/meuh nil"euh/, n.
1. a seaport in and the capital of the Philippines, on W central Luzon. 1,630,485. Abbr.: Man. Cf. Quezon City.
2. See Manila hemp.
3. See Manila paper.

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City (pop., 2000: city, 1,581,082; metro. area, 9,932,560), capital of the Philippines.

Located on Luzon island on the eastern shore of Manila Bay, it is the chief port and the economic, political, and cultural centre of the Philippines. The walled Muslim settlement originally built on the site was destroyed by Spanish conquistadors, who founded the fortress city of Intramuros in 1571. It was briefly held by the British (1762–63) during the Seven Years' War. During the Spanish-American War, U.S. forces gained control of Manila in 1898. Occupied by the Japanese in 1942, it was widely damaged during the fight for its recapture by U.S. forces in 1945. In 1946 it became the capital of the newly independent Republic of the Philippines, and was rebuilt. Quezon City became the capital in 1948, but Manila regained that position in 1976. In addition to its diversified industries, including shipbuilding and food processing, it is the seat of several universities.

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 capital and chief city of the Philippines. The city is the centre of the country's economic, political, social, and cultural activity. It is located on the island of Luzon and spreads along the eastern shore of Manila Bay at the mouth of the Pasig River. The city's name, originally Maynilad, is derived from that of the nilad plant, a flowering shrub adapted to marshy conditions, which once grew profusely along the banks of the river; the name was shortened first to Maynila and then to its present form. The city proper encompasses an area of approximately 15 square miles (38 square km). In 1975, by presidential decree, Manila and its contiguous cities and municipalities were integrated to function as a single administrative region, known as Metropolitan Manila (also called the National Capital Region), with an area of 246 square miles (637 square km).

      Manila has been the principal city of the Philippines for four centuries, and it is the centre of its industrial development as well as the international port of entry. It is situated on one of the finest sheltered harbours of the Pacific region, about 700 miles (1,100 km) southeast of Hong Kong. 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 congestion, and overpopulation. Measures have been taken, however, to ameliorate these problems. Area city, 15 square miles (38 square km); National Capital Region, 246 square miles (636 square km). Pop. (2000) city, 1,581,082; National Capital Region, 9,932,560.


City site
      Manila lies on the eastern shore of Manila Bay, a large inlet with access to the sea through a channel 12 miles wide to the southwest. It occupies the low, narrow deltaic plain of the Pasig River, which flows northwestward to Manila Bay out of a large lake, Laguna de Bay, southeast of the city. Manila Bay lies to the west, the swampy delta of the southward-flowing Pampanga River to the north, the mountains of the Bataan Peninsula to the west, and Laguna de Bay to the southeast. Although the city's area is constricted, it is an excellent port site because of its sheltered harbour, its access to inland agricultural areas by way of the river, and its relative proximity to the Asian mainland.

      The city is protected from extreme weather conditions by the hills of the Eastern Cordillera to the east and by the mountains of Bataan Peninsula, which lies west of Manila Bay. The tropical climate is characterized by a wet season that lasts from June to November and by a dry season lasting from December to May. High humidity and thunderstorms are common in July, August, and September, when more rain is received than in other months. The average annual rainfall totals about 82 inches (2,080 mm). There is little monthly variation from the mean annual temperature of 81 °F (27 °C).

Plant and animal life
      The city is dotted with tropical trees, including the palm, banyan, and acacia; bamboo is common in the public parks. Water buffalo, horses, dogs, pigs, and goats are common. The wealth of birdlife includes shrikes, doves, and pigeons, and Manila Bay abounds with sardines, anchovies, mackerel, tuna, snappers, and barracuda. The city's natural beauty is marred, however, by air and water pollution caused by the expansion of industry and the growing number of motor vehicles.

City layout
      The city is bisected by the Pasig River. It is divided into four administrative divisions comprised of 14 districts. The districts developed from the original fortress city of Intramuros (Within Walls) and the 13 villages located outside its walls. The districts of Tondo, Santa Mesa, Binondo, Santa Cruz, Quiapo, San Miguel, and Sampaloc lie to the north of the river and Singalong, Intramuros, Ermita, Malate, Paco, Pandacan, and Santa Ana to the south. The two sections of the city are connected by several bridges.

      Although business areas are widespread, the districts of Tondo, Binondo, Santa Cruz, and Quiapo constitute the chief centres of trade and commerce. San Miguel is the site of Malacañang Palace, the presidential residence; several universities are located in Sampaloc. The heavily populated Tondo district on the northern shore is the site of Manila North Harbor, the local port, while the international port, Manila South Harbor, is on the southern shore. Intramuros is renowned for its 16th-century San Agustin church as well as for the ruins of its old walls and of Ft. Santiago. Ermita and Malate are choice residential districts and the sites of hotels and embassies; Paco, Pandacan, and Santa Ana are middle-income residential areas.

      Metropolitan Manila includes the cities of Manila, Caloocan City to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, and Pasay City (located near the shore of Manila Bay) to the south and 13 municipalities. The municipalities include Makati, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Las Piñas, Malabon, Navotas, Pasig, Pateros, Parañaque, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Tagig, and Valenzuela. Metropolitan Manila was created in order to provide integrated services such as water supply, police and fire protection, and transport and to permit central planning for simultaneous and unified development.

      The city has a chronic housing shortage, and tenement housing projects have been constructed by the government to help house the poor. One of these is the Bagong Lipunan Improvement of Sites and Services (BLISS), initiated by the governor of Metropolitan Manila. To provide homes for squatters, the government also has developed resettlement projects around Manila that are easily accessible by land motor transportation.

      Residential buildings include the single-family dwelling; the duplex for two independent households; the accessoria, whose dwelling units have individual entrances from the outside; the apartment building with common entrance; and the barong-barong, a makeshift shack built of salvaged materials (flattened tin cans, scrap lumber, cartons, or billboards) that is common in the poor area of Tondo.

      Architectural styles reflect American, Spanish, Chinese, and Malay influences. Rizal Park and a number of government buildings were designed by U.S. architect and city planner Daniel H. Burnham (Burnham, Daniel H.). Modern buildings—including multistoried commercial houses and public and private buildings—are commonly made of reinforced concrete and hollow cement blocks. Houses of modern design—especially low, sprawling ranch houses with spacious lawns—are common in the districts of Ermita and Malate. Spanish-style houses, with tiled roofs, barred windows, and thick walls, were common before World War II and have remained popular. The churches of the city are American, Spanish, or European in character. The Manila cathedral was rebuilt in the 1950s and is an important landmark. It succeeds five earlier cathedrals—the first dating from the mid-16th century—that were destroyed either by earthquakes or during wartime.

      Metropolitan Manila is densely populated and contains a significant proportion of the population of the country. This concentration of people has been brought about by a constant rural-urban migration. The strain on municipal services has an adverse effect on the quality of life in the urban area. In an effort to ameliorate the situation, the government has adopted a “back-to-the-farm” policy and has established resettlement projects outside of the central urban area.

      Almost all the residents of Manila are Filipinos. The largest single foreign community, representing less than one-tenth of the population, is made up of Chinese. The population of the city is predominantly Roman Catholic, although there are some Protestants, Muslims, and Buddhists. The two national Christian churches—the Iglesia ni Kristo and the Philippine Independent, or Aglipayan, Church—have small congregations.


Industry and tourism
      The diverse manufacturing activities of Manila include textile production, publishing and printing, food processing, and the production of paints, drugs, aluminum articles, rope and cordage, shoes, cigars and cigarettes, coconut oil, soap, and lumber. Factories generally are small and are located mostly in the congested districts of Tondo (which also has the railroad and truck terminals), Binondo, and Santa Cruz. Heavy industries are located in the districts of Paco, Pandacan, and Santa Ana. Tourism is also important.

Commerce and finance
      Manila is the centre of commerce and finance in the Philippines. Trade flourishes within the metropolitan area and between the city and the provinces and other countries. Most of the Philippines' imports and exports pass through the port of Manila. 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. Private insurance companies and the Manila Stock Exchange also contribute to the mobilization of savings for investment.

      Within the area of Metropolitan Manila, public transportation is provided principally by buses, jeepneys (small buses built on the chassis of jeeps), and taxis. An elevated rail line, linking Caloocan City and the city of Baclaran (to the south of Pasay City), was completed in 1984. It was the first phase of a transit system, called the Light Rail Transit, that, by the early 2000s, had lines extending throughout much of the metropolitan area. Bus services operate routes to northern and southern Luzon; railroad services operated by the Philippine National Railways also connect the city with northern and southeastern Luzon. Interisland and international transportation is provided by domestic and foreign airlines and by shipping.

      Traffic congestion is serious, traffic tending to pile up at the bridges during the morning and evening rush hours. Adjacent towns serve as dormitory suburbs, and many people commute to the city, adding to the traffic problem.

      The main international port is Manila South Harbor, enclosed by a low breakwater. The customhouse and several warehouses and sheds are enclosed. There are no railway lines within the port area, and cargo is transported from the piers by trucks or barges. Several heavy industries that depend upon imported raw materials are located within the port area.

      The piers of the local port, Manila North Harbor, are congested with heavy traffic from all ports in the Philippines. It has several warehouses for storage of goods and equipment. Additional port facilities for international shipping have been built, partially on reclaimed land, in the area between the two harbours.

Administration and society

      With the organization of Metropolitan Manila in 1975, the mayor-council type of government was superseded by a manager-commission type. Metropolitan Manila, which is vested with the powers and attributes of a corporation (including the power to make contracts, sue and be sued, hold, transfer, and dispose of property, and similar powers), is administered by the Metropolitan Manila Commission. It is headed by a governor as the general manager, who executes policies and measures approved by the commission and is responsible for the discharge of management functions. The other members are the vice governor, as deputy general manager, and three commissioners or board members, one each for planning, finance, and operations. All members are appointed by the president of the Philippines.

      Supplanting the city or municipality boards or councils is the Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Assembly), created for each city or municipality, which helps the metropolitan government in administration and legislation. It is composed of the mayor, vice mayor, councillors, captains of barangays (neighbourhoods), and representatives from other sectors, appointed by the president upon recommendation of the local unit. The mayors are the presiding officers in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

Public utilities
      Potable water comes from a supply network managed by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System. Satisfactory sanitation conditions are maintained by constant surveillance of markets, restaurants, motion-picture houses, recreation halls, and slaughterhouses. Insecticides are sprayed regularly on open sewers, uncollected garbage, and standing water; garbage is collected by a fleet of trucks that operate night and day. Moreover, workers maintain cleanliness in the metropolitan area and are also responsible for the beautification of the city as directed by the governor of Metropolitan Manila.

Health and security
      Health facilities in Manila are among the best in the region. The city government maintains numerous health centres as well as San Lazaro Hospital, where patients are treated free of charge, and subsidizes a number of government hospitals. There are also many missionary and private hospitals in the city.

      Police and fire services are well organized, improved equipment and techniques are used, and personnel are comparatively well paid. To intensify the campaign against crime, more police precincts were created, and the Police Community Relations District was organized. Barangay brigades and barangay tanods (guards) were also created in each barangay of every city and municipality in Metropolitan Manila. They are volunteers and selected leaders of the barangay whose duty is to maintain peace and order in their community.

      More than 96 percent of the population of 10 years of age or older is literate. More than 100 free public schools are maintained, in addition to the night vocational and secondary schools and the city-supported University of Manila. Educational opportunities are also provided for handicapped children, orphans of school age, and adults. As the education centre of the country, Metropolitan Manila houses many of the major institutions of higher education of the country, including the University of the Philippines (with its main campus in Quezon City), the Philippine Normal College, and the Technological University of the Philippines. There are several universities sponsored by religious bodies, including the University of Santo Tomas (founded in 1611), as well as nonsectarian institutions such as the University of the East and the Far Eastern University.

Cultural life
      The centre of the performing arts in the country is the Philippine Cultural Center. There is also the Folk Arts Theater, facing Manila Bay, the renovated historic Metropolitan Theatre, and an open-air theatre in Rizal Park. The many libraries and museums include the National Library and the National Museum, known for its anthropological and archaeological exhibits; the National Institute of Science and Technology, with a scientific reference library and large collections of plants and animals; the geological museum of the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences; the Planetarium; Fort Santiago, which houses original works of the Philippine patriot José Rizal; and the Kamaynilaan (Manila City) Library and Museum, which contains valuable carvings, paintings, and archives.

      The foremost outdoor recreational area is Rizal Park, with a Japanese garden, a Chinese garden, an open-air theatre, a playground, a grandstand, and a long promenade adjacent to Manila Bay. Other areas include the Manila Zoological and Botanical Gardens, the Mehan Garden, and Paco Park. Athletic facilities include the Rizal Memorial Stadium and the Jai-Alai Fronton, both located in Manila, and the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. Annual festivals and carnivals are held in the sunken garden fronting the City Hall of Manila.

      In the late 16th century, Manila was a walled Muslim settlement whose ruler levied customs duties on all commerce passing up the Pasig River. Spanish conquistadors under the leadership of Miguel López de Legazpi (Legazpi, Miguel López de)—first Spanish governor general of the Philippines—entered the mouth of the river in 1571. They destroyed the settlement and founded the fortress city of Intramuros in its place. Manila became the capital of the new colony. Outside the city walls stood some scattered villages, each ruled by a local chieftain and each centred on a marketplace. As Spanish colonial rule became established, churches were built near the marketplaces, where the concentration of population was greatest. Manila spread beyond its walls, expanding north, east, and south, linking together the market–church complexes as it did so.

      The propagation of Roman Catholicism began with the Augustinian friar Andrés de Urdaneta (Urdaneta, Andrés de), who accompanied the expedition of 1571. He was followed by Franciscan, Dominican, Jesuit, and other Augustinian priests, who founded churches, convents, and schools. In 1574 Manila was baptized under the authorization of Spain and the Vatican as the “Distinguished and Ever Loyal City” and became the centre of Catholicism as well as of the Philippines. At various periods Manila was seriously threatened, and sometimes occupied, by foreign powers. It was invaded by the Chinese in 1574 and raided by the Dutch in the mid-17th century. In 1762, during the Seven Years' War, the city was captured and held by the British, but the Treaty of Paris (Paris, Treaty of) (1763) resulted in its restoration to Spain. It was opened to foreign trade in 1832, and commerce was further stimulated by the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

      The Manila area became the centre of anti-Spanish sentiment in the 1890s, and the execution of Filipino patriot José Rizal in the city in December 1896 sparked a year-long insurrection. During the Spanish-American War the Spanish fleet was defeated at Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, and on August 13 the city surrendered to U.S. forces. It subsequently became the headquarters for the U.S. administration of the Philippines.

      The U.S. period was one of general social and economic improvement for the city. U.S. policy encouraged gradual Filipino political autonomy, and to help achieve this goal public schools were established in Manila and throughout the archipelago. The University of the Philippines, founded in 1908, became the apex of the educational system. The city developed into a major trading and tourist centre.

      Upon the outbreak of World War II, Manila was declared an open city and was occupied by the Japanese in January 1942. The city suffered little damage during the Japanese invasion but was levelled to the ground during the fight for its recapture by U.S. forces in 1945.

      Manila was in shambles when in 1946 it became the capital of the newly independent Republic of the Philippines. The city was rapidly rebuilt, however, with U.S. aid. A significant change in its appearance was brought about by industrialization. In 1948 suburban Quezon City was chosen as the site of a new national capital, but in 1976 Manila again became the capital and the permanent seat of the national government.

Additional Reading
General discussions on the history, government, economy, and living conditions in Manila include Teodoro A. Agoncillo and Milagros C. Guerrero, History of the Filipino People, 5th ed. (1977); Alfonso J. Aluit, The Galleon Guide to Manila, 3rd ed. (1973); Miguel Anselmo Bernad, The Western Community of Manila: A Profile (1974); Robert E. Huke, Shadows on the Land: An Economic Geography of the Philippines (1963); Luning B. Ira, Streets of Manila (1977); The Philippine Atlas, vol. 1, A Historical, Economic and Educational Profile of the Philippines (1975); Domingo C. Salita, Geography and Natural Resources of the Philippines (1974).Specific treatment on population, housing, charter provisions, needs, and resources of the capital city may be found in The Fookien Times Philippine Yearbook 1975, “Towards a Metropolitan Manila”; National Census And Statistics Office, 1975 Integrated Census of the Population and Its Economic Activities (1975); Philippine Yearbook 1977; Philippine Law Report, vol. 11, no. 2 (February 1976); Metro Manila, vol. 1 (February 1977– ); Metro Manila Research Team, Restructuring Government in Metropolitan Manila (1973). See also Robert R. Reed, Colonial Manila: The Context of Hispanic Urbanism and Process of Morphogenesis (1978); Ernesto M. Pernia and Cayetano W. Paderanga, Urbanization and Spatial Development in the Philippines (1980); Visitacion R. De La Torre, Landmarks of Manila, 1571–1930 (1981); Emily Hahn, The Islands: America's Imperial Adventure in the Philippines (1981).Domingo C. Salita

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Universalium. 2010.

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