Malacanang Palace in Manila - Philippines
In 1802 a wealthy Spaniard by the name of Don Luis Rocha built his summer vacation house along the Pasig River in a rural vicinity in the backwoods of Manila. The Spanish central government in Manila was then located inside the Walled City of Intramuros. There was not yet a Malacanang Palace or a Philippine presidential residence, or Philippine White House to talk of.
Then, a terrible earthquake damaged much of Intramuros in 1869, especially the Palacio del Gobernador (Palace of the Governor or Governor-General) which was in ruins. So the seat of government was transferred to this spacious summer vacation house which was bought by the State. The Governor-General resided here and met with his officials.
Later, as time went, it became know as Malacanang Palace. When the Commonwealth was established under Manuel L. Quezon, it became the Philippine presidential residence. And because it was painted white, it later became known unofficially as the Philippine White House, after the White House in Washington, USA.
Today, Malacanang Palace is the official Philippine presidential residence where the president of the country stays and works. Foreign dignitaries and news men often fondly refer to it as the Philippine White House. Dignitaries are sometimes invited there for dinner or press conferences so that media people often flock to the place for scoops and press releases. Theres an Office of the Press Secretary located within its grounds.
To get to the Philippine presidential residence in Manila, simply ask the cab driver to drop one off at Malacanang. Its along Arlegui Street intersecting C.M. Recto Avenue. The main gate that opens to the Administration Building is at the Mendiola intersection. The Philippine White House is near known Colleges like San Beda and Holy Spirit. St. Jude Church in Manila is right beside it.
Inside Malacanang Palace is the Bonifacio Hall (formerly the Guest House), the Kalayaan Hall (built by the Americans), the New Executive Building, among other buildings around the Philippine presidential residence. The elite Presidential Security Guards (PSG) keep the president, the presidential family, and surroundings of the Philippine White House well protected 24-7. Across the Pasig River is a golf course, the Commonwealth Rest House fondly called Bahay Panagarap, and a recreational hall, among others.
From Luneta, a cab ride to Malacanang Palace costs about P100 or a bit more. From the Quiapo area, there are public jeeps going to the Budget Office Building where a gate to the Philippine presidential residence is within walking distance. The best point of approach to the Philipppine White House is through the Mendiola Gate.