RP FIRST LADIES ON THE SPOT

Mrs. Ming Ramos etcMakati City, March 11, 2003 -- Philippine First Ladies Portraits is a collection of profiles on the country's first ladies, from Hilaria Aguinaldo to Loi Ejercito. The book was written by Jose "Pepe" R. Rodriguez, a Spanish journalist who has lived in the country for more than 25 years, and who was president of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines. His previous book, Cronicas, is a collection of his random recollections of his adopted land.

The profiles are accompanied by portraits created by the author's wife, artist Lourdes (Lulu) Coching-Reyes. The essays are brief but well-researched. Also included in the volume are rare photographs of the women. All 12 are featured: Hilaria del Rosario-Aguinaldo, Aurora Aragon-Quezon, Paciencia Hidalgo-Laurel, Esperanza Limjap-Osmena, Trinidad (Trining) de Leon-Roxas, Alicia Syquia-Quirino, Luz Banzon-Magsaysay, Leonila Dimataga-Garcia, Evangelina (Eva) Macaraeg-Macapagal, Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, Amelita (Ming) Martinez-Ramos and Luisa (Loi) Pimentel-Ejercito.

The 143-page book is the first published by the Tantoco-Rustia Foundation, which was founded in 1965 to preserve and promote the principles set by the late Rustans founder Gliceria Rustia-Tantoco. The foundation seeks to do this through educational, charitable, cultural, scientific, environmental and social development projects.

Some of the ladies profiled (or their representatives) came with their families at the launch of the book, held on Feb. 28 at the grand ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel Makati, to celebrate the more than a century's worth of history captured in the slim volume.

Philippine First Ladies Portraits is available at Rustan's Makati, Rustan's Shangri-La, Rustan's Alabang, and Beauty Bar branches at Glorietta, Alabang and the Power Plant Mall beginning Saturday, March 15.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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