Ilocano ‘Romeo and Juliet’ story emerges from grandkids of Marcos, Manglapus
The grandchildren of 1965 Presidential Candidates Ferdinand E. Marcos and Raul S. Manglapus, who were also political rivals throughout the former’s administration, celebrated their union at the San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte.
Lawyer Michael Ferdinand M. Manotoc is the second among three sons of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee, eldest daughter of Marcos. Meanwhile, Carina Amelia G. Manglapus is the daughter of Francis, Manglapus’ youngest son.
The pair officially got married in Makati City on Nov. 22, in a private family ceremony. In consonance with Ilocano culture, their “bales,” hold a traditional celebration when a couple gets married outside of their hometown.
While Marcos won the 1965 presidency, Manglapus later spent years in exile in the United States, particularly during the martial law years. He founded the Movement for Free Philippines (MFP) and remained one of the leading Filpino opposition figures alongside the likes of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and Jose Diokno. When Marcos passed away in exile in 1989, he was among those who opposed the return of his remains to the country.
Aside from political flair, both shared an interest in culture and the arts, with Manglapus having remained a composer and musical performer until he passed away in 1999 and Marcos having instituted an age of cultural renaissance during his presidency. Both had also written books exploring democracy and political revolution.
Their grandchildren, Mike and Cara, met over a decade later in 2014, at the wedding of Luis Marcos Araneta, the son of Marcos’ second daughter Irene. Cara had been a guest of Xandra Rocha, Luis’ wife.
Though an unlikely pair due to their family histories and the Marcos-Manglapus feud, the two maintained their relationship and were blessed with a baby girl, Amelia Margarita (“Mia”) on March 2016. The baby girl has drawn the two families closer together, widening the path for reconciliation of political differences.
Modern Ilocano marriages are primarily motivated by love more than any other consideration. This can be summed up in the saying, “Uray madi ti sangaili, no mayat dagiti agaddani, awan ti makatubeng (Though all the townspeople may be opposed to the match, if two people who come together like each other, nobody can stop them).”
While Mike has his roots in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, Cara’s lineage can be traced to Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. Both their grandfathers served their provinces as congressmen and then went on to be elected as senators before Maros won the presidency, while Manglapus was later appointed foreign affairs secretary of Corazon C. Aquino, who succeeded Marcos.
Neither Mike nor Cara, however, have expressed interest in entering politics. Cara has committed to a singing career, even joining the jazz band that Manglapuis had founded, and sometimes performing with another contemporary band.
On the other hand, Mike has successfully pursued the law profession despite having initially been discouraged from doing so due to pressure resulting from Matcos’ prominence as a lawyer, particularly in topping the 1939 bar examination.
Mike passed the bar in 2014, after graduating from the UP College of Law. Cara, meanwhile, is a product of Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in creative writing.