M a n i l a
THE CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES
The capital, largest city, and chief seaport of the Philippines. Manila is on Luzon Island, on the eastern shore of Manila Bay at the mouth of the Pasig River, just west of Quezon City. It is the commercial, administrative, and cultural centre of the Philippines. Manila is a major seaport and has an excellent deep, sheltered harbour with a built-up modern waterfront. Important industries of Manila and the surrounding metropolitan area include iron founding, coconut-oil pressing, rice milling, sugar refining, and the manufacture of cigars and cigarettes, plywood, leather goods, shoes, textiles, and hemp products.
On the south bank of the Pasig is the original city, Intramuros, founded in 1571 by the Spanish, and containing striking examples of 17th-century Spanish architecture, together with an encircling wall begun in 1590. Most of the old city was destroyed during World War II. Manila is the site of many colleges and universities, among them the University of Manila (1913), the Philippine Women's University (1919), Far Eastern University (1928), and Manuel L. Quezon University (1947). The city was founded as a fortified colony by the Spanish conqueror of the Philippines, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. In 1601 a seminary for nobles, the first educational institution in the country, was established at Manila by the Jesuits. From 1762 to 1764, during the Seven Years' War, the city was held by the British.
In August 1898, during the Spanish-American War, it was captured by United States forces. Manila, often called the Pearl of the Orient, was occupied by the Japanese from January 1942 until February 1945, and was considerably damaged during the struggle to liberate it. Both US and Japanese funds were used to rebuild much of the city after the war. In 1946 Manila became the first capital of the Philippines. It was replaced as capital by Quezon City in 1948, but remained the country's administrative centre. In 1976 Manila again became the capital as part of a local government reorganization that established Metropolitan Manila, comprising Quezon City, Caloocan, Pasay, and Manila proper. Population (1995) Manila metropolitan area 9,454,000; Manila city 1,655,000.