views updated May 29 2018


Getting There
Getting Around
Public Safety
Health Care
Parks and Recreation
Performing Arts
Libraries and Museums
Holidays and Festivals
Famous Citizens
For Further Study

Manila, Luzon, the Philippines, Asia

Founded: 1571; Combined into metropolitan Manila: 1975
Location: Eastern shore of Manila Bay in Southwestern Luzon, the Philippines, Southeast Asia
Time Zone: 8 pm in Manila = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: Mostly Tagalog group, with approximately 6% Chinese
Elevation: 51 feet
Latitude and Longitude: 14°50 N, 121°E
Coastline: Manila sits in the coastal lowlands of Manila Bay, and is divided into southern and northern districts by the Pasig River.
Climate: warm and humid most of the year. Rainy season is May through November.
Annual Mean Temperature: 25° C (77° F) ; May average daily high 35° C (95° F)
Average Annual Precipitation: 81.3 inches (208.5 cm), falling mostly between May and November
Government: Mayor, Vice-Mayor, 36 elected Councilors
Weights and Measures: Metric System
Monetary Units: Philippine Peso (P) = 100 centavos
Telephone Area Codes: 02 (city code for Manila); 63 (country code for the Philippines)
Postal Codes: Rarely used in the Philippines

1. Introduction

Manila, also known as the Pearl of the Orient, is located in Southern Luzon, the largest of the more than 7,000 islands that make up the nation known as the Philippines. The city flanks Manila Bay, and is divided into northern and southern sections by the Pasig River. Manila serves not only as the country's capitol, but also as its financial, publishing, and business center. The citizens of the city speak Tagalog, but most are also fluent in English, which is the language of instruction in the public schools. Manila contains many of the country's largest and most prestigious universities and is also home to the National Library. It was the central location of the nation's battles for independence, first from Spain and later from the United States. Colonized by the Spanish and later governed by the Americans, Manila shows the signs of foreign influence in the widespread Roman Catholicism and the modeling of its schools upon the American educational system. Despite these influences, Manila and its citizens demonstrate a character and vitality uniquely their own.

2. Getting There

Metropolitan Manila is located in the southern region of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines, an archipelago nation comprised of more than 7,000 islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer. Manila sits in the coastal lowlands of Manila Bay and is divided into southern and northern districts by the Pasig River.


The major routes into Manila are Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (ESDA), the South Super Highway, the C-5 Highway, and the ESDA-North Diversion link.

Bus and Railroad Service

Good public transportation is available in Manila. Several major bus companies provide transportation into the city from the outlying areas; bus terminals are located throughout the Metro area. Those closest to downtown Manila are at Plaza Lawton (also known as Liwasang Bonifacio) and in Pasay City, on the ESDA near Taft Avenue. There are train depots in Paco and Makati districts, and commuter trains running north-south during rush hours.

Manila Population Profile

City Proper

Population: 1,876,194
Area: 38.3 sq km (14.94 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 94% Christian Malay; 6% Chinese
Nicknames: The Pearl of the Orient

Metropolitan Area

Population: 7,832,000
Description: Includes Manila, plus seven other cities and nine towns
Area: 636 sq km (248.04 sq mi)
World population rank 1: approx. 25
Percentage of national population 2: 24.6%
Average yearly growth rate: 3.1%
Nicknames: Metro Manila

  1. The Manila metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
  2. The percent of the Philippines's total population living in the Manila metropolitan area.


Manila is the main entry point into the Philippines for international travelers. International flights and many domestic flights land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, which is on the southern edge of Metropolitan Manila. Manila Domestic Airport also services domestic flights within the Philippines. Limousine services, public buses, taxis, hotel shuttles, and car rental firms service both airports. Carriers with service to Ninoy Aquino International Airport include Northwest, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and PAL (Philippine Air Lines), the national carrier of the Philippines.


Although Manila is a major Asian seaport, international travel to Manila by boat is very difficult to arrange. Regular passenger boat service exists between Manila and other Philippine ports.

3. Getting Around

A wide range of public transportation crosses the metro area every day. The most uniquely Philippine mode of travel is the jeepney. Each of these jeep-minivan hybrids is uniquely painted and decorated by its owner. Jeepneys provide cheap transportation (fares average P5 to P10) for the short haul, while buses might be more comfortable for longer trips across town. Motorcycles and bicycles with sidecars (called "tricycles" and "pedicabs," respectively) carry passengers on narrow city streets and alleyways for a charge of a few pesos. Taxicabs are used in the business districts, while in other neighborhoods, including Chinatown and Intramuros, horse-drawn carriages carry both goods and passengers.

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

The Light Rail Transit provides safe, fast transportation on an elevated railway. It has a limited number of stops, running from Caloocan City south to Baclaran in Pasay City. Currently most stops are in Manila, but more stations are under construction. The Light Rail runs between 4 am and 9 pm at a fare of P5.


Hotels and travel agencies in Manila offer sightseeing trips by bus. A refitted tanker called the Tennessee Walker provides nightly dinner cruises of Manila Bay. The Department of Tourism can provide English, Spanish, Japanese-speaking guides, as well as guides in other languages.

4. People

In 1990, the population of the city of Manila was 1,876,194, while the population of the area known as Metro Manila was 7,832,000. Approximately 94 percent of Manila's population is of Malay-Indonesian descent, often infused with Spanish, Chinese, American, and European blood. Of the remainder of the population, between five and six percent are Chinese; this portion of the population includes many of Manila's wealthiest families and businessmen. Because interracial marriage is common in the Philippines, many Manila residents can be described as Mestizos, the product of marriage between Filipinos and Caucasians or Chinese and non-Chinese.

Tagalog is the main language of Manila. Part of the Malay-Polynesian group of languages, it contains words borrowed from many sources including Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, and Sanskrit. Because more than 70 dialects are spoken in the Philippines, the country has been working toward developing a true national language. The language, called Filipino, is based most heavily on Tagalog. A small percentage of the populationmainly the upper classclaims Spanish as its mother tongue. English is widely spoken and is generally the language of business and politics. English is also the language of instruction in the public schools, although a move to replace English with Filipino in the schools was backed by the Ramos government (199298).

5. Neighborhoods

Metro Manila is a conglomeration of 17 municipalities, with neighborhoods ranging from the historic sights of Intramuros to sophisticated business centers in Makati to the squatter shantytowns of Tondo.

Rizal Park is at the city's physical center. To the north of the park is Intramuros, an old, walled city built by the Spanish. Although Intramuros was heavily damaged during World War II (193945), it is being restored and is an area of great cultural and historical interest. To the south of Rizal Park are Ermita and Malate, areas that previously housed Manila's middle and upper classes, but that now form the tourist belt. These areas are home to many hotels and restaurants, as well as to Manila's vibrant nightlife.

City Fact Comparison
Population of urban area17,832,00010,772,0002,688,00012,033,000
Date the city was founded1571AD 969753 BC723 BC
Daily costs to visit the city2
Hotel (single occupancy)$134$193$172$129
Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)$48$56$59$62
Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.)$12$14$15$16
Total daily costs$194$173$246$207
Major Newspapers3
Number of newspapers serving the city38132011
Largest newspaperPeople's Bagong TalibaAkhbar El Yom/Al AkhbarLa RepubblicaRenmin Ribao
Circulation of largest newspaper508,0001,159,339754,9303,000,000
Date largest newspaper was establishedn.a.194419761948
1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.
2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.
3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.

Manila's business center is Makati, a modern showplace of shopping centers and skyscrapers. Residential districts, home to wealthy Filipinos and foreign residents, surround the business hub. Forbes Park is Makati's most exclusive address, housing millionaires behind locked gates and under the protection of private security forces. Many embassies, consulates, polo clubs, and golf clubs also claim Makati addresses. In contrast to Makati is Tondo, a slum area near the Tayuman train station, where an estimated 180,000 of Manila's citizens live in subsistence conditions.

Manila's Chinatown is a long-established, lively area of restaurants, mah jong clubs, teahouses, and intriguing small shops. It is located partly in Santa Cruz and partly in Binondo.

Each of the other towns that make up Metro Manila has its own character. A government center and home to the main campus of the University of the Philippines, Quezon City also contains many elegant residential neighborhoods. Cubao is Quezon City's commercial center, and houses the Araneta Coliseum, the site of sporting events.

Paranaque and Las Pinas are both old salt-making towns, each known for their distinctive churches. The Las Pinas Church houses a world-famous organ made of bamboo. At Paranaque's Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the novenas held each Wednesday attract large crowds and turn the neighborhood into an informal marketplace of merchandise and food vendors. Malabon's fame also stems from religious roots, for each year on Good Friday, this fishing village is transformed by parades of masked devotees whipping themselves over the shoulders as a demonstration of their religious ardor.

6. History

The city of Manila was established in 1571 when the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi arrived and made it the capitol of the colony "Felipinas." At the time of Legaspi's arrival, Manila was a walled Moslem settlement ruled by the Rajah Sulayman, who collected duties from the traders from neighboring island countries who wanted to travel up the Pasig River. Sulayman resisted the intrusion of the Spanish and fled across the river to the area known today as Tondo. When Sulayman's men met Legaspi's forces at the Battle of Bangkusay Channel on June 3, 1571, they faced the muskets and cannons of the Spanish with only spears and arrows. The Moslems were defeated, and Sulayman himself lost his life during the battle.

Although the Chinese invaded Manila in 1574 and the Dutch in the mid-seventeenth century, the Spanish retained control of Manila for 327 years, except for a brief interlude in 1762 (during the Seven Years' War) when the British occupied the city. When the Seven Years' War ended, Manila was once again under the rule of Spain as a condition of the 1763 Treaty of Paris. The Spanish brought Roman Catholicism to Manila, founding many churches, convents, and schools. This influence remains to this day, as the Philippines is the only Asian country in which Christianity is the predominant faith.

The citizens of Manila chafed under the yoke of Spanish domination. The seeds of revolution germinated in 1886 with the publication of Dr. 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 condemned Noli Me Tangere, and Rizal was exiled to Hong Kong. In 1892 he returned to Manila to found La Liga Filipina, a nationalistic organization. Later that year in the Tondo section of Manila, Andres Bonifacio founded the Katipunan, a secret organization devoted to attaining Filipino freedom from Spain. The Spanish discovered the Katipunan in August of 1896 and banished hundreds of Filipinos. Many others were killed. Within ten days, the Katipunan Revolt began, with an open declaration of war against Spain. Jose Rizal became a martyr of the revolution when the Spanish executed him by firing squad on December 30, 1896, in Bagumbayan, Taguig (now part of Metro Manila), for his alleged role in the Katipunan Revolt.

With the unmasking of the Katipunan, Andres Bonifacio called the Tejeros Convention, at which the revolutionary Tejeros government was formed, with General Emilio Aguinaldo at its head. The Tejeros government was unsuccessful in its fight for freedom from Spain, and as part of the Pact of Biak-na-Bato peace treaty, General Aguinaldo accepted exile in Hong Kong.

Despite the failure of the Tejeros revolution, Spanish rule of the Philippines was soon to come to an end. The Spanish-American War battlefield spread to Manila in 1898, where U.S. Commodore George Dewey defeated the Spanish fleet in the Battle of Manila Bay. With the Americans came General Aguinaldo, arriving on the U.S. warship USS McCullock, ready to resume his revolutionary activities against Spain. On June 12, 1898, in Manila, General Aguinaldo declared the Philippines independent from Spain; however, his declaration was not recognized internationally. The United States paid Spain 20 million dollars for their former colony, and Filipinos once again found themselves under foreign rule.

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 Philippine-American War continued through 1903 at the cost of many lives both in Manila and elsewhere throughout the islands.

In 1935, the U.S. 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. On January 2, 1942, the Japanese landed in Manila, where they remained for three years until they were forced out of their Intramuros stronghold in February 1945. Manila was severely damaged by the bombings of World War II. Of national capitols, only Warsaw, Poland, suffered greater destruction. On July 4, 1946, the Philippine flag was raised for the first time in Rizal Park in Manila, and the nation celebrated its first day of independence.

Manila played a key role in the upsetting of dictatorial President Ferdinand Marcos. On August 21, 1983, exiled former senator Benigno Aquino was assassinated at Manila Airport immediately upon his return to his homeland. This assassination shocked the city and the nation and united opposition groups to fight for the end to his rule.

7. Government

The government of the city of Manila is under an umbrella government called the Metropolitan Manila Authority. The Authority governs all the towns and cities that make up Metropolitan Manila. The city government consists of an elected mayor and vice-mayor, along with 36 elected councilors.

8. Public Safety

The Metro Manila police force is under the administration of the Philippines National Police (PNP) and is divided into five geographic districts. In 1997, the PNP instituted a special task force called "Task Force Tanglow" in Manila and throughout the entire country, focusing on the problems of violence and abuse directed at women and children.

9. Economy

Manila's economy is multi-faceted. Diverse products, such as chemicals, textiles, rope, coconut oil, and shoes, are manufactured within the metropolitan area. Food and tobacco processing also employ many residents. With its excellent protected harbor, Manila serves as the nation's principal port. In addition, it is the financial and publishing center for the Philippines. The widespread use of English gives the city an advantage in international trade not shared by many Asian cities. Manila shares the problems of many large cities, however. It is overpopulated, and municipal agencies struggle to keep up with the demand for services.

10. Environment

One of Manila's greatest natural resources is the protected harbor upon which it sits, the finest in all of Asia. The sea provides fish, shells, and salt. Although Manila is now overwhelmingly urban, outlying areas still provide coconuts, hemp for rope making, and rice. Another source of Manila's wealth is its people, with their high literacy rate and facility with languages.

11. Shopping

Manila offers a variety of shopping experiences, from colorful open-air markets to air-conditioned shopping malls. Shoppers seeking Philippine handicrafts, such as carvings, lamps made of shells, and canework, would do well to try the shops at the Nayong Pilipino or to visit the famous outdoor market in Quiapo called Ilalim ng Tulay. (The name means "under the bridge," for the market is located under the Quezon Bridge.) Other outdoor markets are found throughout the Metro Manila area. Notable ones include the Quinta Market in Quiapo, not far from Ilalim ng Tulay; Cartimar Market in Pasay, known as a place to buy pets; and the Baclaran Flea Market, located near the Baclaran Church in Baclaran, Manila. The Baclaran Market sells food, flowers, and household items, and is especially lively after mass on Wednesdays. Bargaining is acceptable and even expected at most outdoor markets.

Makati, the commercial hub of Metro Manila and the nation, boasts department stores, designer boutiques, and art galleries. Major shopping areas include the Makati Commercial Center, the Atrium of Makati, Makati Cinema Square, and the Greenbelt Square. The Cubao area of Quezon City also contains major shopping districts, including Araneta Center, which has nearly two thousand stores.

12. Education

The Philippine educational system is made up of six years of elementary school, four years of secondary school (high school), and higher education (college or university). Children are required to attend the first four years ofelementary school. Approximately 88 percent of those over 15 years of age are literate.

Several universities are based in Metro Manila. The Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City offers elementary, secondary and undergraduate education, as well as graduate schools of arts and science, law, and business. The University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) contains colleges of medicine, nursing, public health, pharmacy, and dentistry, and supports institutes of ophthalmology and socio-biomedical research. Philippine General Hospital is the training hospital for the UPM colleges. Founded in 1611, the University of Santo Tomas is Asia's oldest university. Originally located within the walled city of Intramuros and intended for the education of priests, it has moved to larger quarters in Sampaloc, and now offers a wide range of courses, including music, architecture, engineering, business administration, and education. Other institutes of higher education in Metro Manila include the University of the Philippines (in Quezon City), De LaSalle University, the University of the East (UE Manila), Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), and Asia Pacific College.

13. Health Care

Philippine General Hospital is the training hospital for the health colleges of the University of the Philippines Manila. A large facility, it serves approximately 700,000 patients per year. The Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City offers seminars and postgraduate courses to health care professionals. Nearly a million patients have been treated at the Heart Center since it opened its doors in 1975. The Center is also active in community outreach and education. Other health care facilities in the Metro Manila area include the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, the Makati Medical Center, and St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City.

14. Media

For 20 years under the Marcos regime, official government censorship limited what the newspapers in Manila could print, and only four daily papers served the population. Now, with the absence of censorship, daily newspapers have flourished in the capital city, with more than 20 daily papers available. A variety of viewpoints are represented in the daily papers, which include the Manila Bulletin, Inquirer, Malaya, and the Manila Chronicle. Most publish in English, although papers are also available in Tagalog and, to a lesser extent, in Chinese. A few weekly magazines are published in Manila, including Free Press, which is known for expressing critical and irreverent viewpoints. American magazines, such as Time and Newsweek, are widely available.

Seven commercial television stations operate out of Manila, broadcasting some shows in English, some in Tagalog. Satellite and cable TV are available to a limited extent. More than a dozen commercial radio stations broadcast from the Metro Manila area, including DWNU, "The Only Station that Rocks the Nation," and DWFM, whose slogan is "Most Requested Song."

Movie-going is very popular in Manila. Modern movie theaters throughout the Metro Manila area show both Philippine and foreign movies.

15. Sports

The most popular spectator sport in Manila is basketball. Manila has its own professional team in the Philippines Metropolitan Basketball League (MBA), the Manila Metrostars. Games for this league, as well as for the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), take place at the Rizal Memorial Stadium and the Araneta Coliseum.

Other popular spectator sports include jai-alai, horse racing, and cock-fighting. Jai-alai games take place seven days a week at Jai-alai de Manila stadium in Malate. Horse races are held Wednesday nights and Saturday and Sunday afternoons at race tracks in Santa Ana and Santa Cruz. Cockfights take place in various locations, mostly on Sundays and holidays. The most well-known cockpits are the Philippine Cockers Club in Santa Ana, La Lorna in Quezon City, and Libertad in Pasay City.

16. Parks and Recreation

Rizal Park, also known locally as Luneta Park, is a popular strolling ground at the center of Manila. With flowers, fountains, and lush lawns, it is usually filled with thousands of people in the late afternoons and evenings. It contains a memorial to Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero who was executed nearby by the Spanish in 1896. A changing of the guard ceremony takes place regularly, as well as twice daily light shows near a set of statues reenacting the execution. The 6:30 pm show is in Tagalog while the 7:30 pm show is in English. The park also contains playgrounds, a roller-skating rink, an open-air auditorium, and gardens in traditional, Japanese, and Chinese styles.

Other parks in the Metro area include Fort Santiago Park in Manila, and Quezon Memorial Circle and the Ninoy Aquino Park and Wildlife Center, both in Quezon City. The Manila Zoological Garden is in Malate. While it contains interesting specimens of the Philippine eagle and the dwarf buffalo, the facility is known to be crowded and many of the animals neglected.

The Chinese Cemetery in the area of Santa Cruz known as Monumento is a fascinating place because of the blending of Catholic, Buddhist, and Taoist traditions and the grandiose nature of some of the tombs. Some monuments include mailboxes, refrigerators, and even air-conditioning. Tour guides are available.

Golfing is available at 11 greens throughout the Metro Manila area.

17. Performing Arts

Music of many types can be found in Manila. The Cultural Centre in Manila hosts performances by international orchestras and artists as well as by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philippine Madrigal Singers. Free outdoor musical performances are held weekly in Paco Park on Fridays, at Puerta Real at the Intramuros Wall on Saturdays, and at Rizal Park on Sunday afternoons. Jazz is performed regularly in several of the larger hotels' lounges. Numerous bistros and cafes provide a stage for local singers or the chance for a karaoke experience.

Folk dancing demonstrations are held Sunday afternoons in the Mindanao section of Nayong Pilipino in Pasay City. Several restaurants in the Metro area feature Philippine folk dancing as their dinner entertainment.

A variety of live theater experience is available in Manila. The Rajah Sulayman Theater, located in Intramuros, provides open-air performances. Other theaters are located in Malate at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, as well as at the Folk Arts Theater and at the William Shaw Theater in Mandaluyong.

18. Libraries and Museums

Metro Manila offers visitors the opportunity to explore the cultural wealth of the Philippines through art museums, historical museums, and cultural and scientific displays. Three art museums can be found in Malate: the Cultural Center Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, and the Museo ng Sining, which is the largest museum of contemporary art in the Philippines. The San Augustin Museum in Intramuros contains oil paintings, frescoes, and vestments.

The National Museum, located in Rizal Park, contains prehistoric artifacts, as well as pottery, weapons, and costumes. Seven native boats, dating from between 890 and 710 B.C., are also featured. The Ayala Museum in Malate presents a chronological display of Philippine history in over 60 dioramas. The Lopez Museum in Pasig has a collection of over 13,000 Filipino books, some dating back as far as 1524. Its large collection of historical travel literature includes the first printed account of Magellan's journey to the Philippines.

The Rizal Shrine, which honors national hero Dr. Jose Rizal, is located at Fort Santiago in Intramuros. It displays some of his personal belongings, as well as the cell in which he was imprisoned. Casa Manila Museum, also located in Intramuros, is a reproduction of a typical Spanish residence. Another historical residence on display is the former Malacanang Palace, now known as the Museo ng Malacanang. This museum once housed examples of the Marcos's notorious extravagance but now contains mostly photographs of former presidents.

The Nayong Pilipino ("Philippine Village") is a large complex providing a miniaturized version of the entire country, with representative native homes and regional landscapes. It also contains several specialized museums, including the Museum of Philippine Dolls and the Nayong Pilipino Aquarium. The Philippine Museum of Ethnology, also part of the Nayong Pilipino, contains information on the country's cultural minorities, with examples of tools, musical instruments, weapons, and utensils.

The Museo Pambata in Ermita is a children's museum that encourages hands-on exploration of a rainforest, a streetcar, and an old-fashioned fire engine. The Museum of Arts and Sciences at the University of Santo Tomas has a variety of exhibits, as well as an extensive library.

The National Library in Manila has an extensive collection of approximately 1.3 million books. Other libraries may be found in the area colleges and universities and at the International Rice Research Institute.

19. Tourism

In recent years, many luxury hotels have been built in Manila to handle the increasing tide of business travel and the tourists who are drawn by the tropical climate, diving opportunities, and hospitable people. Budget-priced hostels are available as well. Nearly all of the 1.5 million tourists who visit the Philippines each year enter through Manila and spend at least some of their holiday in the capital city. Many also use Manila as a base from which to explore other nearby attractions, such as the beaches of Bantangas and the hot springs of Los Banos.

20. Holidays and Festivals

Black Nazarene Procession
Feast of the Santo Nino (Holy Infant)
Chinese Lunar New Year, Chinatown (depending on lunar calendar, occurs between mid-January and mid-February)

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Quezon City
People Power Days, celebrating the peaceful end of the Marcos era, Quezon City

Maundy Thursday
Good Friday

Labor Day, parade in Rizal Park
Flores de Mayo-Santacruzan, processions in honor of the Virgin Mary

Manila Day, anniversary of Manila's being declared a city in 1571, parade and film festival

Filipino-American Friendship Day, evening concert in Rizal Park
Paternos River Fiesta

La Naval de Manila, evening candle-lit procession commemorating the 1646 sea victory over
Dutch plunderers, Quezon City

All Saints Day

Feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, night boat procession
Simbang Gabi, night masses held just before dawn throughout the Christmas season

21. Famous Citizens

Lorenzo Ruiz (c. 160037), calligrapher, executed in Japan for refusing to renounce Christianity, canonized in 1987, becoming first Filipino saint.

Mariano Gomes (17991872), secular priest and martyr, founder of newspaper La Verdad, which reported Spanish abuses.

Jose Maria Basa (18391907), reformer and patriot.

Numeriano Adriano (184697), reformer and patriot, leading member of La Liga Filipina, executed by the Spanish for treason.

Trinidad Pardo de Taverna (18571925), director of National Library and Museum, co-founder of the Federal Party, which advocated statehood in the Philippines.

Orencio Lerma (186197), musician and martyr, executed by the Spanish.

Andres Bonifacio (186397), co-founder of the Katipunan, led revolution against Spain in 1896.

Teodoro Plata (186696), co-founder of the Katipunan, executed by the Spanish.

General Antonio Luna (186699), called "the greatest soldier of the revolution," founded and edited La Independencia, the newspaper of the revolution.

22. For Further Study


Manila Bulletin. [Online] Available (accessed January 21, 2000).

Manila Times. [Online] Available (accessed January 21, 2000).

Government Offices

Mayor's Office
(02) 527-4991

City Press Office
(02) 527-0909

Director, Public Recreation Bureau
(02) 524-8157

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Department of Tourism Office, Manila
TM Kalaw Street
Ermita, Luzon
The Philippines
(02) 523-8411


268 Atlanta

Ang Pahayagang Malaya (Freedom Newspaper )
202 Railroad and 13th Street
Port Area

Ang Pilipino Ngayon
(Philippines Today ; in Filipino)
202 Railroad and 13th Street
Port Area

China Town News (in Chinese)
652 St. Tomas Street

Financial Times of Manila
Times Journal Building
Railroad and 19th Street

Malaya (Freedom )
C. C. Castro Building
Tomog Avenue

Manila Bulletin
Corner of Muralla and Recoletos
P. O. Box 769

Manila Chronicle
371 Bonifacio Drive
Port Area

Manila Standard
Elizalde Building, 4th Floor
Ayalda Avenue

Manila Times
30 Pioneer Street

People's Bagong Taliba
Times Journal Building
Railroad and 19th Street
Port Area

People's Journal
Times Journal Building
Railroad and 19th Street
Port Area

Philippine Daily Inquirer
YIC Building, No. 1006
Romualdez Street
UN Avenue

Philippine Star
202 Railroad and 13th Street
Port Area

Philippines Times Journal
Times Journal Building
Railroad and 19th Street
Port Area

United Daily News (in English and Chinese)
812 Benavides Street


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Schemenauer, Elma. The Philippines. Charhassen, MN: Childs World, 1999.


views updated May 18 2018


MANILA. Spaniards founded the distinguished and ever-loyal city of Manila in 1571, after early settlements in the central Philippines proved economically weak. In 1565 Miguel López de Legazpi (c. 15101572) sailed from Mexico and settled in Cebu. Manila, however, was a better location for the Spaniards because of its magnificently protected bay on the southwest coast of Luzon, closer to the wealth of China. Upon arrival, they destroyed a Muslim settlement under a Rajah Sulayman. The Spaniards resided within a fortress, known as Intramuros, on the banks of the Pasig River, while the Tagalog and Pampango natives lived in villages with a marketplace and a Catholic church. The Spanish governors, known as "the City and Commerce," hoped that trade would flourish with riches from American silver and Chinese goods. The trade with China usually gave Manila prosperity and stability. Merchants with silks, porcelain, and manufactured items came to the entrepôt to trade for American silver brought by galleons from Acapulco. An average of 128 tons of silver a year crossed the Pacific Ocean between 1565 and 1815, when the last galleon put into Manila Harbor.

The forty-two thousand people of the city embodied many different histories. There were significant numbers of Japanese Christian refugees, possibly fifteen thousand sangley (Chinese), seven thousand Spaniards, and a majority of twenty thousand indios (natives) from Tagalog, Pampango, and Visayan groups. Manila faced constant threats from Muslim raids, Chinese piracy, and Dutch attacks. The British captured the city in 1762 but returned it to Spain in the 1763 Treaty of Paris.

See also Spanish Colonies: The Philippines .


Flynn, Dennis O., and Arturo Giráldez. "Born with a 'Silver Spoon': The Origin of the World Trade in 1571." Journal of World History 6 (1995): 201221.

Morga, Antonio de. History of the Philippine Islands from Their Discovery by Magellan in 1521 to the Beginning of the XVII Century; with Descriptions of Japan, China and Adjacent Countries. Translated by E. H. Blair and J. A. Robertson. Cleveland, 1907. Translation of Sucesos de las islas Filipinas (1609).

Phelan, John Leddy. The Hispanization of the Philippines: Spanish Aims and Filipino Responses, 15651700. Madison, Wis., 1959.

Schurz, William Lytle. The Manila Galleon. New York, 1939.

Zaragoza, Ramón Ma. Old Manila. Singapore, 1990.

James B. Tueller


views updated May 21 2018

Manila Capital of the Philippines, on Manila Bay, sw Luzon island. Manila is the industrial, commercial, and administrative heart of the Philippines. The River Pasig bisects the city. On the s bank stands the old walled city (Intramuros), built by the Spanish in the 16th century on the site of a Muslim settlement. It became a trading centre for the Pacific area. On the n bank lies Ermita, the administrative and tourist centre. Japan occupied the city in 1942. In 1945 a battle between Japanese and Allied forces destroyed the old city. Pop. (2000) 1,581,082.