The Coconut Palace is the main working place and residence of the Vice President of the Philippines. The locals call it as Tahanang Pilipino that means Pilipino Home.
This gorgeous house is situated in Pasay, the suburb of Manila, on the territory of the famous Cultural Center.
Meeting of the Pope
A grand opening of the Coconut Palace took place in 1981. The city authorities planned to coincide this event with a visit of the Pope John Paul II to the country. According to the protocol of the Papal visit, the Pope should stay in the newly built palace. However, the head of the Vatican refused from the honor to stay in such a rich house. To his mind, it was immoral to live in such a splendid building while the locals languish in poverty. Later the author of the palace project claimed that construction of the palace was planned long before the Pope arrived in the Philippines.
Why does the Palace be Coconut?
Such materials as expensive Philippine woods, coconut shells, and sawn wood, that were specially produced for the house design realization, were used in the construction. The palace building has an octal shape. Its roof resembles a traditional Philippine hat salakot.
The Coconut Palace is a truly unique construction with an unusual architectural style. All parts of coconut (roots, trunk, leaves, fruits, shells, bark, and even blossoms) are reflected in the architecture of the palace. The thing is that the locals strongly believe that coconut is a tree of life.
The Coconut Palace Interior
The interior of the Coconut Palace impresses by its outstanding and unusual design. One of the true pieces of art of the palace is the candelabrum: 101 shells were used for its creation. The dining table is one more unique element of the palace interior: the table is made of 40 thousand inlaid pieces of coconut shells.
On the first floor of the palace, there are seven guest rooms. Each of them represents a separate region of the Philippines. In the rooms, you can see the hand-made items typical for a particular region. Thus, in the Marawi room, there are some things made by the Mindanao craftsmen. In the room dedicated to the mountain provinces, you will find the pieces of art of the natives.
Along with the Coconut Palace, the Arch of the Centuries is a national treasure of the Philippines. It was built in the Baroque style, and according to a tradition, only the students who just entered the University of Santa Tomas or the graduate students have a right to pass through the arch; those who violate this rule, can fall from grace.