Ang Tahanang Pilipino
Coconut Palace, the residence and office of the Vice-President
|Alternative names||Tahanang Pilipino|
|Town or city||F. Ma. Guerrero Street, Pasay 1307|
|Current tenants||Vice-President of the Philippines|
|Design and construction|
The Coconut Palace, also known as Tahanang Pilipino (Filipino Home), is the official residence and principal workplace of the Vice President of the Philippines. Located at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in Pasay, south of Manila, it was commissioned by former First Lady Imelda Marcos for Pope John Paul II's visit in 1981. However, the pope declined the offer, saying that it was too ostentatious a place to stay while in the poverty-stricken Philippines. The Palace's architect Francisco Mañosa, later claimed that the Coconut Palace - a showpiece on the versatility of the coconut and its viability as an export - was planned long before the Pope even decided to visit the country.
The Coconut Palace, built in 1978, is made of several types of Philippine hardwood, coconut shells, and a specially engineered coconut lumber apparently known as Imelda Madera. Each of the suites on the second floor is named after a specific region of the Philippines and displays some of the handicrafts these regions produce. The palace is located on F. Ma. Guerrero Street at the Cultural Center of the Philippines between the Folk Arts Theatre and the Sofitel Philippine Plaza. Before becoming the official residence of the Vice President, the palace was used for wedding receptions.
The palace is shaped like an octagon (the shape given to a coconut before being served), while the roof is shaped like a traditional Filipino salakot or hat. Some of its highlights are the 101 coconut-shell chandelier, and the dining table made of 40,000 tiny pieces of inlaid coconut shells. Highlighted as one of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ most striking structures for its architecture and interiors, the palace celebrates the coconut as the ultimate “Tree of Life”. From the coconut's roots to its trunk, bark, fruit, flower and shell, the palace's design, form and ornamentation echo these elements.
The Coconut Palace has found itself being featured in various TV shows. On the fifth season of the reality series The Amazing Race, the Coconut Palace served as the pit stop when the competing teams went to Manila. The contestants were welcomed by Luli Arroyo, daughter of Former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The Palace was made a primary filming location for the ABS-CBN television series Tanging Yaman, standing in for Malacañan Palace as the residence of the First Family.
The Coconut Palace underwent major renovations as it was being eyed as the official office and residence of the Vice President of the Philippines. On February 11, 2011, it was officially turned over to Vice President Jejomar Binay upon the signing of a lease contract with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) with a monthly rental fee of ₱400,000.
The palace has seven guest rooms named after different provinces all over the country.
- Malacañan Palace, Philippine Presidential Palace
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