Ateneo students in provocative ‘selfie’ poses with former First Lady Imelda Marcos

A photo of what looks like several Ateneans posing beside former First Lady Imelda Marcos has been making the rounds. The photo clearly shows the seal of the Ateneo in the background and students assuming various provocative poses while flashing the “V” (‘victory’) hand gesture.

Ateneans strike a pose with former First Lady Imelda Marcos.
Ateneans strike a pose with former First Lady Imelda Marcos.
That hand gesture came to be associated with loyalty to former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the height of a broad-based protest movement following the assassination of former Senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr. in 1983.

Not surprisingly indignation has erupted in the Philippines’ online social media community. Particularly offended were some alumni from the Ateneo High School’s “freedom batch” of 1986 which was graduating at the time the 1986 EDSA “people power” “revolution” erupted.

It is interesting to note that one of the alleged “casualties” of the regime of Marcos was Edgar Jopson, a high-profile student leader at the Ateneo and a 1970 recipient of The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM) award issued by the Junior Chamber International-Philippines. Jopson was an active member of the Ateneo Student Council as a college student during which time he was elected president of the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP).

Jopson’s increasingly militant views against the Marcos regime eventually forced him to go “underground”. Jopson was arrested in 1979, managed to escaped but was killed at age 34 in 1982 after being captured in what many considered to be a ‘rubout’ perpetrated by the Philippine military. As such, Jopson has since been regarded as a martyr by various movements and regarded by many Ateneans as an exemplar of the Ateneo ideal of being a “man for others”.

Current Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III is also a noted alumnus of the Ateneo.

A certain Kassandra Barnes posted the following photo on Instagram (using her account @kassydoodle) which seemed to be of the same event where the earlier “offensive” photo was taken. The caption “DMC with Imelda Marcos and Ateneo Scholarship Foundation” accompanied the photo.


The above photo and accompanying caption possibly confirms that Mrs Marcos is a major donor to the Ateneo Scholarship Foundation (ASF).


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24 Comments on "Ateneo students in provocative ‘selfie’ poses with former First Lady Imelda Marcos"

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Now that they’ve been toppled from the top post, the Marcoses are just another clan in the dogfight.

San Beda

There is no “image” to protect for a school that counts Abnoy Aquino and Erap as alumni.

maria clara

I just hope that this won’t be sensationalized as a photo is just as trivial as our daily routine. Let’s not live in the past anymore. If they want a photo with the former first lady then so be it, it is their choice after all.


The students who posed with her are the valedictorians in the past few years. Hmm..

huli ka na sa balita!
huli ka na sa balita!

Saang kweba ba nakatira ang author ng post na ito at hindi niya alam na “jeje pose” ang nasa litrato (at HINDI victory hand gesture)

Nakakabagabag nga na nasikmura ng mga valedictorian na magpakuha ng litrato kay Imelda. But I don’t think they were consciously celebrating victory for Imelda. Mas mukhang nakikipagkulitan lang sila (which, to be fair, is not completely nice)


There is nothing wrong with the picture. Why sensationalize by the Ateneo President? Accept the fact that Imelda has been the donor of the Ateneo scholarship and that’s good enough.


A lot of Hippocrates don’t want to accept the fact that Imelda is part of the Ateneo scholarships. Prof Villariin should not have reacted to the picture. Why do he need to apologize for what? Ateneo invited Imelda in the first place.

Makaraan ang 28 years na ang bansa natin ay sumusunod sa dilaw na sistema o tinatawag na 1987-Cory Aquino Constitution ay gumagapang pa rin bansa natin sa kahirapan at ngayon ay hindi lang hirap ang pinagdudusahan natin kundi pati na rin ang pang iinsulto ng ibang bansa sa mga Pilipino. Anong napala natin kay Ninoy? Kaya mabuti pa kalimutan na natin iyang mga issue tungkol sa kasalanan ng mga Marcos at mas mabuti pa nga kung maibalik ang Marcos sa Malakanyang kasi makakasigro tayo ng isang mabuti, maingat at tamang pamamalakad ng gobiyerno kapag si Bongbong Marcos ang sunod na… Read more »
Hyden Toro

Who cares what they are posing with; Imelda or Aquino. Both are thieves. Erap or Gloria, another couple of thieves. Porky Drillon or those Pork Barrel Fund Senators, the biggest thieves…

They can do what they want; only those against those people are reacting. V-sign, L-sign, Erap-sign, Gloria sign, Binay-sign , Satan-sign,etc…do not matter to me. It shows only the political sensitivities of some Filipinos. All they think is politics…


Many of us Filipinos need to grow up.


If there’s anything offensive about the picture, it should be those freaky poses.


“Freedom batch” offended eh? It seems like no one has the right to take pictures with anyone they like these days. What a bunch of hypocrites.


Mga Atenista ang big suporter ng Edsa Revolution. Palibhasa mga makapangyarihan at mayayaman kaya Hindi sila affected sa ka hirapan ng nakaka rami. Ano ang resulta ng Edsa? Demokrasya para sa mga kriminal, mas lalong dumami a magnanakaw sa Kongreso. At sinong Kawawa kami na nag hinirap na lalong lumulubog sa Hirap.


[…] the virulent and militant nature with which Ateneans todays raise their fists in quaint anger over photos of Imelda Marcos schmoozing with their fellows in an Ateneo Scholarship Foundation (ASF) soci…. Yet hardly an organised peep had been heard from the collective community of alumni and students […]


@ Benigno…What exactly is so provacative about the poses of the people in the picture?

They look like idiots trying to scratch themselves.

IDK , slow day?


Rich educated Filipino’s proving they are no different from the uneducated masses they like to blame for all the countries problems.


[…] of innocent Filipinos, including celebrated Atenista martyr Edgar Jopson — a name that is suddenly making waves in social and traditional media following this latest of ‘activist’ […]


They’re probably gay guys who see Imelda as some manner of “gay icon” like they do Madonna and others of her ilk.

C’mon, just look at them! Can’t trust these homos!

Manuel luis francisco

What if martial law wasnt brought up ,will the communism be more progressive to run the country? What if the assasination of ninoy was done by a private group of communist and without the knowledge of both parties that asserted the biggest mass of demonstration that ousted the marcoses. What if there no ferdinand marcos around would there be projects like the LRT and so many more… We blame the past to what has done to the future but do we ask ourselves what have we done for the country?