ILOCOS NORTE: THE MARCOS MUSEUM AND MAUSOLEUM
After finally reaching the province of Ilocos Norte, we headed to the town of Batac… and to one of the many houses owned by the Marcoses. Dark gray clouds started to appear and hovered over the town. Fortunately, we were able to find parking space a few meters from the entrance of the museum. The wind was cooler when we got off our vehicle. I’m not really a fan of the late President… I wasn’t even curious hence I didn’t really take a lot of photos. But I respect that he was Iloco’s and Batac’s favorite son.
The ancestral home was converted into a museum and what is now called as Ferdinand E. Marcos Presidential Center houses the well-preserved memorabilias and family possessions of the late President Marcos and that of his family. The center was recently renovated. There was entrance fee of Php 50.00.
Upon entering, in large monitor a video continuously playing with what I was guessing were the footages and images of the late president. Chairs were provided for guests who wanted to watch, but the seats were empty when we passed through the area.
The second floor showcased the highlights of Marcos’ life from the year he was born to the moment he topped the bar exams, year he met and fell in love with Imelda Marcos and to his political years as a congressman, a senator and a president. It also features the year where he declared Martial Law that led to People Power Revolution and to last year of his life.
We played around with the displays. Palibhasa mga anak ng Bagong Lipunan at mga Martial Law babies. Though we each have a different take and opinion on Martial Law and the Marcos Era.
Beside the center is the Mausoleum where the glass-encased coffin of the former leader is located. Taking pictures were not allowed inside. Marcos’ remains has been preserved in the refrigerated crypt since it brought home in 1993 having died while in exile. His family refused to bury him until he would be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani with full military honors. Many are speculating that the corpse is just a wax replica but the Marcos family say it is real.
41 years after President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared Martial Law, history has yet to decide how to remember Marcos. To some he was a genius… a master planner. To those who have experienced torture and abuse or an unexplained disappearance of a loved one, a relative or a friend… he was a dictator, responsible for the darkest period of the history of democracy in this country. To the generations born after the first Edsa Revolution, they have yet to hear the story.
History is written by those who dare to tell their stories… It doesn’t have to be accurate. It doesn’t have to be right. It just has to be told and retold… until people forget that there was another side to it.