As the entire country looks forward to the day when Rodirgo Duterte finally assumes his rightful position as the newly-elected President, all eyes are set on Malacañan Palace.
Although Duterte has already mentioned during his campaign sorties that he wouldn’t reside in the palace, it will definitely play a big role in his administration as it will be his official workplace.
Malacañan Palace, of course, has been the “country’s seat of powere” for more than 150 years already. Here are some interesting tidbits about it that you may not be aware about, as shared by CNN Philippines.
#1. The formal name is Malacañan, not Malacañang.
Malacañan, in Spanish, literally means “place of the fisherman. It has always been the official name of the palace until 1953 when former President Ramon Magsaysay changed it to Malacañang.
Come 1986, however, former President Corazon Aquino restored the original name “Malacañan” referring to the official resident of the president and “Malacañang” referring to the office of the president.
#2. Emilio Aguinaldo wasn’t the first president to reside in Malacañan.
While history tells us that Emilio Aguinaldo is the first president of the Philippines, his stay there wasn’t very eventful since he was held as a prisoner there when the Americans captured him in 1901. In 2003, the room has been renamed the Aguinaldo State Dining Room to honor him.
The first president to formally reside in Malacañan was Manual L. Quezon who was inaugurated as a president in 1935.
#3. Marcos gave Malacañan an extensive renovation.
Major renovations were done in the palace during the twenty years that Ferdinand Marcos stayed in office. Bedroom suites with bullet-proof windows were built, function halls were erected, and a discotheque was even added.
On May 1, 1979, the renovated palace was inaugurated during the Marcoses’ silver wedding anniversary.
The official Malacañang website tells us:
“The old Palace was gutted almost entirely, not only to meet the needs of the Presidential family but also because the buildings had been weakened by patch up renovation and repair jobs for a century.”
#4. Duterte isn’t the first president to decline residing in Malacañan.
Both President Benigno Aquino III and his mother Cory Aquino refused to live in the palace. Noynoy ended up residing in Bahay Pangarap, a rest house located within the compound. Meanwhile, Cory and Fidel Ramos, her successor, lived in Arlegui Guest House, a rented private place now called the Laperal Mansion. Even former president Joseph Estrada lived in the Premier Guest House.
As the 15th president of the country, Duterte will add to the list of presidents who declined to reside in the palace.
#5. Malacañan is rumored to be haunted.
Like other old mansions, Malacañan is rumored to be haunted. Some residents and staff have said they’ve seen ghosts of former presidents. The official website of Malacañan even has a page dedicated to the supernatural stories about the palace.