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Manila travel guide — Manila tourism and travel information

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about Manila

Manila (Maynila in Filipino) is the capital city of the Philippines. The city stands on the eastern shore of Manila Bay on the island of Luzon. Despite pockets of grinding poverty, it is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and its metropolitan area is the country's economic, cultural, educational, and industrial center. Manila is often called the Pearl of the Orient.


2000 census—1,581,082.

Manila is the hub of a thriving metropolitan area of more than 10 million people. This metropolis, called Metro Manila, but often simply called Manila by foreigners and non-residents, consists of 17 cities and municipalities. This article discusses the city itself for the article on the metropolis.

The city itself is the Philippines' second most populous city at more than 1.5 million inhabitants. Only Quezon City, a suburb and the country's former capital, is more populous.

Over the centuries, Manila grew from a small Muslim fishing village on the banks of the Pasig River into the seat of the colonial government of Spain when it controlled the Philippine Islands. Later on, the Americans controlled the Philippines and Manila became an internationally-known city in the Orient. During World War II, much of the city was destroyed, but was eventually rebuilt. In 1975, Manila and the surrounding towns and cities was incoporated into the independent entity of Metro Manila to better manage the affairs of the fast-growing region. Today, the city and the metropolis thrives as an important cultural and economic center. However, overpopulation, traffic congestion, pollution, and crime challenges the city.

Manila history

Manila began as a Muslim settlement at the mouth of the Pasig River along the shores of Manila Bay. The name came from the term maynilad, literally "there is nilad." Nilad is a white-flowered mangrove plant that grew in abundance in the area.

In the mid-1500s, the areas in present-day Manila was governed by three rajahs, or Muslim community leaders. They were Rajah Sulayman and Rajah Matanda who ruled the communities south of the Pasig, and Rajah Lakandula who ruled the community north of the river. Manila was then the northernmost Muslim sultanate in the islands. It held ties with the sultanates of Brunei, Sulu, and Ternate in Cavite.

Arrival of the Spanish

In 1570, a Spanish expedition ordered by Miguel López de Legaspi and led by Martin de Goiti departed from Cebu and arrived in Manila. The natives tentatively welcomed the foreigners but a later conflict pushed Goiti to conquer the settlements. Legaspi followed the next year and made a peace pact with the three rajahs and organized a city council consisting of two mayors, 12 councilors, and a secretary. The enclave of Intramuros, at the southern banks of Pasig River was built to protect the Spanish colonizers. On June 10, 1574, King Philip II of Spain gave Manila the title of Insigne y Siempre Leal Ciudad ("Distinguished and Ever Loyal City"). In 1595, Manila was proclaimed as the capital of the Philippine Islands.

American Period

The headquarters for USAFFE were located here as were the 31st Infantry Regiment and the 808th Military Police Company. The headquarters and bulk of the Philippine Division was located just to the south, at Fort William McKinley. The headquarters for the USAFFE Air Force was on the outskirts of town, at Nielson Field. Nearby, at Nichols Field was the 20th Air Base Group. A battalion of the 12th Quartermaster Regiment was located in the port area and training was conducted there for quartermasters of the Philippine Army.

There were 6 airfields, for the Far East Air Force, within 130 km of Manila, notably Clark, Nichols, and Nielson fields.

World War II

Manila was captured by Japanese forces on January 2, 1942 but on February 5, 1945 American General Douglas MacArthur fulfilled a promise to return to Manila and on February 23 the city was liberated.

Manila and Security

Manila has been subject to acts of terrorism. The metropolis have been targeted twice by groups Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Abu Sayyaf. In addition, Al-Qaida cells have been discovered in the metropolis.

Project Bojinka, which was a large-scale terrorist attack being planned in late 1994 and early 1995, was being planned in Manila. The project was abandoned after the night of January 6, 1995 and the morning of January 7, when an apartment fire led investigators to a laptop computer containing the plans.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Manila".

This city is also known as: Manila.

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