Photos by the Malacañang Photo Bureau.
Photos by the Malacañang Photo Bureau.

This room was the ballroom of the Palace from Spanish times until the Commonwealth. President Quezon turned it into the State Dining Room in 1935.

In the past, this was where presidents dined with state guests and official visitors. A long adjustable table could accommodate up to about fifty guests. The president would sit at the center of the table and the First Lady across from him. The chandeliers, which were transferred by President Quezon from the Ayuntamiento de Manila, are Spanish, as are the gilded mirrors that have been here since 1877. The room was widened and a mirrored ceiling installed in 1979. President Arroyo had some of the mirrors replaced with the Amorsolo paintings from the Ramos Study Conference Room, and the mirrors attached to the ceiling removed.

Beyond is a smaller room, just as long, but narrower than the dining room. Intended for cabinet meetings and film showings, the room proved rather small and was rarely used as such. The room, called the Viewing Room, was more frequently used to hold buffets for people meeting in the State Dining Room. Another 1979 innovation, this occupies what was a veranda overlooking the Palace driveway and garden.

It was named the Aguinaldo State Dining Room in 2003 in honor of President Emilio Aguinaldo who was confined in this room by the Americans following his capture in Palanan, Isabela in 1901.