First Spouse of the Philippines

First Spouse of the Philippines

First Lady/Gentleman of the

since 30 June 2010
Residence Malacañan Palace
Inaugural holder Hilaria del Rosario-Aguinaldo
Formation 23 January 1899

The First Lady / Gentleman of the Philippines (Filipino: Unang Ginang / Ginoó ng Pilipinas) is the unofficial, customary title of the host/ess of Malacañan Palace, the residence of the head of state of the Philippines. The title is traditionally occupied by the consort of the President of the Philippines, and as such is sometimes exclusively used for a spouse of the incumbent.


  • Terminology 1
  • Role 2
  • List 3
  • Notes 4
  • See also 5


The consort of the Philippine President is, as in other countries, conventionally styled in English as the First Lady (Filipino: Unang Ginang). As Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took office as the second female President, the male form First Gentleman (abbreviated FG; Filipino: Unang Ginoó) was used for her husband, Miguel Arroyo.

This is perhaps one reason for the use of gender-neutral title of First Spouse, although of note also is that many indigenous nouns lack grammatical gender in many Philippine languages, compared to thousands of gendered loanwords from Spanish or English. The terms "husband" and "wife" are thus covered by genderless words for "spouse" (e.g. the Tagalog asawa, kabiyák).


The position of First Spouse is not an elected position, carries no official duties, and has no personal remuneration. Nonetheless, the title holder participates in humanitarian and charitable work on behalf of the President. Furthermore, many First Spouses have taken an active role in campaigning for the President or have participated in public life through some other manner.

Imelda Marcos was given a formal job as Governor of Metro Manila and as Minister of Human Settlements by her husband during their 21-year stay in the Palace. She is also the first First Lady to enter the world of Philippine politics by winning a seat in the Interim Batasang Pambansa in 1978.

In 2001, physician Luisa Estrada became the first former First Lady to win a seat in Senate.

The wife or husband of the Vice President of the Philippines is sometimes referred to as the Second Spouse of the Philippines; actual usage of this title, however, is rare.


# First Lady/Gentleman Relation to President Government Start End
1 Hilaria Aguinaldo
first wife of Emilio Aguinaldo
(officially recognised as the first President)
First Philippine Republic (1899–1901) January 23, 1899 April 1, 1901
2 Aurora Quezon
wife of Manuel L. Quezon Commonwealth of the Philippines (1935–1946) November 15, 1935 August 1, 1944
3 Pacencia Laurel
wife of José P. Laurel Second Philippine Republic (1943–1945) October 14, 1943 August 14, 1945
4 Esperanza Osmeña
wife of Sergio S. Osmeña Commonwealth of the Philippines (1935–1946) August 1, 1944 May 28, 1946
5 Trinidad Roxas
wife of Manuel A. Roxas Third Philippine Republic (1946–1972) May 28, 1946 April 15, 1948
6 Victoria Quirino-Gonzalez
daughter of widower Elpidio Quirino April 17, 1948 December 30, 1953
7 Luz Magsaysay
wife of Ramón F. Magsaysay December 30, 1953 March 17, 1957
8 Leonila Garcia
wife of Carlos P. García March 23, 1957 December 30, 1961
9 Eva Macapagal
wife of Diosdado P. Macapagal December 30, 1961 December 30, 1965
10 Imelda Marcos
wife of Ferdinand E. Marcos December 30, 1965 February 25, 1986
Philippines under Martial Law (1972–1981)
Fourth Philippine Republic (1981–1987)
Vacant, as Corazón C. Aquino was a widow. February 25, 1986 June 30, 1992
11 Amelita Ramos
wife of Fidel V. Ramos Fifth Philippine Republic (1987–present) June 30, 1992 June 30, 1998
12 Loi Estrada
wife of Joseph Ejército Estrada June 30, 1998 January 20, 2001
13 Jose Miguel Arroyo
husband of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo January 20, 2001 June 30, 2010
Vacant, as Benigno S. Aquino III is unmarried. June 30, 2010 Incumbent


  • Corazón Aquino was married to Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr., whose assassination on 21 August 1983 was a key factor in her 1986 rise to the presidency. Her eldest daughter, María Elena "Ballsy" Aquino-Cruz, served as her mother's proxy in some social functions and accompanied her on state visits. In a similar fashion to Victoria Quirino-Delgado, Aquino-Cruz was informally styled "First Lady"; her brother, Benigno III (later President) was meanwhile considered de facto First Gentleman.
  • As Benigno Aquino III is unmarried, his sisters (including Aquino-Cruz above), unofficially share the various duties normally expected of a First Spouse. His relationships while in office to date were Valenzuela City Councilor Shalani Soledad [2], his personal stylist Liz Uy, and television presenter/DJ Grace Lee.

See also