“You can’t bring an unwritten place to life without losing something substantial. Manila is the cradle, the graveyard, the memory. The Mecca, the Cathedral, the bordello. The shopping mall, the urinal, the discotheque. I’m hardly speaking in metaphor. It’s the most impermeable of cities. How does one convey all that?”
― Miguel Syjuco,
Manila is the capital of the Philippines and the nation’s center of education, business, and transportation. Metro Manila is the most populous metropolitan region composing the city of Manila. It is situated on the eastern shore of Manila Bay and is home to many landmarks, some of which date back to the 16th century. It was the first chartered City by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act. It is just under 15 square miles, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the Philippines and in the world. It is where the seat of the Philippine government is located.
History of Manila
- During the 1500s the Kingdom of Maynila was established in the Manila area, which flourished thanks to trade relations with China. Its name probably derives from the Yamstick Mangrove, whose local name was nila or nilad.
- n 1571, Spanish conquistador Manuel López de Legazpi founded Manila and it became the capital of the Philippines. Today, this old Manila forms the district of Intramuros. The Spaniards would control the city and the islands for the next 300 years, only interrupted by a short occupation of the city by the British from 1762-64.
- The earliest known records of the city date back to the tenth century. It was known as the Pearl of the Orient because of its location in the Pacific as an important trade route. The city suffered devastating destruction during World War II but has since been rebuilt. It is now the center of education, headquarters to the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, and attracts more than one million tourists each year.
Top Destinations in Manila
Rizal Park or Luneta Park is the most famous landmark in Manila. The country’s national hero and genius, Jose Rizal’s monument stand in the facade of the park across the Roxas Boulevard and the Manila Bay. Many tourists and locals go there every day to have some photos taken in the famous statue and park.
National Museum of the Philippines
The National Museum is also an extraordinary place to visit in Manila. Juan Luna’s famous and stunning masterpiece, The Spoliarium will greet you at the entrance. Walking through the museum, you’ll see more of Philippines’ archives and treasures.
Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex
The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) or Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas, is a government-owned and controlled corporation established by President Ferdinand Marcos through Executive Order No. 30 s. 1966 to preserve, develop and promote arts and culture in the Philippines. The CCP usually serves as a venue for performance and exhibition for various local and international productions.
Paco Park was actually built as a final resting place for Spanish families residing in Manila. After José Rizal’s execution, his remains were sent and buried here, which is today commemorated by a monument in the park. It is now a public park with jogging lanes and open air concerts and is also a popular venue for weddings.
San Agustin Church
San Agustin Church is a Roman Catholic Church under the sponsorship of The Order of St. Augustine, located inside Intramuros in Manila. The massive facade conceals an ornate interior filled with objects of great historical and cultural merit.
The Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica, also known as Manila Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic basilica located inside Intramuros in Manila, Philippines. It is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the Principal Patroness of the Philippines.
Robinsons Place Manila
Strategically located at the heart of the historic city of Manila, Robinsons Place Manila is a 240,000 sqm full service, a world-class mall that is currently the leading shopping center in Manila. Robinsons Place Manila is a 7-level shopping complex that offers the widest range of merchandise and services from over a thousand local and international retail shops, dining outlets, entertainment facilities and service centers.
As in life, so it is in death for Manila’s wealthy Chinese citizens, who are buried with every modern convenience in the huge Chinese Cemetery. It’s far from your ordinary cemetery and instead feels like a residential suburb with streets lined with mausoleums