“A simple get-together” is how Senator Imee Marcos described the birthday celebration for her mother, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, that took place at the Malacañang Palace just two days after the latter’s son, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., was sworn in as the country’s president.
“We had a simple family and friends get-together. We just had a small get-together, and her musical and arts scholars performed a small recital for her. And she was very, very pleased,” the senator told reporters.
Some netizens criticized the birthday celebration after photos of the occasion leaked online, arguing that it was reminiscent of the lavish and excessive spending under former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s era.
Yet Marcos defended her mother’s birthday celebration, saying that it was simple affair that only featured merienda — referring to light afternoon snacks.
“Of course, my mother is already 93. She is already old, so when you say party, there’s no swinging because they’re also ancient,” Marcos said in Filipino. “But yes, we had a get-together, very simple merienda with a small recital of old friends and scholars.”
The senator also added that she was sure everyone had brought food to the party. “It was quite funny. And all the products are free. Is that not allowed? I don’t know. Because I would also hold birthday parties (in Malacañang) when I was a child. Is that not allowed?”
Photos of the party showed a Filipino-themed menu that included appetizers, a buffet, a carving station, and dessert.
'Simpleng merienda': Imee defends mom's birthday celebration in Malacañang.
The menu screams otherwise. pic.twitter.com/MgGnyFLYdw
— Miss Maggie (@MiaMagdalena) July 4, 2022
Imelda's 93th bday celebration inside Malacañang Palace.
Ika nga, old habits die hard. pic.twitter.com/oHXuwmoVxD
— JC Punongbayan (@jcpunongbayan) July 3, 2022
A video also showed guests, dressed in formal Filipino attire, dancing in the ballroom.
To the Filipino people: WATCH THIS VIDEO. AND SHARE IT. Tell the people that this is what Marcos Jr & his cronies are doing while we all suffer from exorbitant price of everything. While many of us suffer from hunger and poverty. While a pandemic rages on.pic.twitter.com/mrPQ0mISaC
— karl #MarcosMamamatayTao (@eicvsfascism) July 4, 2022
Meanwhile, press secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles has said that when it comes to affairs held by family members in the Palace, there was “No policy yet in place and that’s all that we can really say about it.”