This room was the largest of the Palace before the 1979 renovation. It was created by Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison, who demolished bedrooms to create a spacious area. It was embellished with a vaulted ceiling and three Czechoslovakian chandeliers by President Quezon and totally rebuilt in 1979. Old photographs show presidents receiving guests close to the top of the Grand Staircase at New Year’s Day “at home” and other affairs. An elaborate ceiling was installed in the 1930s, carved by noted sculptor Tampingco who depicted vases of flowers against a lattice background. The Tampingco woodwork, supported by concrete neoclassical pillars, was curved and in some eyes gave the room a coffin shape. In the 1979 renovation, the Tampingcos were replaced with two facing balconies and the pillars removed. The balconies each have seven chandeliers, seven being the lucky number of the Marcoses.
Easily the most outstanding feature of the Reception Hall are the three large Czechoslovakian chandeliers bought in 1937. These have always been treasured and during the Second World War, were carefully disassembled prism by prism and hidden for safekeeping. They were taken out and reassembled after the war. Beneath the chandeliers is a massive table made of the finest Philippine hardwoods, a gift to President Quezon from convicts in gratitude for their Presidential Pardons. The table was a fixture of the Reception Hall from the Quezon to Marcos administrations, when it became the dining table for the presidential residence used by presidents Aquino and Ramos. It was restored to its traditional place in 2002 and again in 2011. The Reception Hall also features the official portraits of the Presidents of the Philippines.