The massive private video collection of deposed president Ferdinand Marcos made available today revealed wild disco parties, birthday bashes and costume balls that marked the extravagant life style of the 20-year ruler.
Hundreds of hours of Marcos "home movies," filmed over the years by an exclusive presidential camera crew, were made available to western television networks today for the first time ever with the opening of Marcos' private video archives.
Videotape, obtained by CBS television from the presidential palace library and shown on Philippine television, shows a birthday party late last year for Irene Araneta, youngest daughter of the ousted president and his wife.
Some guests wore baby bonnets and jogging outfits for the occasion, held on the presidential yacht under flashing lights. Others had multicolored punk hair styles.
Imelda Marcos danced with Vernon MacAninch, the former U.S. consul general, who was dressed in Tyrolean leather shorts. Ferdinand Marcos watched placidly from a table.
The guest of honor and her brother Ferdinand Jr., known as Bong Bong, joined a dozen friends and relatives in singing a rowdy version of "We Are the World," theme song of the campaign by noted entertainers to raise money for African famine relief. Bong Bong wore a red-flashing electronic bow tie.
Other footage showed Manila's Roman Catholic archbishop, Cardinal Jaime Sin, blowing a horn during a New Year's Eve party at the palace, and Imelda Marcos handing out presents to bishops and priests last Christmas, also at the palace.
Sin was a frequent critic of the Marcos regime. The church supported the popular uprising that brought down his regime and forced him into exile Feb. 26.
Ray Conso, who is in charge of the radio and television equipment at the palace, said the palace library contains at least 500 videotapes of the Marcoses. Former officials of the Marcos government said Marcos taped palace functions and his conversations with official and unofficial callers.
Officials of the Information Ministry in President Corazon Aquino's new government said they had no knowledge of the tapes in the palace library.
The private movies, formerly kept secret from the public, drew strong reactions from some Filipinos for the glimpse they offered into the lavish life style and entertaining of the Marcos family.
"Oh my God," said one Filipino in disbelief while watching Marcos and Imelda swinging and strutting at a party in their private, two-room disco in Manila's Malacanang Palace -- their home for two decades.
The films show many other costly bashes hosted by Marcos for his family, friends and political allies -- at Malacanang, at the mountain summer palace of Baguio City and at private luxury homes.
In stark contrast, these scenes are intermixed with footage showing Imelda and Marcos solemnly taking communion at a Catholic mass, or handing out gifts to members of the nation's Catholic hierarchy at Christmas.
Officials of the Aquino government are preparing to display other flagrant examples of the Marcoses' wealth "to the poorest of the poor" of the Filipino people when the presidential palace opens as a museum Friday.
Imelda Marcos' dressing room, its expensive soaps and perfumes still intact, the Marcos bedroom with its hospital bed and oxygen tanks, his private study and pictures showing him flexing his biceps all go on display on Aquino's orders while she holds office in a guest house.