Chased out of the country he ruled with an iron fist in 1986, the lifeless body of Ferdinand Edralin Marcos returned to his homeland in the Philippines in a casket. Upon arrival, it was transferred to a glass box for all to see, where it remains to this day… at least according to official reports.
After passing away in Hawaii at the age of 72, as the result of complications related to lupus, Marcos’ infamous shoe-hoarding wife Imelda spent years petitioning the existing government of The Philippines to allow for her husband’s body to find eternal peace in the homeland. Marcos’ successor, President Corazon Aquino, denied her repeated requests, but her successor President Fidel Ramos, finally acquiesced to Imelda’s requests in 1993.
Marcos’ body made its way to an adobe mausoleum-museum hybrid in his home city of Batac. Mortician Frank Malabed helped restore President Marcos’ body for permanent display. Resting atop white satin and dressed in finery, the former president is displayed for all to see, resting in eternal repose inside a refrigerated, vacuum-sealed glass coffin. Malabed is vehement that the body on display is real. In spite of this, doubts persist, considering the official is on the Marcos family payroll.
Even as his visage remains as lively as ever, reports of traces of mold creeping toward the body paired with the slow, persistent deterioration of the museum itself can’t help but beg the question whether it was a good idea to return a polarizing figure to the land where he inflicted so much pain.
Update March 2019: The embalmed body of Marcos once housed in Batac was brought to Manila and controversially buried with military honors in 2017.