The City of Manila (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Maynila)
The City of Manila (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Maynila), or simply Manila or Maynila, is the capital of the Philippines and one of the 17 cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila. It is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay, on the western portion of the National Capital Region, in the western side of Luzon. Manila is one of the central hubs of a thriving metropolitan area home to over 19 million people. As of 2009,Manila ranks as the world's eleventh largest metropolitan area and the fifth largest urban area by population. Manila is also ranked as one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The city itself had more than 100 parks scattered throughout the city.
Manila occupies a total land area of 38.55 square kilometers, is the second most populous city in the Philippines, with more than 1.6 million inhabitants. Only nearby Quezon City, the country's former capital, is more populous. The metropolitan area is the second most populous in Southeast Asia.
Manila lies about 950 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong, 2,400 kilometers northeast of Singapore and more than 2,100 kilometers northeast of Kuala Lumpur. The Pasig River bisects the city in the middle. Almost all of the city sits on top of centuries of prehistoric alluvial deposits built by the waters of the Pasig River and on some land reclaimed from Manila Bay.
Manila is bordered by several cities in Metro Manila such as Navotas City and Caloocan City to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong City to the east, Makati City to the southeast, and Pasay City to the south.
Manila has been classified as a 'Beta+' global city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network in 2008.
The city became known by the name given, 'Manila', by its Tagalog inhabitants, as Maynila, first recorded as Maynilad. The name is based on the nila, a flowering mangrove plant that grew on the marshy shores of the bay, used to produce soap for regional trade; it is either from the phrase may nila, Tagalog for 'there is nila,' or it has a prefix ma- indicating the place where something is prevalent (nila itself is probably from Sanskrit nila 'indigo tree'). (The idea that the plant name is actually 'nilad' is a myth.)
Prehistory and indigenous civilizations
Further information: History of the Philippines (until 1521), Kingdom of Maynila, Kingdom of Namayan, and Kingdom of Tondo
Under the Malay aristocracy, the city was known Seludong/Selurung, which was the same name given for the general region of southwestern Luzon at that time, suggesting that it was the capital of Ancient Tondo.It was also, known as Gintu ('The Land/Island of Gold') or Suvarnadvipa by its neighbors. The said kingdom flourished during the latter half of the Ming Dynasty as a result of trade relations with China. Ancient Tondo has always been the traditional capital of the empire. Its rulers were equivalents to kings and not mere chieftains, and they were addressed as panginuan or panginoon ('lords'), anak banwa ('son of heaven') or lakandula ('lord of the palace'). Well into the 13th century, the city consisted of a fortified settlement and trading quarter at the bay of the Pasig River, on top of previous older towns.
During the reign of Bolkiah (1485-1521) the Sultanate of Brunei decided to break the Kingdom of Tondo's monopoly in the China trade by attacking Tondo and establishing the city state of Selurong (now Manila) as a Burneian satellite. A new dynasty under the Salalila was also established to challenge the House of Lakandula in Tondo. Another kingdom, named Namayan, was established as a confederation of barangays that began to peak in 1175 and extended from Manila Bay to Laguna de Bay. The royal capital of the kingdom was built in Sapa, known today as Sta. Ana.
In the mid-16th century, the areas of present-day Manila were part of larger thalassocracies governed by Muslim Rajahs. Rajah Sulayman and Rajah Matanda ruled the Muslim communities south of the Pasig River, and Rajah Lakandula ruled the Kingdom of Tondo, the Hindu-Buddhist community north of the river. The two Muslim communities of Sulayman and Matanda were unified into the Kingdom of Maynila. Both city-states were officially Malay-speaking and held diplomatic ties with the Bolkiah dynasty of Brunei, and the sultanates of Sulu, and Ternate.
Governor-General Miguel López de Legazpi, searching for a suitable place to establish his capital after being compelled to move from Cebu to Panay by Portugese pirates, and hearing of the existence of a prosperous sultanate in Luzon, sent an expedition under Marshal Martin de Goiti and Captain Juan de Salcedo to discover its location and potentials. De Goiti anchored at Cavite, and tried to establish his authority peaceably by sending a message of friendship to Maynilad. Rajah Sulayman, then its ruler, was willing to accept the friendship that the Spaniards were offering, but did not want to submit to its sovereignty unto them and waged war against them. As a result, De Goiti and his army attacked Maynilad on June 1570. After a stout fight, he captured the city before returning to Panay.
In 1571, the unity of the Luzon Empire was already threatened by the uneasy alliance of the Rajah Matanda of Sapa, the Lakandula of Tondo, and Rajah Suliman III, the rajah muda or 'crown prince' of Maynila and laxamana or 'grand admiral' of the Macabebe Armada. Powerful states like Lubao, Betis and Macabebe became bold enough to challenge the traditional leadership of Tondo and Maynila. In about the same year, the Spaniards returned, this time led by Legazpi himself along with his entire force (consisting of 280 Spaniards and 600 native allies). Seeing them approach, the natives set the city on fire and fled to ancient Tondo and neighboring towns. The Spaniards occupied the ruins of Maynilad and established a settlement there. On June 3, 1571, Legaspi gave the title city to the colony of Manila. The title was certified on June 19, 1572. Under Spain, Manila became the colonial entrepot in the Far East. The Philippines was a Spanish colony administered under the Viceroyalty of New Spain and the Governor-General of the Philippines who ruled from Manila was sub-ordinate to the Viceroy in Mexico City. The Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade route between the Philippines and Mexico flourished from 1571 until 1815. Manila became famous during the Manila-Acapulco trade which brought the goods as far as Mexico all the way to South East Asia.
Because of the Spanish presence in the area, the Chinese people, who were living in the area and engaging in free trade relations with the natives, were subjected to commercial restrictions as well as laws requiring them to pay tribute to Spanish authorities. As a result, the Chinese revolted against the Spaniards in 1574, when a force of about 3,000 men and 62 Chinese warships under the command of Limahong attacked the city. The said attempt was fruitless, and the Chinese were defeated. In order to safeguard the city from similar uprisings later, the Spanish authorities confined the Chinese residents and merchants to a separate district called Parian de Alcaceria.
On June 19, 1591, after the commencing the construction of the fort there, Legazpi made overtures of friendship of Rajah Lakandula of Tondo, which was prudently accepted. However, Rajah Sulayman refused to submit to the Spaniards and gathered together a force composed of Tagalog warriors after failing to get the support of Lakandula and that of the chieftains of Hagonoy and Macabebe. On June 3, 1571, Sulayman led his troops and attacked the Spaniards in a decisive battle at the town of Bangkusay, but they were defeated, and Sulayman himself was killed. With the destruction of Sulayman's army and the friendship with Rajah Lakandula, the Spaniards were enabled to establish throughout the city and its neighboring towns. Rajah Sulaiman II consented to give the Spaniards a land for their settlement and moved out of Maynilad. Because of Rajah Sulaiman II's recognition of the Spanish authority, he was proclaimed as the first Christian. Through his efforts, many of his relatives were converted to Christianity. When Rajah Sulaiman II died in 1572, López de Legazpi and other high officials carried his remains and placed it in front of the main altar of the Manila Cathedral, a place of the highest honor. This act overwhelmed the other native chieftains like Lakandula who was baptized as Don Carlos Lacadola to accept the Spanish sovereignty. According to historian John Foreman, 'Lakandula appears to have been regarded more as a servant by the Spaniards, rather than a free ally.' To ensure their loyalty the Spaniards they were given privileges and titles. Eventually, the Augustinians came to spread the Roman Catholic faith through the establishment of schools and parishes. They were soon followed by the Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans, Augustinians and other religious orders who came later in the centuries.
In 1595, Manila was decreed to be the capital of the Philippines, although it had already in fact served that function practically from its founding in 1571. Legazpi then ordered the creation of a municipal government or cabildo with a set of Spanish-style houses, monasteries, nunneries, churches, and schools giving birth to Intramuros. The layout of the city was haphazardly planned during the this era as a set of communities surrounding the fortified walls of Intramuros (within the walls), which was the original Manila. Intramuros, one of the oldest walled cities in the Far East, was constructed and designed by Spanish Jesuit missionaries to keep from invading Chinese pirates and native uprisings.
At various times in the following century, the Chinese rose in revolt against the Spaniards. In 1602, they set fire to Quiapo and Tondo, and for a time threatened to capture Intramuros. In 1662, they again revolted, while in 1686, a conspiracy led by Tingco plotted to kill all the Spaniards. These events led to the expulsion of the Chinese from Manila and the entire country by virtue of the decrees that were made by the Spanish authorities to that effect. However, later reconciliations nearly always permitted the continuation of the Chinese community in the city.
British rule (1762-1764)
There was a brief British occupation of Manila from 1762-1764 as a result of the Seven Years' War, which was fought between France and Britain. Spain became a British enemy when it sided with France due to ties between their royal families. The fleeing Spaniards destroyed many of the records, and in the sack of the town by the British, many historical documents of great value were destroyed or stolen from the archives.
In reality the British only controlled Manila and Cavite. But Manila was the capital, and key, to the Spanish Philippines, and the British accepted the written surrender of the Spanish government in the Philippines from Archbishop Rojo and the Real Audiencia on 30 October 1762. The city remained the capital of the Philippines under the government of the provisional British governor, acting through the Archbishop of Manila and the Real Audiencia.
The terms of surrender proposed by the Audencia Real and agreed to by the British leaders, secured private property, guaranteed the Roman Catholic religion and its episcopal government, and granted the citizens of the former Spanish colony the rights of peaceful travel and of trade 'as British subjects'. Under the direction of the provisional British governor, the Philippines continued to be governed by the Audencia Real, the expenses of which were agreed to be paid for by Spain.
The only armed resistance to the British was in Pampanga where Oidor Don Simón de Anda y Salazar established his headquarters first in Bulacan, then in Bacolor.
The terms of surrender dated 29 October 1762 signed by Archbishop Rojo and the Real Audencia, and sealed with the Spanish Royal Seal, ceded the entire archipelago to Great Britain. The Seven Years War was ended by the Peace of Paris signed on 10 February 1763. At the time of signing the treaty, the signatories were not aware that the Philippines had been taken by the British and was being administered as a British colony. Consequently no specific provision was made for the Philippines. Instead they fell under the general provision that all other lands not otherwise provided for be returned to the Spanish Crown.
An unknown number of Indian soldiers known as Sepoys, who came with the British, deserted and settled in Cainta, Rizal, which explains the uniquely Indian features of generations of Cainta residents.
Being the traditional seat of education and liberal thinking in the Philippines, Manila was a rich field for anti-Spanish propaganda. The seeds of revolution germinated in 1886 with the publication of Jose Rizal's book Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not), a novel critical of the way the Spanish friars were governing the Philippines. The Spanish government condemned the book, and Rizal was exiled to Dapitan. In 1892, he returned to Manila to found La Liga Filipina, a nationalistic organization. Later that year, in Tondo, Andres Bonifacio founded the Katipunan, a secret organization with aim of overthrowing Spanish colonial rule.
The Katipunan movement grew until open rebellion broke out in August 1896 after its discovery by the Spaniards. Bonifacio's attack on Manila was unsuccessful. Rizal became a martyr of the revolution when the Spaniards executed him by firing squad on December 30, 1896 in Bagumbayan. After several months of fighting, a revolutionary government was formed at the Tejeros Convention in Cavite province with Emilio Aguinaldo at its head. Aguinaldo's government was also unsuccessful in its fight for freedom from Spain, and as part of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato peace treaty, Aguinaldo accepted exile in Hong Kong.
American period (1898-1942)
The Battle of Manila Bay.
U.S. Troops invaded Manila in 1898 and waged war with the Spaniards and Filipinos in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War. Following the defeat of Spain, U.S. forces took control of the city and the islands in one of the most brutal and forgotten chapters of Philippine American history.
The American Navy, under Admiral George Dewey, defeated the Spanish squadron in the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898. Admiral Dewey testified that after the battle the Spanish Governor wished to surrender to the Americans rather than the Filipinos, whom he feared.
Having just won their independence from Spain, the Filipinos were fiercely opposed to once again being occupied. Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the First Philippine Republic at the Malolos Congress and had begun to build the foundations for an independent nation. Admiral Dewey, however, claimed he never recognized the Philippine Republic, as he did not have the authority to do so and did not consider it an organized government. War broke out between the Filipinos and the Americans on February 4, 1899, when an American soldier shot and killed a Filipino in Manila. The Americans pursued the retreating Filipino forces province by province, until General Emilio Aguinaldo (then president of the Republic) surrendered in Palanan, Isabela, on March 23, 1901.
American high command at that time was headed by General Otis who ordered invasion and occupation. By that time the Filipino troops had taken classic defensive positions around Manila to attempt to keep them out. However, the poorly armed, ill-trained soldiers could not compete with the superior firepower of the Americans and they lost and were severely beaten; so much so that it has been reported that the dead were used as breastworks.
Under the command of Aguinaldo the Filipinos began a guerrilla campaign to resist the new occupiers. This campaign had limited success in the early days following the initial occupation of the Americans although any successes were short-lived. The replacement of General Otis by General Arthur MacArthur, Jr. began an extensive campaign to suppress the local population.
This campaign by the USA has been reported as being a particularly bloody suppression with wild reports of commanders ordering the murder of everyone over 10 years old. Several books have been written on this war and its implications for both the local peoples and the US.
In the Treaty of Paris in 1898, Spain handed over the Philippines to the United States of America for US$ 20,000,000 and ending 333 years of Spanish rule in the islands.
Manila continued under an American military government until civil government was established for the city on July 31, 1901. During the American Period, some semblance of city planning using the architectural designs and master plans by Daniel Burnham was done on the portions of the city south of the Pasig River. The Philippine-American War continued through 1903 at the cost of many lives both in Manila and elsewhere in the Islands. In 1935, the United States government committed itself to granting the Philippines Independence after a ten-year transition, a period that was extended by one year due to World War II.
World War II and Japanese occupation
On December 26, Manila was declared an open city. All newspapers published the text of the proclamation and radio stations broadcast the news through the day. A huge banner bearing the words Open City and No Shooting was strung across the front of the city hall. That night the blackout ended and Manila was ablaze with lights.
American combat units were ordered to withdraw from the city and all military installations removed on December 26, 1941. Manila was declared an open city by President Manuel L. Quezon, to spare the city from death and destruction but the Japanese forces bombarded Manila using war planes and for the first time, Manileños experience the first air raid. Quezon issued a decree enlarging the safe zone to include outlying areas of Manila as safe zones, establishing the new administrative jurisdiction, Greater Manila.
The post of mayor of Greater Manila was given to Quezon's former Executive Secretary, Jorge B. Vargas. On the evening of New Year's Day of 1942, a Japanese courier delivered notice to Vargas that Japanese forces already bivouacked at Parañaque would enter Greater Manila the following day. From 9 am to 10 am of January 2, Japanese imperial forces marched into the City of Manila.
Vargas was tasked to hand over to the new authorities Greater Manila and present the remaining Filipino leaders to Japanese authorities. Vargas and the Filipino leaders present were asked to choose three options; (1) a purely Japanese military administration, (2) a dictatorial government run by a Filipino under General Artemio Ricarte who went on self-exile to Japan after the Filipino-American war, or (3) a government by commission selected by Filipinos. Vargas and the local leaders chose the third option and established the Philippine Executive Commission to manage initially Greater Manila, and was later expanded to cover the whole of the Philippines.
Vargas assumed the chairmanship of the Philippine Executive Commission and appointed to the post of Mayor of Greater Manila in 1942, Leon G. Guinto Sr., a Secretary of Labor under the Philippine Commonwealth administration of President Manuel L. Quezon. Guinto held the position of Mayor of Greater Manila until the liberation of the city.
On October 20, 1944, American and Philippine troops, led by American General Douglas MacArthur, began the reconquest of the Philippines. Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita ordered the commander of Shimbu Group, Gen. Shizuo Yokoyama, to destroy all bridges and other vital installations and evacuate the city. However, units of the Imperial Japanese Navy, led by Sanji Iwabuchi, refused to leave the city. Thus, from February 3 to March 3 1945, much of the city was destroyed during the Battle of Manila and 100 000 civilians were killed during the Manila Massacre. As a result of these events in World War II, Manila was the second most destroyed city in the world after Warsaw, Poland during World War II. Once Manila was officially liberated, Greater Manila was dissolved, and its towns returned to their pre-war status. On July 4, 1946, the Philippine flag was raised for the first time in Rizal Park.
Lacson Administration and the Golden Age
Arsenio H. Lacson was the first publicly elected mayor of Manila in 1951. Lacson successfully unseated the incumbent presidentially-appointed mayor Manuel de la Fuente in the first ever mayoralty election in the city. He assumed the office of mayor on January 1, 1952. He was consecutively re-elected in 1955 and 1959. Lacson forged a reputation as a tough-minded reformist mayor, and in the 1950s, he and Zamboanga City mayor Cesar Climaco were touted as exemplars of good local governance. His administration of the City of Manila is regarded as Manila's 'Golden Age'.
At the time Lacson assumed office, Manila had around 23.5 million pesos in debt, some of which had been contracted thirty years earlier, and had no money to pay its employees. Within three years, the debt had been reduced in half, and by 1959, the city had a budget surplus of 4.3 million pesos and paid its employees twice the amount earned by other local government employees. By that time, Lacson claimed that the income earned by Manila for the Philippines supported 70% of the salaries of the national government officials and members of Congress, as well as 70% of the expenses of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. To date, no Filipino politician has replicated Lacson's success in local governance.
Lacson embarked on crusades to maintain peace and order and good government in Manila. He fired 600 city employees for incompetence, and dismissed corrupt policemen. He personally led raids on brothels masquerading as massage parlors and on unauthorized market vendors. Lacson ordered bulldozers to clear a squatter colony in Malate that had stood since shortly after the war. Lacson established a mobile 60-car patrol unit that patrolled the city at all hours, and he himself would patrol the city at nights in a black police car. Lacson also established the Manila Zoo and the first city underpass, located in Quiapo, posthumously named after him.
Though the hard-drinking, gun-toting Lacson projected an image of machismo, the author and Manila resident Nick Joaquin observed:
'Lacson has sedulously cultivated the yahoo manner, the siga-siga style, but one suspects that the bristles on the surface do not go all the way down; for this guy with a pug's battered nose comes from a good family and went to the right schools; this character who talks like a stevedore is a literate, even a literary, man; and this toughie who has often been accused of being too chummy with the underworld belonged to the most "idealistic" of the wartime underground groups: the Free Philippines.'
Marcos era and martial law (1965-1986)
Between 1972 and 1981, Manila and the rest of the country was placed under Martial Law by President Ferdinand Marcos. During that period, the local economy continued disintegration amid charges of overwhelming corruption by Marcos and his associates.
During Ferdinand Marcos' rule, he declared Martial Law just before the election of 1972 and suspended the writ of habeas corpus. From 1972 to the February 1986 EDSA Revolution, Marcos and his generals have caused the imprisonment and disappearance of tens of thousands of social activists who opposed his extended martial rule and clamored for change through free elections. After he was deposed in February 1986, the 1081 Claimants or victims of Martial Law won a record decision against the Marcos estate when a US Court in Hawaii ruled in their favor granting them more than US$500 million dollars in compensatory damages.
In 1963, Mayor Antonio Villegas worked hard for the creation of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, which was to become first university in the country fully-subsidized by a local government unit. It took about two years for the bill seeking for its establishment to be passed by Philippine Congress, and eventually signed by the then-President Diosdado Macapagal.
On August 21, 1983, opposition leader Benigno Aquino flew to Manila from the United States and was assassinated as he left the airplane in Manila. Increasingly, the population opposed Marcos' rule.
After the People Power Revolution, Aquino's widow, Corazon, was installed as president in 1986. During the Aquino presidency, Manila witnessed six unsuccessful coup attempts, the most serious occurring in December 1989.
In 1992, Alfredo Lim was elected Mayor of Manila, beating six opponents. He won re-election in 1995 with a margin of 250,000 votes, the highest majority of vote in the city's political history. During his first two-terms in office, he earned the nickname 'Dirty Harry' for his anti-crime crusades. He founded the City College of Manila that would serve to complement Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.
In 1998, Lito Atienza was elected Mayor, and he completed two more consecutive terms by being re-elected in 2001 and in 2004. His administration focused on social welfare and development as well as urban renewal and city beautification projects. Upon the end of Atienza's third term, Alfredo Lim was elected once again in 2007. Lim immediately ordered the reversal of all Atienza projects and rerouted major roadways so as to erase so-called traces of 'progress' in his absence. Lim's actions mark a city government wastage in the hundreds of millions of pesos spent in the last 9 years.
Before and during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines, Manila was the provincial capital over a province whose territory at one time covered nearly all of Luzon, and included the modern territorial subdivisions of Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Mindoro, Masbate and Marinduque. Later, these subdivisions were themselves made provinces, leaving Manila province with a territory roughly equal to the present City of Manila proper (except Intramuros, the capital site), and the northwestern two-thirds of Rizal province. The boundary of Manila province went from northeast to southwest, including Antipolo, Cainta, Taytay and Taguig, and all of the towns north and west of them, in Manila province; and Angono, Teresa, Morong, and the towns south and east of them, in Laguna province. Early in the province's history, the provincial name was changed from Manila to Tondo Province, by which it was known for most of the Spanish era.
In about 1853, four pueblos or towns of Tondo Province were joined with the northeastern towns of Laguna province to form the politico-military Distrito de los Montes de San Mateo, or District of the San Mateo Mountains. The Tondo Province annexed to this new district the towns of Cainta, Taytay, Antipolo and Boso-boso, while Laguna contributed the towns of Angono, Binangonan, Cardona, Morong, Baras, Tanay, Pililla and Jalajala. But the name of the new district proved unwieldy, too long, and misled many into thinking the town of San Mateo (in Tondo province) was the capital of the San Mateo Mountain District, when in reality the district capital was in Morong. So, in 1859, following common practice of the day, the district was renamed after its capital; namely, Morong District. At about the same time, Tondo Province was renamed Manila Province.
When the Spaniards turned over the Philippines to the hands of the Americans, a civil government was formed. In about the same period, the Manila Province was dissolved by the Philippine Commission, and its pueblos were incorporated with those of the District of Morong, forming the new Province of Rizal. A few weeks, a new charter for the City of Manila, defining its boundaries and annexing some of towns of the Province of Rizal to its districts. These boundaries were slightly revised and redefined on January 29, 1902 when the suburb of Gagalangin was annexed to the city district of Tondo, and the former pueblo of Santa Ana was turned into a city district of Manila. On July 30 of the same year, the city board officially divided the city into 13 political subdivisions named as districts, and the boundaries of each were defined. On August 15 of the same year, the pueblo of Pandacan was annexed as a city district. Since then the boundaries and city districts of Manila have remained essentially the same.
During World War II, the city of Manila was declared an open city and its administrative boundaries expanded to outlying cities and municipalities. It was called the Greater Manila and included districts such as Bagumbayan means New Town (South of Manila), Bagumpanahon means 'New Era' (Sampaloc, Quiapo, San Miguel and Santa Cruz), Bagumbuhay means 'New Life' (Tondo), Bagong Diwa means 'New Order' (Binondo & San Nicholas), the then newly established Quezon City was collapsed and divided into two districts, while the municipalities of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Malabon, Makati, Mandaluyong, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, and San Juan became districts of Manila.
In 1948, Quezon City was declared the national capital of the new Republic of the Philippines. But on May 29, 1976, President Ferdinant E. Marcos returned the national capital to Manila (in honor of its history) by virtue of the Presidential Decree No. 940, declaring that 'the area prescribed as Metro Manila by Presidential Decree 824 was to be the seat of the national government.
Under the Köppen climate classification system, Manila features a tropical wet and dry climate that borders on a tropical monsoon climate. Together with the rest of the Philippines, Manila lies entirely within the tropics. Its proximity to the equator means that the temperature range is very small, rarely going lower than 20°C and going higher than 38°C. However, humidity levels are usually very high which makes it feel much warmer. It has a distinct, albeit relatively short dry season from January through April, and a relatively lengthy wet season from May through December.
The current mayor for the 2007-2010 term is Alfredo Lim, who is making a comeback following a three-year stint as a Senator. The city mayor is restricted to three consecutive terms, totaling nine years, although he can be elected again after an interruption of one term.
Isko Moreno, the city's incumbent vice-mayor, heads the legislative arm composed of the elected city councilors, six from each of the city's six congressional districts.
The city is divided into 897 barangays, which are the smallest unit of local government in the Philippines. Each barangay has its own chairperson and councilors. For administrative convenience, all the barangays in Manila are grouped into 100 zones and which are further grouped into 16 administrative districts. These zones and districts have no form of local government.
The city further has six representatives popularly elected to the House of Representatives, the lower legislative branch of the Philippines. Each representative represents one of the six Congressional districts of Manila. Current district representatives of the city are Benjamin Asilo (District 1), Jaime C. Lopez (District 2), Zenaida Angping (District 3), Trisha Bonoan - David (District 4), Amado Bagatsing (District 5), Bienvenido Abante (District 6).
The City Seal depicts the words Lungsod ng Maynila and Pilipinas, Filipino for City of Manila and Philippines, in a circle around a shield. The circle also contains six yellow stars representing the city's six congressional districts. The shield, in the shape of pre-colonial people's shield, depicts the city's nickname Pearl of the Orient on top; a sea lion in the middle, in reference to the city's Spanish influences; and the waves of the Pasig River and Manila Bay in the bottom portion. The colors of the seal mirror that of the Flag of the Philippines. The sea lion in the seal of Manila was adopted by Singapore into its merlion.
The city is divided into sixteen (16) geographical districts. 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. These districts should not be confused with the six congressional districts of Manila.
All of these districts, with the exception of Port Area, have their own churches, and several of these districts have achieved recognition in their own right. Intramuros being the old and original enclave of Manila is a historical site. The district of Binondo is the city's Chinatown. Tondo is the densest in terms of population, the largest in land area and also with the highest poverty level. National Hero Jose Rizal was interred at Paco Park. The districts of Ermita and Malate are well-known and popular with tourists, having many bars, restaurants, five-star hotels, and shopping malls while the districts of San Miguel and Pandacan hosts the official residence of the President of the country, Malacañan Palace.
National government offices
The City of Manila is the capital of the Philippines and is also the seat of political power in the country. During the early years of the American colonial government, they envisioned a well designed city outside the walls of Intramuros. In nearby 'Bagumbayan' or what is now Rizal Park, was chosen to become the center of government and a design commission was given to Daniel Burnham to create a master plan for the city patterned after Washington D.C. The plan was abandoned and construction was halted due to World War II.
Eventually, under the Commonwealth Government of Manuel L. Quezon, a new government center was to be built on the hills northeast of Manila, or what is now Quezon City. Several government agencies have set-up base in Quezon City but several key government offices are in Manila such as, the Office of the President, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Departments of Budget and Management, Finance, Health, Justice, Labor & Employment, and Tourism. Manila also hosts important national institutions such as the National Library, National Archives, National Museum and the Philippine General Hospital.
Manila's economy is diverse and multifaceted. With its excellent protected harbor, Manila serves as the nation's chief seaport. In addition, it is a major publishing center for the Philippines.
Diverse manufactures include chemicals, textiles, clothing, and electronic goods. Watches, iron and steel, leather goods, and shoes are also manufactured within the city. Food and beverages and tobacco products also employ many residents. Additionally, local entrepreneurs continue to process primary commodities for export, including rope, plywood, refined sugar, copra, and coconut oil.
Tourism is also a thriving industry. Being one of the major tourist destinations in the country, the city attracts over 1 million visitors from all over the world annually. Many of Manila's tourist sites are found in Binondo, Intramuros and Malate. Manila also has a booming growth rate which projected to surpass that of Singapore by the year 2020.
Every district in the city with the exception of Port Area has its own public market, locally called the pamilihang bayan or palengke. Public markets are often divided into two, the dry goods section and the wet goods section. Commerce in these public markets is lively, especially in the early morning. Under the urban renewal program of the incumbent administration, some of the public markets had been refurbished and given a fresher look, like the Santa Ana Public Market and the Pritil Public Market. Cheap buys or goods being sold at rock-bottom prices are available in the flea markets of Divisoria and Quiapo, where bargaining is a major shopping experience.
Modern shopping malls dot the city especially in the areas of Malate and Ermita. SM City Manila, part of the country's largest chain of malls, stands behind the Manila City Hall, while the original SM Department store still operates in Carriedo in Santa Cruz. One of the popular malls that lies at the heart of Manila is Robinson's Place Ermita. In the southern part of the city in Malate district is Harrison Plaza, one of the city's oldest shopping malls.
With a population of 1,660,714 and a land area of 38.55 km², Manila has one of the highest population densities of any major city in the world with 43,079 people/km². District 6 is listed as being the most dense with 68,266, followed by the first two districts (Tondo) with 64,936 and 64,710, respectively, and district 5 being the least dense with 19,235).
Manila's population density dwarfs that of Paris (20,164 inhabitants per km²), Buenos Aires (2,179 people/km², with its most dense inner suburb Lanus' 10,444 density), Mexico City (11,700 people/km²), Istanbul (1,878 people/km², with its most dense district Fatih's 48,173 density), Shanghai (16,364 people/km², with its most dense district of Nanshi's 56,785 density), and Tokyo (10,087 people/km²).
But when accounting for the entire urban area, Metro Manila drops to 85th place with 12,550 people/km² in a land area of 1,334 km², behind even Cebu City, which ranks 80th.
The vernacular language is Tagalog in the form of Filipino, while English is the language most widely used in education and business throughout the Metro Manila region. A number of older residents can still speak basic Spanish, which was a mandatory subject in the curriculum of Philippine universities and colleges, and many children of European, Arab, Indian, Latin American or other migrants or expatriates also speak their parents' languages at home, aside from English or Filipino for everyday use. Hokkien Chinese is spoken by the city's large Chinese-Filipino community.
The cosmopolitan atmosphere and cultural diversity of Manila is reflected in the number of places of worship scattered around the city. The freedom of worship in the Philippines, which has existed since the creation of the republic, allowed the diverse population to build their sacred sites without the fear of persecution. People of different denominations are represented here with the presence of Christian churches, Buddhist temples, Jewish synagogues, and Islamic mosques.
Almost 90% of the city's population are Roman Catholics. Manila is the seat of the Archdiocese of Manila, the oldest archdiocese in the country, and the Primate of the Philippines. The archdiocese's offices is located in the Manila Cathedral (Basilica Minore de la Nuestra Señora de la Immaculada Concepcion) inside the Intramuros. The city celebrates it's foundation day every 24 June, hence it is under the patronage of John the Baptist.
Today, aside from the Manila Cathedral (also known as the Basilica Minore de la Inmaculada Concetion), Manila is also home to 3 other basilicas, the Basilica of the Black Nazarene and the Basilica Minore de San Sebastian.
Being the seat of the Spanish colonial government in past centuries, it has been used as the base of numerous Roman Catholic missions to the Philippines. Among the religious orders that have gone to the Philippines include the Dominicans, the Jesuits, the Franciscans, the Augustinians, the Augustinian Recollects, the Benedictines, the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres, the Vincentian Fathers, the Congregatio of the Immaculati Cordis Mariae, and the De La Salle Christian Brothers.
Other notable churches in the city include San Agustin Church in Intramuros, the shrine of the canonically crowned image of Nuestra Señora de Consolación y Correa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a favorite wedding place of notable people and one of two fully air-conditioned churches in the city; the Binondo Church, also known as Basilica Minore de San Lorenzo Ruiz; Malate Church, the shrine of Nuestra Señora de Remedios; Ermita Church, home of the oldest Marian Image in the Philippines, Nuestra Señora de Guia; Tondo Church, home of the century-old ivory image of Sto. Niño (Child Jesus); and Sta. Ana Church, shrine of the canonically crowned image of Nuestra Senora de los Desamparados.
Manila is home to some of the older and larger Protestant churches in the Philippines. While most of the older churches established by American missionaries are located within the Manila city limits, a greater number of the larger churches are in the suburbs and satellite cities.
After the Second World War, a great influx of foreign Protestant missionaries came to the islands among which are the Baptists, Nazarenes, Pentecostals, Christian and Missionary Alliance established churches and schools throughout the islands making Manila their headquarters of operations. The Baptist Bible Church in Santa Mesa, Manila is the first church founded under the auspices of the Baptist Bible Fellowship in 1947. Since its founding, the Springfield, Missouri-based Baptist Bible Missions have established 2000 churches in the Philippines.
Aside from the Evangelical Christians, Manila is also the home of most of the country's Mainline Protestants. Today, the Pro-Cathedral of the Saint Stephen, the centre of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Philippines of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines is located at 1267 G. Masangkay Street, Sta. Cruz. Also, the mainly Ilocano revolutionary church Iglesia Filipina Independiente has its headquarters at 1500 Taft Avenue, Ermita. Both of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines and the Iglesia Filipina Independiente belong to the Anglican Communion.
The largest entirely indigenous Christian church in the Philippines, and the largest independent church in Asia. Iglesia has numerous chapels and churches across the city, notable for the narrow-pointed spires. The central chapel is located on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, Philippines.
Islam, Buddhism and other faiths
Manila is home to majority of the colleges and universities in Metro Manila. The University Belt or U-Belt, informally located in the districts of Malate, Ermita, Intramuros, San Miguel, Quiapo, and Sampaloc is the colloquial term for the high concentration of institutions of higher education that are located in these districts. Among them are the state universities University of the Philippines in Ermita; University of Santo Tomas, the oldest higher institution of learning in the Far East founded in 1611, on Espana Boulevard; The Philippine Women's University, De La Salle University and De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde along Taft Avenue; San Beda College in San Miguel, Adamson University and St. Paul University in Ermita; University of the Eastand San Sebastian College in Recto Avenue; Far Eastern University in Nicanor Reyes Street; and Centro Escolar University in Mendiola Street; College of the Holy Spirit, Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros, Mapúa Institute of Technology, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa; Philippine Normal University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Technological University of the Philippines, Philippine Christian University, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Paco Catholic School in Paco, and the city-owned Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila at Intramuros.
The Division of City Schools-Manila, a branch of the Department of Education, refers to the city's three-tier public education system. It governs the 71 public elementary schools, 32 public high schools, and 2 public universities.
The city also plays host to Manila Science High School, the Philippines' pilot science high school; the National Museum, where the Spoliarium of Juan Luna is housed; the Metropolitan Museum, the premier museum of modern and contemporary visual arts; Museo Pambata (Children's Museum), a place of hands-on discovery and fun learning; and, the National Library, the repository of the country's printed and recorded cultural heritage and other literary and information resources.
Manila, being a major city, affords various transportation options. Famous of all these forms of transportation is the public jeepney, which has been in use since the years immediately after World War II. Buses, air-conditioned metered taxi and Tamaraw FX mini-vans are also popular forms of transportation. Tricycles and Pedicabs are used for short distances. In some areas, especially in Divisoria, two stroke motors are fitted in the pedicabs and are used for goods transport. Regardless of modernity, horse-drawn calesas are still used in the streets of Binondo and Intramuros.
Aside from those means of transportation, the city is serviced by the Manila Light Rail Transit System (separate from Manila Metro Rail Transit System), a national priority project designed to address the overwhelming traffic that congests the national capital.
Development of the railway system began with its inception in the 1970s under the Marcos administration, making it the first light rail transport in Southeast Asia. Recently, the system saw a massive multi-billion dollar expansion in correlation with the rising population of the city; its purpose: to create an alternative form of transportation to solve the demand of an increasingly mobile workforce. Two lines service the city residents, the Yellow Line that runs along the length of Taft Avenue (R-2) and Rizal Avenue (R-9), and the Purple Line that runs along Ramon Magsaysay Blvd (R-6) from Santa Cruz, through Quezon City, up to Santolan in Pasig City.
In addition, the city is the hub of a railway system on Luzon. The main terminal of the Philippine National Railways is in the Tondo district. Railways extend from this terminal north to the city of San Fernando in Pampanga and south to Legazpi City in Albay, though only the southern railway is currently in operation.
These are the major rail systems, with their stations within Manila:
* Yellow Line (LRT 1) (with 12 Stations): R. Papa, J. Abad Santos, Blumentritt, Tayuman, Bambang, D. Jose, Carriedo, Central Terminal Station, UN Ave., Pedro Gil, Quirino, and Vito Cruz
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), eight kilometers south of the city center, serves Manila, Metro Manila and nearby provinces. A second terminal, Terminal 2 (or the Centennial Terminal) opened in October 1999. The Philippines' official flag-carrier Philippine Airlines uses this terminal exclusively for both its domestic and international service, while all other international flights use the original NAIA terminal. A third terminal (NAIA-3) opened in August 2008. It currently houses the domestic flights of Air Philippines, PAL Express and Cebu Pacific and is set to operate international flights within the year. The main carrier serving NAIA is Philippine Airlines. KLM is the only European airline to serve the airport.
The main roads of Metro Manila are organized around a set of radial and circumferential roads that radiate and circle in and around Manila proper. Roxas Boulevard, easily the most well-known of Manila's streets, line the southern shores of Manila with Manila Bay. The boulevard is part of the Radial Road 1 that leads south to the province of Cavite. Another well-known radial road is España Boulevard (part of Radial Road 7) that starts in Quiapo and ends at the Welcome Rotonda along the border with Quezon City. Pres. Sergio Osmeña Sr. Highway, part of the South Luzon Expressway or Radial Road 3 is the most important highway linking Manila with the provinces of southern Luzon.
Puente de España (now Jones Bridge), connecting Binondo to Ermita, as featured in a postcard in 1903.
There are eight major bridge spans in Manila, more than half of the number of bridges that connects the north and south banks of the Pasig River in Metro Manila. There are two rail bridges that crosses the river, the Light Rail Transit 1 and the Philippine National Railways track. The bridges listed below are in a west to east order, with the first bridge Del Pan, nearest to the mouth of the Pasig River into Manila Bay.
* Roxas Bridge - formerly called Del Pan Bridge (San Nicolas to Port Area)
Seaports and Piers
The Port of Manila, located in the vicinity of Manila Bay, is the chief seaport of the Philippines. It primarily serves the city's commercial needs. North Harbor and South Harbor experience busy periods during long holidays such as Holy Week, All Saints Day and the Christmas holidays.
Pasig River Ferry Service
The mouth of Pasig River is located here on this city. The Pasig River Ferry Service operates 17 stations along the Pasig River from Plaza Mexico in Intramuros to Pasig City.
The number of stations here on this city is only 7 Stations. These are the following stations:
* Plaza Mexico - Intramuros
Manila is home to the office of the World Health Organization in the Philippines, main office of the Department of Health, and several hospitals and medical centers. Major hospitals such as The Asian Hospital, in Muntinlupa City and St. Luke's Medical Center, in Quezon City house world-class facilities that are comparable to major hospitals found in the United States. One of the many programs of the Department of Tourism is to promote Medical Tourism in the Philippines which hosts to a large number of wellness centers and spa facilities.The Manila Health Department, which responsible for the planning and implementation of the health programs of the city government, is operating the 44 health centers and lying-in facilities scattered throughout the city. Some of the notable hospitals in the city are the Manila Doctors' Hospital and the Philippine General Hospital in Taft Avenue; Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center, Dr. Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, and San Lazaro Hospital in Santa Cruz, University of Santo Tomas Hospital in Sampaloc; and the city-owned Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center in Malate.
Places of interest
Directly south of Intramuros lies Rizal Park, the country's most significant park. Also known as Luneta (Spanish term for 'crescent-shaped') and previously as Bagumbayan ('New Town'), the 53 hectare Rizal Park sits on the site where José Rizal, the country's national hero, was executed by the Spaniards on charges of subversion. A monument stands in his honor. The big flagpole west of the Rizal Monument is the Kilometer Zero for road distances on the island of Luzon and the rest of the country.
Other attractions in Rizal Park include 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 and Butterfly Pavilion, an open-air auditorium for cultural performances, a relief map of the Philippines, a fountain area, a children's lagoon, a chess plaza, a light and sound presentation, the Quirino Grandstand and the Manila Ocean Park.
Aside from Rizal Park, Manila has very few other open public spaces. Rajah Sulayman Park, Manila Boardwalk, Liwasang Bonifacio, Plaza Miranda, Mehan Garden, Paco Park, Remedios Circle, Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden, Plaza Balagtas and the Malacañang Garden are some of the other parks in the city. In 2005, Mayor Lito Atienza opened the Pandacan Linear Park, a strip of land that served as a buffer zone between the oil depot and the residential-commercial properties in Pandacan and could be found along the banks of the Pasig River. In the northern most part of the city lies the three cemeteries of Loyola, Chinese, and Manila North Green Park, the largest public cemetery in Metropolitan Manila. A newly opened and functioned Manila Ocean Park features a wide variety of marine animals.
The city offers a wide range of accommodations ranging from top-rated deluxe hotels to more affordable universal lodges. Most of these accommodations, including the world-renowned Manila Hotel, are located within Roxas Boulevard overlooking Manila Bay, or in the districts of Ermita and Malate.
The popular districts of Malate and Ermita showcase a wide variety of hotels, restaurants, clubs, bars, cafes, art and antique shops. The nightlife offers everything from cultural shows to discothèques, casinos, entertainment lounges, and fashionable cafes. Right at the heart of the city lies the Intramuros, and it is the site of forts and dungeons, old churches, colonial houses, and horse-drawn carriages. other historical buildings and landmarks, parks and open spaces, museums, shopping centers, and sports facililities can be found all over the city.
Chancery of the American Embassy in Manila.
* Apolinario Mabini Shrine
* Manila Chinese Cemetery
* Bahay Tsinoy
* Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, Vito Cruz Street, Malate
Twin towns - Sister cities
Manila has a number of sister cities worldwide:
* Mexico Acapulco, Mexico
* Philippines Cebu City, Philippines
(Filipino: Kalakhang Maynila, Kamaynilaan)
Metropolitan Manila (Filipino: Kalakhang Maynila, Kamaynilaan) or the National Capital Region (NCR) (Filipino: Pambansang Punong Rehiyon) is the administrative region encompassing the city of Manila, the national capital of the Philippines. Its residential population as of August 2007 Census is 11,553,427. Including suburbs in the adjacent provinces (Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan) of Greater Manila, the population is around 20 million. Metro Manila is one of the twelve defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines.
In 2005, it ranked as the 42nd richest urban agglomeration in the world with a GDP of $108 billion according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Metro Manila is expected to climb to the 30th spot by 2020 with a GDP of $257 billion and an annual growth rate of 5.9%.
As proclaimed by Presidential Decree No. 940, Metro Manila as a whole is the Philippines' seat of government although only the City of Manila is the capital.
Metro Manila is situated on an isthmus bounded by Manila Bay to the west and Laguna de Bay to the south-east and divided by Pasig River that links the two bodies of water. The city lies on a wide flood plain that is one of the biggest in the country. The area is bounded by Bulacan to the north, Rizal to the east, Laguna to the south and Cavite to the southwest.
Metro Manila is the general term for the metropolitan area that contains the city of Manila, as well as sixteen surrounding cities and municipalities. The name 'Metro Manila' came about and was generally adapted in the 1980s as previously, cities which are now part of the MM area were part of the neighbouring provinces. Metro Manila is the political, economic, social, and cultural center of the Philippines, and is one of the more modern metropolises in Southeast Asia. It is much more economically developed compared to the other major cities in the country. Among locals, particularly those from central Manila and those in the surrounding provinces, Metro Manila is often simply referred to as Manila; however locals from other parts of the metropolis may see this as offensive, owing to city pride and also the fact that some cities are actually geographically closer to the neighboring provinces than to Manila itself. Metro Manila is often abbreviated as M.M.. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is a governing body which is made up of the cities and municipalities in the area, with its main headquarters in Makati City.
Metro Manila is the smallest of the country's administrative regions, but the most populous and the most densely populated, having a population of 11,553,427 (2007 census) in an area of only 636 square kilometers. It is also the only region without any provinces, instead being subdivided into 17 local government units, with 16 cities and one municipality. The term Metro Manila should not be confused with the metro rail system of the region, and the word metro itself always describes the metropolitan area (as in the metro).
On paper, Manila is the designated capital and seat of the Philippine government, but in practice, the seats of government are all around Metro Manila. The executive and administrative seat of government is in Manila, so is the judiciary. The upper house of the legislature (Senate of the Philippines) is in Pasay City, and the lower house (House of Representatives of the Philippines) in Quezon City.
Cities of Metro Manila showing the years that they were made cities. Pateros is the only remaining non-city; it's a municipality.
Spanish Manila was founded in June 24, 1571 by three conquistadors: Martín de Goiti, Juan de Salcedo and Miguel López de Legazpi. In 1867, the Spanish Government of the Philippines founded the municipalities and territories south of the District of Morong in Nueva Ecija, north of the Province of Tondo and Imperial Manila, and isolated these from their mother province of Nueva Ecija. The Government created the Province of Manila composed of the Province of Tondo to the south and the isolated territories of Nueva Ecija to the north. The parts of Tondo were Navotas, Malabon, and Caloocan; and the parts of Nueva Ecija were Mariquina, Balintawak, Caloocan, Pasig, San Felipe Neri (presently called Mandaluyong), Las Piñas, what had been known as Parañaque, and Muntinlupa were combined to form the Province of Manila. The capital of the Province was Intramuros, then itself called and considered to be Manila, a walled city located along the banks of Pasig River and Manila Bay in the present Manila.
In 1897, while the Imperial City of Manila is being prepared for industrialization, most houses in Tondo were demolished to give way to railroad construction. One of those whose house was demolished was Andres Bonifacio, the founder of the Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Supreme and Venerable Society of the Children of the Nation) or the Katipunan, a secret organization which aimed towards independence and self-governance away from the Spanish government. In 1896, the Cry of Balintawak was initiated, an event which denounces the Spanish authority by tearing their cedulas or residence tax slips. On December 30, 1896, Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero, was executed by the Spanish government in Bagumbayan, an execution site near Intramuros. This event led to the Filipino uprising against Spain. Likewise, The Province of Manila was the 8th and last Province to revolt against Spain paving the establishment of the Federated Philippine Republics (composed of Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite and Manila). The Province remained in existence until 1901, when its territory was subdivided by the Americans.
In 1901, the Philippine Assembly created the City of Manila composed of the Municipalities of Ermita, Intramuros or Imperial City of Manila, Tondo, Santa Cruz, Sta. Ana, San Nicolas, San Miguel, Paco, Port Area, Pandacan, Sampaloc, Quiapo, Binondo, Malate, Sta. Mesa and Singalong. The municipalities of Caloocan, Marikina, Pasig, Parañaque, Malabon, Navotas, San Juan, Makati, Mandaluyong (San Felipe Neri), Las Piñas, Muntinglupa and Taguig-Pateros were incorporated into a new province named Rizal. The capital of the province was Pasig.
In 1941 as an emergency measure, President Manuel L. Quezon created the City of Greater Manila, merging the city and municipal governments of Manila, Quezon City, San Juan del Monte, Caloocan, etc. and appointing Jorge Vargas as Mayor. Existing mayors of the included cities and municipalities served as vice-mayors for their areas. This was in order to ensure Vargas, who was Quezon's principal lieutenant for administrative matters, would have a position of authority that would be recognized under international military law. There were doubts if the Japanese Imperial Army poised to occupy Manila would recognize the authorities of members of the Quezon cabinet. The City of Greater Manila was abolished by the Japanese with the formation of the Philippine Executive Commission to govern the occupied regions of the country. As an administrative concept, however, the City of Greater Manila served as a model for Metro Manila and the position of Metro Manila governor established during the Marcos administration.
In 1975, owing a great respect to the history of Manila, President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree 824, creating the Metropolitan Manila Area. The site of the old province of Manila can no longer be used for agricultural purposes and therefore the term 'province' is not applicable. The decree seceded the 12 municipalities and 3 cities of Rizal, the municipality of Valenzuela in Bulacan and Manila. The Metropolitan Manila Commission is created to administer the emerging metropolis. Marcos appointed his wife Imelda Marcos as governor of Metro Manila.
In 1986, after a major government reorganization, President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. 392 and changed the structure of the Metropolitan Manila Commission and renamed it to Metropolitan Manila Authority. Metro Manila Mayors chose from themselves as chair of the agency.
In 1995, through Republic Act 7924, Metro Manila Authority was reorganized and became the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. The chair of the agency is appointed by the President and should not have a concurrent elected position such as mayor.
Metro Manila is located at 14°40' N 121°3 E. The metropolitan area lies entirely on a swampy isthmus with an average elevation of 10 metres. Manila Bay lies to the west and Laguna de Bay to the south-east. It is bordered by the provinces of Bulacan to the north, Rizal to the east, Cavite to the south-west and Laguna to the south.
Metro Manila's primary waterway is the Pasig River, which bisects the isthmus. It originates in Laguna de Bay, marking the borders between Makati City and Mandaluyong City, as well as between Pasig City and Taguig, then passing through Manila before draining into Manila Bay. The river is severely polluted from municipal waste.
Under the Köppen climate classification system, Metro Manila features a tropical wet and dry climate that borders on a tropical monsoon climate. Together with the rest of the Philippines, Metro Manila lies entirely within the tropics. Its proximity to the equator means that the temperature range is very small, rarely going lower than 20°C and going higher than 38°C. However, humidity levels are usually very high which makes it feel much warmer. It has a distinct, albeit relatively short dry season from January through April, and a relatively lengthy wet season from May through December.
Metro Manila does not have collective political power. The highest political division are the sixteen cities and the Municipality of Pateros which have political power independent from each other. Each is governed by a mayor who belongs to the Metro Manila Mayor's League, which is part of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Unlike other regions which are divided into provinces, Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) is divided into four nonfunctioning districts, which are grouped according to geographical basis in reference to the Pasig River. These districts were created in 1976 but have no local government and no congressional representation, in contrast to that of the provinces. These districts are used mostly for fiscal and statistical purposes.
The cities and municipalities within the NCR are grouped into the four districts as follows:
The cities and Pateros are independent from each other politically but several services such as traffic and flood control are handled collectively by the MMDA under the Office of the President.
Representation to the two houses of the Congress of the Philippines is as follows:
* For the Senate, polling is done at-large, nationwide.
Metro Manila is also a judicial region; as such, all regional trial court judges can be stationed anywhere within the region.
Metro Manila (statistically designated as the National Capital Region or NCR) is the financial, commercial and industrial center of the Philippines. It accounts for 32% of the Philippines' GDP; around US$124 billion (PPP) in 2007. It has a third of the country's bank offices but over two thirds of its deposits.
Makati City is the largest financial and economic hub of the metropolitan area. It is one of the major economic centres in Southeast Asia. Now regarded as the city's central business district, several of the Philippines' largest corporations including Ayala, as well as the nation's major banks such as Metrobank, are based here. The Makati area is built around the former Nielsen Air Base, an American installation during World War II, and its runways now form the district's main roads, which cross each other at the Makati Triangle, home of the nation's stock exchange. Different well-known skycrapers in Metro Manila are here like PBCom Tower and G.T. International Tower. Foreign corporations also have their main Philippine hubs here. The traditional business center of the Chinese-Filipino businessmen and the country's CBD prior to the development of the Makati CBD was the Binondo District in the City of Manila.
Ortigas Center is the second most important central business district in Metro Manila. Situated between Mandaluyong and Pasig, it is home to the headquarters of several major Philippine companies such as San Miguel Corporation and Meralco. The Asian Development Bank also has its headquarters in Ortigas. Ortigas also contains some of Metro Manila's more famous buildings, such as the One San Miguel, BSA Twin Tower, and the Astoria Plaza.
Also posing as a competitor for a vibrant business center are Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Eastwood City in Quezon City, Manila Bay City Reclamation Area in the cities of Pasay, Parañaque and Las Piñas, and Alabang Estates, Madrigal Business Park & Filinvest in Muntinlupa City. Triangle Park in Quezon City is the latest addition to the commercial business districts in the metropolis.
Metro Manila currently has a large number of malls in the Philippines, There are 3 large signature shopping malls which are part of the Top 10 World's Largest Malls in the Metro Manila area. Three of which are owned by Henry Sy, a Chinese-Filipino Businessman and his company, SM Prime Holdings. The current largest is the new SM City North EDSA ( replaced by SM Mall of Asia as the 3rd largest mall in the world ), and the recent largest mall as of 1991 up to 2006, SM Megamall.
Aside from SM Megamall, other shopping centers in Ortigas Center include Robinsons Galleria, Shangri-La Plaza, and The Podium.
Recently opened in Pasig is a new development called Frontera Verde, which currently hosts Tiendesitas, a tiangge-style shopping center; SM Supercenter Pasig, the smallest SM mall to date; and SilverCity AutoMall, the first mall in the Philippines that is dedicated to the automotive market.
In the Central Business District of Makati, the Ayala Center hosts other malls, including Glorietta and the upscale Greenbelt shopping districts. Also in Makati is the Rockwell Center. These places are frequented by members of Metro Manila's upper classes.
In the City of Manila, the largest malls include SM City Manila and Robinsons Place Manila.
Cubao is Quezon City's Central Commercial Area that hosts 5 malls that includes the ultra-modern Gateway Mall. Other malls include various SM chains in the metropolis. Aside from Cubao, there is also Eastwood City, located along Libis; SM City Fairview, in the Novaliches District; and TriNoma, Ayala Land's newest mall, in front of SM City North EDSA.
Metro Manila is also full of palengke, the Filipino-style open-air wet markets. One of these is the Central Market, in Sta. Cruz district of Manila, and Divisoria Market, in Manila. Cloverleaf Market in Balintawak, Quezon City supplies most of Metro Manila's fruit and vegetable products. Navotas Port Market supplies most of Metro Manila's fish products. Other smaller markets include the markets of Cubao Farmers, Nepa-Q Mart, Muñoz, Balingasa, Galas, Santa Mesa, Novaliches Talipapa, Baclaran, Pasay Libertad, and Pasay Cartimar, the latter also being one of the finest pet markets in the Philippines.
Midway between a mall and a market are the Philippine-only tiangges, or airconditioned markets selling goods such as clothes, shoes, accessories, computer parts, mobile phones, CDs, VCDs, MP3s, iPods, and DVDs. Among these can be found in Greenhills Shopping Center in the municipality of San Juan and St. Francis Square in Mandaluyong City.
Muntinlupa City hosts malls like Festival Supermall, Alabang Town Center and Metropolis Star Mall, all in Alabang. And an SM SuperCenter Muntinlupa in Barangay Tunasan.
Las Piñas has the SM City Southmall, the largest based SM Mall south of Metro Manila.
Parañaque City has the SM City Sucat and alongside Pasay City, Duty Free Fiesta Mall, known as the mall of the 'Balikbayans' or 'back-to-home citizens' here in Metro Manila where most arriving Filipinos pay a visit. It is also the only known Duty Free Mall of the Philippines
Metro Manila is a place of economic extremes. It is stated that 97% of the total GDP in the Philippines is controlled by 15% of the population, the majority of which is in the Metro Manila area. Most of the wealthy and upper-middle class in the country reside within gated communities in places such as Forbes Park and Dasmariñas Village in Makati, Loyola Heights in Quezon City, Greenhills in San Juan, BF Homes Subdivision in Parañaque City and Ayala Alabang Village, founded by the influential Zobel de Ayala family, in Muntinlupa City. Other wealthy families opt to live urban and up-scale lifestyles and instead own large apartments and condominium units such as those in the Rockwell Center in Makati and Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, while some choose to live in bayfront condos/apartments/townhouses along the stretch of Roxas Boulevard. The area is populated by many of the wealthiest people in the country has also driven up the real estate value of the properties in these areas such that they are unmatched anywhere else.
Most of the wealthy, upper-class Filipinos visit upscale recreation places such as Bonifacio High Street and Serendra in Bonifacio Global City, The Greenbelt complex and Rockwell mall in Makati City. Other upscale malls are SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, Trinoma Complex in Quezon City and the Alabang Town Center in Alabang found in Muntinlupa City.
However, similarly to many Latin American countries where side-by-side with the residences of Metro Manila's elite are slums and squatter areas, most of which are in the outskirts of the aforementioned gated communities, as well as areas left behind by the rapid development of the rest of Metro Manila, such as Tondo and Sampaloc in Manila, Guadalupe and Pembo in Makati, some parts of Pasay, Taguig, Caloocan, and Valenzuela, and most parts of Navotas.
Highway roadsides are often crowded with corrugated-steel-roofed huts and straw markets by which livelihood is obtained, in a stark contrast to the gated subdivisions present in Metro Manila. Less than 10% of the population actually lives in the aforementioned neighborhoods, while the rest live in non-gated (normal) neighborhoods in regular houses, apartments, tenements and shacks. However the Macapagal-Arroyo government has started to gentrify the area, removing squatters from certain roadsides and even the national railway and replacing them with green areas.
Rizal Park: Located west of Metro Manila, Rizal Park is the reference point for all kilometer points in the island of Luzon and the Philippines. Rizal Park features the statue of the Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal, as well as several Philippine flags, a gigantic relief map of the Philippines, scenic Chinese gardens, and the several government offices, such as the Department of Tourism. On the seaside front of Rizal Park are numerous seafood restaurants specializing in Filipino and Asian cuisine. The National Museum of the Filipino People can be also found here. It is a complex of two Greco-Roman buildings which house ancient relics, native mummies, natural treasures and factual galleries about the Philippines and other countries. The museum also boasts a vast collection of artworks and masterpieces crafted by Filipinos which were commended by the Louvre Museum per se. Similarly, part of the museum complex is the first planetarium in Southeast Asia. Also located here is the Quirino Grandstand, which apart from the regular miting de avance (Spanish: political gatherings), is also a popular rendezvous of various religious groups, such as the charmismatic Catholic El Shaddai and popular American-based Protestant movements, such as Benny Hinn International Ministries.
Near the Rizal Park is a 400-year-old Imperial City known as Intramuros, Manila. Intramuros, a walled domain which was once the seat of government during the Spanish Colonial Era and Mid-American Periods. Among the attractions are the Fort Santiago, a timeworn Spanish military fortress which was also the cell for the national hero, Jose Rizal in 1896; Casa Manila, a Spanish colonial villa which is converted into a house gallery; Manila Cathedral, the official seat of the Archbishop of Manila; San Agustin Church, Manila|San Agustin Church the oldest existing church/building in the Philippines that survived the wars and earthquakes of Manila since 1587; Intramuros Golf Club, a prime golf course outside the walls; and the Clam Shell Tent, an exhibition center of the Department of Tourism. Horse-carriages and tourist buses are also some of the attractions. The rest also includes a walk above the walls surrounding Intramuros, government offices, universities and colonial houses.
Fort Bonifacio is the location of military detachments, cemeteries, international schools, corporate headquarters and world-class dining and shopping facilities. Other local recreation areas include the Nayong Pilipino (Philippine Village) in Parañaque City, Quezon Memorial Circle and Ninoy Aquino Wildlife Center, both in Diliman district of Quezon City, the posh Greenbelt Center, in Makati City, the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex and Bay City, both in Pasay City. Meanwhile, the Paco Park, Arroceros Botanical Garden, Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden|Manila Zoo, Plaza Rajah Sulayman, Plaza Miranda, new Rizal Avenue Bargain Walkway, the all-steel Gothic San Sebastian Church, the bars and night clubs of Ermita and Malate districts and the famous Roxas Boulevard Bay Walk which offers a fine view of the legendary Manila Bay sunset and hip-dining of Asian, Western and Filipino cuisine, are all in Manila.
The metropolis has an extensive system of highways connecting the various cities and municipalities. The major roads include ten radial roads, which branch out from central Manila and five circumferential roads which form a series of concentric semi-circular arcs around downtown Manila. Most of these roads are very important transportation arteries. One is the C-4 (Circumferential Road 4), also called Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or more popularly as EDSA. It is the major thoroughfare in Metro Manila connecting five cities in Metro Manila, namely Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Caloocan. The MRT-3 line of Manila's metro network also divides the two sides of the road. Some other important roads are R-1 (Radial Road 1) (Roxas Boulevard and Manila-Cavite Expressway) connecting to Cavite province in the southwest; R-3 or the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) connecting to Laguna province in the southeast; R-6 (Aurora Boulevard and Marcos Highway) connecting to Rizal province in the east; and R-8 or the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) connecting to Bulacan province in the north. One of its newest roads, the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, running on the reclamation area parallel to R-1, is one of the destinations of Manila's elite.
Metro Manila is notorious for its traffic jams. A trip that should take 20 minutes will last an hour or more especially during rush hour. Consequently, the Metro Manila Development Authority (see section below) has constructed many projects to decongest traffic.
Such projects of the MMDA for motorists are the construction of flyovers (elevated roads), interchanges, loading bays for Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs), emergency bays, and U-Turn slots over various intersections and thoroughfares, and the completion of the comprehensive railway system (see below). It has also been engaged in road widening with the support of the Department of Public Works and Highways. MMDA has also utilized projects for the pedestrians such as the installation of footbridges, waiting sheds, and men's urinals to various roads in the metropolis. The agency has also implemented various schemes for motorists such as the Uniform Vehicular Volume Reduction Scheme (UVVRS), more popularly known as 'color coding', where vehicles whose plate numbers end in different digits are banned from traveling on different days, the Yellow Lane scheme, where yellow-plated PUBs (Public Utility Buses) will only use the two outermost lanes in EDSA, and the Organized Bus Route (OBR) for Metro Manila.
As of 2005, there are two different rapid transit systems in Metro Manila: the Manila Light Rail Transit System, or the LRT, and the Manila Metro Rail Transit System, or the MRT. The Yellow Line (LRT-1) and the Purple Line (LRT-2) form the LRT network, while the Blue Line (MRT-3) forms the MRT network, with 29 stations on the LRT and 13 stations on the MRT. Four more lines are proposed and would connect Metro Manila to the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal upon their completion.
Philippine National Railways also operates two main-line railway lines within Metro Manila, all part of the once-flourishing Luzon railway system. The northern line, known as Northrail and connecting Manila to Caloocan City, is currently closed. Line extensions are proposed to Valenzuela City and further on to Bulacan and Pampanga. The trans-Metro Manila portion of the still-open southern line, known as Southrail, commences at Tutuban station in Tondo, Manila, passes through the cities of Manila, Makati, Taguig, Parañaque and Las Piñas, and ends in Barangay Buli, Muntinlupa City, before entering the province of Laguna.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which straddles the boundary between Parañaque City and Pasay City, is the country's busiest airport. It consists of a domestic terminal and two international terminals, with a third that recently opened. There are two main runways and the hangar of Philippine Airlines is located near the Villamor Air Base.
Manila Seaport Terminal is the shipping gateway to the Philippines. The Manila Seaport Terminal is in Port Area, Manila (near Luneta and beside Manila Bay). And the Pasig River Ferry Service the water-transport cruises the Pasig River from Intramuros, Manila to Barangay Kalawaan Sur in Pasig City.
Metro Manila has a registered population of 11,553,427 people. However, the greater urban area of Manila which includes Metro Manila and the suburbs in the surrounding provinces puts the population at around 20,075,000 people (2009 estimate).
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,932,560 people and 2,132,989 households residing in Metro Manila. With a population density of 15,617/km², it is by far the most densely populated region of the Philippines. For the period 1995 to 2000, the annual population growth rate was 1.06 percent, lower than that of the 1990 to 1995 period (3.30 percent).
The indigenous people of the area now known as Metro Manila were the Tagalog. Other native ethnic groups of the Philippines also inhabit the metropolis as a result of migration. The include the Visayans, Ilocanos, Bicolanos, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, and Moro groups (mostly Maranao and Maguindanao). Tribal groups such as the Igorot and the Bajau have also settled. There are also numerous peoples of Chinese and Japanese, Indian descent. Resident Spaniards, Americans, and Koreans are also present in large numbers. Metro Manila is classified as a social urban conglomerate, meaning, it is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world.
The most common language spoken in households is Tagalog (94.34%). English is widely used and understood, and is the main language of the upper classes and in business. Chinese is taught in certain Chinese schools. Other languages of the Philippines are also spoken, mostly between family members, relatives, or neighbors belonging to the same ethnic group. Among these languages, the most spoken include Visayan languages, Ilokano, Bikol languages, and Kapampangan.
The large majority of the population of Metro Manila is Roman Catholic (89%). Other religions include Protestant (3%), Islam (5%), and Hinduism and Buddhism (3%).
Metro Manila is home to several noteworthy Philippine higher educational institutions. It is the educational seat of the country and many students from the provinces head onto Metro Manila to study. As such, several dormitories, apartments and boarding houses abound. Areas of high number of educational institutions include the so-called 'University Belt' and Taft Avenue in Manila, Katipunan Avenue and Fairview in Quezon City and Sta. Mesa straddling the Manila, Quezon City and Mandaluyong City borders. Metro Manila is also home to many private schools usually run by religious orders like the Jesuits, Dominicans, Augustinians and Lasallian Brothers. There are also many international schools located around the Metro, most are located in Taguig like the British School Manila, Manila Japanese School, Chinese International School, Korean International School and the International School Manila.
The National Capital Region Police Office of the Philippine National Police divides Metro Manila into five districts, each with its own police force.
Police structure in the Philippines is centralized and its command center is in Camp Rafael Crame in Santolan, Quezon City. Metro Manila is divided into 5 police districts under National Capital Region Police Office namely Central (Quezon City), Western (City of Manila), Eastern (Mandaluyong, Pasig, Marikina, San Juan), Northern (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) and Southern (Makati, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Taguig and Pateros). The NCRPO Headquarters is located in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines' command headquarters is in Camp Emilio Aguinaldo in Murphy, Quezon City. The National Capital Region Command is in Metro Manila and was created by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to defend the metropolis from insurgents and terrorist groups. Philippine Army headquarters is in Fort Andres Bonifacio in Taguig City. Philippine Air Force headquarters is in Jesus Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. Philippine Navy headquarters is in Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
Metro Manila's electricity is generated by the state-owned National Power Corporation (Napocor) and other independent power producers across the island of Luzon. It is transmitted by the state-owned National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) through high tension wires. It is distributed by the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the only company allowed to distribute electricity to the metropolis.
Metro Manila and its surrounding areas are divided into two water concessionaires: Maynilad Water (red) and Manila Water (blue).
Metro Manila's tap water is sourced from the Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan. It is stored in the Novaliches Reservoir and filtered in the La Mesa Dam, both in northeast Quezon City. Metro Manila's water distribution and sewerage system used to be managed by the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage System (MWSS), a state-owned company. In 1997, MWSS awarded concessionaire licenses to two private corporations. Metro Manila was sliced into two distribution areas.
* Maynilad Water Services Inc. (MWSI). It is currently majority-owned by the MWSS, which took it over from Benpres Holdings Company, which also controls MERALCO. It operates in western Quezon City, southern Caloocan City, Manila (excludes Downtown), Valenzuela City, Malabon City, Navotas, Pasay City, Parañaque City, Las Piñas City, and western Muntinlupa City. MWSS is currently bidding out its shares in MWSI and expects to conclude the bidding before the end of the year.
Since 1925, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) was the Philippines' only phone carrier. With the passage of the National Telecommunications Act of 1995, the Philippine National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) granted licenses to new and independent companies to install new phones across the Philippines. The NTC granted 3 new licenses for Metro Manila.
* Bayantel/ Benpres - Northern Metro Manila (Quezon City, northern Caloocan City, Malabon City, Navotas, Valenzuela City, Marikina City, northeastern Manila, and the Ortigas Center in Pasig City)
Metro Manila alone produces 4,000 tons of garbage each day and paper wastes account for nearly 14% of the daily total. But efforts to also reduce pollution is one of the major concerns due to garbage, in Payatas, Quezon City.
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