This year, the celebration was held in Batac City, where the late strong man was laid to rest.
Unlike last year, Marcos Day this year was a big celebration. I don't know why mas bongga this year. It's not like it's his centennial. In fact, it is only his 91st Birth Anniversary.
I only say this kasi ang daming taong pumunta from all over the Philippines. There were Marcos loyalists from nearby Ilocos provinces, that was expected. But to have loyalists come from as far away as Metro Manila, Bicol, Leyte and Mindanao, now that's something.
The emcee said there were about 10,000 loyalists. Personally, I don't know how many 10,000 looks like but there a lot of people.
The Marcos Family (Madame Imelda R. Marcos, Congressman Bongbong Marcos, Governor Michael Marcos Keon, Board Members Angelo Marcos Barba and Nonong Marcos) sat on the stage of the Imelda Cultural Center. Local government officials, like moi, joined them.
The program started with a parade of floats, marching bands and what not. The theme for this year was Marcos' Golden Years. It showcased his achievements while in power for 21 years like the Masagana 99 program, his infrastructure programs, the BLISS projects, National Health Care, and the Barangay System, among others.
Now I really, really know why they call Ilocos Norte as 'Marcos Country.' My provincemates really, really love him.
It was funny to hear the emcees' justification of Marcos' use of authority. If I was a leftist I would've stood up and clobbered them.
You remember the history lessons we heard in high school and college, about Marcos' atrocities against the people. During the program, you'd hear nothing of that. Just Marcos' achievements. It was very surreal.
If you only listen to this side of the story, you'd really think Ferdinand Marcos was the best president this country ever had.
But don't get me wrong, I do think he was a great leader. In fact, I initiated efforts to make September 11 a permanent local public holiday here in the province. Heck, we have Quezon Day, Magsaysay Day, Aguinaldo Day, Aquino Day, why can't the Ilocanos have Marcos Day.
Pero to say he was the BEST president? Ain't that stretching it too far?
Anyhoo, who am I to question what my provincemates think. The fact is Ferdinand Marcos was a great ilocano leader. Period. I mean to go from Congressman to President in less than 20 years? That's an achievement in itself.
After the program, Governor Keon spoke. His speech was in Ilocano and you have to hand it to the guy. He really tries. I admire him for that.
Next to speak was Madame Imelda. Naku when she spoke, the loyalists trooped in front of her and took pictures.
It was so funny because some loyalists posed in front of her to have their pictures taken, WHILE SHE WAS GIVING HER SPEECH. I found it so amusing.
And then, Congressman Marcos spoke. He gave a very fiery speech about the Supreme Court not recognizing them as executors of his dad's estate and not allowing them to bury him at the libingan ng bayani.
And then there was a short dance that followed.
And then it was lunch time. We were all hungry coz it was past 1pm na.
In the afternoon they inaugurated the President Ferdinand E. Marcos Hall in Mariano Marcos State University.
To my kailians, belated Happy Marcos Day, apo!