LOUISE ARANETA – MARCOS

First Lady of the Philippines

Louise Araneta-Marcos, wife of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., is the First Lady of the Philippines.  She is a lawyer, professor, devoted wife and a mother of three sons.

Early Life and Family

Louise Araneta-Marcos was born on 21 August 1959 in Manila, Philippines to Manuel “Manolet” Ledesma Araneta Jr. and Milagros Azaola Cacho.

Her father was born on December 8, 1926 in Iloilo City but grew up in Bago, Negros Occidental.  He was often referred to a “twinkle toes” because he would prance around the basketball court whenever there was a tournament.  He was a member of the 1948 London Summer Olympics for basketball.

Her mother was born on January 16, 1930 in Manila.  She is the daughter of Jesus Cacho and Rosario Barlow Azaola.

Both her parents are connected politically.

Her father is the first cousin of Judy Araneta-Roxas, wife of Senator Gerardo Roxas — the son of President Manuel Roxas.  Her mother’s youngest sister, Rosario Cacho, was married to Pedro Cojuangco, the eldest brother of President Corazon Aquino.

She is known to many as “Liza”, or by her initials “LAM”.

She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in 1981.  Subsequently, she earned her law degree from the same university in 1985.  In 1989, Liza enrolled in post-graduate classes in Criminal Procedure at the New York University.

Marriage

Liza first met President Bongbong Marcos, her then would-be husband, in New York City while studying and working there as a lawyer in 1988.  They got married at the San Francesco Convent in Fiesole, Italy on 17 April 1993.

Sana makilala niyo siya katulad ng pagkakakilala ko sa kanya. Mabait talaga si Bong. I can’t even begin to say how intelligent and kind he is.

FIRST LADY LIZA ARANETA – MARCOS

Interviews of the Wives & Children of the 2022 Presidential Candiates” with Boy Abunda, 9 March 2022

Starting a Family

The couple have three sons : Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” (born on 7 March 1994), Joseph Simon (born on 25 November 1995) and William Vincent “Vinny” (born on 17 May 1997).

Career

Liza Araneta-Marcos is both a lawyer and a professor.  In September 2019, she worked at M & Associates law firm, where she was a founding partner.  She was also a founding partner at MOST law firm (Marcos, Ochoa, Serapio & Tan) where she worked from 2006 until January 2019.

As a law professor, Liza taught a wide range of subjects for over two decades: Administrative Law, Alternative Dispute Resolutions, Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II, Criminal Law I, Criminal Law II, Criminal Law Review, Criminal Procedure, Election Law & Law on Public Officers, Evidence, Intellectual Property, Legal Ethics, Natural Resources & Environmental Law, Practice Court 1, Remedial Law Review, Special Proceedings, Transportation and Trial Technique.

Liza was a law professor in a number of universities across the country such as :

  • Mariano Marcos State University
    Ilocos Norte, Philippines
    2018 – 2020
  • St. Louis University
    Baguio City, Philippines
    2014 – 2018
  • Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila
    Manila, Philippines
    2010 – 2014
  • Northwestern University College of Law
    Ilocos Norte, Philippines
    1998 – 2006
  • Far Eastern University College of Law
    Manila, Philippines
    1996 – 1998

The 2022 Presidential Elections

Liza is known to be a very private person.  Before becoming First Lady, she preferred to lend her support to her husband’s role in public service quietly and in the background.

For the 2022 Presidential elections, however, Liza decided to publicly support her husband’s campaign, and remained focused amid the noise brought about by the campaign.  Her extraordinary skills in organization and logistics management were crucial in the Presidential bid of her husband.

“She knows how to put a group, a team together, find good people, put them in the right place, motivate them properly, and she’s always been good at that.”

President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.

“In Private, Presidential Interviews” with CNN’s Ruth Cabal, 26 April 2022

She was a significant voice of reason in the campaign of then Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos.  Working with a deserving candidate and a committed team of enthusiastic campaign volunteers, Liza and her team helped Bongbong Marcos win the May 2022 Presidential elections by an overwhelming majority of 58.77% or more than 31.6 million votes.

First Lady of the Philippines

As the First Lady, Louise Araneta-Marcos will continue to support to her husband in her own little way.  This is the first time that the Philippines has a First Lady who is also a lawyer.  The country has not had an official First Lady in over two decades.

Liza plans to continue teaching in a public school in order to hone the skills of aspiring lawyers.  As in the past, the compensation she receives for her work will be used to defray the cost of the Bar Examination of her students.  She hopes that this project will be conducted on a larger scale in order to provide the country with competent lawyers.  Liza also intends to support free legal clinics for the benefit of the underprivileged.

Given her extensive experience in the field of education, part of her advocacy will be to increase the quality of education in public schools.

People who have worked for President Bongbong Marcos and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos over the years have witnessed how they bring out the best in each other.  The Philippines has a dedicated and very capable First Couple committed to work for the best interest of the Filipino people.

Advocacies

Education

Liza has always been a staunch supporter of education.  Having been a law professor for over 20 years, she believes that everyone has the potential to become a topnotch lawyer if provided with the necessary guidance and support.

Culture

Active supporter of the preservation of Filipino culture through continuous documentation and research.

“Few people know that the earliest full scale cultural mapping for the whole province of Ilocos Norte was conducted in 2002 through the initiative of  then Governor Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr.’s wife.  She joined our team and did fieldwork in the coastline of Pagudpud.  After 20 years, cultural mapping is now a mandatory requirement for Local Government Units under Republic Act 10066 [Heritage Law].  Its purpose is to spur cultural, education, tourism and creative industries development.”

Assoc Prof Eric Zerrudo PhD
Director of UST Graduate School
Center for Conservation of Cultural Property &
Environment in the Tropics
Former UNESCO World Heritage Commissioner

“It was in 2004 when I first got a chance to work with Liza Marcos, who was then actively supporting the Museo Ilocos Norte and the revival of the weaving industry.  A person who is very much in touch with things on the ground, she even accompanied our team of cultural mappers (on board a dump truck) to the highland town of Adams.  Having a broader view of the province, she helped organize initiatives that linked heritage, tourism and trade.”

Michael F. Manalo, Masters in Architecture
Commissioner for Cultural Heritage
NCCA Head, National Committee for Monuments and Sites

Advocate of traditional arts and crafts

Excerpts from the Introduction of the book :

Inabel Philippine Textile from the Ilocos Region”, 2015 edition

Winner of the Alfonso T. Ongpin Prize for Best Book on Art
from the 35th National Book Awards

“My art and continued search for Abel introduced me to a lot of people.  Some of them become patrons; others eventually became friends. One of them, Liza Araneta Marcos — wife of then Governor Bongbong Marcos and a fellow ardent supporter of Ilocos weaves and heritage preservation-provided me the opportunity to pursue various projects to revive our vanishing crafts.”

“When asked about the Inabel craft, Liza said, “I was looking for a viable project that would help boost the livelihood of the Ilocanos x x x I wanted a low-key project that was uniquely Ilocano.” According to Liza, “Ilocano women love multi-tasking.  Traditionally, they would have a loom in their house so they could weave while cooking, cleaning, and taking care of their babies.  The fact that Inabel Is part of their lives is what makes it uniquely Ilocano.”

“Working with Liza further enriched my Ilocano roots.  We put up trade centers to help market our traditional crafts. We mounted fashion shows with local designers to reintroduce Inabel to the Philippines.  We put up weaving centers to train younger weavers.”

“Later, we put up the Museo Ilocos Norte, where we housed a permanent Inabel collection. This venture allowed us to acquire a better understanding of the life of the Ilocano, our weavers and our Inabel.”

Intoduction by:
Al M. Valenciano
Director
Study Center for Traditional Hand Woven Textiles of the Northern Philippines
Balay ni Atong :  https://balayniatong.com

Patron of the Arts

Board of Trustees of the Asian Cultural Council [2016 to present]

The Asian Cultural Council [ACC] advances international dialogue, understanding and respect through cultural exchange activities in Asia and the United States in order to create a more harmonious and peaceful world.  This mission is accomplished through fellowships and other programs that support individual artists, scholars and arts professionals.

www.asianculturalcouncil.org

2016 ACC trustees

Left to right :

2022 ACC board Meeting

Left to right :

Official Events as First Lady