First Lady or Gentleman of the Philippines

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First Lady or Gentleman of the Philippines
Unang Ginang o Ginoó ng Pilipinas
None[note 1]
StyleHis/Her Excellency
ResidenceMalacañang Palace
Inaugural holderHilaria del Rosario-Aguinaldo[note 2]
Formation23 January 1899

First Lady or First Gentleman of the Philippines (Filipino: Unang Ginang o Unang Ginoó ng Pilipinas) is the unofficial, customary title of the host or hostess of Malacañang Palace, the residence of the head of state and head of government of the Philippines.

The title is traditionally held by the consort of the president of the Philippines, and as such is used to interchangeably refer to the spouse of the incumbent; however, this isn't usually the case, especially for presidents without a living spouse at the time of their tenure.

The current president Rodrigo Duterte has no designated first lady despite having Cielito Avanceña as his common-law wife. No other family member or any other individual has been designated as the current incumbent's first lady.


The consort of the Philippine president is, as in other countries, conventionally styled in English as the "First Lady" (Filipino: Unang Ginang). As Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took office as the second female president, the masculine form "First Gentleman" (abbreviated FG; Filipino: Unang Ginoó) was used for her husband, Miguel Arroyo.


The position of First Lady or First Gentleman is not an elected position, carries no official duties, and has no personal remuneration. Nonetheless, the title holder participates in humanitarian and charitable work on behalf of the president. Furthermore, many of the holders of this post have taken an active role in campaigning for the president or have participated in public life through some other manner.

Imelda Marcos was given a formal job as Governor of Metro Manila and as Minister of Human Settlements by her husband Ferdinand Marcos during his 21-year rule. She is also the first first lady to enter the world of Philippine politics by winning a seat in the Interim Batasang Pambansa in 1978.

In 2001, physician Luisa Estrada became the first former first lady to win a seat in Senate.


OO Portrait First Lady or Gentleman Relation to President Government In Role
1 Hilaria Aguinaldo first wife of Emilio Aguinaldo
(husband, officially recognized as the first President)
First Philippine Republic (1899–1901) January 23, 1899–April 1, 1901
2 Aurora Aragon-Quezon.jpg Aurora Quezon wife of Manuel L. Quezon Commonwealth of the Philippines (1935–1946) November 15, 1935–August 1, 1944
3 Pacencia Laurel wife of José P. Laurel Second Philippine Republic (1943–1945) October 14, 1943–August 14, 1945
4 Esperanza Osmena (Malacanang photo).jpg Esperanza Osmeña wife of Sergio Osmeña Commonwealth of the Philippines (1935–1946) August 1, 1944–May 28, 1946
5 Trinidad Roxas.jpg Trinidad Roxas wife of Manuel Roxas Third Philippine Republic (1946–1972) May 28, 1946–April 15, 1948
6 Vicky Quirino (Malacanang photo).jpg Victoria Quirino daughter of widower Elpidio Quirino April 15, 1948–December 30, 1953
7 Luz Magsaysay (Malacanang photo) (cropped).jpg Luz Magsaysay wife of Ramon Magsaysay December 30, 1953–March 17, 1957
8 Leonila Garcia wife of Carlos P. Garcia March 17, 1957–December 30, 1961
9 Eva Macapagal (cropped).tif Eva Macapagal wife of Diosdado Macapagal December 30, 1961–December 30, 1965
10 Imelda-alone.jpg Imelda Marcos wife of Ferdinand E. Marcos December 30, 1965–February 25, 1986
Philippines under Martial Law (1972–1981)
Fourth Philippine Republic (1981–1987)
Vacant; Corazon C. Aquino was a widow. Her husband, Benigno Aquino Jr., was assassinated in 1983. February 25, 1986–June 30, 1992
Fifth Philippine Republic (1987–present)
11 Amelita Ramos wife of Fidel Ramos June 30, 1992–June 30, 1998
12 Dr. Luisa "Loi" Ejercito Estrada - 1999 (cropped).jpg Loi Ejercito wife of Joseph Ejercito Estrada June 30, 1998–January 20, 2001
13 Jose Miguel Arroyo departing St. Luke's Medical Center (cropped).jpg Jose Miguel Arroyo husband of Gloria Macapagal–Arroyo January 20, 2001–June 30, 2010
Vacant; Benigno S. Aquino III was unmarried June 30, 2010–June 30, 2016
Vacant; Rodrigo Duterte's marriage was annulled[note 1] June 30, 2016–present

Non-spouses who held the distinction[edit]

Sara Duterte, the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte, was initially to become his First Lady. She later declined the offer.[2]

On few occasions, individuals who are not spouses of the incumbent president has perform tasks reserved for the First Lady or First Gentleman effectively rendering them as the de facto holder of the position in selected occasions; most often they are a direct relative of the President. To date, only Elpidio Quirino, Corazon Aquino, and Benigno Aquino III had no first lady or first gentleman.[3] In the case of Quirino, his first lady was not his wife but his daughter since he was a widower.

Victoria Quirino-Gonzalez was the first lady for her father, Elpidio Quirino. However Victoria is regarded as the first to be named with the role "First Lady". The spouses of the presidents, from Emilio Aguinaldo to Manuel Roxas, were not given the title during their respective husbands' terms.[1]

Corazón Aquino was married to Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr., whose assassination on 21 August 1983 was a key factor in her 1986 rise to the presidency. Her eldest daughter, María Elena "Ballsy" Aquino-Cruz, served as her mother's proxy in some social functions and accompanied her on state visits. In a similar fashion to Victoria Quirino-Delgado, Aquino-Cruz was informally styled "First Lady"; her brother, Benigno III (later President) was meanwhile considered First Gentleman.[citation needed]

During the 2015 APEC summit hosted in Manila, Benigno Aquino III's sister, Kris Aquino served as de facto first lady for the occasion. Their other sisters, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Pinky Aquino-Abelleda, and Viel Aquino-Dee, also assisted the president in performing his duties.[4][5][6][7] In the absence of a first lady for Aquino, the palace hired professionals to fulfill the roles usually reserved for the first lady or first gentleman, such as organizing state dinners.[3]

Prior to his inauguration, incumbent president Rodrigo Duterte officially designated his daughter Sara as First Lady despite having Cielito Avanceña as his common-law wife. He was previously married to Elizabeth Zimmerman;[8] their marriage was annulled in 2000. Avanceña has started to participate as consort of President Duterte during the official visit of Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and as hostess during the 30th ASEAN Summit.

However, then-mayor-elect Duterte declined the offer.[2][9] Following the filing of newly-elected Davao City mayor Sara Duterte of a 10-day leave of absence until June 22, there were speculations that she would assume the post of First Lady, but she neither denied or confirmed the speculation.[10][11] Former Department of Interior and Local Government secretary Rafael Alunan has suggested Vice President Leni Robredo to serve as de facto first lady.[12]

Portrait First Lady Relation to President Government Term of President
Start End
Vicky Quirino (Malacanang photo).jpg Victoria Quirino–Gonzalez Daughter of widower Elpidio Quirino Third Philippine Republic (1946–1972) April 17, 1948 December 30, 1953
Ballsy Aquino-Cruz - 2015 (cropped).jpg Ballsy Aquino–Cruz Daughter of widow Corazon Aquino Fifth Philippine Republic (1986–present) February 25, 1986 June 30, 1992
Kris Aquino - 2015 (cropped).jpg Kris Aquino Sister of unmarried Benigno Aquino III June 30, 2010 June 30, 2016


First Lady or First Gentleman Birthdate Birth name Century Order of
1 Hilaria Aguinaldo 17 Feb 1877 Hilaria del Rosario y Reyes 19th 1 Imus, Cavite
2 Aurora Quezon 19 Feb 1888 Aurora Antonia Aragón y Molina 2 Baler, Aurora
3 Pacencia Laurel 30 Apr 1889 Pacencia Hidalgo y Valencia 3
4 Esperanza Osmeña 18 Dec 1894 Esperanza Limjap y Escolar 4 San Miguel, Manila
5 Trinidad Roxas 4 Oct 1899 Trinidad Roura de León 5 San Miguel, Bulacan
6 Leonila Garcia 25 Jun 1906 Leonila dela Serna Dimataga 20th 8 Opon, Cebu
7 Luz Magsaysay 17 Jul 1914 Luz Rosauro Banzon 7 Balanga, Bataan
8 Eva Macapagal 1 Nov 1915 Evangelina dela Cruz Macaraeg 9 Binalonan, Pangasinan
9 Amelita Ramos 29 Dec 1927 Amelita Jara Martinez 12 Manila
10 Imelda Marcos 2 Jul 1929 Imelda Remedios Romuáldez y Trinidad 10 Manila
11 Loi Ejercito 2 Jun 1930 Luisa Fernandez Pimentel 13 Iba, Zambales
12 Victoria Quirino 17 May 1931 Victoria Syquia Quirino 6 Manila
13 Jose Miguel Arroyo 27 Jun 1945 Jose Miguel Tuazon Arroyo 14 Negros Occidental
14 Ballsy Aquino-Cruz 18 Aug 1955 Maria Elena Cojuangco Aquino 11 Manila
15 Kris Aquino 14 Feb 1971 Kristina Bernadette Cojuangco Aquino 15 Quezon City


OD OO First Lady Date of Death Century Cause of Death Age Place of Death Place of Burial
1 1 Hilaria Aguinaldo 6 Mar 1921 20th Pulmonary tuberculosis 44 years, 17 days Cavite el Viejo, Cavite
2 2 Aurora Quezon 28 Apr 1949 Assassination 61 years, 68 days Quezon City, Philippines Quezon Memorial Circle
3 3 Pacencia Laurel 1 Jan 1960 65 years, 14 days
4 4 Esperanza Osmeña 4 Apr 1978 Heart failure 83 years, 107 days Makati City, Philippines Manila North Cemetery
5 8 Leonila Garcia 17 May 1994 87 years, 304 days Quezon City, Philippines
6 5 Trinidad Roxas 20 Jun 1995 95 years, 259 days Quezon City, Philippines Unknown
7 8 Eva Macapagal 16 May 1999 83 years, 196 days Manila,
8 7 Luz Magsaysay 17 Aug 2004 21st 90 years, 53 days Quezon City, Philippines
9 6 Victoria Quirino 29 Nov 2006 75 years, 195 days Quezon City, Philippines


First Lady or Gentleman
Life Dates
1 Trinidad Roxas 4 Oct 189920 Jun 1995 95 years, 259 days
2 Amelita Ramos 29 Dec 1926Living 94 years, 61 days
3 Imelda Marcos 2 Jul 1929Living 91 years, 241 days
4 Loi Ejercito 2 Jun 1930Living 90 years, 271 days
5 Luz Magsaysay 25 Jun 191417 Aug 2004 90 years, 53 days
6 Leonila Garcia 17 Jul 190617 May 1994 87 years, 304 days
7 Eva Macapagal 1 Nov 191516 May 1999 83 years, 196 days
8 Esperanza Osmeña 18 Dec 18944 Apr 1978 83 years, 107 days
9 Jose Miguel Arroyo 27 Jun 1945Living 75 years, 246 days
10 Victoria Quirino 18 May 193129 Nov 2006 75 years, 195 days
11 Pacencia Laurel 30 Apr 18891 Jan 1960 70 years, 246 days
12 Ballsy Aquino-Cruz 18 Aug 1955Living 65 years, 194 days
13 Aurora Quezon 18 Feb 188928 Apr 1949 61 years, 68 days
14 Kris Aquino 14 Feb 1971Living 50 years, 14 days
15 Hilaria Aguinaldo 17 Feb 18776 Mar 1921 44 years, 17 days


Living former first ladies and first gentlemen[edit]

As of February 2021, there are three living former first ladies and one living first gentleman. The most recent first lady to die was Victoria Quirino (1948–1953), daughter of Elpidio Quirino on November 29, 2006

Spouse Date of birth Age
Amelita Ramos 29 December 1926 94 years, 61 days
Imelda Marcos 2 July 1929 91 years, 241 days
Loi Ejercito 2 June 1930 90 years, 271 days
Jose Miguel Arroyo 27 June 1945 75 years, 246 days
Ballsy Aquino-Cruz (de facto) 18 August 1955 65 years, 194 days
Kris Aquino (de facto) 14 February 1971 50 years, 14 days


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Currently, there is no individual holding this customary title. Cielito Avanceña is the common-law spouse of current President Rodrigo Duterte, who had initially offered the title to his daughter, Sara. The latter declined, citing her duties as Mayor of Davao City, but some media outlets consider her as the de facto first lady.
  2. ^ The term "First Lady" was first used for Victoria Quirino-González, who was the daughter of President Elpidio Quirino.[1]


  1. ^ a b Lo, Ricky (15 May 2016). "The Fabulous First Ladies, 1897-2001". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b Alconaba, Nico (11 May 2016). "Mayor Sara turns down first lady job". Inquirer Mindanao. Retrieved 19 July 2016. The country’s next President still has no first lady after Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte, turned down the offer.
  3. ^ a b San Juan, Thelma Sioson (27 July 2014). "President who has no first lady: It is what it is". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Montesa, Jon (11 November 2015). "Kris as APEC 2015 First Lady". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  8. ^ Vanzi, Sol (26 June 2016). "Duterte's women". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on 2 July 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016. Although Duterte has announced that his official First Lady...
  9. ^ "Duterte's families arrive separately in Malacañang". GMA News. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016. During the campaigns, Duterte had said that he was planning to name Inday Sara as his First Lady, but she begged off citing her responsibilities in Davao City.
  10. ^ Carillo, Carmencita (2 July 2016). "Davao mayor takes a leave on first day of office". BusinessWorld. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  11. ^ Carillo, Lovely (13 July 2016). "Pulong denies Sara resigning". The Mindanao Daily Mirror. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  12. ^ Macabalang, Ali (4 July 2016). "Leni pushed as Duterte's 'de facto First Lady' in official functions". Manila Bulletin.
  13. ^ a b Updated daily according to UTC.