Here’s a very interesting find for Vista Pinas. 2332 Makiki Heights Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii, is the address of the mansion where former President Ferdinand Marcos spent his last years in exile until his death on September 28, 1989 (the 29th in the Philippines). (His body is currently interred at the previously featured Marcos Mausoleum in Ilocos Norte.) After being ousted from Malacañang Palace during the 1986 People Power Revolution, Marcos and his family was brought to Clark Air Base by the U.S. Military then to Guam and finally to Hawaii. In that U.S. state, Marcos first stayed at a house in Niu Valley on the Kalaniana’ole Highway before finally settling at the Makiki Heights residence.
The mansion is technically not the property of the Marcoses but was provided to them as a place to stay by Bienvenido Tantoco and the estate of Gliceria Tantoco and who supposedly owned the property’s title through the company Lei Investments, Ltd. Nevertheless, the mansion and the lot was considered as part of Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth (Lei Investments allegedly being a dummy Marcos corporation) and there was a move to seize this house, which was later retracted. (See this article for details, but this New York Times article gives a conflicting account of ownership.) The mansion was eventually sold for 1 to 2 million dollars and the money is now part of the settlement package to be handed out to the human rights victims of the Marcos regime.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m not 100% sure that the house I’m pointing to here and the one shown in the Google Maps thumbnail is
2338 2332 Makiki Heights Drive. But I’m fairly certain I got the correct residence because of some “investigative journalism” on my part. First of all, the location of the street, Makiki Heights Drive, is certain: I checked in Google Maps, Microsoft Live Maps, and Yahoo! Maps. Next, I tried the geocoding feature of all three mapping providers and Google and Microsoft pointed to this house, while Yahoo!‘s was several tens of meters off to the north so I’m fairly assured that I’m in the correct vicinity. (I don’t trust the geocoding 100% since it may be off by some amount as I found out when I searched for Jollibee Daly City back in 2006.)
For corroboration, I searched and read various online articles about the house and found out that it has a swimming pool, extensive gardens, a gate, a long driveway, and that it overlooks the ocean. Using the satellite imagery from the three mapping providers, and most especially Microsoft’s Bird’s Eye view (check out this particular view), I determined that the house pointed to by both Google and Microsoft’s geocoding was the only one in the area that matches the mansion’s description.
So there. Through the magic of the Internet, we can now “visit” Hawaii and see how Marcos lavishly lived out his last years. (Read this New York Times article for a more in-depth look.) Now if I can only find the Heidelberg, Germany house where Rizal lived.
Update: This article originally stated that the address was 2338 Makiki Heights Drive. This address was based on available online documentation (including court/legal papers mentioning Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth). However, several commenters that have visited or are near the area have said that the correct house number is 2332. And the actual proof that this is indeed the correct house is from Google’s Street View image of the place itself (Street View for Hawaii was rolled out way after this article was originally published). The number, 2332, is quite visible.