A Style article yesterday did not report disposition of $700 in gifts given to U.S. Information Agency chief Charles Z. Wick from then-Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos in 1981. Wick turned them over to the General Services Administration.
For President and Nancy Reagan and many top government officials, the departure of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos from the Philippines and power may seem as though Santa Claus had been exiled from the North Pole.
Not that the Reagans have kept all of the Marcoses' largess -- though they are apparently enjoying vibrating in the special chair the Marcoses sent -- but they must have had fun unwrapping the packages. A quick survey of the Marcoses' gifts to the Reagan administration through 1984, reported officially in the Federal Register, shows the magnitude of the giving. Last year's figures aren't yet available.
Vice President Bush may have received the most expensive gift from the former Philippine president: a $4,950 wooden game table with leather top and four leather chairs, received in 1982 and now in official use in the office of the vice president.
The Marcoses liked best to give handmade Philippine crafts -- and mechanical chairs designed to shake up the seats of power. For instance, a $476 vibrating electric gray-beige chair, with side controls and a matching electric vibrating stool, made in Japan, was given to the Reagans in April. It's listed as being used in the "Residence -- Official Use."
Imelda Marcos sent George Bush a $475 motorized massage chair in 1982, listed as being in use at the vice president's residence. Former secretary of state Alexander Haig got a more expensive, $600 beige reclining chair with vibrating mechanism in 1982, from Imelda Marcos. He sent his to GSA.
Handmade beaded and sequined Philippine dresses were probably the most elaborate gifts of the Philippine rulers. Dresses went to Nancy Reagan, Selwa Roosevelt, Helena Shultz and Barbara Bush, who stored her black and purple dresses (valued at $1,245) in her husband's office safe.
Many Marcos presents were of the inexpensive, Christmas stocking-type variety, rather than the large and elaborate type, but they gave lots of them, not only to the Reagans, but to the Bushes, the Haigs, Protocol Chief Selwa Roosevelt, USIA chief Charles Z. Wick, Protocol officer Patrick Daly and an assortment of lesser mortals. A story in the San Francisco Examiner yesterday estimated that the gifts to the Reagans alone amounted to at least $25,000.
Imelda Marcos, knowing of Nancy Reagan's love for clothes, gave her three evening dresses, on Dec. 22, 1981: a rose colored off-shoulder satin dress with a beaded top; a satin fuchsia colored raw silk dress with puffed sleeves and an aqua colored netting dress ornamented with sequins and beads, valued at $550. The record says they went to the National Archives.
In 1982, the Marcoses gave Nancy Reagan a pink tulle beaded and sequined costume with long sleeves; a white satin evening gown with gold colored sequined top; a black chiffon gown with black silver and sequined jacket, and a red taffeta silk sleeveless gown with a jacket beaded and sequined, made by hand in Manila by J. Morena and together valued at $1,885. They were sent to the Archives.
Selwa Roosevelt also received an evening dress, with an estimated value twice that of Barbara Bush's. The $500 dress was in a gray "tent style" with hand-sewn gold and silver beads in a sunburst pattern, and a plum colored two-piece gown decorated with silver beads. Roosevelt sent it to GSA along with a mirror framed with seashells (the record says many broke in transit) and 12 books, a mahogany chest inlaid with mother-of-pearl and filled with handicrafts, also estimated at $500.
Another evening dress Imelda Marcos gave Barbara Bush was made of banana fiber, with embroidered sleeves, valued at $212.50.
Helena Shultz also was given a gray "tent style" dress hand-sewn with silver and gold beads in a sunburst pattern and a plum colored two-piece dress decorated with silver beads, both estimated at $500. Mrs. Shultz sent it to the GSA.
It's hard to tell whether CIA director William J. Casey received any presents from the Marcoses, because by law he's exempted from having to list the country of origin of his gifts.
Over the years, the Marcoses' gifts to the Reagans have included enough luxurious linen to furnish a small hotel. Among them: 66 white satin pillows, monogrammed NRD; 22 heart-shaped pillows, 16 white satin sheets, nine bedspreads, and two beige bedcovers.
There was also a red chest holding 12 mother-of-pearl plates as well as two sets of salt and pepper. They were all sent to the Archives.
Not all the Marcos gifts have been lavish. In April 1981, they sent Dutch irises and Maryland snapdragons and lilics in a plastic bowl, valued at $100. The flowers were displayed, officially, in the White House.
In 1983, the Philippine president gave a desk set, including a letter holder, a phjotograph frame and a pencil cup all with mother-of-pearl on silver colored metal, estimated at $155.
In 1981, Ferdinand Marcos gave the president a more serious gift, two books about the Philippines, including "The Marcos Year: Achievements Under the New Society."
In January 1982, the Marcoses gave the Bushes and the Haigs Christmas trees made of seashells.
The heaviest gift to the Reagans from the Philippines was doubtless the six-foot-high, $2,500 mother-of-pearl-tree that weighed 270 pounds. It came along with a $900 fossilized circular pedestal table with swirled inlaid design and a $135 desk set. All were sent to the National Archives. That April 1982 gift was topped off with a $180 box of fruit, described as "Rambutan."
The presidential and vice presidential couples are not the only ones to be remembered with presents by the Marcos administration.
The Marcoses gave Joseph Chuba of the Strategic Assessments office in 1981 what is described officially as a varied group of Philippine handcrafts made of Capiz shell, fabric, straw, metal and/or wood. Estimated value: $225.
Charles Z. Wick received $700 worth of gifts including a wooden inlaid chest, a cigar humidor, wooden boxes and place mats from the Philippine president.
Gen. Fabian Ver, chief of the Philippines armed forces, gave a $750 coffee table and two crushed vevlet chairs to Brig. Gen. Richard S. Beyes Jr., who used them in his protocol office. Sen. Mark Hatfield (R-Ore.), in August 1983, reported that he had received lodging, food and transportation in the Philippines from Mrs. Marcos.
Then-Treasury Secretary Donald T. Regan received 24 books from the Marcoses, which Regan dutifully sent to Federal Surplus Property, Bismarck, N.D. He also got a mirror and the usual wood chest from the Marcoses, both stored by the office of administrative programs.
Probably the most diverse gifts from the Marcoses went to protocol officer Daly. The collection, valued at $150, included 100 hand-rolled cigars banded with Marcos' seal, a pair of cappa shell cuff links, two straw caps, a beige batiste "moo-moo" dress with mocha floral embroidery, a set of components for a man's shirt of pulled-thread embroidered panels, a wind chime, a wooden salad bowl set, a beige leather and woven straw clutch handbag. Daly reported the gifts to GSA and stored them in the protocol office, pending GSA distribution.