Tourist influx in Ilocos Norte continues amidst Marcos burial at Libingan

BATAC CITY — The provincial tourism office here is confident that the tourist influx will continue in Ilocos Norte particularly in Batac City even if the remains of former president Ferdinand Marcos will be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.

The Supreme Court has finally allowed the burial of the former president at the Heroes’ Cemetery and the Marcos family is set to proceed with the interment plans anytime soon.

Considering that the Ferdinand Marcos Presidential Center is one of the top destinations in Ilocos Norte, the tourism sector has earlier admitted that the transfer of the former president’s remains will affect the industry.

“(Despite this), we are setting aside our hesitation and we take it as a very positive development in the history of the province and entire country,” said Aianree Raquel, provincial tourism officer.

In place of the Marcos museum, new attractions are being developed to ensure high number of visitors in the city.

“We’ve started re-planning and developing new concepts for Batac to be the city of parks,” according to Raquel.

He added that seven areas were already identified for redevelopment including the Ricarte park, Aglipay shrine, Marcos museum, Batac eco-park and Billoca fish farm.

“Batac (is envisioned to be) a city with most number of parks (in Ilocos Norte) and the widest public spaces.”

The overall concept of the redevelopment will celebrate the heroic tradition of Ilocanos featuring numerous outstanding Bataqueños, he said. PNA-