The restoration of the beach house of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos in Tolosa, Leyte will revive this town’s local tourism, its mayor said.
Citing the progress of the property’s restoration activities, Mayor Erwin Ocaña said in an interview Tuesday that he is optimistic that bringing back the beauty of the beach house in Olot village would be fully completed next year.
“If Olot is restored, this will attract tourists since the place is historic. I am confident this will encourage Imelda to visit her hometown again,” Ocaña said.
He recalled that the property attracted tourists from different parts of the country, curious to see the 42-hectare beachfront property years before Super Typhoon Yolanda struck in 2013.
Earlier, Senator Imee Marcos said her mother turned sad when she saw the devastation wrought by the typhoon on the property.
Ocaña said the local government supported the restoration initiatives by facilitating the relocation of six informal settlers inside the property to a resettlement site.
Former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr. built the property for his wife, which consisted of a seven-room residential mansion, a 14-room guest mansion, a pavilion that could accommodate 1,000 people, and a nine-hole golf course designed by famous American golfer Jack Nicklaus.
Imelda entertained winning Miss Universe candidates at the beach house during the pageant in Manila in 1974.
The restoration works funded by the Romualdez and Marcos families have already covered the pavilion and some parts of the guest mansion, Ocaña said.
In 1987, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) sequestered the rest house as one of the alleged unlawfully acquired assets of the Marcos family.
In 2008, however, the Supreme Court issued an order allowing the family to reclaim the property. (PNA)