THE grandchildren of 1965 presidential candidates Ferdinand Marcos and Raul Manglapus – political rivals throughout the former’s strongman rule – were wedded in Ilocos Norte on Saturday, an event the Marcos camp touted as the emergence of an “Ilocano Romeo and Juliet story.”
Michael Ferdinand Manotoc, the second of three sons of Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, married Carina Amelia Manglapus, daughter of Manglapus’ youngest son Francis, at the massive Spanish baroque church of San Agustin in Paoay town.
The pair officially got married in Makati City on Wednesday, November 22, in a private family ceremony.
Following Ilocano culture, Saturday was their “bales,” a traditional celebration held when an Ilocano couple marry outside of their hometown.
Marcos defeated Manglapus and Diosdado Macapagal in the bitterly contested 1965 presidential election.
During Martial Law, Manglapus spent 14 years in exile in the United States, where he founded the Movement for Free Philippines and remained one of the leading Filipino opposition figures alongside Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and Jose Diokno.
Manglapus returned to the Philippines after the 1986 ouster of Marcos, and was named Foreign Affairs secretary by President Corazon Aquino. When Marcos passed away in exile in 1989, Manglapus was among those who opposed the return of his remains to the country.
Both shared an interest in culture and the arts, with Manglapus having remained a composer and musical performer until he passed away in 1999. Marcos instituted an age of cultural renaissance during his presidency. Both had also written books exploring democracy and political revolution.
Their grandchildren, Mike and Cara, met over a decade later in 2014, at the wedding of Luis Marcos Araneta, the son of Marcos’ second daughter Irene. Cara had been a guest of Xandra Rocha, Luis’ wife.
Though an unlikely pair due to the family history and the Marcos-Manglapus feud, the two nurtured their relationship and produced a baby girl, Amelia Margarita, in March 2016.
In a statement, the Marcos Presidential Center said: “The baby girl has drawn the two families closer together, widening the path for reconciliation of political differences.”
“Neither Mike nor Cara, however, have expressed interest in entering politics. Cara has committed to a singing career, even joining the jazz band that [Manglapus] had founded, and sometimes performing with another contemporary band,” it said.
Cara went to Ateneo de Manila like his grandfather, and graduated with a degree in creative writing. Mike is a lawyer, passing the bar in 2014 after graduating from the UP College of Law.