MALACANANG OF THE NORTH. A tourist on a wheelchair visits the Malacanang of the North in Paoay for the first time in this undated photo. Provincial tourism officer Aian Raquel said Wednesday (May 18, 2022) more funds are expected to be poured into this property under the administration of presumptive President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (File photo by Leilanie G. Adriano)

LAOAG CITY—The Malacañang of the North, a presidential museum in Barangay Suba, Paoay, Ilocos Norte, is expected to be improved further this year to lure more tourists to this northern gateway of Luzon.

Provincial tourism officer Aian Raquel confirmed this on Wednesday as he reported the planned expansion has been long overdue because of the pandemic.

“Part of the original plan is to revive the swimming pool and improved the garden landscape,” he said, citing that the former vacation house of the Marcos family now turned into a museum is also a favorite venue for weddings and other meetings with dignitaries, among others.

Even before the pandemic, the Malacañang of the North, which features the significant periods during the administration of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, has become a tourist magnet in the province.

It is currently being managed by the Ilocos Norte government with a reduced entrance fee of PHP10 from PHP20 per individual in pre-pandemic times.

The then Philippine Tourism Authority, now the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), built the two-story mansion in 1977 for tourism purposes.

In 2010, the Ilocos Norte government took over the management of the structure and it underwent repair during the administration of then-governor and now Senator Ma. Imelda Josefa “Ïmee” Marcos.

To date, hundreds of tourists are being drawn to the Malacanang of the North especially now that other outdoor attractions such as the Chinese Garden and the newly-opened Paoay Lake Water Park are located in a similar compound.

Raquel said more funds are expected to be poured into these tourism facilities once presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos will be officially proclaimed as the 17th president of the Philippines. (PNA)