LOOK: Imelda Marcos crowned


Posted at Jul 03 2014 12:21 PM | Updated as of Jul 04 2014 04:42 AM

Photo by Erik de Castro, Reuters

BATAC - A supporter crowned former First Lady Imelda Marcos with flowers during a traditional birthday ritual as she celebrated her 85th birthday in the hometown of her late husband, former president of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos, in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

Wearing a flowing red gown and diamond rings, the self-declared "poverty-stricken" Marcos was serenaded by throngs of supporters as she emerged from her private chambers in the family mansion in their northern stronghold of Batac.

"My only wish is for God to give me a little more strength to prolong my life," Marcos told reporters who asked about her birthday wish.

She said she had seen "the best, best, best and the worst, worst worst" in life, but insisted she has no plans to ride into the sunset just yet.

"I still have a vision and hope to bring more help to the Filipino people," she said in a free-wheeling, often rambling, interview.

Photo by Erik de Castro, Reuters

She insisted that Ferdinand Marcos Junior, her senator son and namesake of her late husband, was "qualified" to contest the presidency in May 2016 when incumbent Benigno Aquino, son of the Marcoses' top political foes, ends his six-year term.

"(Returning to) Malacanang would be a great help," in implementing her projects, said Marcos, referring to the presidential palace.

Imelda Marcos won a second term as congresswoman representing Ilocos Norte last year, the same year her son was elected senator. He has hinted at joining the presidential race in 2016.

Her eldest daughter, Imee, is the provincial governor. With Agence France-Presse