DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants to change the name of the official residence of the Philippine Chief Executive from Malacañan Palace to something more reflective of the Filipino people: “People’s Palace.”
Duterte talked about the plan on Thursday, August 25, while he complained about the “imperialistic” sound of “Malacañang.” He described it as a legacy of the country’s Spanish colonizers that “enslaved” Filipinos.
“The word ‘Malacañang,’ it smacks of imperialism. Totoo. Sino man ang nagpangalan ng ‘Malacañan Palace’? Mga Espanyol man iyan. (It’s true. Who named it Malacañan Palace? The Spaniards did.) Why should [not] I just address it as the ‘People’s Palace of the Republic of the Philippines’?” he said.
“One day I will rename it, ‘People’s Palace,'” Duterte added. “Like the People’s Park here. The park is owned by the people, so the name suggests it is their park.”
There are different stories on the origins of “Malacañang,” as discussed in the Official Gazette (gov.ph). They range from mamalakaya (fisherman) – as Pasig River used to be a rich fishing area – to “May lakan ‘yan (A great person lives there).”
Duterte also reiterated his plan to open the Palace to visitors. At present, the public has access to Malacañang Museum, at the Kalayaan Hall grounds. Unless there is an official function or appointment with officials, the public is not allowed to enter the Malacañang Palace proper.
The late President Corazon Aquino opened Malacañang to the public in 1986, where the people saw the wealth of possessions left by the Marcoses following the ouster of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos and the family’s exile to Hawaii.
When President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assumed the presidency in 2001, she initially allowed a People’s Day at the Palace grounds fronting Kalayaan Hall. This was discontinued after supporters of ousted president Joseph Estrada attempted to unseat her just months after she took over. – Rappler.com
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