First Spouse of the Philippines

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First Spouse of the Philippines
Incumbent
Vacant[note 1]
Residence Malacañang Palace
Inaugural holder Hilaria del Rosario-Aguinaldo[note 2]
Formation 23 January 1899

The First Lady or Gentleman of the Philippines (Filipino: Unang Ginang/Ginoó ng Pilipinas) is the unofficial, customary title of the host/ess of Malacañang Palace, the residence of the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The title is traditionally occupied by the consort of the President of the Philippines, and as such is sometimes exclusively used for a spouse of the incumbent.

Terminology[edit]

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 male form First Gentleman (abbreviated FG; Filipino: Unang Ginoó) was used for her husband, Miguel Arroyo.

This is perhaps one reason for the use of gender-neutral title of First Spouse, although of note also is that many indigenous nouns lack grammatical gender in many Philippine languages, compared to thousands of gendered loanwords from Spanish or English. The terms "husband" and "wife" are thus covered by genderless words for "spouse" (e.g. the Tagalog asawa, kabiyák).

Role[edit]

The position of First Spouse 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 First Spouses 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 during their 21-year stay in the Palace. 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.

The wife or husband of the Vice President of the Philippines is sometimes referred to as the Second Spouse of the Philippines; actual usage of this title, however, is rare.

Spouses[edit]

Succession Portrait First Lady/Gentleman Relation to President Government Start End
1 HilariaAguinaldo.jpg Hilaria Aguinaldo
(1877–1921)
first wife of Emilio Aguinaldo
(officially recognised as the first President)
First Philippine Republic (1899–1901) January 23, 1899 April 1, 1901
2 Aurora Aragon-Quezon.jpg Aurora Quezon
(1888–1949)
wife of Manuel L. Quezon Commonwealth of the Philippines (1935–1946) November 15, 1935 August 1, 1944
3 Pacencia Laurel
(1889–1960)
wife of José P. Laurel Second Philippine Republic (1943–1945) October 14, 1943 August 14, 1945
4 Esperanza Osmena (Malacanang photo).jpg Esperanza Osmeña
(1896–1978)
wife of Sergio Osmeña Commonwealth of the Philippines (1935–1946) August 1, 1944 May 28, 1946
5 Trinidad Roxas (Malacanang photo).jpg Trinidad Roxas
(1900–1995)
wife of Manuel Roxas Third Philippine Republic (1946–1972) May 28, 1946 April 15, 1948
6 See below
7 Luz Magsaysay (Malacanang photo).jpg Luz Magsaysay
(1915-2004)
wife of Ramon Magsaysay December 30, 1953 March 17, 1957
8 Leonila Garcia
(1906–1994)
wife of Carlos P. Garcia March 23, 1957 December 30, 1961
9 Eva Macapagal
(1915–1999)
wife of Diosdado Macapagal December 30, 1961 December 30, 1965
10 Imelda-alone.jpg Imelda Marcos
(1929-)
wife of Ferdinand Marcos December 30, 1965 February 25, 1986
Philippines under Martial Law (1972–1981)
Fourth Philippine Republic (1981–1987)
None since Corazon Aquino is a widow Fifth Philippine Republic (1986–present) February 25, 1986 June 30, 1992
11 Amelita Ramos
(1926-)
wife of Fidel Ramos June 30, 1992 June 30, 1998
12 Loi Ejercito
(1931-)
wife of Joseph Estrada June 30, 1998 January 20, 2001
13 Fgmikearroyo.jpg Jose Miguel Arroyo
(1945-)
husband of Gloria Macapagal–Arroyo January 20, 2001 June 30, 2010
None since Benigno Aquino III is a bachelor. June 30, 2010 June 30, 2016
None[note 1] (see below) June 30, 2016 Incumbent

Non-spouses who held the distinction[edit]

Sara Duterte, the daughter of Rodrigo Duterte planned to designate her as his First Lady. However the younger Duterte declined the offer.[2]

On few occasions, individuals who are not spouses of the incumbent president has perform tasks reserved for the First Spouse effectively rendering them as the de facto first spouse in selected occasions. These people are usually the relative of the president.

Victoria Quirino-Gonzalez was the First Lady of Elpidio Quirino, who was the latter's daughter. However Victoria is regarded as the first to be named with the role "First Lady". The spouses of Emilio Aquinaldo to Manuel Roxas were not given this distinction during their husband's term.[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. The president other sisters, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, Pinky Aquino-Abelleda, Viel Aquino-Dee also assisted Kris Aquino in performing her duties.[3][4][5][6] On the absence of a First Lady for Aquino, the Malacanang Palace hires professionals to fulfill the roles usually reserved for the first spouse such as organizing state dinners.[7]

Out of those who became presidents, Elpidio Quirino, Corazon Aquino and Benigno Aquino III had no First Spouse.[7] In the case of Quirino. His First Lady was not his wife but his daughter since he was a widower.

In the case of President Rodrigo Duterte, before his inauguration, he has officially designated his daughter as First Lady despite having Cielito Avanceña as his common-law wife at the time of his election. He was previously married to Elizabeth Zimmerman.[8] His marriage with Zimmerman was annulled in 2000.

However, then Mayor-elect Sara 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]

Succession Portrait First Lady Relation to President Government Term of President
Start End
6 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 Daughter of widow Corazon Aquino Fifth Philippine Republic (1986–present) February 25, 1986 June 30, 1992
Kris Aquino APEC.JPG Kris Aquino Sister of bachelor Benigno Aquino III June 30, 2010 June 30, 2016

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cielito Avanceña is the common-law spouse of current President Rodrigo Duterte, however there is no person to have assumed the customary title. Duterte's daughter, Sara has been offered to be "First Lady" but declined citing her duties as Mayor of Davao City
  2. ^ The term "First Lady" was first applied to Victoria Quirino-Gonzalez, who was not a spouse of Elpidio Quirino but her daughter.[1]

References[edit]

  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. ^ http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/entertainment/11/09/15/watch-kris-to-host-lunch-for-apec-first-ladies
  4. ^ http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/entertainment/11/19/15/look-kris-sisters-all-set-to-host-luncheon-for-apec-first-ladies
  5. ^ http://m.manila.coconuts.co/2015/11/10/there-are-10-first-ladies-who-confirmed-kris-aquinos-lunch
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Vanzi, Sol (26 June 2016). "Duterte’s women". Manila Bulletin. 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.