Rosemarie Arenas

Rosemarie Arenas

Rosemarie "Baby" Arenas is a Manila society figure who featured prominently in the political scene of the Philippines in the 1990s. She was a relatively unknown socialite until in 1993, when the "Philippine Daily Inquirer" reported that she had a past extramarital relationship with the then-Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos. The scandal grew when within days after the revelation, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission ruled against the owners of the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a dispute involving one-third of the stock ownership of the newspaper. It was widely reported that the adverse ruling came about due to presidential displeasure over the report, although no concrete proof of such ever emerged.

President Ramos never publicly acknowledged a past relationship with Ms. Arenas, although neither did he emphatically deny the report. The scandal, though widely reported at that time, had no visible impact on the Ramos presidency, and quickly passed. For her part, Ms. Arenas attempted to parlay her unexpected fame into electoral victory, running for the Philippine Senate in 1995 and for the House of Representatives in 1998.

Ms. Arenas is also known for her considerable philanthropic efforts and support for the arts. She famously convinced the legendary Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti to perform in Manila for the first time.

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