June 11, 2013 is the sesquicentennial of Malacañan Palace as official residence of the chief executive of the Philippines. In fulfillment of its mandate as custodian of the institutional memory of the Philippine Presidency, the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) launches an online commemoration to mark one hundred fifty years since its conversion from rest house to official residence of Spanish and American Governors-General, and later, Philippine Presidents.

Institutional and Architectural History of Malacañan Palace

The Transformation of Malacañan Palace


The Present Past

Reception Hall

The Reception Hall of Malacañan Palace, as seen during the time of President Manuel Roxas, and as it stands today, serving as a reception room for the dignitaries that call on the Philippine President.

Adorning the ceiling, which was carved by noted sculptor Isabelo Tampingco, are three priceless Czechoslovak chandeliers, which were bought in 1937. Beneath is a table which was given to President Quezon from convicts as a token of gratitude for their presidential pardons.

Manuel L. Quezon climbing the stairs of the Palace for the first time as President in 1935.
President Sergio Osmeña and President-elect Manuel Roxas leaving Malacañan Palace en route to the latter’s inauguration in 1946. 

The grand staircase of Malacañan Palace holds an esteemed position in the history of the Philippine presidency, with the transfer of power from one president to another affirmed through the climbing of these stairs.

References & Recommended Reading

For regular updates on the heritage of Malacañan Palace as official residence and seat of Philippine Presidents, follow the Presidential Museum and Library on Tumblr and subscribe to the Malacañan Palace page on Facebook. Or experience firsthand the history of the great house, by booking a tour of the Presidential Museum and Library.