» Manila City

MANILA CITY or in Filipino “Lungsod ng Maynila”, is the capital of the Philippines. The City is situated at the mouth of the Pasig River on the eastern shores of Manila Bay on Luzon western side. Manila stretches approximately 950 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong and 2,400 northeast of Singapore.

The city is bordered by several cities and municipalities such as Navotas and Caloocan City in the north, Quezon City in the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong City in the east, Makati City in the southeast, and Pasay City in the south side.

Manila has been classified as a "Gamma" global city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network and is also known as the National Capital Region (NCR) since the metropolis is currently a thriving metropolitan area which consists of 17 cities and municipalities.

Manila began as a small Muslim settlement on the banks of the Pasig River along the shores of Manila Bay. The city’s name was derived from a flowering mangrove plant “the nilad” that grew on the shores of the bay at that time, thus, of the name Maynilad. The city was then a prosperous Islamic community under the governance of Rajah Sulayman.

It was in the year 1570 when Miguel Lopez de Legazpi demanded the invasion of Manila, thus the Spaniards came under the command of Martin de Goiti defeated and crushed native settlements to the ground upon encountering resistance from the Muslim king. The following year, the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrived and made a peace pact with three Rajahs or Muslim leaders (Rajah Sulayman, Rajah Matanda, and Rajah Lakandula) and organized a city council consisting of two mayors, 12 councilors, and a secretary. At this time, the Spaniards built a walled city known as Intramuros to protect the colonizers. Then, on June 10, 1574 King Philip II of Spain gave Manila the title of “Distinguished and Ever Loyal City”. In the year 1595, Manila became the capital of the Philippines. In the late 1800, Spain totally lost control over the Philippines upon defeat by the American Fleet.

In 1898, the United States occupied and controlled Manila till 1946. Spain handed over the Philippines to the United States of America for US$ 20,000,000 upon its defeat in the battle and ending 377 years of Spanish rule in the country. On December 31, 1941 the city was declared an open city By President Manuel L. Quezon and was later occupied by Japanese forces on January 2, 1942. During World War II much of the city was destroyed, but then upon the return of General Douglas McArthur in the Philippines on February 5, 1945 Manila officially gained its freedom. In July of 1946, the Commonwealth government under Manuel L. Quezon declared independence.

Reconstruction of Manila soon came after and the population grew rapidly. Land was fully developed with subdivisions and residential suddenly flourished. In 1976, four cities:  Manila, Pasay, Caloocan and Quezon City and 13 other municipalities was officially designated as "Metro Manila".  Today, the city and the metropolis is already a progressive cultural and economic center.


The City of Manila is second to the most populous city in the Philippines with a population of 1.5 million residents.

The main language is Filipino. However, many Manileños are fluent in English language. A small percentage of the population can also speak Spanish owing to Manila’s Spanish heritage.

The city is progressive in terms of trade and commerce which is attributed to its 24 hours economic activities such as various trading centers, prime harbors, vast array of business establishments, and human resources capability. All of these factors contributed in billions of pesos investments.

It is also a plus factor in the city’s economy that local and international products are placed in Manila where it is sold at a lowest price. In its entirety, the city is now a complete ‘one-stop shopping mall’ where you can find vast array of goods and other products.

The five leading industries or establishment in Manila are Textile and Garments, followed by Food, Personal Products, Chemical and Pharmaceutical, and Rubber or Plastic Products.

City of Manila has two distinct seasons which is the Dry Season starting in the months of December to April, and Wet Season starting in the months of May to November. The coolest days are usually in December and January.

The maximum weather temperature in the city is 31.2 °C while the minimum temperature during the early hours of the morning before sunrise is at 24.8 °C. On the other hand, mean temperature is recorded at 28.0 °C.

The city has a lot of historical buildings showcasing the arts and culture of its land. It is also a home of various colleges and universities, such as the University of Santo Tomas, De La Salle University – Manila, San Beda College among many other schools. The city also has various art houses or buildings that show theatrical stage plays and various cinemanila movies in collaboration with other short film movies in other countries.

Tourists can also visit various museums in the city showcasing the rich art and culture of Manila:

  • Bahay Tsinoy
  • Intramuros Light and Sound Museum
  • Metropolitan Museum
  • Museo ng Maynila
  • Museong Pambata
  • National Library
  • National Museum of the Philippines
  • The Museum – De La Salle University Manila
UST Museum of Arts and Sciences

During the Spanish era, Manila has been used as a base for numerous Roman Catholic missions to the Philippines, thus it became the primary Archdiocese. Intramuros is currently the seat of the Archdiocese of Manila. The office is situated in the Manila Cathedral.

There are also various notable Catholic Churches and cathedrals in the city which some of these are already century years old:

  • Archdiocesan Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus
  • Binondo Church also known as the Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz
  • Malate Church
  • Manila Cathedral also known as the basilica of Immaculate Concepcion
  • Quiapo Church also known as the Basilica of the Black Nazarene
  • San Agustin Church
  • San Fernando de Dilao Parish Church
  • San Sebastian Church
  • Santa Cruz Church
  • Sto. Niño Parish Church

Other religions are also present in the city due to its diverse culture such as Buddhist, Taoist, Chinese, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Synagogue for the small Jewish community in the Philippines, among many other religions.

LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
The city is divided into 897 communities, each represented by a Chairperson and councilors. Furthermore, all barangays in Manila are grouped into 100 zones and further grouped into 16 administrative districts. The city also has six representatives in the House of Representatives, each representing congressional districts of Manila:

North of Pasig River South of Pasig River
  • Binondo
  • Quiapo
  • Sampaloc
  • San Miguel
  • San Nicolas
  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Mesa
  • Tondo
  • Ermita
  • Intramuros
  • Malate
  • Paco
  • Pandacan
  • Port Area
  • San Andres Bukid
  • Sta. Ana

*** Only one district was not an original town - Port Area. Eight (8) districts are located north of the Pasig River and eight (8) are in the south. San Andres Bukid was previously part of Santa Ana, while Santa Mesa was once a part of Sampaloc.


This place is a cultural commercial complex which composed of 9 houses representing various areas in Filipino/Hispanic architecture. One may also find gift and specialty shops and museum which contains 19th to early 20th century furniture found in a well-off class home.

This was built in 1571 and was completed after 150 years later. The place was partly rebuilt from the ruins of World War II. The place is used to be the settlement of Rajah Sulayman and is now known as the Shrine of Freedom in memory of all the Filipino people who fought during the Spanish and Japanese occupation.

The palace has been the seat of all Philippine Presidents since Spanish era; it is situated in the north side of the Pasig River.

The oldest university in the Philippines and Asia and was established on April 11, 1611. During the Spanish era, the place was owned by the Spanish Dominicans and during that time students with Spanish ancestry are only accepted in the said school. The campus served as an internment camp from January 1942 to February 1945.

The American Colonial Government founded this first college university in 1903 teaching educational course for students.

This shrine was built in honor of the Philippine hero Gat. Andres Bonifacio.

This place is situated along the northern side of Pasig River in which most of the Chinese population lives. The Chinese people have been very much involved in the Philippine retail trade business long before the Spaniards colonization.

Famous paintings of the Philippine National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco are displayed here.

This museum is part of the Plaza San Luiz Complex. The house showcases antique and furnishings from China and Europe which dates back in the 19th century. Other famous collections can also be seen here such as crystal chandeliers, Persian rugs, Chinese ceramics, religious images, antique piano and harp, marble tables, and other luxurious home furnishings.

This is located inside Fort Santiago which houses some items from the Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal. This is where the hero spent his last days before he was executed on December 30, 1986.

This is a house where the intellectual leader of Philippine Revolution Apolinario Mabini once lived. During the American era, most foreign correspondents visits this place. Later on, this house became the intellectual headquarters of the fist Philippine Republic.

This park is located south of Intramuros which has an area of 58 hectares. The place is the most significant park in the Philippines and have also been known as “Luneta” meaning “crescent or moon” in Spanish term. It was also previously known as “Bagumbayan” where the country’s beloved National Hero Jose Rizal was executed and buried.

Tourists may also see various attractions here such as the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, the Department of Tourism Building, the National Museum of the Philippines, the National Library of the Philippines, the Planetarium, the Orchidarium, Butterfly pavilion, and an open-air auditorium for cultural performance..

This river stretches 16 kilometer and considered as the “Cradle of Civilization” in Manila.

This is where the battle between Americans and Spaniards occurred in 1898. It is considered to be the first harbor in the Far East and where the Galleon Trade started.

Inside the old monastery of the Church have various collections such as 26 huge oil paintings of saints, the Don Luis Araneta Collection of antiques, the crypt where the Philippine notables are buried, among many other collections and historical rooms.

This Church has been the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Manila since 1581. It was renovated in 1950. Mosaic artworks can be seen inside the Church.

This plaza became the touchstone for public endorsement of policy and action since President Ramon Magsaysay’s governance.

The place used to be known as “Lagyo” till a chapel was built here in 1951 and later on changed the name of the place to “La Ermita”. Currently, this place has a vast array of food and dining restaurants and other business establishments.

Tourists can enjoy walking in this open space which provides al fesco cafés and restaurants, and enjoy listening to acoustic bands. The place is very much alive during Friday and weekends.


  • The Supreme Court of the Philippines
  • Rajah Sulayman Park
  • Manila Boardwalk
  • Ermita and Malate Districts, a place for Bohemian night life
  • Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden (Manila Zoo)
  • Paco Park, the location of the hit Paco Park Presents
  • University Belt Area
Malls and shopping centers
  • SM City Manila
  • SM Department Store Quiapo
  • SM City San Lazaro
  • Robinson's Place - Manila
  • Harrison Plaza (SM Harrison; Shopwise; Rustan's)
  • Ever Gotesco Manila Plaza (Recto)
  • Isetann Department Store (Recto and Quiapo)
  • Divisoria Flea Market
  • 168 Shopping Mall
  • Tutuban Center (Cluster Building, Centermall & Primeblock)
  • Quiapo Bargain Center, home for endless bargain goods
  • Palengke or Pamilihan sa ilalim ng tulay (literally means "a marketplace under the bridge), a center for indigenous Filipino products
Sporting venues
  • Rizal Memorial Sports Complex (RMSC)
  • San Andres Gym (foremrly Mail and More Arena, the home of the Manila MetroStars.)


The city is also accessible via the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Domestic Airport, just a few minutes away from Manila.


Manila is the main seaport of the Philippines with its North and South Harbor piers.

Most of the bus terminals can be found here in Manila. A number of jeepneys, tricycles, and pedicabs are also used for transportation.

Manila is also serviced by the Manila Light Rail Transit System along the length of Taft Avenue (R-2) and Rizal Avenue (R-9). A second line runs along Ramon Magsaysay Blvd (R-6) from Santa Cruz, through Quezon City, up to Santolan in Pasig City.