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 to the northeast; San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east; Makati to the southeast, and Pasay to the south.
Manila has a total population of 1,652,171 according to the 2010 census. Manila is the second most populous city in the Philippines, behind its neighbor, Quezon City. The populace inhabit an area of only 38.55 square kilometers, making Manila the most densely populated city in the world.
The city is divided into six legislative districts and consists of sixteen geographical districts: Binondo, Ermita, Intramuros, Malate, Paco, Pandacan, Port Area, Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Andres, San Miguel, San Nicolas, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, Santa Mesa and Tondo. Bustling commerce and some of the most historically and culturally significant iconic landmarks in the country, as well as the seat of the executive and judicial branches of the government are found in the city. Manila is also home to many scientific and educational institutions, numerous sport facilities, and other culturally and historically significant venues.
Listed as a global city, Manila has its strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport making it the historical, cultural, political, economic and educational center of the Philippines.
The earliest written account of the city is the 10th-century Laguna Copperplate Inscription which describes a context of an Indianised kingdom maintaining diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Medang. The city was invaded by Brunei's Sultan Bolkiah and was already Islamized by the 15th century when the Spanish explorers first arrived. Manila eventually became the center of Spanish activity in the Far East and one end of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade route linking 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.
Manila was first known as Gintô (gold) or Suvarnadvipa by neighboring settlements, and was officially named as the Kingdom of Maynila. The Kingdom 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 or panginoon ("lords"); anak banwa ("son of heaven"); or lakandula ("lord of the palace"). 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. There is also early evidence of Manila being invaded by the Indianized empire of Majapahit, referenced in the epic eulogy poem Nagarakretagama which inscribed its conquest by Maharaja Hayam Wuruk. Saludong or Selurong 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 in 1485 to 1521, the Sultanate of Brunei attempted to break Tondo's monopoly in the China trade by attacking it and establishing the state of Selurong (now Manila) as a Bruneian satellite state. A new dynasty under the Islamized Rajah Salalila was also established to challenge the House of Lakandula in Tondo. Islam was further strengthened by the arrival of traders and proselytizers from Malaysia and Indonesia. The multiple states that existed in the Philippines simplified Spanish colonization. Manila was temporarily threatened by the invasion of Chinese pirate-warlord Limahong before it became the seat of the colonial government of Spain.
In 1571 Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi founded the Manila in what today is the district of Intramuros. Manila was made the capital of the Philippine Islands, which Spain would control for the next three centuries, from 1565 to 1898. 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 Mexican-born Archbishop of Manila, Manuel Rojo del Rio 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.
In 1898, after their defeat in the Spanish-American War, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States, as well as several other territorial possessions, as part of the terms under the Treaty of Paris and a monetary exchange of $20 million. Immediately after liberation from Spain, between 1899 and 1902, Filipino revolutionaries would be involved in armed conflict with the American military in the Philippine–American War and would result in the deaths of as many as 1.5 million Filipino civilians and the dissolution of the First Philippine Republic.
Under American control, the new insular government headed by Governor-General William Howard Taft invited Daniel Burnham to plan a modern Manila. The Burnham Plan was a project that attempted to create Manila as Paris on the Prairie, with a vision of a government center occupying all of Wallace Field, which extends from Luneta to the present Taft Avenue. The Philippine Capitol was to rise on 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 Jose Rizal at its Luneta end. Of Burnham’s proposed government center, only three units were built: the Legislative Building and the building of the Finance and Agricultural departments, which were completed on the eve of World War II. By then, President Manuel L. Quezon had doomed the Burnham Plan by creating a new capital in a city just outside Manila proper, which was named after him, Quezon City.
Manila was 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 in February to March 1945. Some 100,000 civilians were killed in Manila during the battles between November 1944 and February 1945. It was the second most devastated city in the world after Warsaw during the Second World War. Since then the city has been rebuilt.
During the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, the region of the Manila Metropolitan area was enacted as an independent entity in 1975 encompassing several cities and towns, being a separate local-regional unit and the seat of government of the Philippines.
In 1992, Alfredo Lim became the mayor, and was known for his anti-crime crusades. When Lim ran for the presidency during the 1998 presidential election, his vice mayor Lito Atienza was elected as city mayor. Atienza was known for his infrastructure projects. He was the mayor of Manila 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 reversed all of Atienza's projects claiming the projects made little contribution to the improvements of the city. On July 17, 2008, councilor Dennis Alcoreza filed human rights complaints before the Commission on Human Rights, against Lim, and other Manila officials. Twenty-four Manila officials also resigned because of the maltreatment of Lim's police forces.
While the eastern part of Metro Manila faced a catastrophe during the flooding of Tropical Storm Ketsana (local name: Ondoy) in 2009, the only major inconvenience in the city was the flooded Quezon Boulevard underpass which took two days to clean up and the flooded districts of Sampaloc, Santa Ana and Santa Mesa.
During the 2010 city elections, Alfredo Lim won against secretary Lito Atienza. After a few months of taking office, Lim was harshly criticized on the bloody resolution of the Manila hostage crisis, one of the deadliest hostage crisis in the Philippines. Lim was also accused of graft and corruption. In 2012, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and 28 city councilors filed a complaint against Lim, alleging that the his statements in a recent meeting with barangay officials were "life-threatening", although Mayor Lim countered this statement. Also, the city was reportedly bankrupt according to the Commission on Audit (COA), citing: the city's cash position of ₱1.006 billion is insufficient to pay its deficit of ₱3.553 billion; unclaimed remittances from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth); and the bloating expenses for the operation of the city and its services. City officials countered this statement, claiming that the city is not bankrupt.