Malacanang of the North | Paoay, Ilocos Norte
The Malacanang of the North in Paoay was the Presidential Residence of the former President, Ferdinand E. Marcos. For at least 26 years, this was the First Family’s house in their homeland & bailiwick in Ilocos Norte.
“Malacanang ti Amianan”, as the Ilocanos call it, is a classic “bahay na bato”. It is reminiscent of Spanish colonial architecture of the 19th century. Beautifully, the house sits on a verdant 5-hectare property overlooking the placid Paoay Lake.
Malacanang of the North: Of Beauty & Power
This palatial residence has weathered through the arid climate of the north since the 1960s. And knowing Imelda Marcos’ love for everything grand, it is no surprise if it’s built of the finest materials. Bricks, stone as well as hardwood from Ilocos Norte truly make it a darling abode.
Furthermore, the house blends Spanish-time architectural elements & Ilocano artistry. It highlights design aesthetics like large kapis windowsills & ornate calado transoms. On the inside, hand-carved turn-of-the-century furniture mostly fills the space.
Indeed, just like any home fit for a President, everything here is well thought about. In fact, exquisite bentwood furniture punctuates its every corner. There are huge chairs like “balayong kapiya” & “butaka”. Then there are comoda armoirs, carved aparadors & wood-turned poster beds.
Malacanang of the North: Of Faint Memories & Faded Glories
In contrast, the Malacanang of the North is simpler than the Presidential House in Tacloban, Leyte. Here, everything reflects the Ilocanos’ value of simplicity & frugality. Nonetheless, it still bears traces of Imeldific sense of adornment.
In addition, it is worthy to remember that the national government sequestered this property in 1986 after the EDSA revolution. But in 2011, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte got it back. It now serves as a museum & a tourism landmark in the entire Ilocandia.
Today, some of its rooms are turned into galleries displaying the memorabilia of the Marcoses. This includes old photographs of their travels, keepsakes & expensive personal collections. Moreover, other rooms, like the one of Imelda’s remain the same.
But despite its muted showcase (at least to Imelda’s standards), it still gorgeous as one could imagine. From spatial arrangement & elegant ornamentations, truly, the Malacanang of the North is worth paying a visit.
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