Imelda Marcos’ Wardrobe Not Historic Treasure, Philippine Government Says

The vast and famous wardrobe of former first lady Imelda Marcos has been declared historically insignificant, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

The wife of Philippine president/dictator Ferdinand Marcos was noted for her elaborate gowns and shoes, none of which she appeared to ever wear twice. When they fled the country after a popular uprising in 1986, news cameras descended on their palace, to find hundreds of pairs of shoes and whole rooms stocked with dresses and accessories.

Her lavish collection became a symbol of corruption and callousness in a country faced with serious poverty.

Many of the clothes ended up in the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila, where they languished in a storeroom. The collection included hundreds of gowns and at least 1,220 pairs of shoes.

Now the government has issued a statements saying that the collection has been damaged by termites and soaked by water that came through a leaky roof during a monsoon last month. There are no plans to save the clothes, however, as the vast majority have “no historical significance.”

The only exceptions are a few gowns made by famous Philippine designers. Some 800 pairs of Marcos’ shoes are still preserved in the Shoe Museum in Marikina, a traditional center of shoe making in the country.

Ferdinand Marcos died in exile in Hawaii in 1989. Imelda Marcos returned to the Philippines and managed to get out of most of the criminal charges leveled against her. She has unsuccessfully run for various political offices.

[Photo courtesy U.S. Government]

Video Of The Day: Traveler Lets People Leave Mark On His Shoes

“I’ve been to some beautiful places and done some awesome things, but the best part has been meeting all kinds of amazing people,” said the filmmaker of the above video. He had learned the valuable lesson while living in Asia for three years, but when he took a six-month trip through the Philippines, China and Mongolia he decided he’d like to visually demonstrate how the people he met left their mark on him. Using markers, he let people draw on his shoes, which took him through desert landscapes and cascading waterfalls. Watch above to see him walk through sand, snow, mud and more.

Has anyone – a helpful local, another traveler or even a stranger – ever left their mark on you while traveling? Whether literally or figuratively, feel free to share your stories below.

Three Great Fall Food And Wine Festivals To Plan On Now

As summer heat bears down on much of America, thoughts might turn to fall, which brings food and wine festivals. Visiting some of them might require just a quick drive to experience. Others, much farther away, are good choices but require some advance planning. Here is a quick list with three of the more interesting fall festivals and events coming up this year.

Hawaii Food and Wine Festival– Oahu, Hawaii
Held in early September, the second annual Hawaii Food and Wine Festival features more than 50 internationally-renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers. A Pacific Rim focus brings experts from the United States, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Philippines and Australia with showcase wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and exclusive dining opportunities with dishes using local produce, seafood, beef and poultry.

Held September 6-9, 2012, tickets on sale now also include a 12-month subscription to Food and Wine Magazine.

Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival
Lake Tahoe, California
Eight days long, this year’s event kicks off on Labor Day weekend and continues all week with a grape stomp, classes, tastings, music, art, wine and a grand finale featuring a Culinary Competition and Grand Tasting at Northstar California Resort. Unique to this event is the opportunity to visit a farmers market with a renowned chef to learn about fall seasonal produce, meat, fish, cheese and flowers.

Happening September 1-9, 2012, tickets are on sale now.Taste of Madison– Madison, Wisconsin
More than 80 local restaurants offer a sample of their finest fare at more food-oriented Taste of Madison. The annual event benefits United Cerebral Palsy and has helped them raise nearly $400,000 in the past decade alone. Three stages have live music throughout the two-day event featuring Country, Rock and R&B.

Just two days, Taste of Madison happens September 1-2, 2012. No admission.

[Flickr photo by Aunt Owwee]

Photo Of The Day: Jomalig Island

As temperatures in New York City rise to a sweltering 90 degrees, my mind can’t help but wander to the beach – particularly this secluded strip on Jomalig Island, the easternmost part of the Philippines‘ Quezon province. With no airports, no hotels and few amenities, this destination is the epitome of “off-the-beaten-path,” as Flickr user Galwin notes in his description for today’s Photo of the Day. It appears to be a far cry from summer in the city, that’s for sure.

Does a photo of your favorite secluded beach belong here? Upload your travel shots to the Gadling Flickr Pool and your image could be selected as our Photo of the Day.

10 places to celebrate Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year occurs in the early months of our calendar year, typically January or February and this year falls on January 23rd. This is the first of 15 days of celebration and the start of the Year of the Dragon.

Chinese New Year (also called the Lunar New Year) is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar and a time to welcome longevity, wealth and prosperity and to eliminate any negative chi from the past.

The origin of Chinese New Year taps several myths and traditions and is officially celebrated in countries and territories such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors.


Chinese New Year is also celebrated just about anywhere there are significant Chinese populations too.

In the UK, many shops, bars and restaurants in London will be participating in the celebrations, with big events held in Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and most importantly, Chinatown.

In the United States, the San Francisco Chinese New Year celebration is now the largest Asian event in North America as well as the largest general market event in Northern California. The celebration includes two major fairs, the Chinese New Year Flower Fair and Chinatown Community Street Fair. All the festivities culminate with Chinese New Year Parade.

Flickr photo by xiquinhosilva