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LOS ANGELES — A coffee table book that shows Imelda Romualdez Marcos beyond the public eye through old, mostly unpublished photographs taken by veteran news photographer Emmanuel “Jolly” Riofrir will be formally launched on Saturday, June 13, during the Tacloban town fiesta celebration at the UFCW hall at 8530 Stanton Ave., Buena Park, CA 90622.

Tacloban in Leyte is the hometown of the former First Lady, who has been called the “Steel Butterfly” for her perceived power and influence behind the late strongman, President Ferdinand E. Marcos. The book shows Mrs. Marcos beyond the façade – as a loving wife and mother, and a loyal friend.

The coffee table book, entitled “Imelda,” is a collection of mostly unpublished photographs taken by Riofrir from 1974 to 1984 when he was special events photographer of the National Media Production Center (NMPC) assigned to cover the First Couple.

Riofrir, a former president of the Press Photographers of the Philippines, chronicled Mrs. Marcos’ many roles — as the First Lady, Ambassador Plenipotentiary, Minister of Human Settlements, Governor of Metro Manila, Assemblywoman, Patroness of the Arts, and an able political partner of the President.

His photographs also portray Mrs. Marcos as a housewife and mother who loved to cook for her husband and children. Some photographs showed Mrs. Marcos in private, intimate moments with the President and precious times spent with her children and grandchildren inside the private quarters of Malacanang.

The cover photo itself is very rare, and shows Mrs. Marcos in colorful dusters while walking alone on the beach of Kalipayan Beach in Olot, Leyte.

Before his assignment to Malacanang, Riofrir – known as “Jolly” to friends and colleagues – was a television news cameraman for Channel 13 and worked as part-time cinematographer for famous film and TV directors Lino Brocka, Mitos Villareal, Ateng Osorio and Ismael Bernal. Riofrir is now based in California, where he published Balita Today in the early 90s.

The book, published by Emmalie Books, Inc., is initially available at the Arko Foods Market at 1425 E. Colorado Blvd., Glendale, CA 91205, and at SM Seafood and Asian Market at 333 South E St., San Bernardino, CA 92401. It will soon be available at and other outlets.

To place an order for the book, please call Emmalie Books Inc. at (818) 383-9081.


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