The Philippines, a republic, is headed by a President elected by majority of Filipino qualified voters for a term of six years. His official residence is the Malacañan Palace which is more popularly known as Malacañang. In the Filipino language, it is “Palasyo ng Malakanyang”. Here are some of the most historical and interesting facts about the Philippine President’s “official residence”.
1. Since 1986, “Malacañan Palace” is officially referred to as the “official residence” of the Philippine President while “Malacañang” is referred to as the “office of the President”.
2. In 1953, President Ramon Magsaysay changed “Malacañan Palace” to “Malacañang: Residence of the President of the Philippines.
3. The official summer residence of the President of the Philippines is “The Mansion” located in the summer capital of the country – Baguio City which is located up high in the mountains of Cordillera.
4. The official residence of the Vice President of the Philippines is “The Coconut Palace” located in CCP Complex in Pasay City, Metro Manila.
5. The Malacañan Palace is not just the official Philippine residence but also its principal workplace. It is where presidential visitors such as foreign heads of states, diplomats, dignitaries and others are received and accommodated.
6. The complete address of this very popular architectural masterpiece is 1000 Jose P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila City, Philippines.
7. Originally, this more than 260 year-old impressive edifice of Spanish Colonial style was built in 1750 as a summer house.
8. As a colony of Spain, the first Spanish head of government to reside in the palace was Rafael Berminghan de Echague and since then had been the residence of every Philippine head of government (Spanish Governors-General, American Civil Governors and Philippine Presidents).
9. There were 18 Spanish Governors-General, 14 American Civil Governors and 14 Philippine Presidents who resided in the Malacañang Palace.
10. The only Philippine President who did not reside in Malacañan is Emilio F. Aguinaldo, the first and youngest President of the Philippines.
11. The first president of the Philippines to reside at the Malacañan Palace was Manuel Luis M. Quezon.
12. The Philippine President who resided the longest in Malacañan Palace was Ferdinand E. Marcos – more than 20 years from 1965 to 1986.
13. The first American Civil Governor of the Philippines who resided in Malacañan Palace was William Howard Taft who later became US President.
14. During the American period, an executive building was built and was called Kalayaan Hall. It was later transformed into a museum.
15. Don Luis Rocha, a Spanish wealthy merchant, was the original owner of the building. It was bought in 1802 by Colonel Jose Miguel Formente but in 1825 it was purchased by the state.
16. The term “Malacañan” was derived from the phrase “May lakan diyan” which literally means “There is a nobleman there”, as it was originally owned by a Spanish aristocrat.
17. Historic seizures of Malacañang Palace include the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, EDSA II and EDSA III. It was bombarded by rebel soldiers known as RAM in the 1989 Coup Attempt.
18. Do you know that the models in the famous “The Blood Compact” painting of Antonio Luna which is currently on display at the Malacañan Palace were Jose Rizal for Sikatuna – the helmeted man shown from behind at left and Trinidad H. Pardo de Tavera for Legazpi – the Spaniard seated facing the viewer?
19. The largest room in Malacañan Palace is the Rizal Ceremonial Hall which is also known as the Ballroom. This hall is used for state dinners and large assemblies.
20. The office of the President is “The Presidential Study” which is located on the Palace’s 2nd floor while “The State Dining Room” is used mainly for Cabinet Meetings.