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'sSultanBolkiah and renamed كوتا سلودونڠ (Kota Saludong) or simply Maynilà. By the 15th century, it was nominally Islamized until the Spanish Conquistadors arrived. They renamed the area Nuevo Reino de Castilla (New Kingdom of Castille) and shortened the alternative name, Maynilà to Manila.
The earliest evidence of human life in and around the area of Manila is found the via 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 MaharajaHayam 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 conquistadorMiguel 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 Amerindian mercenaries, African slaves 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. (Still, the Spanish also massacred about 26,000 Chinese residents of Manila in 1603.)
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.
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.
Under American control, a new civilian oriented Insular Government headed by then Governor-GeneralWilliam Howard Taft invited city plannerDaniel 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 PresidentFerdinand 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.
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 Manila hostage crisis, 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 PresidentJoseph Estrada defeated Lim in the mayoral race.
The bay skyline of the City of Manila as viewed from Harbour Square in the CCP Complex.
Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila bay, which rests on the western shores of Luzon. The city lies 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) from mainland Asia. The Pasig River bisects the city. Almost all of the city sits on top of centuries of prehistoric alluvial deposits built by the waters of the Pasig and on some land reclaimed from Manila Bay.
The city's land has been altered substantially by human intervention, with considerable land reclamation along the waterfronts since the American colonial times. Some of the natural variations in topography have been evened out due to the urbanization of the city. The city occupies an area of 38.55 square kilometres (14.88 sq mi).
Manila is divided into 897 barangays, the smallest unit of local government in the Philippines. Each barangay has its own chairperson and councilors. For administrative convenience, all the barangays in Manila are grouped into 100 zones. These zones have no form of local government. Manila is composed of 16 former towns and municipalities which was absorbed by the city in the 19th century. These settlements are now known as places within the city. They are further grouped into the six legislative districts of Manila.
Humidity levels are usually very high all year round. Manila has a distinct dry season from late December through May, and a relatively lengthy and cooler wet season that covers the remaining period with mild to warm temperatures. In the rainy season it rarely rains all day but the rainfall is very heavy during short periods. Typhoons can occur from June to September and can cause flooding in parts of the city.
Largely due to industrial waste and heavy reliance on automobiles, Manila suffers from air pollution in the form of smog which affects 98% of the residents of the city and results in more than 4,000 deaths per year. Open dump sites and industrial waste contribute to increasing pollution within the city. Several rivers in Manila have been considered biologically dead. The Pasig River, where 150 tons of domestic waste and 75 tons of industrial waste were dumped daily according to a report in 2003, is now one of the most polluted rivers in the world.
Lack of adequate infrastructure is one of the causes of pollution in the city. The district of Ermita is the most air polluted district in the city.
Rehabilitation projects are now seen in several waterways around Manila. The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission is in charge of cleaning up the Pasig River for transportation, recreation and tourism purposes. Because of rehabilitation efforts, several waterways in Manila are now cleaned-up and already lined with trees, plants and flowers instead of slums, which are now relocated in other areas.
Manila sits astride the Pacific typhoon belt and is criss-crossed by several fault lines. This led to Manila and its metropolitan region to be ranked as the second riskiest capital to live in by Swiss Re. The Marikina Valley Fault System poses a threat to the City and the metropolis because it is seismically active. Manila endured several deadly earthquakes, notably in 1645 and in 1677 which destroyed the stone and brick medieval city. To cope with this, the Colonial architects invented the style called Earthquake Baroque which churches and government buildings during the Spanish colonial period adopted. As a result, succeeding deadly earthquakes of the 18th and 19th centuries barely affected Manila, although it did periodically level the surrounding area. Modern buildings in and around Manila are designed and retrofitted to withstand earthquake in accordance to the country's building code and the international standard code.
Manila is also affected by as many as 6 or 7 typhoons every year, which causes constant flooding. In order to adapt, the city has resorted to dredging its rivers and improving its drainage network. Planting of trees in different parts of the city, most notably in La Mesa, Quezon City, is also a way Manila's citizens use to adapt for climate change. The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission spearheads the cleaning and restoration of creeks in and around Manila.
The bay skyline of Manila as seen from the Manila Bay
Manila is the most densely populated city in the world with 43,079 inhabitants per km2. District 6 is listed as being the most dense with 68,266 inhabitants per km2, followed by the first two districts with 64,936 and 64,710, respectively, and district 5 being the least dense with 19,235.
Manila's population density dwarfs that of Kolkata (27,774 inhabitants per km2), Mumbai (22,937 inhabitants per km2), Paris (20,164 inhabitants per km2), Dhaka (19,447 inhabitants per km2), Shanghai (16,364 inhabitants per km2, with its most dense district, Nanshi, having a density of 56,785 inhabitants per km2), and Tokyo (10,087 inhabitants per km2).
The vernacular language is Filipino, based mostly on the Tagalog of surrounding areas, and this Manila form of speaking Tagalog has essentially become the lingua franca of the Philippines, having spread throughout the archipelago through mass media and entertainment. Meanwhile, English is the language most widely used in education, business, and heavily in everyday usage throughout the Metro Manila region and the Philippines itself. A number of older residents can still speak basic Spanish, which used to be a mandatory subject in the curriculum of Philippine universities and colleges, and many children of Japanese Filipino, Indian Filipino, and other migrants or expatriates also speak their parents' languages at home, aside from English and/or Filipino for everyday use. Minnan Chinese (known as Lannang-oe) is spoken by the city's Chinese-Filipino community.
With its protected harbor, Manila serves as the chief seaport of the country. International Container Terminal Services Inc. has its main headquarters and operations on its port in the southern part of Manila North Harbor. The company has been cited by the Asian Development Bank as one of the top five major maritime terminal operators in the world.Port of Manila is the largest seaport in the Philippines, and is the premier international shipping gateway to the country.
Diverse manufacturers produce industrial-related products such as chemicals, textiles, clothing, and electronic goods. Food and beverages and tobacco products also produced. Local entrepreneurs continue to process primary commodities for export, including rope, plywood, refined sugar, copra, and coconut oil. The food-processing industry is one of the most stable major manufacturing sector in the city.
Binondo has begun to be revitalized along with Divisoria, several high-rise condominiums and offices are rising in the area. The plan to make the Chinatown area into a business process outsourcing (BPO) hub continues to progress and is being pursued by the city government of Manila. Thirty buildings are already identified to be converted into BPO offices. These buildings are mostly located along the Escolta Street of Binondo, which are all unoccupied and can be converted into offices.
The city's cash position in 2011 stated that Manila has ₱1.6 billion cash-at-hand while its gross operating expenses was ₱2.97 billion. The financial expenses of the city was P45 million, and has a liability of 3.3 billion. Manila has the highest budget allocation to health and was one of the cities with the highest tax revenue. Manila was also one of the cities with the highest internal revenue.
In 2012, the city was reported as bankrupt by 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 disputed the claim and stated that the city is not bankrupt. In 2013, it is confirmed by current city officials including Mayor Joseph Estrada that the city is indeed in debt, with only 242 million pesos left in its funds.
Residents in the city are mainly Christians, though the city welcomes all people of other faiths. Roman Catholics predominate, comprising 93.5% of the population, followed by Philippine Independent Church 2.4%, followed by Iglesia ni Cristo, comprising 1.9% of the population followed by Protestants (1.8%) and Buddhist (1.1%). Other religions comprises the remaining 1.4% of the city's population.
Other notable churches in the city include San Agustin Church in Intramuros, the shrine of the canonically crowned image of Nuestra Señora de Consolación y Correa, a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site, and a favorite wedding place of notable people and one of two fully air-conditioned churches in the city; the Binondo Church, also known as Basilica Minore de San Lorenzo Ruiz; Malate Church, the shrine of Nuestra Señora de Remedios; Ermita Church, home of the oldest Marian Image in the Philippines, Nuestra Señora de Guia; Tondo Church, home of the century-old ivory image of Sto. Niño (Child Jesus); and Sta. Ana Church, shrine of the canonically crowned image of Nuestra Senora de los Desamparados.
The city also hosts other faiths. There are many Buddhist and Taoist temples built by the Chinese community in Manila. Quiapo is home to a sizable Muslim population in Manila, where Masjid Al-Dahab is located. There is also a large Hindu temples for the Indian population, and Sikh Temples are also erected. The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the Philippines, the governing body of the Filipino Bahá'í community, is headquartered in Manila.
Nightlife in Manila centres around Ermita and Malate, along with Intramuros. Areas in Binondo, the city's Chinatown, also attract many people, while other notable areas in the city such as Quiapo and Divisoria are known for being one of the shopping center of bargain goods. Ermita and Malate, being a popular tourist destination, showcase a wide variety of hotels, restaurants, clubs, bars, cafes, art and antique shops. The nightlife offers everything from cultural exhibitions to discothèques, casinos, entertainment lounges, and fashionable cafes.
Annual cultural events
Manila celebrates civic and national holidays. Manila Day, which celebrates the city's founding, was first proclaimed by Herminio A. Astorga (then Vice Mayor of Manila) on 24 June 1962 and has been annually commemorated, under the patronage of John the Baptist. Each of the city's districts also have their own fiesta (festivals). The city is also the host to the Feast of the Black Nazarene, held every 9 January, which draws millions of Catholicdevotees.And the Feast of the Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados de Manila(Our Lady of the Abandoned)the Patroness of Sta. Ana District Also had its Fiesta Celebration every May 12.
As the cultural center of the Philippines, Manila houses a number of notable museums. Bahay Tsinoy, one of Manila's most prominent museums, documents the Chinese lives and contributions in the history of the Philippines. The Intramuros Light and Sound Museum chronicles the Filipinos desire for freedom during the revolution under Rizal's leadership and other revolutionary leaders. The Metropolitan Museum of Manila exhibits the Filipino arts and culture. The Museum of Manila is the city-owned museum that exhibits the city's culture and history.
Numerous notable landmarks are located in Manila, such as Rizal Park and the historical Intramuros. Rizal park is a crescent-shaped 58 hectares (140 acres) park, it was erected for the country's national hero, José Rizal. Among the attractions in Rizal Park is the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, the National Museum of the Philippines, The National Library of the Philippines, the Planetarium, the Orchidarium and Butterfly Pavilion, the park auditorium, a landscaped relief map of the Philippines, the fountain, the children's lagoon, the chess plaza, the Quirino Grandstand and the Manila Ocean Park, which features a wide variety of marine animals. The flagpole west of the Rizal Monument is the Kilometer Zero marker for distances to the rest of the country. In the northernmost part of the city lie three cemeteries: the Loyola and Chinese cemeteries, and Manila North Cemetery, the largest public cemetery in the Manila metropolitan area.
Manila has become a well-known shopping hub of the country and it has been named as one of the best shopping destinations in Asia. Major shopping malls are located around the city while local and traditional shopping centers such as markets and bazaars are also located around Manila.
Robinsons Place Manila is the largest shopping mall in the city, it is located at the heart of Manila. The mall was the second and by-far, the largest Robinson Mall ever built by John Gokongwei, the mall features a wide range of local and international retail shops, dining outlets, entertainment facilities and service centers, it also features anchor stores such as Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Department Store and Robinsons Cinema.
Another shopping mall is the SM City Manila, it is the first SM Supermall in the city, it features major SM brands like the SM Department Store, SM Supermarket, SM Cinemas and SM Foodcourt, it is located right beside the Manila City Hall; the mall underwent major redevelopment in 2008. SM City San Lazaro is the second SM Supermall in Manila, it is located in the district of Santa Cruz, the mall sits on what was the site of the former San Lazaro Hippodrome, a racetrack for horses. The site of the original SM Department Store located at Quiapo is known today as the SM Clearance Center, which was established in 1972 and is occupying a formerly well-known hotel with a revolving restaurant atop. Other department stores still thrive throughout the city.
Aside from the aforementioned malls, the Tutuban Commercial Center, Lucky Chinatown Mall (Cityplace Square), 11/88 Mall, 168 Shopping Mall, and 999 Shopping Mall are some of the popular malls in the city which are all located in Divisoria, a well-known shopping district in the country.
The traditional shopping areas of Divisoria, Binondo, and Quiapo, is a place for local and adventurous shoppers, these areas offers bargains and cheap buys and it also offers indigenous Filipino cuisine, crafts and delicacies. Quiapo is referred as the "Old Downtown", it has also made a name for itself as a place where cheap buys or goods are being sold at rock-bottom prices. Binondo is the oldest Chinatown in the world, it is the district center of commerce and trade for all types of businesses run by Filipino-Chinese merchants; it offers Chinese restaurants, Filipino restaurants, and Chinese stores. Tiangge (flea market) stores are common, which are mostly concentrated on these areas to accommodate visitors.
Sports in Manila have a long and distinguished history. The city's, and the country's in general, main sport is basketball, and most barangays have a makeshift basketball court, with court markings drawn on the streets. Larger barangays have covered courts where interbarangay leagues are held every summer (April to May).
The city has several well-known sports venues, such as the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and San Andres Gym, the home of the now defunct Manila Metrostars. The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex houses the Rizal Memorial Track and Football Stadium, the Baseball Stadium, Tennis Courts, Memorial Coliseum and the Ninoy Aquino Stadium (the latter two are indoor arenas).
A large number of private and public recreational areas are scattered throughout the city. Also, several playgrounds, sports facilities and gardens were erected within the city — most of these being developed in commercial areas.
Within the city there are numerous shrine plazas wherein numerous historic monuments are found. Plazas also have numerous tiangge stores accommodating visitors. Plazas, unlike parks, consist of less greenery and mostly of bricked pathways. Plazas in the city are usually located in commercial and industrial places while shrines have more greenery than plazas and no tiangge.
The Mayor of Manila (Filipino: Alkalde ng Maynila) is restricted to three consecutive terms, totaling nine years, although a Mayor can be elected again after an interruption of one term. The Vice-Mayor is the Presiding Officer of the Manila City Council composed of the six elected City Councilors of the legislative districts; the local President of the Association of Barangay Captains; and the Sangguniang Kabataan (youth council) president. The Mayor's office and Council seat is Manila City Hall. The civic judicial branch is administered by the Supreme Court of the Philippines under the Metro Manila judicial region.
The incumbent Mayor of the city is Joseph Estrada, former President of the Republic of the Philippines, who defeated former mayor Alfredo Lim (2007-2013) in the 2013 local election. Isko Moreno is the city's incumbent Vice-Mayor.
Coat of Arms
The coat of arms of Manila is composed of the city's modern coat-of-arms, with colours mirroring those of the National Flag. It is a modified form of the city's colonial arms bestowed in the 16th century.
The arms consist of a pre-Hispanic shield, horizontally divided into red and blue fields. The top, red half depicts the city's nickname, "Pearl of the Orient", while the lower, blue half is charged with a sea-lion surmounting the waves of the River Pasig and Manila Bay. The sea-lion originally represented the islands's former colonial status as an ultramar (overseas) possession of Spain, and is ultimately derived from the arms of the León.
The arms are surrounded by a white roundel containing the words Lungsod ng Maynila and Pilipinas (Filipino, "City of Manila"; "Philippines"), and six yellow stars representing the city's six congressional districts.
Maps of Manila
Map of Manila with landmarks highlighted.
Map of Manila and its districts.
The city of Manila is divided into sixteen officially defined administrative districts, and subdivided into 897 barangays that are only known by sequential numbers instead of names. The districts only exist for administrative convenience and do not have their own sets of elected officials. Each geographical district is further divided into officially defined "zones," which are clusters of two or more barangays.
Data presented by the National Statistics Office still do not reflect the 16-district configuration recognized by the city government of Manila. It recognizes neither the western area of Santa Ana that now belongs to the fifth congressional district of Manila as the geographical district of San Andres Bukid, nor the area of Sampaloc south of the Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard which now belongs to the sixth congressional district as the geographical district of Santa Mesa.
Manila's legislative districts
Aside from the division of the sixteen geographical districts, the city is also divided into the six legislative districts that serve as the constituencies for the election of the city's representatives to the lower house of the Congress of the Philippines and of the regular members to the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP; City Council). Each district elects one representative to the House of Representatives and six SP members to the council. The city, along with the rest of the nation, elects 12 senators as one at-large district.
The 1st District (2007 population: 407,331) is Manila's (and the country's) most densely populated congressional district. It covers the western portion of Tondo that lies along Manila Bay. Within this district, the northern Port Area is located.
The 2nd District (2007 population: 223,273) comprises the eastern inland portion of Tondo, a neighborhood known as Gagalangin.
Manila, being the seat of political power of the Philippines, has several national government offices headquartered at the city. Planning for the development for being the center of government started during the early years of American colonization to the country when they envisioned a well-designed city outside the walls of Intramuros. The strategic location chosen was Bagumbayan, a former town which is now the Rizal Park to become the center of government and a design commission was given to Daniel Burnham to create a master plan for the city patterned after Washington D.C.. These improvements were eventually abandoned under the Commonwealth Government of Manuel L. Quezon.
A new government center was to be built on the hills northeast of Manila, or what is now Quezon City. Several government agencies have set up their headquarters in Quezon City but several key government offices still reside in Manila. However, many of the plans were substantially altered after the devastation of Manila during World War II and by subsequent administrations.
The University Belt refers to the area where there is a high concentration or a cluster of colleges and universities in the city and it is commonly understood as the one where the San Miguel, Quiapo and Sampaloc districts meet. Generally, it includes the western end of España Boulevard, Nicanor Reyes St. (formerly Morayta St.), the eastern end of Claro M. Recto Avenue (formerly Azcarraga), Legarda Avenue, Mendiola Street, and the different side streets. Each of the colleges and universities found here are at a short walking distance of each other. Another cluster of colleges lies along the southern bank of the Pasig River, mostly at the Intramuros and Ermita districts, and still a smaller cluster is found at the southernmost part of Malate near the border with Pasay such as the private co-educational institution of De La Salle University, the largest of all De La Salle University System of schools. The high concentration of higher learning institutions makes Manila the country's educational capital.
One of the more famous modes of transportation in Manila is the jeepney. Patterned after U.S. army jeeps, these have been in use since the years immediately following World War II. Today, the Tamaraw FX, the third generation Toyota Kijang, has begun to compete directly with jeepneys. Along with buses, jeepneys and Tamaraws follow fixed routes for a set price.
On a for-hire basis, the city is served by numerous taxicabs, "tricycles" (motorcycles with sidecars, the Philippine version of the auto rickshaw), and "trisikads" or "sikads" (bicycles with a sidecars, the Philippine version of pedicabs). In some areas, especially in the Divisoria district, motorized pedicabs are popular. Spanish-era horse-drawn calesas are still a popular tourist attraction in the streets of Binondo and Intramuros. All types of public transport are privately owned and operated under government franchise.
In 2006, Forbes magazine ranked Manila “the world’s most congested city”. Manila has become notorious for its frequent traffic jams and high densities. Government units have taken efforts to alleviate traffic jams, including a construction of a new flyover at Sampaloc.
Manila has a number of sister cities worldwide, as classified by the city government. Each sister city is divided into three parts, namely the International, Friendly location and Local City. Manila has 33 International Sister Cities, three Friendly Location Cities and two Local Sister Cities.
Within the boundary between Manila and Caloocan. La Loma Cemetery lies within Caloocan, although some area of the park lies within Manila. The City Government of Manila confirmed that La Loma Cemetery lies at Caloocan.
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