Manila, Philippines

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Manila City, Manila City Photos, Manila Photos, Manila Pictures, Manila Images, Manila, Philippines, Manila City Guide

Manila, is the capital of the Philippines.

Founded on June 24, 1571, by Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi, it is one of the oldest cities in the Philippines and was the seat of power for most of the country’s colonial rulers. It is situated on the eastern shore of Manila Bay and is home to many landmarks, some of which date back to the 16th century. It was the first chartered City by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act 183 on July 31, 1901 and gained autonomy with the passage of Republic Act No. 409 or the “Revised Charter of the City of Manila” on June 18, 1949. In 2012, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network listed Manila as a global city.

The city proper is home to 1,780,148 people in 2015, forming the historic core of Metro Manila, the capital region of the Philippines. The metropolitan area, which includes the much larger Quezon City and the Makati Central Business District, is the one of the most populous urban areas in the world. Manila is also the most densely populated city proper in the world, with 41,515 people per square kilometer. The term “Manila” is commonly used to refer to either the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

Manila is located on the eastern shore of the Manila Bay on one of the finest harbors in the country. The city is composed of 16 districts: Binondo, Ermita, Intramuros, Malate, Paco, Pandacan, Port Area, Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Andres, San Miguel, San Nicolas, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, Santa Mesa and Tondo. The city has six congressional districts for the lower house of the Philippine Congress.

Manila was once ruled by the Kingdom of Tondo before it briefly became a province of the Majapahit Empire. During the Bruneian invasion of the Philippines, Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei captured Seludong (a village in modern-day Manila) and renamed it Maynilà, a Tagalog term referring to the presence of the nila shrub. Maynilà became a vassal state of Brunei, established to overpower Tondo.

In 1571, conquistadors arrived from Mexico, across the Pacific Ocean, and founded present-day Manila in what is now the Intramuros district. Spanish missionaries soon Christianized the city, incorporated Tondo and built some of the oldest churches in the country, including San Agustin Church (a World Heritage Site). The conquistadors renamed the area Nuevo Reino de Castilla (New Kingdom of Castille).

Manila became the center of Spanish activity in the Far East and one end of the Manila–Acapulco galleon trade route linking Spanish America with Asia, one of the earliest examples of globalization. Because of its central location on Pacific trade routes, Manila received the moniker “Pearl of the Orient”. Spanish rule of the Philippine archipelago lasted for more than three centuries, until 1898. At various points during the long colonial period, there were local revolts, Chinese insurrections, pirate attacks, earthquakes, Dutch raids and invasion attempts, and a British occupation of the city. Order was usually quickly restored and the city returned to the business of trade.

In the 19th century, Manila was one of the most modern cities in Asia. Before the Spanish–American War, it saw the rise of the Philippine Revolution. After the war, the United States took control, switched the official language from Spanish to English, and made changes in education, local laws and urban planning. Near the end of World War II, during the Battle of Manila, most of the city was flattened by intensive aerial bombardment by the United States Air Force. As a result, relatively little remains of Manila’s prewar and colonial architecture, although there are ongoing restoration projects, especially within the old walled city, Intramuros.

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