The most influential and popular historical landmark in the City of Iligan is the Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House in Iligan City. The house boasts of its rich history and grand style of which two sitting presidents reside, the 9th President of the Republic of the Philippines, President Diosdado Macapagal, father of the 14th President of the Republic of the Philippines, former President, now Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Having just been to my visit to the Tinago Falls, Journeys and Travels went directly to the famous Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House. I was ushered in by its female staff and my history’s worth of experience unfolds before my very eyes.
The house is made of wood and concrete cement. It was since donated by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the City Government of Iligan and has been a museum since. The National Historical Institute named it as a heritage house on August 14, 2002. The House was constructed in 1950.
The house itself is a fitting home for those whose lives were influential in a community like Iligan City. It is a two-storey house and hard wood made up the impressive the second floor of the house. The first floor housed the famous painting of then teen-aged Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and then the dining area as well as the lanai. The receiving area is spacious and gracious at its best.
The second floor has three bedrooms. One for the grandparents of the former president, another for her parents, former President Diosdado Macapagal and Dona Eva Macaraeg and the third is the room where the young Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stayed in the house for three (3) years.
As I browse for the history of the Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House, I stumble upon loads and loads of information that attested to its propriety and logic as thus named to be the heritage house by the NHI. I also, however, stumbled upon the article written by Antonio J. Montalban II debunking the house’ history and relevance as it is now.
Journeys and Travels is just honoured to have toured the Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House in Iligan City, something that one traveller of history and time must visit when they come to Lanao del Norte and of course, Iligan City. This house symbolizes the modernity of governance at the time of 1950s. Its spacious, manicured lawn and the lanai speaks of its illustrious years where many events and historical decisions were made and ironed out.
In the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the house serves as her own private retreat house where cabinet meetings were held and official functions were also organized. The house as it stand today represented the past glorious years that was 1950s when the Macaraegs were settlers settling in Lanao del Norte.