New First Lady has designs on quiet life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 September, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 September, 1993, 12:00am

IT didn't take long after the arrival of Philippines First Lady Amelita Ramos to Hong Kong for comparisons to be made between her and the previous incumbent of that position - Imelda Marcos, in case it had slipped your mind - to visit town.

The patron saint of shoes (aka Imelda) usually arrived in a Philippine Airlines aircraft where all the passengers had been bumped off so Imelda and her extravagant friends could travel in the style they had become accustomed to.

Madam, of course, would be accompanied by more bodyguards than the US president. And she would occupy a whole floor of the Peninsula, with everybody of importance in the local Philippine Community - from the Consul-General to bankers (especially!) havingto be on standby in case they were summoned to the expensively perfumed presence.

By contrast, Mrs Ramos arrived on a scheduled flight last weekend with one security officer and checked into a room at the Ambassador. Furthermore, Consul-General Antonio Villamor wasn't even informed of her visit until she had landed.

Doting grandmother, Mrs Ramos, was here to visit her grandson, the child of her daughter Angel and son-in-law, Hong Kong based computer company director, Norman Jones.

The Jones' live on the Peak, but according to our sources, Mrs Ramos didn't fancy the journey up and down, hence the Kowloon location. Besides she had indicated that she wanted to go hunting for bargains in Tsim Sha Tsui - unlike the designer boutiques that Imelda patronised.

As one Filipino wryly observed: ''The chances of seeing Mrs Ramos in a designer boutique are about the same as Mrs Marcos has of slipping into a pair of size five shoes.''