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Exploring Ilocos : Malacañang of the North


If Cavite has Aguinaldo Shrine and Baguio has the Mansion, Ilocos Norte has its very own version of Malacañang! Dubbed as the Malacañang of the North, this presidential museum in Paoay was once a residence of Marcos Family by the time that he was serving as the President of the Philippines.  The place served as the official residence of the Marcoses in Ilocos Norte.
IMG_0785tThe 2-story mansion was built in 1977 for Marcos’ 60th birthday. It was given as a gift by the former first lady Imelda Marcos. The mansion however is one of the many properties that were turned over to the government after Marcos was removed from his position and power. Eventually, after two decades, the mansion was given back to the care of the Government of Ilocos Norte. It was later refurbished and restored and is now open for public as a museum. The museum showcases a variety of items and most of them will feature Marcos’s previous public programs.
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By the time we get there (April 2017), the entrance fee per head is Php20 and Php10 for kids. This will give you access to the entire property.
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20170429_111530tOutside, it features a tender landscape filled with greens and many other ornaments
20170429_111922tYou can also embrace the beauty brought by the Paoay lake
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“What’s Inside the Malacañang of the North?”
Malacañang of the North features two floors and both are publicly accessible. A representative from UST Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics was commissioned to put together the exhibits in every room. The rooms were brilliantly curated featuring some interesting details and information about the Marcoses.
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The first floor features a huge hall furbished with many rustic furniture. The place was adorned with luxurious-looking chandeliers, wooden tables and chairs and other beautiful figurines and displays. The state room can be found on the left side of the building with a huge painting showing the Paoay church.
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Some elephant figurines
20170429_113053t The upper floor is way more interesting. It features a lot of exhibits and rooms including the Malacañang of the North’s official master’s bedroom!
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You will surely appreciate the rustic theme of this place. The mansion features both Spanish and Ilocano Architecture. It is a perfect example of those Bahay na Bato in late 19th century. Here you will see some well restored Capiz windows stretching from ceiling to floor.
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There is also an exhibit in this floor that is dedicated to OFWs. It features some typical things an ordinary OFW used to have before and after leaving the country. There’s a couple of jars containing “Bagoong” (fermented fish) some luggage filled with clothes and even Balik-bayan boxes. An interesting ode to our modern heroes.
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There’s also a room dedicated to items and books and information related to Philippine history. The items are mostly related about different form of arts in our country. This is because the National Artist Award , the highest recognition given to outstanding Filipinos with remarkable contributions to Philippines arts was established by the virtue of President Ferdinand Marcos under the Proclamation No 1001 in 1972.
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An Essay to Philippine Theater : Dulaan by Nicanor Tiongson and An Essay to Philippine Literature : Panitikan by Doreen Fernandez. Both books were published on 1989.
20170429_113527tOld jars on display
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The walls features some notable projects and infrastructures built under Marcos Administration
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20170429_113414t A gown by Imelda Marcos is also displayed in the exhibit. Imelda has become an icon with her hairstyle to her clothes and of course her huge collection of shoes. This gown gave emphasis to the talented Filipino designers and embroiderers.
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Another interesting highlights of this place is the Presidential office
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IMG_0784tOne of the many bedrooms in the mansion.
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IMG_0779tWhether you are a history buff or not, Malacañang of the North is definitely a place that you should not miss when visiting Ilocos Norte. It’s purely educations and it was just fascinating to learn a piece of history with huge significance in our country.
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Things You Should Know Before Visiting the Malacañang of the North
►Malacañang of the North is located in Barangay Suba, Paoay, Ilocos Norte
►Entrance fee to Malacañang of the North is Php20 for Adult and Php10 for kids
►The Museum is open every day (Monday to Sunday) from 9am to 4:30pm
►Although it offers a refreshing atmosphere., it could still be extremely hot as there is no ventilation in most rooms so bring a fan or and wear light clothes if possible.

Where to Stay In Ilocos
►A day is actually not enough to explore the entire Ilocos Norte. Paoay Sand dunes and other notable destinations in Paoay are just few of the most interesting places to visit in Ilocos Norte. You can check this list of affordable hotels in Ilocos Norte and check which one will suit your needs and your budget!



For the mean time, feel free to watch the video summary of my Ilocos tour below (and don’t forget to subscribe

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10 Comments

  1. Truly, this interests me. I’ve been to Ilocos but wasnt able to step foot on that museum. I enjoy History and appreciates it specially if the subject itself is someone I am very keen of knowing more. What I know about the Marcoses are mostly hearsay and from books . I believe seeing their things and collections would all the more give clues on how they truly live during their time.

  2. My husband is an Ilocano but we are residing in cebu. Ilocos is always on my list for the places that I want to visit. Maybe next year, we’ll spare time to visit. Great to know that the mansion was well maintained. I was amazed by the master’s bedroom — the bed was huge! 😀

  3. I have always wanted to visit Ilocos but it’s too far! I doubt my boyfriend could do such long drive straight. How did you get there? Do you have any tips to cut on travel time? We are from Cavite too!

  4. That’s an interesting place to visit. Anything historical wand well preserved is worth visiting. I guess Marcos wore the robe that’s on the bed that’s why it’s cordoned off.?

  5. Visiting historical places like the Malacanang of the North is a must for every travel. It tells us a lot about the family who once lived in the house and about the rich and colorful history of the place. It is also a great activity to teach children about the past. I will make sure sure to include this attraction in our Ilocos itinerary!

  6. When I was growing up in the 1980s, I used to read a lot about Marcos’ wife, Imelda, and her vast collection of shoes. We used to wonder at her profligacy then. How could the First Lady of Philippines be so thick-skinned, we used to wonder.
    Thanks for bringing out those eventful days in this post.

  7. Hi, Milton. What are those old jars? I had fun looking at the photos. Not that I am a fan of museums, but the place certainly has a touch of the past. Of course, that is negated by the modern installations such as the lighting. On a personal level, I still prefer the untouched and dusty historical places. One that I can remember is the hospital in Cullion, the old leper colony. There, I actually opened record books to see the names of people who were admitted a century ago.

    At any rate, if it is any consolation, the city government is earning an income from the old house. It would be a shame if it were locked down like what happened with Palace in the Sky in Tagaytay.

  8. I agree, this has to be one of my favorite destinations in Ilocos. I just love the interior, the pictures, how we can see the history. I also love the view of the place. I really enjoyed this place and it took me back to the future.

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