Ferdinand Edralin Marcos lies very dead, frozen, and encased in a refrigerated crypt at his very own museum in Batac, Ilocos Norte. His body is further encased in some form of wax for corpses, so that he looks both like a mummy artifact and Madame Tussaud. To view him, you go inside a cold room and walk around his glass enclosure strewn with flowers for the dead (fake or real, they’re meant to stay as long as he is). The room echoes with an angelic choir singing. The Presidential Seal of the Philippines looms big over His Dead Excellency, indicating that it is his and his alone.
But more striking than his meticulous arrangements for immortality is the dictator’s size. Stretched fully on his satin bed, the man responsible for Martial Law and full-scale plunder of the national coffers is no more than five feet. How can a puny man be so hugely detrimental to a country?
We could very well just spirit him away and stash him neatly in the back of the new 2009 Honda Jazz—the main reason why we were in Ilocos Norte in the first place, so we could thrash the car down and around the North roads—with just a flick of the seats to utility mode. He could stretch there all he wants, with room for one more despot. He is that small.
Which is to say the new Honda Jazz isn’t, although technically it’s still a sub-compact. The trick is in the clever engineering work done to squeeze out space in tight places. While the tech-heads at Honda retained the height and width of the previous Jazz, they increased length and wheelbase for more unencumbered interior room. To further increase the dimensions inside, they molded the doors, roof, seats, dash, even the windshield to give that overall feel of being inside a planetarium. Yes, a planetarium—because with that huge windshield you can see lit galaxies. (Although we would strongly advise against lighting up, you know, good leaves to see galaxies. At least while driving.)