Malacañang sa Sugbu: The Philippine President’s House in Cebu

If you are to visit Cebu, one thing that you will be amazed of is to discover how wealthy this city is in terms of history and culture. Surely, it is displayed by standing edifices of historical landmarks and famous attractions around the city. Among those historical spots is this magnificent three storey, white house look-alike in the downtown part of this old city - the Malacañang sa Sugbo.

Malacañang sa Sugbo also known as Malacañang of the South is named after the real Malacañang in Manila, the place of residence by no other than the President of the Republic. It was in year 2004 when President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo decided to convert this building into her temporary shelter whenever she visited Cebu and the neighboring islands of the Visayas thus giving the recent name of the building. Similar to the real one, it is also situated near a body of water for immediate exit in case of any emergency.

Before it was named Malacañang sa Sugbo, this building served as the Port of Cebu and the office of the Bureau of Customs, thus more known as Aduwana (Cebuano term which means Bureau of Customs).

Malacañang sa Sugbo is well known for its all-white painted facade along the coasts of Cebu Strait, facing the islets of Cordova. It is situated South of Plaza Independencia and West of DOTC, and East of the CCSC, the coastal road going Talisay City.

Part of the building is a guard house where selected Marine officials take in charge of its security. You can see this building almost similar to a mini white house, in which two storey are designed to accommodate residents, with a balcony and a small tower at the top. The front side of the building shows how how this building served to the people of Cebu for over a century: In 1910 as the Port of Cebu and 2004 as Malacañang sa Sugbo.

Surrounded with plants, the outside ground of the building is perfectly landscaped, with coconut trees and carabao grass. You can also see a sea vessel of the Marine Guards at the back portion of it used before as a ready, alternative emergency exit using the sea. No descriptions are elaborated much about Malacañan sa Sugbo but for me as a constant viewer of this edifice, I will say, it has become a witness of different events in the City. Not to mention that during the stay of the previous Lady President, ralliest constantly flocked outside of “Cebuano” Malacañan to show and voice what they wanted to express.

There was even a time that policemen and armed forces had to be scattered around its vicinity, just to make sure its safety especially during the presence of the previous head of the state. Fire trucks, military vehicles together with public and private vehicles usually parked near its ground during meetings and special gatherings held at the building.

To add, this building also served as a neighbor of special ships that docked in the City. To name some, the MV Doulos and MV Logos, both ships carrying books for sale at an affordable rates usually stayed near the port of Malacañang sa Sugbo. The latest one, MV Logos, used the back portion of the building as the main entrance towards the floating bookstore.

To date, the inside of the building is not yet open for public view since it is still undecided whether to use it again as the Office of the Bureau of Customs or to use it as a museum as proposed by the officials of the City of Cebu. However, it never stops the locals and tourists from visiting the building to took photos of its facade and its outside view since the building is very near to Fort San Pedro and Plaza Independencia.

So to everyone out there, planning to visit Cebu, may these write-up be an additional guide and information for you to see a glimpse of the city we are so proud of.

See you here in Cebu!

Getting There:

You can go there via:

- private vehicle (although parking would be a problem during Weekdays and office hours);

- Taxi (which would be a lot easier and more convenient). Also you can easily hail a taxi cab within the vicinity so it should not be a problem.

- Jeepney: Look for jeepneys with signboards “Plaza Independencia”. Among the jeepneys that pass by there are:


Private – Colon Private – Leon Kilat – Colon – Plaza – Pier 1 – Pier 2 – Pier 3 – Pier 4 – White Gold Club – Mj Cuenco – Bonifacio – Sanciangko – Private


Urgello – Colon Urgello – Leon Kilat – Plaza Independencia – Pier 1 – Pier 2 – Pier 3 – Pier 4 – White Gold – Mj Cuenco – Bonifacio – Sanciangko – Urgello


South Bus Terminal – Colon South Bus Terminal – CCMC – Panganiban – Colon – Plaza Independencia – Pier 1 – Pier 2 – Pier 3 – Pier 4 – White Gold – Mj Cuenco – Bonifacio – Sanciangko – South Bus Terminal


Labangon – Colon – SM – North Reclamation – Pier 4 – T Padilla – Mj Cuenco – Bonifacio – Sanciangko – Ccmc -Katipunan – Tabuan – T Padilla – Leon Kilat – Magallanes – Plaza Independencia – Pier 1 – Pier 2 – Pier – 3 – Pier 4 – SM


Ibabao – Mandaue – Ayala – Jones Ibabao – Maguikay – Highway – Mabolo – Juan Luna – Ayala – Gorordo – Mango – Fuente – Jones – Plaza Independencia – Recla – White Gold Terminal – SM – Juan Luna – Highway – Ibabao


Mandaue – Ouano – Ayala – Jones Ouano Wharf – Mandaue City Hall – Immaculada – Highway – Juan Luna – Ayala – Gorordo – Mango – Fuente – Osmena – Jones – Metro Gaisano – Santo Nino – Plaza Independencia – Mj Cuenco – Highway – San Miguel – Ouano Wharf

Cebuano Terms:

Sugbo - Cebuano term for Cebu

Aduwana - Cebuano term which means Bureau of Customs