THE National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) officially turned over on Sunday the biographical marker of former president Ferdinand Edralin Marcos at the recently-relocated Daytoy ti Bannawag monument in Batac City, Ilocos Norte.
NHCP chairman Rene Escalante led the unveiling of the marker with Batac City Mayor Albert Chua and NHCP acting executive director Ludovico Badoy who stood as witnesses during the signing of the certificate of transfer.
The bronze monument, sculpted by Italian Giuseppe Marinucci, was inaugurated in 1977 for Marcos’ 60th birthday and was originally erected beside the Marcos Museum.
Marcos was born on September 11, 1917 and died in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1989. On November 18, 2016, his remains were buried at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City.
The new site of the 40-year-old monument and of the NHCP marker faces the Immaculate Concepcion Parish across the Imelda Cultural Center.
Ianree Raquel, Ilocos Norte tourism officer, said the event will serve as a real commemoration of the centenary of Marcos’ birth and his being president.
“It is the first standard issue government marker that says he’s a former president and soldier,” Raquel said.
He said that aside from being a recognition of Marcos’ historical significance, the marker, with a more tourist-friendly location, will serve as one of the attractions in Batac.
The number of tourists in Batac City has decreased after Marcos was interred at the LNMB. It was his frozen remains, displayed at the Marcos Mausoleum behind the Batac mini park, which had been the city’s primary attraction for many years.
Raquel said the Batac Plaza is undergoing a redesign that integrates the buildings around it.
According to the NHCP, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte on July 17 requested for a certification attesting that this year is the bicentennial founding anniversary of Ilocos Norte.
The provincial government also requested for a biographical marker for former president Marcos.
In its regular meeting on August 24, the NHCP Board of Commissioners granted the request and recommended the installation of a biographical marker for the former president.
“We were made to understand that it’s their mandate to really commemorate historical milestones, and they see a centennial anniversary of the birth of [Marcos] as a historical milestone,” Raquel said.
The ceremonies and marker unveiling immediately followed the two-day “Marcos 100 Forum: The North Remembers,’ a highlight of the centenary celebration. A literary and arts festival was also part of the activities.
Marcos’ actual 100th birthday today will be celebrated with simultaneous flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies throughout Ilocos Norte.
At LNMB, there will also be with a corresponding program at his grave.
LEANDER C. DOMINGO