Born In: Santa Mesa, Manila, Philippines
Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., also known by his nickname Bongbong, is a Filipino politician currently serving as the 17th president of the Philippines. The only son of 10th president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., he was only a minor when his father had declared martial law in 1972. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. was elected Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte in 1980 unopposed. He served as Governor of Ilocos Norte from 1983 until his family went into exile after being ousted from power during the People Power Revolution in 1986. He returned to the Philippines after his father’s death and was elected as Representative of Ilocos Norte's 2nd congressional district in 1992. He was elected Governor of Ilocos Norte for a second time in 1998. He again served as a Representative from 2007 to 2010 and then as a senator from the Nacionalista Party in 2010-16. While his vice presidential campaign in 2016 failed, he won a landslide victory running for President of the Philippines in the 2022 election despite receiving international criticism for disinformation and historical negationism to revamp the Marcos brand.
Nick Name: Bongbong
Also Known As: Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.
Spouse/Ex-: Louise Marcos (m. 1993)
father: Ferdinand Marcos
mother: Imelda Marcos
siblings: Aimee Marcos, Imee Marcos, Irene Marcos
children: Ferdinand Alexander Araneta Marcos, Joseph Simon Araneta Marcos, William Vincent Araneta Marcos
Born Country: Philippines
City: Manila, Philippines
education: St Edmund Hall, Oxford, Worth School
Ferdinand "Bongbong" Romualdez Marcos Jr. was born on September 13, 1957 at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Santa Mesa, Manila, Philippines, to Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, politician Imelda Marcos. The eldest of his parents’ three children, he also has four step-siblings from his father’s previous common-law wife, Carmen Ortega, and an adopted sister named Aimee, apart from possible issues from his father’s affairs.
He received kindergarten education at the Institución Teresiana and then attended La Salle Greenhills elementary school before completing secondary education from Worth School in West Sussex, England in 1974. He enrolled at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, to study philosophy, politics and economics, but after failing in two subjects, received a special diploma in social studies in 1978, even though he falsely claims completing graduation.
He enrolled in the Masters in Business Administration program at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, United States, partly funded by the Office of the President. He claims that he had to withdraw from the program after he was elected as Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte in 1980.
Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. became the Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte in 1980 and later replaced his ailing aunt as the Governor in 1983. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of Philippine-Chinese relations in 1983, he led a 10-day diplomatic mission to China with a group of young Filipino leaders.
His father, who held 39.9% share in the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation through front companies, made him the chairman of its board in early 1985. He rarely visited the office and had no duties there, but still drew a monthly salary "ranging from US$9,700 to US$97,000".
By the time his tenure ended in 1986, there were at least two extrajudicial killings that took place in Ilocos Norte. When the family fled into exile following the People Power Revolution in 1986, the Presidential Commission on Good Government found that three Marcos children benefited significantly from the family’s "ill-gotten wealth".
During the revolution, he had urged his father to give order to his remaining troops to attack and blow up Camp Crame with hundreds of civilians, which his father did not follow. The family and a party of about 80 individuals were flown from the Philippines to Hawaii by the Reagan administration in the US, which withdrew support for the Marcos government to avoid a civil war.
Immediately after arriving in Hawaii, he attempted to withdraw US$200 million from a secret family bank account with Credit Suisse in Switzerland, which prompted the Swiss government to freeze the Marcoses' bank accounts. The family initially stayed at Hickam Air Force Base at the expense of the US Government, but later moved into a pair of residences in Makiki Heights, Honolulu.
When his father died in exile three years later in 1989, he was the only family member at his side. He was also among the first to return to the Philippines after then-President Corazon Aquino permitted remaining Marcos family members to return to face various charges.
He returned to his home country in 1991 and was elected representative of the second district of Ilocos Norte to the Philippine House of Representatives in the 1992 elections. In the same election, he supported his godfather Danding Cojuangco for the president instead of his own mother, Imelda Marcos.
He authored several bills that led to the creation of the Department of Energy and the National Youth Commission and also allocated funds to organize the cooperatives of teachers and farmers in his home province. He also attended the first sports summit in the Philippines, held in Baguio, in October 1992, with a group of ten representatives.
In 1995, he finished 16th while running for the Senate under the NPC-led coalition, following which he was re-elected as governor of Ilocos Norte in 1998 and continued to serve three consecutive terms. In 1995, he also pushed for a deal which would allow his family to keep a quarter of the money owed to the Philippine government, but it was struck down by the Philippines' Supreme Court.
In 2007, he ran for and was elected unopposed to the congressional seat previously held by his older sister Imee and was appointed as deputy minority leader of the House of Representatives. In this position, he supported the passage of the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law and promoted Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act, which was enacted in 2009.
He was one of the winning senatorial candidates for the Nacionalista Party (NP) in the 2010 elections, and also chaired the Senate committees on local government and public works, apart from several other oversight committees. Running for vice president of the Philippines in the 2016 general election as an independent candidate, he narrowly lost and challenged the results, but a recount only grew his opponent’s margin.
Despite attempts to disqualify him for failing to file tax returns previously, he successfully ran in the 2022 Philippine presidential election with President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter Sara Duterte as his running mate. He took oath as the 17th President of the Philippines on June 20, 2022 and later announced also serving as the Secretary of Agriculture.
Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. married lawyer Louise "Liza" Cacho Araneta, a member of the prominent Araneta family, on April 17, 1993 in Fiesole, Italy. They have three sons: Ferdinand Alexander III "Sandro" (born 1994), Joseph Simon (born 1995) and William Vincent "Vinny" (born 1997).
He is an avid listener of rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and jazz music who once had "the best record collection in the Philippines" before the family’s exile. A fan of the Beatles, he often collects the band's memorabilia, even though he was quoted wanting to cut off their hair during the controversial "Manila incident" of the Beatles in July 1966.
As a child, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. played himself in the 1965 biographical film Iginuhit ng Tadhana: The Ferdinand E. Marcos Story about his father, then-Senate President Ferdinand Marcos. In a speech towards the end of the film, he mentioned wanting to be a politician when he grew up.
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