocos Norte official website, May 5, 2016,

53. Marinel R. Cruz, “‘Promdi’ and proud of it Imee Marcos keeps the flame of the arts in Ilocos Norte alive to involve the youth”,, June 19, 2012,

54. National Arts Center.

55. Crystal Years.

56. Cultural Center.

57. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, “Message” (1969), in ibid.

58. Ibid.

59. Marra P.L. Lanot, “A Center for Whom?”, Manila Chronicle, Nov. 16, 1969.

60. Abet Umil, “Dalamhati at pagbubunyi”, GMA News Online, July 15, 2008,

61. Alexander Martin Remollino, “Kahapon at Ngayon”, Essays, Literary Section, Oct. 17, 2006,

62. Devi de Veyra, “Leandro Locsin’s Brutal Opera”, Rogue Media Inc., Nov. 16, 2015,

63. Gilda Cordero-Fernando, “The guardians of splendor”,, Jan. 13, 2013,

64. Dolly Anne Carvajal, “Memories of martial rule”,, Sept. 24, 2014,

65. “Seven Arts, One Imelda” program brochure, CCP 40th Anniversary Festival (Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines, 2009).

66. Lester G. Babiera, “Lisa Macuja calls Ballet Manila’s ‘Rebel’ her ‘comeback’”,, Feb. 22, 2016,

67. “Ballet Manila relives the EDSA spirit in ‘Rebel’ this weekend at Aliw Theater”, Philippine Star, Feb. 27, 2016,

68. “12 people who remembered”.

69. “Madness of ‘Seven Arts’”.

70. Aedrianne Acar, “READ: Lea Salonga’s opinion about the Marcoses create buzz online”, GMA News Online, May 17, 2016,

71. Lea Salonga, Twitter post, May 16, 2016,

72. Freddie G. Lazaro, “Inabel weavers prepare special death shroud for FM”, Manila Bulletin, Aug. 17, 2016,