Batac City was our first stop before heading to Laoag City and other destinations in Ilocos Norte. You can’t pass the center of this city if you travel from Manila to Laoag. Instead, we stopped at one intersection then rode a tricyle; the other way was heading to Paoay.
This city is known as the “Land of Leaders” with many prominent Filipino leaders hailing from this city. The founder of the Philippine Independent Church, Msgr. Gregorio Aglipay is from the city. Just beside Jollibee, is the first Aglipayan church and not far is the shrine of Aglipay where his body is laid to rest.
Philippine president Fidel V. Ramos who is a distant cousin of Marcos traces his ancestry to this city.
Of course, Batac City is famous for the mausoleum of Ferdinand Marcos found in one of the family’s ancestral houses. Though born in Sarrat, Ferdinand’s father is from Batac and together with his family they moved to Batac from Sarrat when Ferdinand was eight.
His mausoleum and the ancestral house are just a few meters away from the parish church of Batac. Adjacent to Jollibee (sorry this fastfood chain is really unofficial landmark in the Philippines) is also a small photo museum of Marcos but it was close when we were there.
The ancestral house is also very big and also pretty impressive. I don’t know if its open during regular days since it also served as the office of Imee Marcos ( Ferdinand’s daughter) as a congresswoman and also of Bongbong Marcos when he was a congressman in the district.
There is also a museum inside the property showcasing the achievements of Marcos as a leader particularly as a president. One interesting photo is the wedding photo of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos.
Aside from these sights, Batac City is famous for their local delicacy, empanada which is fried dough stuffed with egg, Ilocano longganisa, vegetables and other ingredients.