This is Malacañang of the North, built in the 70s to serve as the official residence of then Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos in his own province Ilocos Norte.
Two decades since his death, Ilocos Norte remains a stronghold of the Marcoses. The late President’s wife Imelda is a member of the House of Representatives, representing the 2nd district of Ilocos Norte. His daughter Imee is the governor.
The family also rejoins national politics when his son Bongbong was elected senator in 2010.
There’s another political family here, although clearly less influential. The Fariñas clan — the on-again, off-again allies of the Marcoses. Rudy Fariñas is the representative of the 1st district of Ilocos Norte. His nephew Michael is the mayor of the capital city Laoag.
Under these two families, Ilocos Norte is thriving. It’s a first class province whose industry remains agriculture. Tourism is also booming.
Poverty incidence in the province has gone in the past decade. It is better than the national average although some municipalities remain very poor, clearly needing more government attention.
The Marcoses are not doing poorly. But expectations are higher for a province that got a lot from government — including a Malacañang of its own — when the man they call “The Great Ilocano” was the country’s most powerful man.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler, Ilocos Norte. – Rappler.com