Manila (Philippine English: ;) is the capital city of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities which, along with the municipality of Pateros, make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region, whose overall population is around 12 million.
The city of Manila is located on the eastern shore of Manila Bay and is bordered by the cities of Navotas and Caloocan to the north; Quezon City and San Juan to the northeast; Mandaluyong to the east; Makati to the southeast, and Pasay to the south. It has a total population of 1,652,171 making it the second most populous city in the Philippines, behind Quezon City. The populace inhabit a land area of only 2,498 hectares, making Manila arguably the most densely populated city in the world.
Manila (and more broadly, Metro Manila) is the economic and political capital of the Philippines, home to extensive commerce and some of the most historically and culturally significant landmarks in the country, as well as the seat of the executive and judicial branches of the government. Manila was listed as a global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network in 2012. Manila is also the host to the Embassy of the United States and the Holy See Embassy (Apostolic Nunciature).
Manila has many scientific and educational institutions, numerous sport facilities, and other culturally and historically significant venues. The city is politically divided into six legislative districts and consists of sixteen places: Binondo, Ermita, Intramuros, Malate, Paco, Pandacan, Port Area, Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Andrés, San Miguel, San Nicolas, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, Santa Mesa and Tondo. These places are towns and communities absorbed by Manila the 19th Century.
The earliest written account of the city is the 10th-century Laguna Copperplate Inscription which describes a Malay kingdom in what is now Manila maintaining diplomatic relations with the Indianized Kingdom of Medang in modern-day Java. The city had preferential trade with Ming Dynasty China, which registered the place as "東都" (Dongdu). It then became a province of the Maharajanate of Majapahit and was called by its Sanskrit title, "षेलुरोन्ग्" (Selurong) before it was invaded by Brunei's Sultan Bolkiah and renamed كوتا سلودونڠ (Kota Saludong) or simply Maynilà, from the word "Maynilad", a native Tagalog term indicating the presence of Nila, a flowering mangrove plant once abundant in the area.
By the 15th century, it was nominally Islamized until the Spanish Conquistadors arrived via Mexico. They renamed the area Nuevo Reino de Castilla (New Kingdom of Castille) and shortened the nickname, Maynilà to Manila and using it as the official name.
Manila eventually became the center of Spanish activity in the Far East and one end of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade route linking Europe, Latin America and Asia. The city would eventually be given the moniker of the "Pearl of the Orient", as a result of its central location in the vital Pacific sea trade routes. Several Chinese insurrections, local revolts, a British Occupation and a Sepoy mutiny also occurred shortly thereafter. Manila also saw the rise of the Philippine Revolution which was followed by the arrival of the Americans who made contributions to the city's urban planning and development only to have most of those improvements lost in the devastation of World War II. Since then the city has been rebuilt and has rapidly grown.
The earliest evidence of human life in and around the area of Manila is the nearby Angono Petroglyphs dated to around 3000 BC. Furthermore, negritos, a class of Australoid peoples, became the aboriginal inhabitants of the Philippines. They were found across Luzon before the Malayo-Polynesians migrated in and assimilated them.
The Kingdom of Maynila flourished during the latter half of the Ming Dynasty as a result of direct trade relations with China. Ancient Tondo was maintained as the traditional capital of the empire, with its rulers as sovereign kings and not mere chieftains, and were addressed variously as panginuan ln Meranau or panginoón in Tagalog ("lords"); anák banwa ("son of heaven"); or lakandula ("lord of the palace"), the Emperor of China considered the Lakans (rulers of ancient Manila) "王" (Kings). In the 13th century, the city consisted of a fortified settlement and trading quarter at the shores of the Pasig River, on top of previous older towns. Manila was then invaded by the indianized empire of Majapahit as referenced in the epic eulogy poem Nagarakretagama which inscribed its conquest by Maharaja Hayam Wuruk. Selurong "षेलुरोन्ग्" which is a historical name for the city of Manila is listed in Canto 14 alongside Sulot, which is now Sulu, and Kalka.
During the reign of Sultan Bolkiah from 1485 to 1521, the Sultanate of Brunei invaded, wanting to take advantage of Tondo's China trade by attacking its environs and establishing "كوتا سلودوڠ Kota Saludong" (Now Manila). They ruled under and gave yearly tribute to the Sultanate of Brunei as its satellite state. They established a new dynasty under the local leader who accepted Islam and became Rajah Salalila or Tariq Sulayman I. He also established a trading challenge to the already rich House of Lakan Dula in Tondo. Islam was further strengthened by the arrival of Muslim traders from the Arab-Indian area and Southeast Asia. Manila was temporarily besieged by the invasion of Chinese pirate-warlord Limahong (1574) before it became the seat of the colonial government of Spain.
On June 24, 1571, Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi arrived from New Spain (now Mexico), and then exercised rule of the Spanish city of Manila as a territory of New Spain with the establishment of a city council in what today is the district of Intramuros. López de Legazpi had the local royalty executed, after the failure of the Tondo Conspiracy; a plot wherein an alliance between Japanese merchants, Luzon's Huangs with several Datus and Rajahs plus the Brunei Sultanate would band together to execute the Spaniards and their Latin-American mercenaries, and Visayan allies. At the conclusion of which, the victorious Spaniards made Manila the capital of the Spanish East Indies and of the Philippines, which the empire would control for the next three centuries, from 1565 to 1898.
Manila then became famous during the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade which lasted for three centuries and brought goods from Europe, Africa and Latin America across the Pacific Islands to Southeast Asia (Which was already an entrepot for goods coming from India, Indonesia and China) and trade also flowed vice versa. Silver that was mined in Mexico and Peru were exchanged for Chinese silk, Indian gems, and the spices of the Southeast Asia, some of which even flowed to Europe. Likewise wines and olives grown from Europe and North Africa were transshipped via Mexico towards Manila.
The city was occupied by Great Britain for two years, from 1762 to 1764, as part of the European Seven Years' War between Spain and France and Great Britain. The city remained the capital of the Philippines under the government of the provisional British governor, Dawsonne Drake, acting through the Mexico-born Archbishop of Manila, Manuel Rojo del Río y Vieyra and the captive Audiencia Real. However, armed resistance to the British persisted, centered in Pampanga, and was led by Oidor Don Simón de Anda y Salazar. During the course of the occupation, the captive Hashemite Sultan of Sulu, Azim ud-Din I, was used as a hostage by both the British and Spanish. Also, the Chinese at Binondo rebelled against Spain and afterwards, the British's Sepoy mercenaries from India, mutinied against them. Eventually, the British withdrew as per agreements in the Treaty of Paris (1763). The Sepoys however, elected to stay and they settled in the area around Cainta, Rizal. As for the Chinese, thereafter, the fortress-city of Intramuros (Populated mostly by Europe-born colonists) always pointed their cannons against Binondo (The world's oldest Chinatown) to create a quick response against any more Chinese uprisings.
After the British occupation, direct trade and communications with Spain facilitated by the opening of the Suez Canal, supplanted indirect rule via the Viceroyalty. Eventually, Mexican Independence in 1821 necessitated direct rule from Spain. Under direct Spanish rule, banking, industry and education flourished more than in the past two centuries.
The growing wealth and education attracted Indian, Chinese, Latino, European, and local migrants from the Philippine provinces to Manila, all of whom elected a nascent Filipino nationality regardless of ethnicity. The developments also facilitated the rise of an illustrado class which espoused liberal ideas, the ideological foundations of the Philippine Revolution which sought independence from Spain.
Upon drafting a new charter for Manila in June 1901, the Americans made official what had long been tacit: that the City of Manila was not Intramuros alone but also all its arrabales. The new city charter proclaimed that Maila was composed of eleven districts, or wards—presumably Tondo, Binondo, Santa Cruz, Sampaloc, San Miguel, Pandacan, Santa Ana, Paco, Malate, Ermita and Intramuros. In addition to these, the Church recognized five parishes as Manileno—namely, Gagalangin, Trozo, Balic-Balic, Santa Mesa and Singalong. Later times would add two more: Balut and San Andres Bukid.
Under American control, a new civilian oriented Insular Government headed by then Governor-General William Howard Taft invited city planner Daniel Burnham for the transformation of Manila, to adapt the old city to changed times and modern needs. The Burnham Plan included development of the road system, the use of waterways for transportation, and beautification of Manila with the improvement of waterfronts, construction of parks, parkways and various building for various activities. The latter included a government center occupying all of Wallace Field, which extends from Luneta to the present Taft Avenue. The Philippine Capitol was to rise at the Taft Avenue end of the field, facing toward the sea, and would form, with the buildings of different government bureaus and departments, a quadrangle, lagoon in the center, and a monument to José Rizal at its Luneta end. Of Burnham's proposed government center, only three units — the Legislative Building and the building of the Finance and Agricultural departments — were completed when World War II erupted.
Due to the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, American soldiers were ordered to withdraw from the city and all military installations were removed on December 24, 1941. General Douglas MacArthur declared Manila an open city to prevent further death and destruction; despite this, the Japanese warplanes continued to bomb the city. Manila was occupied by the Japanese forces on January 2, 1942.
Manila was also the site of the bloodiest battle in the Pacific theater during the Second World War. After falling to the Empire of Japan on January 2, 1942, it was recaptured by joint American and Filipino troops from February 3 to March 3, 1945. Some 100,000 civilians were killed in Manila in February 1945. It was the second most devastated city in the world after Warsaw during the Second World War. At the end of World War II, almost all of the structures in the city, particularly Intramuros, were destroyed but after the war, reconstruction took place.
In 1948, President Elpidio Quirino moved the seat of government of the Philippines to Quezon City, a new capital city in the suburbs and fields northeast of Manila, created in 1938 by former President Manuel L. Quezon, which was named after him. The move ended any implementation of the Burnham Plan's intent for the government centre to be at Luneta.
With the Visayan-born Arsenio Lacson as its first elected mayor in 1952 (all mayors were appointed prior to this), the city of Manila underwent The Golden Age, was revitalized, and once again became the "Pearl of the Orient", a moniker it earned before the Second World War. After Lacson's term in the 1950s, the city was led by Antonio Villegas during most of the 1960s, and Ramon Bagatsing (An Indian-Filipino) for nearly the entire decade of the 1970s until the 1986 People Power Revolution, making him the longest serving Mayor of Manila. Mayors Lacson, Villegas, and Bagatsing are often collectively considered as the "Big Three of Manila" less for their rather long tenures as the city's chief executive (continuously for over three decades, from 1952–1986), but more for their indelible contribution to the development and progress of the city and their lasting legacy in uplifting the quality of life and welfare of the people of the city of Manila.
During the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos, the region of the Greater Manila Area was created as an integrated unit with the enactment of Presidential Decree No. 824 on November 7, 1975. The area encompassed four cities and thirteen adjoining towns, as a separate regional unit of government. On the 405th anniversary of the city's foundation on June 24, 1976, Manila was reinstated by Marcos as the capital of the Philippines for its historical significance as the seat of government since the Spanish Period. Presidential Decree No. 940 states that Manila has always been to the Filipino people and in the eyes of the world, the premier city of the Philippines being the center of trade, commerce, education and culture. Under Marco's dictatorship, Manila became a hot-bed of resistance activity as youths and student demonstrators repeatedly clashed with the police and military which were subservient to the regime. However, only after decades of resistance, did the non-violent People Power Revolution (Predecessor of the peaceful-revolutions that fell the iron-curtain in Europe), finally ousted the Authoritarian Marcos from power.
In 1992, Alfredo Lim was elected mayor, the first Chinese-Filipino to hold the office. He was known for his anti-crime crusades. Lim was succeeded by Lito Atienza, who served as his vice-mayor. Atienza was known for his campaign (and city slogan) "Buhayin ang Maynila" (Revive Manila), which saw the establishment of several parks and the repair and rehabilitation of the city's deteriorating facilities. He was the city's mayor for 3 terms (9 years) before being termed out of office.
Alfredo Lim once again ran for mayor and defeated Atienza's son Ali in the 2007 city election and immediately reversed all of Atienza's projects claiming Atienza's projects made little contribution to the improvements of the city. The relationship of both parties turned bitter, with the two pitting again during the 2010 city elections in which Lim won against Atienza.
Among the numerous controversies surrounding Lim's administration were the filing of human rights complaints against him and other city officials by councilor Dennis Alcoreza on 2008, the resignation of 24 city officials because of the maltreatment of Lim's police forces, and his bloody resolution of the Rizal Park hostage taking incident, one of the deadliest hostage crisis in the Philippines. Lim was also accused of graft and corruption, believed to be the cause of the city's bankruptcy. These allegations were later followed by a complaint on 2012 by Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and 28 city councilors which cited that Lim's statement in a meeting were "life-threatening" to them. On the 2013 elections, former President Joseph Estrada defeated Lim in the mayoral race.