Ilocanos ask Duterte: Bury Marcos in Ilocos

/ 03:35 AM November 16, 2016
Ferdinand-Marcos-frozen remains -- AFP--Ted Aljibe

Former first lady Imelda Marcos kisses the glass case that contains the frozen remains of former dictator and president Ferdinand Marcos on July 2, 2014. AFP FILE PHOTO

BAGUIO CITY—A petition posted by Ilocanos online has asked that dictator Ferdinand Marcos be buried in his hometown, Batac in Ilocos Norte province, instead of Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.

Addressed to President Duterte, the petition, signed as of Tuesday by 1,181 people at www.change.org, has urged him to reconsider his decision to allow Marcos at the Libingan.


“Resting in Ilocos was also the late President’s wish—and it is a wise thing, to be buried close to the people that mattered most to him,” the petition said. “If he is to be given a state funeral on the account that he was a former President, let it be here in Batac… that would be fair.”

The petition was started by Ilocanos Worldwide, which identified its members to Mr. Duterte as “your Ilocano partners for true change and progress [from Region 1]… where many voted for you.”


“We know you promised then Sen. Bongbong Marcos that in exchange for his support for you, you will allow him to bury former President Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani, against even the former president’s own wishes: which was to be buried beside his mother, Doña Josefa, in their hometown in Ilocos,” said the petition.

The young Marcos ran and lost in the 2016 vice presidential race, as the running mate of the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

On Nov. 8, the Supreme Court ruled that no law forbade Mr. Duterte from allowing Marcos’ burial at Libingan.

The court said: “Our nation’s history will not be instantly revised by a single resolve of President Duterte… to bury Marcos at [Libingan ng mga Bayani]. Whether petitioners admit it or not, the lessons of martial law are already engraved, albeit in varying degrees, in the hearts and minds of the present generation of Filipinos.”


In Batac, a 93-year-old master inabel weaver has completed the shroud, which will serve as the Ilocano pabaon (keepsake) for the late Marcos. Ilocano tradition requires the family to tuck the pabaon inside the casket of the departed.

Magdalena Gamayo, the Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan (National Living Treasure Awardee) of 2012, began weaving the white shroud in August, intending to present it before Marcos’ first scheduled burial on Sept. 18, seven days after Marcos’ 99th birth anniversary.


“My heart is filled with joy for being chosen to create the pabaon. But, at the same time, I grieved because I was again crafting a pabaon for someone I value,” Gamayo said in a statement issued by the Ilocos Norte government.

“Pabaon honors the deceased by giving them what they need in the afterlife,” Stella Gaspar, curator of Ilocos Norte-based Taoid Museum, said. “You give them their important personal belongings… something that represents their [respective] occupation.”

The shroud is seven-and-a-half yards long and could serve as the late Marcos’ blanket and pillowcase.

Gamayo wove flowers into the shroud. “When you truly value someone, you give the person flowers as a special gift and that was why I have chosen the floral design which I actually dreamed about for the President’s burial blanket,” she said in the statement.

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