First Lady a fierce lady

VIRTUAL REALITY - Tony Lopez - The Philippine Star

A fierce lady. That is how the Philippine First Lady, Madame Maria Louise “Liza” Araneta Marcos (née Marie Louise Cacho Araneta; born Aug. 21, 1959) should be recognized from now on. She is a strong woman. She is strong-willed. She knows how to fight and fight back.

Ma’am is not a patsy. “There is a mischievous sparkle in her eyes that suggests she is no patsy” is a Wikipedia use of the word.

Being a lawyer and educated at Ateneo where English and writing are an art and a passion, Madame Liza knows how precise and profound the word “fierce” can be. Unless she was joking when interviewed, for an hour, by prominent broadcaster Ka Tunying last April 12, 2024 for supposedly his Mother Day’s Youtube episode.

To me, she was not joking.

Wikipedia defines fierce to mean “having or displaying an intense or ferocious aggressiveness.” It gives this example: “The tiger is the largest member of the cat family and a fierce predator.” “Fierce” also describes a kind of weather and temperature – powerful and destructive. “Fierce storms lashed the country.” These are among the positive synonyms of the word: powerful, strong, forceful, aggressive, competitive. These are among the negative synonyms: ferocious, savage, vicious, wild, bitter, stormy.

Fierce also describes emotion: “He kissed her with a fierce, demanding passion” is the Wikipedia example.

From Tunying’s interview, one can make these conclusions about Liza Araneta Marcos (LAM):

She has three loves:

One, the President, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr. She calls him “honey.” Or “Bong.” BBM is a frustrated rock star. He loves music dearly.

They have been married a solid 31 years (by April 17, 2024). She is the President’s rock and strength. BBM truly loves her. Marcos Jr. defied his family (Araneta being on the other side of the political fence) in loving and marrying her.

A month before BBM’s inauguration, LAM gave up her lucrative law practice (a law firm she founded) to help the President and to avoid conflicts of interest. “You know how painful that was for me?” she asked rhetorically.

Two, their sons, Ferdinand Alexander Araneta Marcos (Sandro), Joseph Simon (Simon) and William Vincent (Vincent). The most painful for LAM is when her sons are attacked by people who should know better. Like when former president Digong Duterte implied Congressman Sandro was being groomed to be a prime minister.

Three, the country. In the interview, LAM mentions the word nation-building at least three times.

She has one profession she loves doing: teaching.

In the interview, she mentions the word “teach” at least twice. “I teach in Iloilo.”  “I teach Election Law.”

LAM has long days. It starts at 8 a.m., with a walk. “If you walk on the ground, you will be grounded.” Then, pilates, yoga, swimming, all in one and a half hours. The day ends by 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. Days can be hectic.

She looks forward to the end of BBM’s presidency on June 30, 2028.  She mentioned “1,500 days” at least four times, the remaining days of his six-year presidency.

In 1,500 days, LAM intends to finish her Malacañang Museum project featuring all the presidents of the Philippines, from Aguinaldo to the present one. She has built a presidential hotel, the Laperal Mansion, on Arlegui Street, next to Malacañang Palace, naming the stately guest rooms in honor of the Philippine presidents. Take a look at the Marcos Sr. Suite (a corner room) and the Corazon Aquino Suite (also a corner room, at the opposite, south end of the building).

In the remaining 1,500 days, LAM assures, she can absorb all the criticisms and the brickbats thrown at the presidential family.

Tunying asks her: “Sanay na ba kayo ngayon, na kayo po ay nasa receiving end ng mga pagbatikos, pagpuna – sabi niyo nga paninira.”

Her reply: “Actually, si Bong – ako, I’ll admit it, in the beginning parang na-shock ako – ano bang ginawa ko sa mga tao na ito? (what did I do to these people?) Like evil. Inventing – and then I thought, you know, if Bong could do this for 30 years, yung talagang – lahat; hindi siya nag-graduate, drug addict, ganito-ganyan (why not me?).

“Siguro naman kaya ko for 1,500 days. There’s a saying di ba, in the art of war, you make the wife bad (kunwari ako yung masama) so the husband looks good. Eh ngayon medyo seditious na yung mga sinasabi nila – hindi nakakatuwa.

“But you know, somebody told Bong, ‘why aren’t you standing up, why don’t you say something?’ You know what he said? ‘It has to stop at some point.’ If you think all the past – they’re vindictive – did you ever hear my husband talk bad to anyone?”

LAM is an optimist.

Tunying also asked the First Lady if she or the President would file cases against those who concoct all kinds of accusations and charges against the First Family.

LAM’s answer: No.

“Maybe, in 1,500 days, all these would come to an end,” she explained in Tagalog.

“What would happen to the Marcos critics then?” Tunying asked in Tagalog.

LAM’s reply: Karma.

The most devastating portion of Tunying’s interview is that on Vice President Sara Duterte. She is a bad shot.

“If I don’t like it, I don’t like it,” the First Lady explained earlier in the interview.


“It’s super important. Loyalty and kindness,” she said. “You have to be kind. You know, when people talk bad – eew, it’s bad karma.”

By the way, LAM has one other love – charity. She cried during Tunying’s interview relating how people reacted when they were helped by the government somehow with their problems and predicament, by her charity work.

So can LAM be kind to Sara Duterte? In the name of charity.

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Email: [email protected]

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