Filipino fashion designer under fire for TikTok video glorifying Imelda Marcos, New York’s Philippine ’embassy’

December 22, 2020 - 5:38 PM
Filipino designer Avel Bacudio and former first lady Imelda Marcos (Avel Bacudio, The STAR/File)

A Filipino fashion designer recently drew flak after sharing a TikTok video claiming former first lady Imelda Marcos established an embassy in New York.

In the video uploaded on Sunday, Avel Bacudio also claimed that the Philippines is the only country with an embassy in New York City and that Manhattan is a street.

“For me, ang pinakamagaling na first lady ng Pilipinas Imelda Marcos, tanging Pilipinas lamang ang meron embassy sa NYC at sa gitna ng Manhattan (famous street in the world). Ako ay Pilipino, taas noo kahit kanino,” Bacudio stated in the editing.

@avel19##pinoy ##avelbacudio ##fyp ##fy ##nyc ##fashion ##trivia ##philippines ##marcos ##tiktokph ##fyi ##dds ##viral ##manhattan ##travel ##december ##fashiondesigner♬ Ako’y Pilipino – Raul Sunico

Bacudio also uploaded the video on his Twitter account but later deleted it. The video could still be accessed on his TikTok account.

Despite this, a number of social media users managed to make copies of it and uploaded it on Twitter.

Several users criticized Bacudio’s support for the Marcos family, especially to the dictator’s wife who was convicted for graft charges in 2018.

Marcos was convicted of seven counts of graft by the Sandiganbayan in 2018 over holding financial interests in supposed private organizations in Switzerland while sitting as a public official.

This case had been pending in court since 1991.

Despite the conviction, the matriarch of the Marcos family continued to roam free.

Then-Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde argued that the police did not arrest her due to her health condition and age. She was 89 years old that time.

Moreover, Marcos also did not establish any embassy or consulate in the United States.

Bacudio did not issue any response to the criticisms on the microblogging platform. Instead, he issued a comment on his TikTok account.

Another Twitter user managed to make a screenshot of it and shared it on Twitter.

“This is my personal opinion, kanya kanya tayong opinion, kanya kanya tayong adhikain. Sana po positive lang. Salamat po,” Bacudio wrote.

Bacudio recently teamed up with the IdeaFirst Company, a digital content firm, for designing the merchandise for its first Filipino Boys’ Love drama “Gameboys.”

In 2019, Bacudio collaborated with Matteo Guidicelli for a jean collection that was presented at the Panasonic Manila Fashion Festival.

Other factual boo-boos

In line with his controversial TikTok clip, Bacudio also made other errors about the locations he mentioned in his post.

There is no foreign embassy in New York City. The Philippine embassy to the United States is located in Washington, D.C., along with embassies of other countries.

The only organization that represents the Philippines there is the Philippine Consulate General in New York. Its office is located on 5th avenue in Manhattan, New York.

Manhattan is also not a street. It is one of the five boroughs in the state of New York and considered the most densely populous.

These details were pointed out to Bacudio in the comments section prior to the tweet’s deletion.

“Walang ‘embassy’ sa New York, lahat consulates. Lahat ng embahada sa US ay nasa Washington DC. Also, di lang Pinas ang may consulate sa Manhattan. The consulate of Monaco is practically just next door, and those of Algeria and Colombia are less than a block away,” user @BrujaDelDemonio said.

Another user @pauloMDtweets clarified that Bacudio might be referring to the Philippine Center New York, an establishment that houses the offices of the Philippine Consulate, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Department of Tourism.

“Parang may mali sa caption nung #tiktok video po sir,” the user said.