Manila is the capital city and principal port of the Philippine Islands. Also Known as the Pearl of the Orient, it is one of the municipalities that comprise Metro Manila. The city's name, originally, Maynilad, is derived from the word Nilad, referring to the flowering mangrove plant that grew on the banks of the the river. The name was shortened first to Maynila and then to its present form.
The city is located on the eastern shore of Manila Bay in Southern Luzon, and it is the the largest of more than 7,000 islands that make up the nation known as the Philippines.
Manila has been the principal city of the Philippines for four centuries. it serves not only as the country's capital, but also as its financial, publishing,cultural and business center.
Colonized by the Spanish and later governed by the Americans, Manila shows the signs of foreign influence. The city has undergone rapid economic development since its destruction in World War II and its subsequent rebuilding; it is now plagued with the familiar urban problems of pollution, traffic and overpopulation. Measures have been taken, however, to amend those problems.
Manila has a tropical savanna climate that consist in a spring and summer hot season, an autumn and winter cooler season, a summer and autumn rainy season, and a winter and spring dry season.
Data and Facts
- The vernacular language in Manila is Tagalog, while Filipino and English are the languages used in education and business throughout the Metro Manila region.
- Head of State: President Rodrigo Duterte, since 2016
- Language: English and Filipino
- Country Motto: For God, People, Nature and County
- Currency: Philippine peso
- GDP: US$ 357 billion and US$ 9,494 per capita.
The Government of Metropolitan Manila is administered by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
The Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Assembly) of each city or municipality helps with the administration and legislation. It is composed by the mayor, vice mayor, 36 elected councillors, the captains of barangays (neighbourhoods), and representatives from other sectors who are appointed by the president.
The administration is divided into eight departments: engineering and public works, sewer and waterworks construction, sanitation and transportation, assessments and collections, police, fire, law and schools.
There are no elective offices, but there is an advisory board, appointed by the governor and consisting of one member from each district. Also the city is divided into 897 barangays, which are the smallest unit of local government in the Philippines. Each barangay has its own chairperson and councillors.
The current mayor of Manila is Francisco Domagoso, who previously served as the city's vice mayor. The current vice mayor is Dr. Maria Shielah Lacuna-Pangan.
Manila, being the seat of political power of the Philippines, has several national government offices headquartered at the city and, as the capital, also hosts the Office of the President, as well as the president's official residence.
Manila's economy is multi-faceted. Diverse products, such as chemicals, textiles, rope, coconut oil, food and tobacco, are manufactured within the metropolitan area. According to the 2016 CMCI, Manila was the second most competitive city in the Philippines.
The Port of Manila is the largest seaport in the Philippines, making it the premier international shipping gateway to the country.
The main economy activities in the city are manufacturing, commerce and tourism:
During the Spanish period, Manila was known by its tobacco , ice plants, distilleries and food manufacturing industry. The Philippine Manufacturing Company established production of various products derived from coconut oil, such as cooling oil, soaps and toiletries.
After the arrival of the Americans at the beginning of the twentieth century, Manila's manufacturing base expanded and diversified into different areas. In the 1930s, the Ford Motor Company established its first assembly plant and American oil companies like Esso or Mobil Oil established their oil distribution facilities.
Today diverse manufacturers within the city produce industrial-related products such as chemicals, textiles, clothing, and electronic goods. Local entrepreneurs continue to process primary commodities for export, including rope, plywood, refined sugar, and coconut oil. The food-processing industry is one of the most stable major manufacturing sector in the city.
Manila is one of the best shopping destinations in Asia. Major shopping malls, department stores, markets and bazaars thrive within the city.
Every district in the city has its own public market, locally called the pamilihang bayan or Palengke. Commerce in these public markets is lively, especially in the early morning. Under the urban renewal program of the administration, some of the public markets had been refurbished and given a fresh look,
The tropical heat in Manila plus the facilities offered by its malls attract many custumers to the shopping malls that dot the city. One of the most famous shopping destinations is Divisoria, home to numerous shopping malls in the city, and Robinsons Place Manila is the largest shopping mall in the city.
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. Manila welcomes over 1.5 million tourists each year and it has also been designated as the country's pioneer of medical tourism, expecting it to generate $1 billion in revenue annually.
With its excellent protected harbour, Manila serves as the nation's principal port. In addition, it is the financial and publishing center for the Philippines. Financial institutions headquartered in Manila include such establishments as the Development Bank of the Philippines, the Philippine National Bank, the Philippine Veterans Bank, the Government Service Insurance System, the Social Security System, and many private commercial and developmental banks.
Factories generally are small and are located mostly in the congested districts of Tondo, Binondo, and Santa Cruz. Heavy industries are located in the districts of Paco, Pandacan, and Santa Ana.
Water and Electricity
Potable water comes from a supply network managed by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System which served 30% of the city with most other sewage being directly dumped into storm drains, septic tanks, or open canals.
Electric services are provided by Meralco, the sole electric power distributor in Metro Manila.
The main roads of Metro Manila are organized around a set of radial and circumferential roads that radiate and circle in and around Manila proper.
Buses and Jeepney
The most common types of public transportation are buses and the jeepneys that follow fixed routes for a set price. Each of these jeep-minivan hybrids is uniquely painted and decorated by its owner. Jeepneys provide cheap transportation while buses might be more comfortable for longer trips across town.
Metro and Railway
Manila is the hub of a railway system on Luzon. The main terminal of the Philippine National Railways is in the Tondo district. Railways extend from this terminal north to the city of San Fernando in Pampanga and south to Legazpi City in Albay, though only the southern railway is currently in operation.
Manila is also serviced by the Manila Light Rail Transit System that 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 Manila Metro Rail Transit System, currently made up of one line is also planned to develop in the next years.
Manila is the main entry point into the Philippines for international travellers. International flights and many domestic flights land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport which is on the southern edge of Metropolitan Manila. Over 40 airlines provide daily service to over 26 cities and 19 countries worldwide. Approximately 17 million travellers use this airport every year.
Manila Domestic Airport also services domestic flights within the Philippines.
The city of Manila is the chief seaport of the Philippines. The Port serves the city's commercial needs, and it is one of the major ports in Southeast Asia. Nonetheless, international travel to Manila by boat is very difficult to arrange.
Following the footsteps of global tech hubs like Singapore and Hong Kong, the Philippines is slowly fostering a tech startup ecosystem to facilitate the market-entry and participation of new entrants to its economic marketplace.
Manila presents some advantages and potential for digitization like a huge consumer base, high mobile penetration along with a large, English-speaking population. It creates an ideal test market for startup companies looking to develop their business.
Some of the companies based in the city are Zennya, Sprout solutions, Coins.ph, Kalibrr, Mclinica or Pushkart
Social Wellness and Human Resources
The Philippine educational system is made up of six years of elementary school, four years of high school, and higher education like college or university.
The Division of the City Schools of Manila, a branch of the Department of Education, governs the 71 public elementary schools, and 32 public high schools. The city also contains the Manila Science High School, the pilot science high school of the Philippines.
As the capital of the Philippines, Metropolitan Manila is home to the majority of the colleges and universities in Manila, including the University of the Philippines, the Philippine Normal College, and the Technological University of the Philippines.
There are also several universities sponsored by religious bodies, like the University of Santo Tomas and the Ateneo de Manila, as well as nonsectarian institutions such as the University of the East and the Far Eastern University.
Health facilities in Manila are among the best in the region. The Manila Health Department is responsible for the planning and implementation of the health care programs provided by the city government. It operates 59 health centers and six city-run hospitals, which are free of charge for the city's constituents. Some of the Hospitals in the city are the Philippine General Hospital, the training hospital for health colleges, the Philippine Heart Center, or the Santa Ana Hospital.
There are also many missionary and private hospitals in the city like the Manila Doctors Hospital.
Manila is a major publishing center in the Philippines. the news industry is one of the legacies of the American colonization of the Philippines, which paved the way for freedom of the press. Some of the major publications based in Manila include the country's oldest newspapers, the Manila Times, the Manila Bulletin, the Philippine Star, the Manila Standard Today, The Daily Tribune and others
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 music in the Philippines are often a mixture of different Asian, Spanish, Latin American, American, and influences.
Metro Manila offers visitors the opportunity to explore the cultural wealth of the Philippines through art museums, historical museums, and cultural and scientific displays. Some of the most visited are the National Museum, that contains prehistoric artifacts; The Ayala Museum in Malate that presents a chronological display of Philippine history in over 60 dioramas and the Lopez Museum in Pasig that has a collection of over 13,000 Filipino books.
The most popular sport in Manila is basketball. Manila has its own professional team in the Philippines Metropolitan Basketball League, the Manila Metrostars.
Other popular sports are rugby, football, jai-alai, horse racing, and cock-fighting.
Spanish: manilense, manileño(-a)
Filipino: Manileño(-a), Manilenyo(-a), Taga-Maynila