|Marcos Museum and Mausoleum|
We were now on our last day of our 6-day North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB)/Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC)-sponsored Labay Norte 2 media tour and, after our Playa Tropical Resort Hotel presscon in Currimao, we returned again to the Ilocos Norte Hotel and Convention Center for lunch and another presscon, this time with former presidential daughter and now Ilocos Norte Gov. Maria Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos. After that, we proceeded to nearby Batac City to visit the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum and the Imelda Marcos Gallery. This would be my second visit to the former and my first to the latter. A few meters from the museum is the Romanesque-style Church of the Immaculate Conception.
|The presidential table|
The Marcos Museum and Mausoleum was the colonial-style, wood and adobe boyhood ancestral home of the late Pres. Ferdinand E. Marcos who moved to Batac from Sarrat when he was 8 years old. Housing the memorabilia of the former president, this modest, 3-room museum has a wall dedicated to Marcos’ wartime service in the Philippine Army, as a soldier in the defense of Bataan and with American Forces after liberation. There are also photos of him and Imelda, his military awards, his letters, important documents, license plates of his cars, the bust of the president and his work desk at Malacanang. At the second floor are the offices of former presidential children Ferdinand “Bongbong” E. Marcos, Jr. (now a senator) and Gov. Imee R. Marcos when they were Second District congressmen.
|Imelda Marcos Residence|
On the right side of the house is the Marcos Mausoleum where the glass-encased, embalmed corpse of the late president lies, since 1993, in a vacuum-sealed, refrigerated crypt. Marcos died in exile in Hawaii on September 28, 1989 and his body was brought to his hometown in Batac while awaiting a state funeral at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The president is dressed in a white barong tagalog with a red, white and blue ceremonial sash and polished medals. The dimly lit interior is filled with piped-in soft Gregorian chant music. Visitors are not allowed to take pictures inside. I guess the only time photos were ever taken of Marcos’ corpse was when former First Lady and Imelda R. Marcos visited it for some publicity shots.
|Marcos Photo Gallery|
Also within the compound is another ancestral house used as the office of now Second District congresswoman Imelda Marcos. We also dropped by the nearby Marcos Photo Gallery (World Peace Center), a 200-photo archive of the Marcos family. They include a collage of news clippings and photos during the Marcos era. Prior to leaving Batac City for Paoay, I bought a cowboy hat (PhP150) at one of the sidewalk stalls and tried out the Batac empanada.
Marcos Museum and Mausoleum: Marcos Ave., Batac City, Ilocos Norte. Open daily, 9 AM- 12 noon and 1-4 PM.