The Office for University Relations (OUR) led the freshmen international students on an educational visit of Malacañang Palace in Manila last July 11, 2012. This is the second time that the office has offered the special treat to international students as part of its socio-cultural education program.
With emphasis on introducing the Philippines to our international students, the office has chosen the Malacañang Palace for its undeniable significance in Philippine history and its continuing importance in the present events, both locally and internationally. During the tour, the students were led through the corridors leading to the rooms where Philippine presidents used to hold office. A tour guide from the Presidential Museum and Libraries assisted the group and narrated the events in Philippine history that took place in these rooms.
The first stop in the tour was Freedom Hall, formerly the press room during the Arroyo administration, where they were given a brief history of the palace. Next was the Spanish Room where antiquities such as portraits of Ferdinand Magellan and the Spanish governors-general, books, budget ledgers, and other memorabilia are on display. The American Room, which holds memorabilia belonging to the era of the American occupation of the country, similarly fascinated the visitors. The students were also given a lecture on the meanings of the symbols found in the Philippine Flag.
The presidential rooms in the second level of the palace also caught the interest of the students. Highlights include the President Elpidio Quirino Room, one of the few remaining old rooms in the Palace that are still in use. Another was the President Manuel Roxas Room where the chair used by former President Ferdinand Marcos still sits. Students were drawn by the historical significance of the chair and took several pictures of it.
The trip elicited good feedback and enthusiasm from the international students. With this, the OUR is now considering making the tour an integral part of its educational program. OUR