Malacañan 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 parlance and in the media. The term "Malacañang" is a metonym for the Philippine President's administration, or the Executive branch. Malacañang Palace is depicted on the verso (back) side of the present-day 20-peso bill.
Today the complex consists of Malacañang Palace itself, Bonifacio Hall (formerly the Premier Guest House used by Ferdinand E. Marcos successor Corazon C. Aquino as her office and by Joseph Ejercito Estrada as his residence), Kalayaan Hall (the former executive building built 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 resthouse (Bahay Pangarap) and recreation hall.
The state and historical rooms of the Palace aren't often seen by the public. While access is much more open than during the years before Marcos (especially during the time of Ramon Magsaysay), the Palace is closed and heavily guarded during times of political unrest. Rallyists often congregate along Mendiola Street, nearby to air their protests against the government.
The Spanish Captains-General (before the independence of New Spain, 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 Palacio del Gobernador (Governor's Palace) in 1869. At this point, Malacañang Palace, a summer home originally built in 1802 by Spanish aristocrat Don Luis Rocha, then subsequently purchased by an official and then purchased by the state, became the temporary residence of the Governors-General. Governor General Rafael de Echague y Berminghan, previously governor of Puerto Rico, was therefore the first Spanish governor to occupy Malacañang Palace.
When the Philippines came under American rule following the Spanish-American War, Malacañang Palace 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 by Governors-General Francis Burton Harrison and Dwight Davis. 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 Malacañang Palace. It has been the official residence of the President of the Philippines since. After his inauguration on December 30, 1953, President Ramon Magsaysay issued an Executive Order formally changing the name from "Malacañang 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.
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. Including the former San Miguel Brewery Buildings, which was demolished upon Expansion, paving away to a park near the San Miguel Church. Following a student uprising that nearly breached the palace gates in the early 1970s, 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' infamous collection of thousands of shoes.
To watch part 2 to 4 of 'The Road to Malacañan' from Probe Profiles, click HERE!