What goes on in the Marcos family group chat?


When they returned to the Philippines from a five-year-long vacation to Hawaii in the 1990s, the Marcoses only had a country-wide reserve of Tallano gold, a ridiculous amount of stolen cash, and a dream. The family, whose generosity is only rivaled by their numerous bachelor’s degrees, had a vision for the Philippines: rice worth P20 per kilo, a balanced Nutribun diet for all Filipinos, and minimum wage equal to the price of one kilogram of onions.

Despite the sheer ambition that garnered them an omnipotent chokehold on the Filipino consciousness, the Marcoses still “have had their moments of solidarity, but also [moments of] their unbecoming,” Vince N. Timens, a close acquaintance to the Marcos family, disclosed to The LuhSallian as he provided screenshots of what seems to be the family’s group chat (GC). “You can see them [bicker], tease [each other], but you still see the affection between every message,” Timens opines. This proves that beyond the gravitas brought by the Marcos family name is a Filipino family just like any other.

‘Can we all just get along?’

The Marcos family has been known to be Philippine politics’ life of the party, the lavishness thereof reflected in how they talk in their family group chat. The messages of the eldest sister, Imee, are handsomely decorated with the alien face emoji at the end of every message. “LANY lutang 👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽,” she constantly exclaimed during the past campaign season. 

(Ditzy LANY 👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽.)

Seemingly getting sick of his sister’s habit, Ferdinand Jr.—or “Bongbong” as he is affectionately called—would exclaim, “Hilig 😍 mo 🫵 sa 📞 emoji 🤩 na 🍒 yan 👇, Imee 👽. Baka 🐮 kasi 👑  nga 💀 kamukha 👧mo 👀,” Bongbong quips.

(You 😍 are 🫵 fond 📞 of 🤩 that 🍒 emoji 👇, Imee 👽. Maybe 🐮 because 👑  you 💀 look 👧 alike 👀.)

In fact, Bongbong and Imee seemingly have a palpable sibling rivalry. This came to a head during the premiere of the film, Maid in Malacañang, where Imee is a creative consultant. Bongbong was obviously flabbergasted by his portrayal in the film saying, “IMEE BAKIT GINAWA MO NAMAN AKONG TAMAD TAPOS IKAW FAVORITE NI PAPA?????” Keeping her cool, Imee just sent a picture of her Princeton diploma, with a follow-up message, “At least I graduated 💁‍♀️ 👽👽👽👽👽👽.” 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The messages that subsequently transpired heavily featured fiery back-and-forths between the siblings about how both faked their diplomas but have been deemed unpublishable due to an excessive use of expletives.

(IMEE, WHY DID YOU PORTRAY ME AS LAZY AND YOU AS DAD’S FAVORITE?????)

When the fights are about to break out, Imelda, the family matriarch, makes sure to put them out immediately. With her signature elegant British accent surprisingly translating well in text, Imelda would often send to the family GC, “Cahn wii owl jahst get ahlüng?” Because of the rarity of her messages, Imelda’s message came with it a sense of heft, or as Imee puts it, “a sign that (expletive) is about to go down.” Hence, after a few rounds of apologies, every family disagreement in one way or another ends with a new pair of shoes added to Imelda’s collection which “[symbolizes their] love and apologies to [their] mother,” as Irene puts it.

(Can we all just get along?)

United they stand

Although the GC has had more than its fair share of arguments between the Marcos family members, sometimes it displays a united front, especially when it comes to dispelling rumors. When a horrid rumor went around about 93-year-old Imelda’s death, the family immediately gathered to discuss which photos to post of the mature widow. 

“Which selfie do I look best in?” Imee sends to the chat, accompanied by at least 50 selfies of her and her wrinkled mother. The only quick response comes from the widow herself, with only a string of “💀💀💀” sent as a reply. 

Although these fronts of unity are few and far between, there is one thing that they all agree on: the lack of accountability in anything that they do. From taking each other’s meal leftovers to engulfing the entire country in a crisis, there is nothing the Marcos family can’t wash their hands of. Timens proudly brandishes another set of screenshots that show the family passing along the blame for their plane expenses and lack of fuel.

“Bongbong kasi, eh, he goes everywhere except to work!” Imee seethes in a paragraphed tirade. “He should be the one taking care of refueling and the gastos! When he went to Japan, we didn’t complain. When he went to America to watch Broadway, we didn’t complain! But now when we want to go on vacation using the country’s properties, civilian taxes, and not to mention the USD200 million in those Swiss accounts????? We cannot! Because we have to wait for the plane to refuel!” 

“Nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh! 👋😝👋” is all Bongbong sends tastefully into the chat. Imelda attempts to quell the brewing storm, typing, “Chulldren, this is sao ugly of youh toe…I hayt ugliness. You know oim alluhgick to ugliness.”

(“Children, this is so ugly of you two. I hate ugliness. You know I’m allergic to ugliness.”)

Timens is then quick to snatch back his phone, ending the tell-all of the Marcos family group chat. “This is as far as their relatableness goes,” he concludes secretly. “Nobody can know all their secrets…which is why they never release their wealth reports!”

Just like any other family

Family group chats certainly have a way of presenting the different facades of the individual members, especially that of the First Family. Who would have thought that they, too, have their own fair share of familial squabbles and petty fights outside of what has already been made public? Timens furthers eagerly that this look behind the curtain shows that “the Marcoses are relatable, too! 🤪”

If there is anything to learn from this exclusive look into the Marcoses, it’s that they’re just like any other normal Filipino family—if any other normal Filipino family were convicted on multiple accounts of graft and corruption, anyway.