The City of Manila (Filipino: Lungsod ng Maynila) is the cosmopolitan capital of the Philippines located in the west coast of the island of Luzon.
Manila is distributed into 16 territorial districts, which are all original towns except one, the Port Area District. All of these original towns except Port Area have their own churches and several of these districts have attained identification in their own right.
Binondo — country's Chinatown before the arrival of Spaniards in 1571 and the city's main center for business, finance, wholesale trade and exotic delicious foods
Quiapo — Hometown of the Black Nazarene and also a place which offers cheap prices on items ranging from electronics to native handicrafts, plus pirated DVD films
Sampaloc — means tamarind fruit is the district wherein the University of Santo Tomas, Asia's oldest university and the famous Dangwa Flower Market is located (near Windsor Inn at Maceda Street).
San Miguel — known as the University Belt District and the location of residence of the Philippine Government, Malacañang Palace
San Nicolas — shares Divisoria Flea Market with other co-district is the hub for the adventurous shoppers that may venture for cheap buys
Santa Cruz — is on the edge of Chinatown, which is the district of usual frenzied mix of commercial and residential premises
Santa Mesa — from the Spanish term Holy Mass, this district marks the first shot of the Filipino-American War
Tondo — the largest, historically 1100 years old, it is one of the first provinces to be established and rebelled against Spain and is now the Southeast Asia's Most Densely Populated District
Ermita — one of the two Tourist Belt (another is the Malate district), it is the former Red District but now with all kinds of bars, nightclubs, cafes and also offers numeorus coin, art and antique shops. It has a lively and diverse nightlife. Ermita is also where the American Embassy is located, also Rizal Park, and Manila Bay Hostel is in the 4th floor of a pre-war building across Museo Pambata children's hospital and beside Miramar Hotel.
Intramuros — taken from the Latin, intra muros, literally "with in the walls", the History Town of the Philippines and considered as Old Manila itself during Spanish times, just beside Ermita
Malate — known as the center of bohemian night life in the city and in the metropolis and beside Ermita
Paco — lies city's historic but mysterious octagonal park cemetery
Pandacan — district home of many of the country's literary and musical geniuses
Port — the country's chief seaport consisting of North and South Port where one can witness the dramatic sunset of Manila Bay
San Andres Bukid — was previously part of Santa Ana, this district has a touch of Moslem culture and has a mosque
Santa Ana— known as Sapa in ancient times, this district is the old capital of Namayan Kingdom which is the precursor of modern Metro Manila
San Agustin Church, Intramuros ManilaManila is often described as the only capital city in Asia that resembles a Spanish influenced city. Many visitors have described it as polluted and crowded, but there is much to discover in Manila that makes it a must-visit for the tourist. Next to Warsaw, Poland it was one of the most destroyed cities during World War II, but before this, Manila was one of the most beautiful cities in the world, having been compared with London, Paris and other European cities. Manila was the capital of the Spanish East Indies for 3 centuries and Intramuros, the ruins of the original city founded by the Spaniards in 1571, still stands today despite bombings during WWII. This modern capital city is considered as the hub of Christianity in Asia and considered as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world with a bustling growing population of 1.5 million people. As a whole, Metro Manila is the most populous of the twelve defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines. As of the 2007 census, it had a population of 11,553,427, comprising 13% of the national population. Including suburbs in the adjacent provinces (Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) of Greater Manila, the population is around 20 million.
For over 3 centuries Manila was colonized and administered by Spain which left a great architectural heritage throughout the Philippines, especially with respect to churches, forts and other colonial buildings which can still be seen in the ruins of Intramuros, built in the late 16th century. Manila began as a settlement on the banks of the Pasig River, and its name originates from "Maynilad," referring to the mangrove plant known as Nilad, which was abundant in the area. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, Manila was home to Muslim-Malays, who were descended from the Arabs, Indians, East Asians and other Southeast Asians. In 1571, 50 years after Magellan's discovery of the islands, Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi claimed the Philippines as a colony and established Manila as its capital. Manila was also briefly colonized by the British for 2 years. Manila was also part of the Spanish East Indies until 1898, when the U.S. took over the Philippines after the Spanish-American War.
Manila is but one of 17 cities and one municipality that comprise the area known as Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) of the Philippines. The NCR is in the southern portion of the island of Luzon, in between the Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog Regions, between Manila Bay and the inland lake of Laguna de Bay. The City of Manila, where most of the historical attractions are located, lies at the confluence of Manila Bay and the Pasig River.
The City of Manila is in the western part of Metro Manila. It is bordered on the west by Manila Bay, to the north by Navotas,Quezon City and Caloocan City, to the east by San Juan and Mandaluyong City and to the south by Pasay and Makati.
The Philippines has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: wet and dry. Typhoons and tropical storms are a common occurrence during the wet season, particularly in the northern part of the Philippines, and occurs from late May till early November. Dry season starts from late November until late April. December to February is a pleasant time to visit the Philippines. Temperatures during this time range from 24-30°C (75-86°F) at its peak. From March to May, temperatures heat up but as Manila is by the coast, it rarely goes beyond 37°C (99°F).
English and Filipino (Tagalog) are the common languages in the northern mainland of Luzon. Tagalog is the native tongue of most Filipinos native to Manila and the surrounding Tagalog-speaking regions of Luzon. English comes second as a medium of instruction in any institution including businesses and the like (although some homes in the Philippines choose English as their first language; it depends upon preference). In Binondo, Manila's Chinatown district, Hokkien is widely spoken while Mandarin might also be known as it is taught in Chinese educational institutes.