The Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House is considered as the first house in the Philippines where two of the country’s Presidents lived. Diosdado Macapagal, the 9th President of the Philippines and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the 14th President of the Philippines, used to live in this, then, rest house as a Vice-President Father and Daughter. The Macapagal-Macaraeg Ancestral House has been declared a heritage house by the National Historical Institute last August 14, 2002.
Now, the Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral Houseis considered as one of Iligan’s tourist destinations. Although, not a lot of foreigners are eager to see this place because of the security issues in Mindanao, this is still visited by a lot of locals, mostly by students from nearby provinces who are in a field trip and/or doing research work.
Considered as one of the classy houses in the city of Iligan, this Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House has been continually maintained by the city government to add to its tourism portfolio. Many of the previous administration (Arroyo’s) cabinet meetings are held here. Occasional activities such as seminars, birthdays are held here and it’s considered as a rest house for friends and families of the Macaraeg, Macapagal and Arroyo.
The Playhouse of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is still here. There old toys, dolls, bed and table set are available inside. A function hall is located on the left side of the compound which most of the meetings are held. There is a statue of the two Presidents in the lawn, with the father guiding his daughter while playing the swing.
Inside the Main House is the office of Diosdado Macapagal when he was still a Vice President. Until now, it is taken good care so visitors can sit at the chair and table used by one of the known person in history. This house was built in 1950 and the most of the crafts, picture frames, cabinets, doors are made from hard-wood such as “tugas” (molave), “balayong” and “narra”.
In July 2009, there were rumors that Gloria went to the cosmetic surgeon to have her breast “fixed”. The portrait of Arroyo during her younger years, which can be seen here, is showed to the public so they can see if she really went enhancement before. There’s also an old-fashioned Television where one has to open it like a cabinet. There a lot of gifts coming from different leaders all over the world are placed here including swords, jewelries and crafts.
Several tables of various designs and build are notable inside the Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House. The living room is also fantastic and its design is such a beauty to anyone’s eye. Chandeliers, utensils, side lighting, pictures are carefully placed inside the house to make it appealing to all visitors. Different pictures of the Macapagal-Arroyo family are found here. Notable pictures are Gloria together with Bill Clinton; baby Gloria together with her Father and the wedding of Gloria and Mike Arroyo. Rooms of Diosdado and his wife, Gloria, and Gloria’s grandmother are still looks very nice and are well-maintained.
How to get there
The Macapagal-Macaraeg Ancestral House is located 20-30 minutes away from the city center of Iligan. Take a Buru-un route jeepney and tell the driver to drop you there. It is an easy landmark as it is along the highway. It is less than 5 minutes away after Maria Cristina Falls and seconds away from nearby swimming pools such as El Lauriento, Dela Mar and Timoga Spring Pool. Fare is about P13-P15 per person.
Visiting hours at Macapagal-Macaraeg Ancestral House is every Monday-Friday at 8:00am-5:00nn and Saturaday-Sunday at 9:00am-4:00pm with lunch breaks from 12:00nn-1:00pm everyday. Admission is free or by donation.