Filipino Icon: Malacanang
One of the most popular Filipino icons is the Malacanang Palace. This is primarily because it serves as the official workplace and home to the country’s superman, the President of the Philippines.
It is so iconic that you can see it printed on the back of your twenty-peso bill everyday!
There are many theories on how Malacanang received its name, but most historians suggest it came from the Tagalog phrase May lakan diyan or “there is a nobleman there.” This is because a wealthy Spaniard used to reside in the palace. No one knows if that Spaniard was Don Luis Rocha, an aristocrat, who built the palace in 1750. In any case, the palace was eventually acquired by the state in 1821. It then became the residence for all leaders of the country, with the exception of Emilio Aguinaldo. The first president of the Philippines opted to stay in his hometown of Kawit, Cavite.
Through the years, the Malacanang palace has seen multiple renovations to stay “alive” and to address the needs of the residing Presidents. During Ferdinand Marcos’ administration, the palace underwent grandiose expansions to fit the desired taste of his wife, Imelda Marcos. Today, the palace contains multiple ballrooms, private quarters, study halls, golf courses, mini museums, and gardens. Old trees from the 1900s as well as furniture made from the finest Philippine hardwood remain in the palace. This is a testament to our resilientand active government.