Malacanang Palace, damaged by mother nature and enjoyed by the elite!

Where is Malacanang Palace?

Malacañan Palace or (erroneously Malacañang Palace) is the official residence of the president of the Philippines. The palace is located along the north bank of the Pasig River in Manila. It is called Palasyo ng Malakanyang in Filipino, and Malacañan Palace when referred to as the official residence of the President of the Philippines, and simply Malacañang when referred to as the office of the president, as well as in everyday discussions and in the media. Malacañan Palace is depicted on the verso (reverse) side of the present-day 20-peso bill.

Spanish Captains to Generals, (prior to the independence of Mexico, from which the Philippines was directly governed) and then the Governors-General of the Philippines originally resided in the walled city of Intramuros, Manila, until an earthquake leveled the Governor's Palace in 1869. At this point, Malacañang, a summer home originally built in 1802 by the Rocha family, was purchased by a Colonel in the Spanish Army and then purchased by the state, became the temporary residence of the Governor General Rafael de Echague y Berminghan, previously governor of Puerto Rico. He was the first Spanish governor to occupy Malacañang.

The Americans

When the Philippines came under American rule following the Spanish-American War, Malacañang became the residence of the American Governor-General. In 1900 William Howard Taft became the first American Civil Governor resident. The palace was expanded, and an Executive building added. The complex reverted to the President of the Philippines upon the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, on November 15, 1935.

President Manuel L. Quezon became the first Filipino resident of Malacañan Palace and has been the official residence of the President of the Philippines since. After his inauguration on December 30, 1954, President Ramon Magsaysay issued an Executive Order formally changing the name from Malacañan Palace to Malacañang: Residence of the President of the Philippines.

The new nomenclature rapidly caught on and was maintained until informally abandoned during the Marcos administration. During the administration of President Corazon Aquino, for historical reasons, government policy has been to make the distinction between Malacañan Palace, official residence of the president, and Malacañang, office of the president.

Malacanang Palace & The Marcos’s

The palace was made famous as the home of President Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, who were its longest residents, from 1965 to 1986. As first lady, Mrs. Marcos oversaw the reconstruction of the palace to her own extravagant tastes. Following a student uprising that nearly breached the palace gates in the early 1970's, martial law was declared and the complex was closed to the public. When President Marcos was deposed in 1986, the palace complex was stormed by the local populace, and the international media subsequently exposed the excesses of the Marcos family, including Mrs. Marcos' famous collection of thousands of shoes.

Malacanang Palace Today

Today the complex consists of Malacañan Palace itself, Bonifacio Hall, formerly the Premier Guest House used by Marcos successor Corazon Aquino as her residence and by Joseph Ejercito Estrada as his residence, Kalayaan Hall, the former executive building build under the American administration, Mabini Hall, the Administration Building, and the New Executive Building, built by President Aquino, among other smaller buildings.

Across the river, is Malacañang Park, which contains a golf course, park, billets for the presidential guard, as well as a Commonwealth-era presidential rest house, Bahay Pangarap and recreation hall.

The state and historical rooms of the Palace aren't often seen by the general public. While access is much more open than during the martial law years, the Palace is closed and heavily guarded during times of political unrest. Rallies often congregate along Mendiola Street, nearby to air their protests against the government.

Malacanang Palace & Disasters!

Malacanang Palace has had its fair share of disasters. The Malacanang Palace Philippines was built in 1802 and since that time mother nature has unleashed her awesome fury:

  • 1872 earthquake damages Malacanang Palace.
  • 1873 Fire and storms damage Malacanan.
  • 1880 Earthquake damages Malacanan.
  • 1945 damaged during World War 2
  • 1982 Fire damages Malacanang Palace and destroys Malacanan Museum

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    Copyright (c) 2004 CBD Finance Pty Limited. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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