Syquia Mansion of President Elpidio Quirino
Vigan is the proud birthplace of the Philippines’
sixth president, Elpidio Quirino. President Quirino is
best remembered as the chief author of economic
developments undertaken by the country that helped it
rise from the devastation of World War II, as well as
the country’s foreign policy direction during that time.
Having the Bigueno trait of independent-thinking,
President Qurino became the target of CIA propaganda
that made him lose his 1953 presidential bid against
Ramon Magsaysay, who headed the National Defense
Department under his administration. It was President
Quirino’s penalty for his support of the withdrawal of
the American bases whose stay in the country was up for
The Syquia Mansion which houses President Qurino’s
extensive memorabilia is actually owned by his
Dona Alicia Quirino. Her ancestor was a Chinese who made
his fortune in the robust trading in Vigan.
pride in his Asian heritage can be seen by visitors to
the Syquia mansion where they can view a
portrait of him
with his braided long hair and traditional Chinese
robes. His descendants adopted the hispanized Syquia
surname later on.
The first lady’s grand ancestral home was where some of
the President’s functions were held during his
administration so it is not only worth a visit for the
presidential memorabilia but also for the feel of the
magnificent and historical gatherings that have taken
place amongst the elegant furnishings.
To find the Syquia Mansion, visitors may walk through
Crisologo Street towards Gordion Inn or the Kingdom Hall
of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the two-storey, blue and
cream-painted mansion will be in the corner of Quirino
Inside the Syquia Mansion one will marvel at the huge
rooms filled with not only Philippine antiques but also
those from countries all over the world. There are huge
oil portraits of the family, with three identified as
being done by national artist Fernando Amorsolo. There
is even a huge replica of Juan Luna’s Spolarium, which
was painted by the national hero and painter’s
The house is still used by members of the Quirino
family, so visitors will see modern implements in the
dinning room and kitchen together with the exquisite
antique chinaware on display.
Visitors should also not pass up on the opportunity to
look through the peeping holes found in the master’s
bedroom and the second floor which are used to view
visitors in the receiving area before they are allowed
to enter the grand living room.
A caretaker of the Syquia family is always around when
the mansion is open to accompany visitors. Visitors can
get important details from them, even information on
The Syquia Mansion tour is free, but a donation may be
given to the caretaker.