Sunday, November 6, 2011

Presidential Museum and Library

I had the pleasure of visiting the Presidential Museum and Library last Friday. I love going to museums and I actually wanted to be an anthropologist, but that didn't happen so I just go visit museums whenever I can.

A few months back a friend mentioned the museum and I was really curious about it because he said that they had a lot of presidential memorablia and old books. I finally got the chance to tour the museum and I was really surprised that they had a huge collection.

Ferdinand Magellan, I just realized that I never really knew how he looked.

The museum is located in the original Malacanan Palace. We went through many different room, most named after former presidents. I confessed to the curator that if I was asked to name all 15 presidents I would likely fail. I absorbed every word she said and I was really surprised to find out that we actually have 4 presidents who took over the remaining days of presidents who died/impeached (so that's why it's very important to choose a VP who would carry on well if the president cannot complete his term).

San Miguel used to have it's first brewery in the area! 

Malacanan Palace was originally a summer rest house which was originally sold for a thousand pesos and then eventually for 5,100 to the Spanish government. It was not originally intended to become the residence of whoever was running the country, but it eventually became a tradition because whoever was head of state stayed there. It was President Magsaysay who declared it to be the 'palace for the people'.

If I remember correctly this used to be the Old Executive Secretary's room
and it used to have an elevator because directly above it was the President's office.

The high-ceiling structure was built in 1920 and the largest renovation made was done by former first lady Imelda Marcos. I got the chance to stand on the balcony where former President Marcos waved his final goodbye before he left for Hawaii. The tree out front is remarkably as old as the Palace (wow!). The second floor held "Imelda's ballroom", but is now the Gallery of Presidents. It showcases mementos and busts of former presidents and there's a special room showcasing President Cory Aquino's collection.

I love sewing and this thimble was used by Teodora Agoncillo when
she sew the first Philippine Flag. 

I did not expect the tour to last almost an hour (or maybe because we were looking at everything in each room) and I must say that the collection is well maintained. It shows our heritage as a people and showcases Filipino craftsmanship (I still can't get over the carved table legs!). I could probably spend a whole day looking at everything and asking the curator many, many questions!

This is where they used to hold Council of State meetings. Council of
State now is more popularly know as the Cabinet.

The leg of the huge table is a carving.

This was the chair that President Marcos sat on when he declared Martial Law.

The balcony where President Marcos waved his last goodbye. 

I used to have all those buttons!

Gallery of Presidents.

To visit the Presidential Museum and Library you can get more information by contacting them at +632-7844286 or 4671 or email them at presidentialmuseum (at)

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