The Philippines Escape From a Gilded Palace

The former ruler left behind signs of an opulent life and hasty departure

No sooner had the helicopters whisked away Ferdinand Marcos, his family and entourage than the looters and the curious began to arrive. They found a half- eaten bowl of caviar and the hospital bed and medical equipment of a sick man. They gawked at the scores of pairs of shoes of a rich woman. One visitor was reminded of a line from the Japanese poet Basho: "Autumn leaves, the remains of a samurai's dream." Eustacia Soliven, a Manila dentist, reflected later, "Maybe we have learned something from all this. After all, the best things we see in France are the reminders...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!