Appendix 3.7: (Governor) Bongbong Marcos, Game Hunter

  • Kasarinlan Philippine Journal of Third World Studies


How distinct was Bongbong Marcos from his father? As a government official during the dictatorship, did he copy his father’s iron-fist style, or did he take after his father in some other way? The following may give us a clue. Bongbong Marcos has stated that one of his hobbies is hunting, and that he had hunted in Calauit, which his father had populated with African animals after relocating the native Tagbanua. The following photographs further confirm that fact. Also included here is a document connected to Bongbong’s fondness for hunting that, more importantly, also gives a glimpse of how well he fulfilled his duties as governor of Ilocos Norte from 1983–1986. The communication details a plan by Bongbong to go to hunting in Tanzania for twenty-one days with his brother-in-law Greggy Araneta and friend Ramonito Durano Jr. in October 1985. That he was willing to leave his constituents for so long to travel for pleasure—with his father’s blessing (and international arms dealer Adnan Kashoggi’s assistance) it seems, based on the signed note on the upper right-hand corner—corroborates one observation in a declassified diplomatic cable dated 7 November 1983 (“Subject: Peace and Order Conditions in Northern Luzon”). According to page 22 of that cable, which can be accessed (for a fee) via the Digital National Security Archive (, Bongbong Marcos “had rarely visited the province [and] that the governor was trying to run the province by ‘remote control’ from [Manila; furthermore,] Governor Marcos has refused to authorize anyone to make decisions in his absence, causing serious administrative problems.”