ILOCOS NORTE | Batac City, Home of Great Leaders


“A leader is a dealer in hope.” —Napoleon Bonaparte

There are only two cities in Ilocos Norte, first is Laoag City and the other is Batac. The town struggled in fighting for its cityhood when it was first declared as a city in 2007, part of the League of 16 Cities that were declared with cityhood as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. In December of 2009, the cityhood of Batac was restored until August 2010 when it was again challenged. It was in February of 2011 when Batac was officially called Batac City.

Batac City is known as the Home of Great Leaders. Most popular would be Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, 10th President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. Others were Gregorio Aglipay, the first Filipino Supreme Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church and Artemio Ricarte, a Filipino General during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War considered as the “Father of the Philippine Army.”


The ancestral home of the Marcoses in Batac is now converted into a museum housing the memorabilia of the late President and first family. Found on the ground floor of the then mansion is a collection of different certificates awarded to the former President together with the books he used and written about him.

The second floor showcases the highlights of Marcos’ life from the year he was born to the moment he topped the bar exams, the year he met and fell in love with Imelda Marcos and to his political years as a congressman, a senator, and a president. It also features the year where he declared Martial Law that led to People Power Revolution and to last year of his life.

You can also see a couple of human-sized replica of Former President Marcos inside the museum with his remains being maintained in a mausoleum few meters away from the museum. Taking a photo inside the mausoleum is prohibited, sorry.


Aside from Marcos, famous son of Batac is Artemio Ricarte, a Filipino General during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War considered as the “Father of the Philippine Army.” A national shrine is dedicated to him in a park stone’s throw away from the Batac City Hall. He finished his Bachelor of Arts in San Juan de Letran, Brigadier-General, Magdiwang Faction, and was chosen as the Captain-General by the Tejeros Convention.

He was captured by the Americans in 1900 and banished to Guam in 1901, refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the United States Government. He returned to the Philippines from Japan during the World War II and died in Barrio Nagparaon in Kalinga, Mt. Province on July 31, 1945.

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Your visit to Batac City is incomplete without trying their famous Batac Empanada. Batac has its own version of empanada compared to Vigan and Laoag. The ingredients of their stuffed-deep-fried tortilla include grated papaya, Batac Longganisa, and egg. You can also order a special version with cheese in it.

Batac is a city in the province of Ilocos Norte, Philippines. It is located in the northwest corner of the island of Luzon, about 11.2 km from the eastern shores of the South China Sea. The municipalities of Banna, Currimao, Paoay, Pinili, Sarrat, Marcos and San Nicolas form its boundaries. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 53,542 in 9,882 households. (Source:


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