TEXT & PHOTO: Kaycie Gayle
This serene two-story mansion was built to give it to the 60th birthday of a renowned former president in the country and to serve as the official residence of the first family when they were up north. Locals call it ‘Malacañang ti Amianan’, which means Malacañang of the North, which was taken from Malacañang Palace which is the official residence of the president during his term.
The Mansion’s Lobby
Living Room set on the ground floor
Upon entering, the spacious and airy ambiance will soothe you giving you that feel of a classic provincial mansion. A foyer that goes through the viewing deck will be the instant feature that you are going to notice. The viewing deck is irresistibly charming that it has a way of effortlessly pulling you. Unable to resist, I just allowed myself to just go straight to it, and lo and behold, I was awed by the tranquility it offers. Since the mansion is overlooking Paoay lake, the deck provides a good view of the lake and a few steps down from the viewing deck is a lawn where you can go to if you want to walk closer to the lake. After several minutes of savoring the moment of being mesmerized by the view, I decided to explore further inside the mansion.
Foyer that goes through the viewing deck
The Viewing deck
The Lawn and Paoay Lake
In exploring the mansion, different rooms were unveiled to me, some of them are the dining hall where a long table was placed which could be where the first family brings their guests when dining. Then, there’s also the presidential son’s room which is furnished with a four-poster bed and offers a view of the yard and its well well-tended gardens. Also there is the ‘second master’s bedroom’ which was allegedly renovated and rearranged when the president was already losing the strength to go up to the second floor. Amongst the rooms, this could be considered as one of the highlights in touring the mansion, aside from featuring the wide bed which they say as the bed that has been used by the president, there’s also a sleeping wear laying on top of it, which seemed to have just been taken off and gives a somewhat real effect. It also displays a big wide cabinet which was used to keep the personal effects of the family. The view of Paoay Lake and the rays of sunlight and air passing through the capiz windows and ventanillas makes this room even special and a relaxing place to stay.
four poster bed in presidential son’s room
Wide bed in the Master’s bedroom
Sleeping wear on the bed
Capiz window overlooking Paoay lake
Couches on Masters Bedroom
Curved wooden stairs led me to the second floor of the mansion where each corner of the spacious hall has been furnished with different sets of chairs, tables, and couches that are placed randomly. Passing through the sash door and windows of the hall I’ve reached the veranda which provides a bird’s eye view of the lawn and Paoay lake. Certainly a spot for beholding the nature’s view and admiring the architecture of the mansion. Meanwhile, other parts to be seen in the mansion are the room that pays tribute to overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and the Presidential office.
Curved Wooden stairs
Living room wooden set
A Hall with full of wooden chairs and tables
View of Paoay Lake from Veranda
Suitcases in the OFW room
After touring around, I took some time to appreciate the facade which I haven’t done when I have just arrived. From the outside, one would say the architectural style of the house is that of a modern-day ‘Bahay na bato’ which is an incorporated house style from the Spanish colonial period and the 70’s. This is reflected on it’s capiz windows and ventanillas which was a staple feature of Bahay na Bato, while the style of the iron curved railing which was probably used to ensure safety was popular during the time the mansion was built. Meanwhile, the strong influence of Bahay na Bato is vivid as the mansion is built with concrete on the ground floor and made of wood on the second floor, which speaks that this mansion is truly a signature Filipino structure.
The facade of the mansion
A visit to this mansion would definitely give you a glimpse of the lifestyle of the first family when they were in the province, and how a retirement home of the former president should have been. It will also show you how a Bahay na Bato, the signature Filipino house structure looks like in the 70’s. Should you want to visit it, Malacanang of the North is located in Brgy. Suba, Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Happy Travels! 💛
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. All expenses were shouldered by the author. All photos are from Kaycie Gayle