Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Malacaņang 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 is depicted on the verso (back) side of the 20-peso bill.
The Spanish Governor of the Philippines resided in Malacanang, a summer home purchased from a nobleman. Governor General Bustamante , a relative to the King of Spain, was killed in the palace; his 1749 death is steeped in the nation's history.
When the Philippines came under American rule following the Spanish-American War, Malacanang became the residence of the American Governor-General. The palace was expanded, and an Executive building added. The complex reverted to the President of the Philippines upon the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, and has been the official residence of the President of the Philippines since.
The palace was made famous as the home of President Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. As first lady, Mrs. Marcos oversaw the renovation of the palace to her own extravagant tastes. Following a student uprising that nearly breached the palace gates in the 1970's, 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' famous collection of thousands of shoes.
Today the complex consists of the Malacanang Palace itself, the Premier Guest House (used by Marcos successor Corazon Aquino as her residence), Kalayaan Hall (the former executive building build under the American administration, and the Administration Building, among other, smaller buildings. Across the river, also considered part of the complex, is a golf course and park.
Visitors can enter the palace and see various rooms containing many historical items. However, 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.
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