Iconic Filipina singer, also known as the “Jukebox Queen,” Imelda Papin recently had her life story brought to the big screen in the biographical film “Imelda Papin: The Untold Story.” The film, originally titled “Loyalista,” has sparked interest and controversy due to its focus on Papin’s time spent with the Marcoses in Hawaii following the 1986 People Power Revolution.

While I have always been vocal about my political stance and that I am not a Marcos supporter, I gave the movie a chance. I had no idea what it was about when I received an invite to the block screening given the change in title from “Loyalista.” Papin’s unwavering support for the Marcos family throughout the years is well-documented, and the film serves as a platform for the singer to share her perspective on a tumultuous period in Philippine history. Imelda was portrayed by Claudine Barretto. Barretto is joined by Alice Dixson (as Imelda Marcos) and Jeorge “ER” Ejercito Estregan (as Ferdinand Marcos). The film was directed by Gabby Ramos.

The film delves into Papin’s decision to follow the Marcoses into exile and her experiences while living in Hawaii. This lesser-known part of her life provides a unique look into a historical moment heavily intertwined with questions of loyalty and resilience. Audiences can expect a personal account of events that shaped the Philippines, delivered through the lens of a woman who remained fiercely devoted to a controversial political family.

While the film is likely to spark mixed reactions depending on viewers’ political beliefs, Imelda Papin’s desire to tell her side of the story is understandable. “Imelda Papin: The Untold Story” offers a chance to understand the human complexities that exist within divisive historical narratives. Regardless of one’s political opinion, the film presents an opportunity to engage with a perspective that is rarely given such a prominent focus.

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Featured photo of Imelda Papin courtesy of Byx Almacen

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