Manila is the capital city of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities which, along with the municipality of Pateros, make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region, that has an overall population of around 12 million. In addition, its total urban area, referring to its continuous urban expansion into the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Batangas, has a population of 24,123,000.
The city of Manila is located on the eastern shore of Manila Bay and is bordered by the cities of Navotas and Caloocan to the north; Quezon City and San Juan to the northeast; Mandaluyong to the east; Makati to the southeast, and Pasay to the south. It has a total population of 1,652,171 making it the second most populous city in the Philippines, behind Quezon City. The populace inhabit a land area of only 2,498 hectares, making Manila arguably the most densely populated city in the world.
Manila (and more broadly speaking, Metro Manila) is the economic and political capital of the Philippines, home to extensive commerce and some of the most historically and culturally significant landmarks in the country, as well as the seat of the executive and judicial branches of the government. Manila was listed as a global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network in 2012. The Manila Galleon trade-route (c. 1565 to 1815), being the first instance in human-history wherein world-trade truly became global (previous world-trade routes had not yet crossed the Pacific and had not reached a global nature), made Manila a primordial foundation-stone of true globalization. Manila is the host to the Embassy of the United States in the Philippines and the Apostolic Nunciature to the Philippines.
Manila has many scientific and educational institutions, numerous sport facilities, and other culturally and historically significant venues. The city is politically divided into six legislative districts and geographically into: Binondo, Ermita, Intramuros, Malate, Paco, Pandacan, Port Area, Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Andres, San Miguel, San Nicolas, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, Santa Mesa and Tondo. These districts were towns and parishes absorbed by Manila during the 19th Century.
The earliest written account of the city is the 10th-century Laguna Copperplate Inscription which describes a Malay kingdom in what is now Manila maintaining diplomatic relations with the Indianized Kingdom of Medang in modern-day Java. The city had preferential trade with Ming Dynasty China, which registered the place as “東都” (Dongdu). It then became a province of the Maharajanate of Majapahit and was called by its Sanskrit title, “षेलुरोन्ग्” (Selurong) before it was invaded by Brunei’s Sultan Bolkiah and renamed “كوتا سلودونڠ” (Kota Saludong) or simply Maynilà, from the word “Maynilad”, a native Tagalog term indicating the presence of Nila, a flowering mangrove plant once abundant in the area.
By the 15th century, it was nominally Islamized until the Spanish Conquistadors arrived via Mexico. They renamed the area Nuevo Reino de Castilla (New Kingdom of Castille) and shortened the nickname, Maynilà to Manila and using it as the official name.
Manila eventually became the center of Spanish activity in the Far East and one end of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade route linking Latin America and Asia. The city would eventually be given the moniker of the “Pearl of the Orient”, as a result of its central location in the vital Pacific sea trade routes. Several Chinese insurrections, local revolts, a British Occupation and a Sepoy mutiny also occurred shortly thereafter. Manila also saw the rise of the Philippine Revolution which was followed by the arrival of the Americans who made contributions to the city’s urban planning and development only to have most of those improvements lost in the devastation of World War II. Since then the city has been rebuilt and has rapidly grown.