Ilocos Norte is dubbed as “Marcos country”, referring to President Ferdinand Marcos who ruled for two decades in the Philippines and notorious for the countless allegations brought by Martial Law.
Born in the sleepy town of Sarrat, his family moved to Batac which is also the hometown of his father, Mariano Marcos. The city of Batac is the “City of Leaders” with Aglipay founder, Msgr. Gregorio Aglipay and of course, President Marcos hailing from the city in Ilocos Norte.
Batac receives many visitors with one goal in mind- to glimpse the waxed corpse of President Ferdinand Marcos. Born in Sept. 11, 1917 he died of lung, kidney and liver complications in Hawaii in Sept 28, 1989 – three years after his family and allies were exiled to the Pacific island after the successful People Power Revolution of 1986 in EDSA.
With President Corazon Aquino succeeding the presidency, the widow of the slain Ninoy Aquino who was the frontliner in the oppistion; the body of President Marcos was not allowed to return to the Philippines. Instead, it was housed in a mausoleum in Bydodo-in Temple in the Hawaiin island of Ouaho.
When Fidel V. Ramos succeeded Aquino, Marcos’ body finally came home. After all, Ramos and Marcos are second-degree cousins. But his widow, Imelda wanted more than that. She wishes until now, that her husband be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani ( Cemetery of Heroes) which is reserved for Filipino heroes. With wounds from the Martial Law still fresh, it is still uncertain.
Because of that, his body which has been waxed way back in Hawaii was brought to Batac City, where he grew up. A special mausoleum is made for the late deposed President.
I have read many blogs stating that the mausoleum is “creepy” and I was prepared for that, the moment I entered his mausoleum.
However, I dont find it eerie. In fact, I find it impressive. There is so much honor and respect in that refrigerated dark room. I’m not a Marcos fan, but I felt how the people of Ilocos and his family upheld their admiration and love for Ferdinand Marcos even after his fall and death.
The room may not be as flambouyant as compared to other mausoleums but I find it grand. Marcos till the end still finds grace and prestige.
Of course, we were not allowed to take photos and the caretaker was very watchful with our cameras. Marcos lay there peacefully and he doesn’t look scary after all- he looks so peaceful. There is an urban legend that the corpse in that crypt is not the real thing..
When we went to Marcos Mausoleum in Batac, we saw a group of foreigners visiting; I wonder what their expereince was. For local tourists, it is a must see- to see even in waxed corpse one of the most prominent personality in Philippine History and Politics.
Until now, Imelda Marcos is still fighting to have his body buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. I don’t know if it will come true but I guess, the president found his right place in his mausoleum. People love to hate him but he is such a remarkable person and for a very enigmatic and interesting president, the Marcos Mausoleum is his rightful resting place.
Intrigued to know what his corpse looks like? Here are some pics of his body from Google taken for a special occassion ( many people think it was for publicity). click here!