Janet Lim Napoles – whose name and face are now familiar to everyone in the Philippines with access to media – has achieved a status quite like Voldemort: she can become the topic of discussion, without anyone mentioning her name, and everyone will know exactly who they are talking about.
If there is one thing, however, that has apparently escaped the public’s attention, is her unique surname. It does not sound like it came from the Catálogo Alfabético de Apellidos of Spanish Governor General Narciso Clavería.
In fact it sounds Italian: Naples. Napoli. It turns out, however, that the name “Napoli” originated from the Greek “Neapolis” which means “new city”. As in fact there are other places in Greece and elsewhere with the same or similar name.
Which brings us back to Janet.
It has been reported say that she and her siblings were initially raised by their parents in Binondo, Manila, but they transferred to her mother’s hometown of Maluso, Basilan, when her father passed away in 1970.
Raised in Binondo, then uprooted and transferred to Basilan. Urban to rural, essentially in an instant.
Imelda Marcos’ collection of shoes, jewelry, art, etc. and her edifice complex were said to be physical manifestations of her psychological need to make up for her deprived upbringing. Which is not to say that her insatiable appetite for the finest things in life is understandable, or forgivable.
Janet’s lifestyle – as well as that of her children, particularly Jeane – are also physical manifestations of certain psychological inadequacies. Which, if true, will also not mitigate her greed.
Perhaps she is merely living up to her surname: to establish a New City where all of her material needs and wants will be fulfilled, courtesy of the Filipino people.