The Marcos Museum and Mausoleum in Batac, Ilocos Norte showcases memorabilia of the late Philippines President Ferdinand E. Marcos and a large stately and gloomy tomb housing his embalmed remains which are contained in a vacuum-sealed glass coffin. Within the property of the Marcos family is a cluster of three houses and the hallowed grounds of the mausoleum. The Museum is the first structure seen from the main street and is the one which follows the lines of a colonial wood-and-brick house, with solid ground floor walls and an upper storey of wood decorated with floral motifs. The Mausoleum is a cube of adobe blocks and is stepped towards the top of the structure. The dark interior is divided into an entry foyer in which are exhibited old English standards and a bust of the former president.
Two decades after Marcos was chased from power, he still draws the faithful and the curious from this farming town. Displayed in an adobe mausoleum, his lavishly waxed corpse lies in a family tribute, bedecked in military medals and surrounded by faux flowers while Gregorian chants echo softly. Scores of school children visit nearly everyday, filing past souvenir peddlers for a look of the deposed dictator whom residents of Ilocos Norte province fondly call “Apo,” or the Old man.
Ferdinand Edralín Marcos (September 11, 1917 – September 28, 1989) was the tenth president of the Philippines, serving from 1965 to 1986. In 1972, he instituted an authoritarian regime that allowed him to stay in power until lifting it in 1981. He was elected the same year to another full term which was marred by personal health issues, political mismanagement and human rights violations by the military. In 1986, he was re-elected for the fourth time in a disputed snap election. As a result, that same year he was removed from office peacefully by the “People Power” EDSA Revolution. He has the distinction of being the last Senate President to be elected to the presidency and being the first president to be elected to two consecutive full terms.
Ferdinand Marcos was born in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte to Don Mariano Marcos, a lawyer who was an assemblyman for Ilocos Norte, and Doña Josefa Quetulio Edralín, a teacher. He was the second of four children. His siblings were Pacífico, Elizabeth and Fortuna. He was of mixed Filipino (Ilocano), Chinese, and Japanese ancestry. He started his primary education in Sarrat Central School. He was transferred to Shamrock Elementary School (Laoag), and finally to the Ermita Elementary School (Manila) when his father was elected as an Assemblyman in the Philippine Congress. He completed his primary education in 1929.
He served as 3rd lieutenant in the Philippine Constabulary Reserve in 1937. The same year, when he was still a law student at the University of the Philippines, Marcos was indicted for the assassination of Assemblyman Julio Nalundasan, one of his father’s political rivals. Marcos was convicted in November 1939. He was offered a pardon by President Manuel Quezon, but he turned it down and voluntarily returned to the Laoag Provincial Jail where he spent time preparing his defense. On appeal, he argued his case before the Philippine Supreme Court and was acquitted the following year by then-Associate Justice Jose P. Laurel. In the University of the Philippines, Marcos was a member of the Upsilon Sigma Phi. After graduating with cum laude honors in 1939, he became the topnotcher of the Philippine bar examinations the same year.