Metro Manila

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Metropolitan Manila)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the metropolitan area of the capital of the Philippines. For the capital city itself, see Manila. For other uses, see Manila (disambiguation).
Metro Manila
Kalakhang Maynila
(From top, left to right): MRT Line 2, Ayala Avenue, EDSA, Quezon Memorial Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Manila Cathedral, Ninoy Aquino International Airport
(From top, left to right): MRT Line 2, Ayala Avenue, EDSA, Quezon Memorial Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Manila Cathedral, Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Political map of Metro Manila
Political map of Metro Manila
Map of the Philippines showing the location of Metro Manila
Map of the Philippines showing the location of Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Map of the Philippines showing the location of Metro Manila
Coordinates: 14°35′N 121°00′E / 14.583°N 121.000°E / 14.583; 121.000Coordinates: 14°35′N 121°00′E / 14.583°N 121.000°E / 14.583; 121.000


Cities City of Manila
Caloocan City
Las Piñas
Quezon City
San Juan
Municipalities Pateros
Established November 7, 1975[1]
Managing entity Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
 • Total 638.55 km2 (246.55 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 11,855,975
 • Density 19,000/km2 (48,000/sq mi)
Demonym Manileño
Time zone PST (UTC+8)

Metropolitan Manila[1][3] (Filipino: Kalakhang Maynila, Kamaynilaan), commonly known as Metro Manila, the National Capital Region (NCR) of the Philippines, is the seat of government and the most populous region and metropolitan area of the country which is composed of the City of Manila and the cities of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon City, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela, as well as the Municipality of Pateros.

The region is the center of culture, economy, education, and government of the Philippines. Its most populous and largest city in terms of land area is Quezon City, with the center of business and financial activities in Makati (with the Makati CBD and Makati Poblacion). Binondo, the oldest Chinatown in the world located in the City of Manila is also a center of the thriving economic activities in the region, along with Ermita and Malate. Other financial areas within the region include: Ortigas Center, which is shared by the cities of Mandaluyong and Pasig, with parts of it belonging to Quezon City; Bonifacio Global City in the border of Taguig and Makati; Araneta Center, Eastwood City and Triangle Park in Quezon City; Bay City reclamation area, which is split between the cities of Pasay and Parañaque; and Alabang in Muntinlupa.

Since the colonial period, Manila has been the center of education. The University of Santo Tomas (1611), Colegio de San Juan de Letran (1620), Ateneo de Manila University (1859) are some of the educational institutions established during the colonial period. The country's national university, the University of the Philippines, along with several state colleges and universities calls the region as its home. Most of the educational institutions in the country is concentrated on an area called as "the University Belt" where there is a high concentration or a cluster of colleges and universities. The high concentration of higher learning institutions makes Manila the country's educational capital.

Its economical power makes the region the country's center for finance and commerce. Its gross regional product is estimated as of July 2011 to be $159 billion and accounts for 33% of the nation's GDP.[4] It was listed by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2011 as the 28th largest economy of all urban agglomerations in the world and the 2nd in Southeast Asia.

Its existence was preceded by the province of Manila, occupying the same area Metro Manila has. By the time of the colonial rule of Spaniards, the province of Manila was dissolved, and Intramuros became Manila itself. Other cities belonging to present-day Metro Manila was by this time under the province of Rizal. On 1976, as proclaimed by Presidential Decree 940, Metro Manila became the seat of government of the Philippines, with the City of Manila serving the country's capital.[5]

Metro Manila is the most populous of the 12 defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines and the 11th most populous in the world. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 11,855,975, equivalent to 13% of the national population.[2] The sum of total population of provinces with a density above 700 people per square kilometer (more than double the national average) in a contiguous zone with Metro Manila is 25.5 million people as of the 2007 census. One way to refer to the conurbation around Metro Manila is Greater Manila Area, Metro Manila itself is compact, constituting 1/4 of Davao City's land area.



The name Manila was given by its Tagalog inhabitants as Maynila. The name is based on nila, a flowering mangrove plant that grew on the marshy shores of the bay, used to produce soap for regional trade. It may be derived from the phrase "may nila", the Tagalog for "there is nila", or using the prefix ma- that indicates a place where something is prevalent. Nila itself is probably from Sanskrit nila (नील) meaning 'indigo tree'.[6] The idea that the plant name is actually "nilad" is baseless.[7]

Prehistory and antiquity[edit]

Development of Metro Manila showing the years that each area became a city. Pateros is currently the only remaining municipality.

The area of Metropolitan Manila was already settled before the Spanish came. The Austronesians who displaced the aboriginal Negritos, traded and received goods and peoples from its Asian neighbors. Thus the area possessed many labels according to the varying cultures that interacted with it before the Spanish came. The Chinese called the place Dongdu (東都)[8] when it was under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Tondo. During the era of the Maharajanate of Majapahit the area was called Selurong (षेलुरोन्ग्)[9] and under the Sultanate of Brunei it was called Kota Saludong (كوتا سلودوڠ)[10] or simply Maynila.

After the Spaniards arrived from Nueva España, now Mexico, Spanish Manila was founded on June 24, 1571, by three conquistadors: Martín de Goiti, Juan de Salcedo, and Miguel López de Legazpi who successfully wrested power away from Lakan Dula, Rajah Matanda and Tariq Suleiman.[11] Spanish power was eventually consolidated after the Tondo Conspiracy and the Battle of Manila (1574) attempted by the Chinese Pirate Warlord Limahong.[12] After doing this, they renamed the area and its surroundings as Nuevo Reino de Castilla. In 1867, the Spanish Government of the Philippines established the municipalities and territories south of the District of Morong in Nueva Ecija, north of the Province of Tondo and Manila, and isolated these from their mother province of Nueva Ecija. The government created the Province of Manila, composed of the Province of Tondo to the south and the isolated territories of Nueva Ecija to the north. The parts of Tondo were Navotas, Tambobon (presently called Malabon), and Caloocan; the parts of Nueva Ecija were Mariquina (Marikina), Balintauag (Balintawak), Caloocan, Pasig, San Felipe Neri (which is now Mandaluyong), Las Piñas, what had once been known as Parañaque, and Muntinlupa. The capital of the Province was Intramuros, then itself called and considered to be Manila, a walled city located along the banks of the Pasig River and on the shore of the Manila Bay. Through the ages, this city witnessed the sailing of the Manila Galleons when it was a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, then, massive arson and looting during the British Occupation of Manila. Eventually, it was ruled directly from Spain after the Mexican War of Independence and was educated with liberal ideas right before the Cavite Mutiny(Precursor of the Philippine Revolution) occurred.

During the Philippine Revolution, the Province of Manila was the last of the eight provinces to first revolt against Spain in 1896, paving the establishment of the Philippine Republic (composed of Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite and Manila). The Province of Manila remained in existence until 1901, when its territory was subdivided by the Americans.

In 1901, the Philippine Assembly created the City of Manila composed of the municipalities of Ermita, Intramuros, Manila, Tondo, Santa Cruz, Santa Ana de Sapa, San Nicolas, San Miguel, San Fernando de Dilao (Paco), Port Area, Pandacan, Sampaloc, Quiapo, Binondo, Malate, San Andres, and Santa Mesa. The municipalities of Caloocan, Mariquina, Pasig, Parañaque, Malabon, Navotas, San Juan del Monte, Makati (San Pedro de Macati), Mandaluyong (San Felipe Neri), Las Piñas, Muntinlupa and Taguig-Pateros were incorporated into a new province named Rizal, the capital of which was Pasig.

In 1941, with the onset of World War II, President Manuel L. Quezon created the City of Greater Manila as an emergency measure, merging the city and municipal governments of Manila, Quezon City, San Juan del Monte, Caloocan, etc. and appointed Jorge Vargas as mayor. Existing mayors of the included cities and municipalities served as vice-mayors for their areas. This was in order to ensure Vargas, who was Quezon's principal lieutenant for administrative matters, would have a position of authority that would be recognized under international military law. There were doubts if the Japanese Imperial Army poised to occupy Manila would recognize the authorities of members of the Quezon cabinet. The City of Greater Manila was abolished by the Japanese with the formation of the Philippine Executive Commission to govern the occupied regions of the country. As an administrative concept, however, the City of Greater Manila served as a model for Metro Manila and the position of Metro Manila governor established during the Marcos administration.

In 1975, the Metropolitan Manila Commission was created to administer the emerging metropolis when President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 824.[13] Marcos appointed his wife Imelda as governor of Metro Manila.

In 1986, after a major government reorganization, President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. 392 and changed the structure of the Metropolitan Manila Commission and renamed it to the Metropolitan Manila Authority. Metro Manila mayors chose from among themselves the chair of the agency.

In 1995, through Republic Act 7924, Metro Manila Authority was reorganized and became the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. The chair of the agency is appointed by the President and should not have a concurrent elected position such as mayor.


Located at 14°40' N 121°3 E, Metro Manila is situated on an isthmus bound by Laguna de Bay to the south-east and Manila Bay to the west. The metropolitan area lies on a wide flood plain composed mainly of alluvial soil deposits. The area is bounded by Bulacan to the north, Rizal to the east, Laguna to the south and Cavite to the southwest. The swampy isthmus on which the western metropolitan area partly lies has an average elevation of 10 meters. The eastern area lies on a ridge gradually rising towards the foothills of the Sierra Madre and overlooks the Marikina River valley, which is part swamp.

The Pasig River bisects the isthmus and links the two bodies of water. From Laguna de Bay, it enters Taguig, and flows east-west through Pateros, Pasig, Makati, Mandaluyong and Manila before draining in Manila Bay. Its main tributary, the Marikina River, originates in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Rodriguez to the northeast of the city. The Marikina River runs north-south and meets with the Pasig in Pateros. Traversing the course of the Marikina River is the Marikina Valley Fault System, part of the seismically active network of fault lines surrounding Metro Manila, placing it at serious risk of earthquakes.

Skyline of the City of Manila as seen from Harbour Square.


Under the Köppen climate classification system, Metro Manila is split between a tropical wet and dry climate and a tropical monsoon climate. Manila, which features less rainfall than Quezon City, has a tropical wet and dry climate while Quezon City features a tropical monsoon climate. Together with the rest of the Philippines, Metro Manila lies entirely within the tropics. Its proximity to the equator means that the temperature range is very small, rarely going lower than 20 °C or higher than 38 °C. However, humidity levels are usually very high, making it feel much warmer. It has a distinct, albeit relatively short dry season from January through May, and a relatively lengthy wet season from June through December.

Climate data for Metro Manila
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35
Average high °C (°F) 30
Average low °C (°F) 21
Record low °C (°F) 14
Precipitation mm (inches) 23
Source: WeatherSpark


Malacañan Palace, the residence and office of the President of the Philippines.
Coconut Palace, the residence and office of the Vice President of the Philippines.

The City of Manila proper is the national capital of the Philippines. The wider Metropolitan Manila area is the seat of government. The executive and judicial branches of government are based in Manila as represented by Malacañan Palace, the official office and residence of the President of the Philippines, and the buildings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines respectively. However, the upper house of the legislature, the Senate of the Philippines, is based in Pasay, and the lower house, the House of Representatives of the Philippines, in Quezon City.

Metro Manila is the smallest of the country's administrative regions, but the most populous and the most densely populated, having a population of 11,855,975 (2010 census) in an area of approximately 638.55 square kilometers (246.55 sq mi). It is also the only region without any provinces, instead being subdivided into 17 local government units: 16 cities and one municipality.

Local government unit City Class Income Class Population
Pop. density
(per km2)
Per capita
Ph seal ncr caloocan.png Caloocan Highly Urbanized 1st Class 1,489,040 55.80 26,685.3 $9,426 February 1962
Ph seal ncr laspinas.png Las Piñas Highly Urbanized 1st Class 552,573 32.69 16,903.43 $8,678 March 1997
City Seal Makati.jpg Makati Highly Urbanized 1st Class 476,719 21.57 22,101.02 $29,259 February 1995
Ph seal ncr malabon.png Malabon Highly Urbanized 1st Class 353,337 15.71 22,491.22 $4,334 April 2001
Ph seal ncr mandaluyong.png Mandaluyong Highly Urbanized 1st Class 328,699 21.26 35,382.02 $20,258 April 1994
Ph seal ncr manila.png Manila Highly Urbanized Special Class 1,652,171 38.55 43,079.48 $23,731 July 1901
Ph seal ncr marikina.png Marikina Highly Urbanized 1st Class 424,150 21.52 19,709.57 $10,346 December 1996
PH seal Muntinlupa.png Muntinlupa Highly Urbanized 1st Class 459,941 39.75 11,570.84 $13,789 May 1995
Ph seal ncr navotas.png Navotas Highly Urbanized 1st Class 249,131 10.77 27,867 $5,296 June 2007
Ph seal ncr paranaque.png Parañaque Highly Urbanized 1st Class 588,126 47.69 12,628.86 $10,146 March 1998
Ph seal ncr pasay.png Pasay Highly Urbanized 1st Class 392,869 13.97 28,122.33 $6,876 June 1947
Ph seal ncr pasig.png Pasig Highly Urbanized 1st Class 669,773 31.00 13,821.15 $12,032 January 1995
Ph seal ncr pateros.png Pateros Municipality 1st Class 64,147 2.25 28,509.78 $3,324 N/A
Quezon City Seal.svg Quezon City Highly Urbanized Special Class 2,761,720 166.20 16,083.63 $11,213 October 1939
Ph seal ncr sanjuan.png San Juan Highly Urbanized 1st Class 121,430 5.95 20,408.4 $16,893 June 2007
Ph seal ncr taguig.png Taguig Highly Urbanized 1st Class 695,793 53.67 12,964.28 $12,342 December 2004
Ph seal ncr valenzuela.png Valenzuela Highly Urbanized 1st Class 575,356 47.02 12,236.41 $7,531 December 1998
Administrative districts of Metro Manila:
  1st district
  2nd district
  3rd district
  4th district

In terms of local governance, Metro Manila cannot properly be considered a single political entity. The cities and municipality within it are considered the highest level of local government with each having its own set of separately elected officials. While the cities and municipality are independent from each other politically, several basic public services, such as traffic and flood control, are administered collectively by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). The MMDA is headquartered in Makati and is headed by the MMDA Chairman, an appointee of the President of the Philippines, who holds cabinet rank. The mayors of the cities and municipality form the Metro Manila Council that serves as the board of the MMDA.

In 2014, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives proposing the creation of a new political unit in Metro Manila with legislative powers to be known as the Metropolitan Manila Regional Administration (MMRA). If approved and ratified in a plebiscite, the MMRA would replace the MMDA and would be given the authority to enact ordinances and regulations for the general welfare of the constituents of the metropolis.[15] At present, the Metro Manila Council of the MMDA only serves an advisory role with the decision-making authority still residing with the individual city and municipal councils of the 17 local government units.

For mainly fiscal and statistical purposes, Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) has also been divided into four districts grouped according to geographical basis in reference to the Pasig River. These districts were created in 1976 but have no local government and no congressional representation.

The cities and municipalities within the NCR are grouped into the four districts as follows:

District Alternate Name City/Cities
     1st The Capital District Manila
     2nd Eastern Manila District Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, Quezon City, and San Juan
     3rd Northern Manila District (CAMANAVA) Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela
     4th Southern Manila District Las Piñas, Makati, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasay, Pateros, and Taguig

Representation to the two houses of the Congress of the Philippines is as follows:

Metro Manila is also a judicial region ("National Capital Judicial Region"); as such, all regional trial court judges can be stationed anywhere within the region.


Ayala Avenue, the Wall Street of the Philippines.

Metro Manila is the financial, commercial and industrial center of the Philippines. It accounts for 33% of the Philippines' GDP. It has a third of the country's bank offices but over two thirds of its deposits. Makati is the financial and economic hub of the metropolitan area and the country. Clustered in the central business districts of Makati, Ortigas, and Bonifacio Global City, are all of the fifty tallest skyscrapers in the Philippines, the tallest of which are The Gramercy Residences, Discovery Primea and the PBCom Tower in Makati.

Manila's economy is diverse and multifaceted. The Port of Manila, one of the busiest in the world, serves as the chief seaport of the country. Manila is a hub for manufacturers that produce industrial-related products such as chemicals, textiles, clothing, and electronic goods. Food, beverages and tobacco products are also produced in the city. The food-processing industry is also one of the most stable major manufacturing sector in the city. The Chinatown area of the city has begun to be revitalized and several high-rise condominiums and offices are already rising in the area.

Makati is the financial and economic hub of the country. Its central business district hosts many of the Philippines' largest corporations and the nation's major banks as well as the main headquarters of many multinational and local corporations.[16] Makati became the financial center of the Philippines during the 1950s. Makati is home to numerous shopping centers, high-rise condominiums, hotels, offices, dining facilities and bars. Makati City is also known for having the highest number of BPO offices in the country at 1,159 companies to date, as well as the highest number of PEZA-accredited IT Parks and Buildings. The Makati CBD area is built around the former Nielsen Air Base, an American installation during World War II, and its runways now form the district's main roads, which cross each other at the Ayala Triangle, home of one of the two trading venues of the nation's stock exchange.

Ortigas Center is Metro Manila's second most important financial and central business district after the Makati Central Business District. It is located at the boundaries of Pasig, Mandaluyong, and Quezon City. With an area of at least 100 hectares, the district is home to many shopping malls, high-rise offices and condominium, bars and restaurants. These include the St. Francis Square, the Asian Development Bank compound, the Oakwood Premier serviced apartments and the Shangri-La hotel. It is also the headquarters of San Miguel Corporation, Jollibee Foods Corporation, the Philippine branch of HSBC. It also home to the Banco de Oro main office owned by business tycoon Henry Sy, Sr. SM Megamall, the largest shopping mall in the country is also located at the Ortigas Center, as well as The Medical City, one of the three hospitals in the country accredited by the Joint Commission on International Accreditation. Ortigas Center is surrounded by the streets of EDSA to the west, Ortigas Avenue to the north, Meralco Avenue to the east, and Shaw Boulevard to the south.

Bonifacio Global City, one of the region's fastest growing business districts.

New developments seeking to become vibrant business centers of their own are Bonifacio Global City in Taguig; Eastwood City, Neopolitan Business Park and Triangle Park in Quezon City; the Manila Bay City Reclamation Area in the cities of Pasay, Parañaque and Las Piñas; and Alabang Estates, Madrigal Business Park, and Filinvest Corporate City in Muntinlupa. The traditional business center of Chinese-Filipino businessmen and the country's CBD prior to the development of the Makati CBD was the Binondo District in the City of Manila. Escolta was the central street of commerce during the time of the Spaniards up until the development of the Makati CBD when Ayala Avenue superseded it.

According to KMC MAG Group, the Manila real estate is among the most profitable industries in the Asia-Pacific as of 2013. One of the main factors behind this trend is the city's low real-estate costs, it attracts business process outsourcing firms and other foreign investors looking to invest in Philippine real estate. There is a strong investor interest in the Philippines because of the prospects of higher yields, which is about 7.9% on average, with a 4% spread over investing in treasury bonds.[17]

Shopping centers[edit]

Panoramic view of the SM Mall of Asia. (2009)

"Malling" has been a pastime of Filipinos since the rise of "megamalls", a phenomenon developed by Chinese Filipino businessman Henry Sy and his company SM in the early 1990s. Two SM shopping malls are among the top 10 largest in the world. The largest in the country is currently the expanded SM Megamall in Mandaluyong. Previously, the SM City North EDSA in Quezon City was the country's largest mall, and before it, the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay held the distinction from 2006 to 2008.

Malls are generally clustered into major shopping districts, sometimes within financial hubs such as Makati or Ortigas Center. Ayala Center, a major development within the Makati central business district, contains various up-market malls such as Greenbelt and Glorietta. SM Megamall is located within Ortigas Center, which is also the site of Robinsons Galleria, Shangri-La Plaza, and The Podium. Within the City of Manila itself, the largest malls include SM City Manila, Robinsons Place Manila, and the older Harrison Plaza. Cubao is Quezon City's central commercial area and has five malls including the Gateway Mall at the Araneta Center. There is also Eastwood City, located along Libis; SM City Fairview, in Novaliches; and TriNoma, Ayala Land's mall, across from SM City North EDSA. Newer business districts such as Bonifacio Global City have also become shopping hubs since the opening of Bonifacio High Street and Serendra. Further to the south, SM Southmall and Festival Supermall are its biggest shopping malls in Las Piñas and Muntinlupa.

Traditional Filipino shopping areas, while now rivaled by more modern shopping malls, maintain a presence in Metro Manila. Filipino wet markets, known locally as palengke, are most prominent within the City of Manila, especially in Divisoria, near Binondo. Cloverleaf Market in Balintawak, Quezon City supplies much of Metro Manila's fruit and vegetable products. Navotas Port Market supplies most of Metro Manila's fish products. Other smaller markets include the Cubao Farmers Market, EDSA Central, Nepa-Q Mart, Novaliches Talipapa, and those found in Muñoz, Balingasa, Galas, Santa Mesa, Baclaran, Libertad, and Cartimar (the latter also being one of the finest pet markets). Tiangge, or flea markets, are also prevalent in the city, and sell a wide range of dry goods, accessories and electronics. Recently opened in Pasig is a new development called Frontera Verde, which currently hosts Tiendesitas, a tiangge-style shopping center.

Wealth extremes[edit]

Metro Manila is a place of economic extremes. Many high-income citizens are concentrated in gated communities in places such as Forbes Park and Dasmariñas Village in Makati, Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa (all three initially developed in part by the influential Zobel de Ayala family), Wack Wack Village in Mandaluyong, Valle Verde in Pasig, White Plains, La Vista, and Greenmeadows in Quezon City, Greenhills in San Juan, Marina Bay Village in Parañaque or in high-rise developments in or around central business districts, such as Rockwell Center in Makati, Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, or along Roxas Boulevard overlooking Manila Bay.

In sharp contrast to these residences are the slums and illegal settlements scattered across the metropolitan area, often found on vacant government land or in districts such as Tondo, San Andres, Bagong Silangan and Payatas. Illegal settlements have been concentrated on land adjacent to the tracks of PNR lines; but with efforts to rehabilitate the railway system, steps have been taken to clear these areas and relocate the informal settlers to other areas.

Landmarks and recreational areas[edit]

Fountains of the Rizal Park.

Located in the western portion of Metro Manila in the heart of Manila proper, Rizal Park, also known as the Luneta, is an iconic public promenade. Rizal Park features the Rizal Monument, a statue honoring José Rizal; a gigantic relief map of the Philippines; scenic Chinese and Japanese gardens; and several government offices, such as the Department of Tourism. On the seaside front of Rizal Park are numerous seafood restaurants specializing in Filipino and Asian cuisine. The National Museum of the Filipino People is also found here. It is a complex of two Greco-Roman buildings which house various relics and natural treasures in its galleries. The museum also boasts a large collection of artwork and masterpieces crafted by Filipinos. Part of the museum complex is the first planetarium in Southeast Asia. A newer attraction is the Manila Ocean Park, an oceanarium which opened in March 2008. Located nearby is the Quirino Grandstand, which apart from political campaign gatherings is also a popular staging ground for rallies such as those for various charismatic religious groups.

The main entrance of Fort Santiago in Intramuros

Near Rizal Park is the 400-year-old former imperial city known as Intramuros. Intramuros, is a walled domain which was once the seat of government during the Spanish Colonial Era and American Period. Among its attractions are Fort Santiago, a timeworn Spanish military fortress; Casa Manila, a Spanish colonial villa which is converted into a house gallery; Manila Cathedral, the official seat of the Archbishop of Manila; San Agustin Church, erected in 1587, the oldest existing church in the Philippines;[18] Intramuros Golf Club, a golf course outside the walls; and the Clam Shell Tent, an exhibition center of the Department of Tourism. Horse-carriages and tourist buses are also some of the attractions. The rest also includes a walk above the walls surrounding Intramuros, government offices, universities and colonial houses. The Quiapo area is home to the famous Quiapo Church and Plaza Miranda, home to the Black Nazarene. It also has the largest Filipino Muslim community outside of the southern Philippines, where the trading-focussed Muslim Town and the Masjid Al-Dahab mosque is situated.

Fort Bonifacio is the location of military detachments, cemeteries, corporate headquarters, and world-class dining and shopping facilities. Other local recreation areas include the Nayong Pilipino (Philippine Village) in Parañaque, Quezon Memorial Circle and Ninoy Aquino Wildlife Center, both in Diliman district of Quezon City, the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex and Bay City, both in Pasay. Meanwhile, the Paco Park, Arroceros Botanical Garden, Manila Zoo, Plaza Rajah Sulayman, Plaza Miranda, new Rizal Avenue Bargain Walkway, the all-steel Gothic San Sebastian Church, the bars and night clubs of Ermita and Malate districts and the Roxas Boulevard Bay Walk which offers a fine view of the Manila Bay sunset and hip dining are in Manila.



The metropolis has an extensive system of highways connecting the various cities and municipalities estimated to measure 5092 kilometers long. Of this total 1087 kilometers are national roads; 2366 kilometers are city, municipal, or barangay roads; 1639 kilometers are subdivision roads; and 37 kilometers are privately run toll expressways.[19][20]

The major roads include ten radial roads, which branch out from central Manila and five circumferential roads which form a series of concentric semi-circular arcs around downtown Manila. Most of these roads are very important transportation arteries. One is the C-4 (Circumferential Road 4), also called Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or more popularly as EDSA. It is the major thoroughfare in Metro Manila connecting five cities in Metro Manila, namely Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Caloocan. The MRT-3 line of Manila's metro network runs down the middle of EDSA between the road's opposite running lanes. A major alternative to EDSA is Circumferential Road 5 (C-5). Some other important roads are R-1 (Radial Road 1) better known as Roxas Boulevard and the Manila-Cavite Expressway (Coastal Road) connecting to Cavite province in the southwest; R-3 or the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) connecting to Laguna province in the southeast; R-6 (Aurora Boulevard and Marcos Highway) connecting to Rizal province in the east; and R-8 or the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) connecting to Bulacan province in the north. One of its newest roads, the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, running on the reclamation area parallel to R-1, is one of the destinations of Metro Manila's elite.

Metro Manila is notorious for its traffic jams with trips averaging at speeds as low as 6–8 kilometers per hour.[21] A trip that should take 20 minutes will last an hour or more especially during rush hour. Consequently, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (see section below) has constructed many projects to decongest traffic.

Such projects of the MMDA for motorists are the construction of flyovers (elevated roads), interchanges, loading bays for Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs), emergency bays, and U-turn slots over various intersections and thoroughfares, and the completion of the comprehensive railway system (see below). It has also been engaged in road widening with the support of the Department of Public Works and Highways. MMDA has also utilized projects for the pedestrians such as the installation of footbridges, waiting sheds, and men's urinals to various roads in the metropolis. The agency has also implemented various schemes for motorists such as the Uniform Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP), more popularly known as "color-coding", where vehicles whose plate numbers end in different digits are banned from traveling on different days, the Yellow Lane scheme, where yellow-plated PUBs (Public Utility Buses) will only use the two outermost lanes in EDSA, and the Organized Bus Route (OBR) for Metro Manila.


There are two different rapid transit systems in Metro Manila: the Manila Light Rail Transit System, or the LRTA System, and the Manila Metro Rail Transit System, or the MRTC System.[22] The LRT-1 (formerly Yellow Line) and the MRT-2 (formerly Purple Line) form the LRTA network. On the other hand, the MRT-3 (formerly, Blue Line) solely forms the MRTC network. With a track length of 20.7 km, LRT-1 is the oldest and longest (20.7 km) line. Originally opened in 1984, it was extended in 2010. MRT-2 commenced service in 2003, and has eleven stations along its 13.8 km track. Opened in 1999, the MRT-3 serves 11 stations on its 16.9 km long line.

A new line, MRT-7, has been proposed, and as of 2013 the project has gotten to the bidding stage. If constructed, it would connect Metro Manila to the province of Bulacan upon their completion. A southern extension of LRT-1 (also, LRT-6) has been planned for over 10 years and would involve 8 to 10 stations. MRT-2 may be extended in both eastward and westward direction in the future.

Philippine National Railways operates one main-line railway lines within Metro Manila, part of the once-flourishing Luzon railway system. The northern line, known as Northrail and connecting Manila to Caloocan, is currently closed. A redevelopment of the line has been suggested to Valenzuela and further on to Bulacan and Pampanga. The trans-Metro Manila portion of the still-open southern line, known as Southrail, commences at Tutuban station in Tondo, Manila, passes through the cities of Manila, Makati, Taguig, Parañaque and Las Piñas, and ends in Barangay Buli, Muntinlupa, before entering the province of Laguna.


Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the main gateway to the country.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which straddles the boundary between Parañaque and Pasay, is the country's busiest airport.[23] It consists of a domestic terminal and three international terminals; it has two main runways. It is the hub of Philippine Airlines which has its main hangar located near the Villamor Air Base. The future international gateway for the metropolitan area and the country is currently being built at Clark International Airport in Angeles, Pampanga.[24] It is planned on becoming one of the world's biggest in terms of terminal size and land area. A fast train will be built to connect the new airport to Metro Manila. Officially, NAIA is the only airport serving the Manila area. However, in practice, both NAIA and Clark International Airport(CRK), located in the Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles, Pampanga serve the Manila area, with CRK catering mostly to low-cost carriers that avail themselves of the lower landing fees than those charged at NAIA. The airport is named after the late Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr., who was assassinated at the airport in 1983.

Water transportation[edit]

The Manila Seaport Terminal in the Port Area, Manila is the shipping gateway to the Philippines.[25] The Pasig River Ferry Service traveled the Pasig River from Intramuros, Manila to Barangay Kalawaan Sur in Pasig. However, as of April 2012, the Pasig River Ferry Service has been suspended.


Population of Metro Manila
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1980 5,925,884 —    
1990 7,948,392 +2.98%
1995 9,454,040 +3.30%
2000 9,932,560 +1.06%
2007 11,553,427 +2.11%
2010 11,855,975 +0.95%

Metro Manila has a registered population of 11,855,975 people.[2] However, as of 2011, the greater urban area of Manila has a population at around 21,295,000.[26] According to the census of 2000, there were 9,932,560 people and 2,132,989 households residing in Metro Manila. With a population density of 15,617/km², it is by far the most densely populated region of the Philippines. For the period 1995 to 2000, the annual population growth rate was 1.06 percent, lower than that of the 1990 to 1995 period (3.30 percent).

The indigenous people of the area now known as Metro Manila were the Tagalogs. Other native ethnic groups of the Philippines also inhabit the metropolis as a result of migration. The include the Visayans, Bicolanos, Kapampangan, Ilocanos, Pangasinan, and Moro groups (mostly Maranao and Maguindanao). Tribal groups such as the Igorot and the Bajau have also settled. There are also numerous peoples of Chinese, Japanese, and Indian descent. Resident Spaniards, Americans, and Koreans are also present in large numbers. Metro Manila is classified as a social urban conglomerate, meaning, it is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world.

The most common language spoken in households is Tagalog (94.34%). English is widely used and understood, and is the main language of the middle and upper classes and in business. Chinese is taught in some Chinese schools. Other languages of the Philippines are also spoken, mostly between family members, relatives, or neighbors belonging to the same ethnic group. Among these languages, the most spoken are from neighboring provinces. The large majority of the population of Metro Manila is Roman Catholic which compromises 80% of the region's population. Other religions represented are Hindus, Buddhists, Protestants, Evangelicals, Islam, Members Church of God International, and Iglesia Ni Cristo. Other denominations such as Jesus Is Lord, Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ, Jesus Miracle Crusade and others also compose the region's population.


University of Santo Tomas, the oldest extant university in Asia, established in 1611.

As of 2008 there are 511 elementary schools and 220 secondary schools in the National Capital Region.[27] There are around 81 higher educational institutions. Literacy rate is around 92.4%.[28]

As the educational center of the country, many students from the provinces head to Metro Manila to study. Areas of high number of educational institutions include the so-called "University Belt" and Taft Avenue in Manila, Katipunan Avenue and Fairview in Quezon City, and Santa Mesa straddling the Manila, Quezon City and Mandaluyong borders. Metro Manila is also home to many private schools run by religious orders; these are among the first schools established in the country. The Dominican Order established the University of Santo Tomas in 1611 and took control of the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, which was established in 1620. The Jesuit Order opened the Ateneo de Manila University in 1859. The Benedictines founded their own school as well, San Beda College in 1901. During the American occupation, the Lasallian brothers were asked to establish a school in Manila, which became now the De La Salle University. Among the secular schools, National University is the oldest, having been open since 1900.

Government-funded/run schools such as the constituent campuses of the University of the Philippines in Manila and Diliman, Quezon City, the main campus of the Philippine Science High School, Quezon City Science High School ,and Manila Science High School are located here as well.


St. Luke's Medical Center Global City, named as one of the world's best hospitals.[29][30]

Manila is home to the World Health Organization's Regional Office for the Western Pacific, the main office of the Department of Health, and several hospitals and medical centers. Major hospitals such as the Makati Medical Center in Makati, Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa, St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City and Taguig, and The Medical City in Pasig have world-class facilities. Some of these have geared themselves toward medical tourism. The Asian Hospital and Medical Center, established on March 15, 2002, is the first private tertiary hospital built in the southern part of Metro Manila. It currently stands on a land area within the vicinity of Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa, Philippines, measuring 17,258-square meters that both includes the main hospital building and the hospital's medical offices. The St. Luke's Medical Center Global City was named as one of the world's best hospitals.[30] The 14-storey building is located in the vicinity of the bustling district of Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.[31]

Police and security[edit]

Headquarters of the PNP

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is responsible for law enforcement in the country. Police structure in the Philippines is centralized and its command center is in Camp Rafael Crame in Santolan, Quezon City. Metro Manila is divided into 5 police districts under National Capital Region Police Office namely Central Quezon City, Western (City of Manila), Eastern (Mandaluyong, Pasig, Marikina, San Juan), Northern (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) and Southern (Makati, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Taguig, Pasay, and Pateros). The NCRPO Headquarters is located in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines' command headquarters is in Camp Emilio Aguinaldo in Murphy, Quezon City. The AFP Joint Task Force NCR is in Metro Manila and was created by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to defend the metropolis from insurgents and terrorist groups. Philippine Army headquarters is in Fort Andres Bonifacio in Taguig. Philippine Air Force headquarters is in Jesus Villamor Air Base in Pasay. Philippine Navy headquarters is along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

Public utilities[edit]


Metro Manila's electricity is generated by the state-owned National Power Corporation (Napocor) and other independent power producers across the island of Luzon. It is transmitted by the privately owned National Grid Corporation of The Philippines (NGCP) through high tension wires. It is distributed by the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the company that holds the franchise to distribute electricity to the metropolis.


Metro Manila and its surrounding areas are divided into two water concessionaires: Maynilad Water (red) and Manila Water (blue).

Metro Manila's tap water is sourced from the Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan. It is stored in the Novaliches Reservoir and filtered in the La Mesa Dam, both in northeast Quezon City. Metro Manila's water distribution and sewerage system used to be managed by the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage System (MWSS), a state-owned company. In 1997, MWSS awarded concessionaire licenses to two private corporations. Metro Manila was sliced into two distribution areas.

  • Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (MWSI). It is currently majority-owned by DM Consunji Holdings, Inc (DMCI) and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC). It operates in Caloocan, Manila, parts of Quezon City, a part of Makati, Valenzuela, Malabon, Navotas, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Muntinlupa. MWSS is currently bidding out its shares in MWSI and expects to conclude the bidding before the end of the year.
  • Manila Water Company, Inc. (MWC). It is majority-owned by the Ayala Corporation, which also controls Globe Telecom. MWC operates the East Concession Zone, which comprises Makati, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, Pateros, San Juan, Taguig, most parts of Quezon City, and some parts of Manila.


For a long time since its founding in 1925, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) was the Philippines' only phone carrier. With the passage of the National Telecommunications Act of 1995, the Philippine National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) granted licenses to new and independent companies to install new phones across the Philippines. The NTC granted 3 new licenses for Metro Manila.

  • BayanTel/ Benpres - Northern Metro Manila (Quezon City, northern Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, Marikina, northeastern Manila, and the Ortigas Center in Pasig)
  • GlobeLines - Southern Metro Manila (Makati, Mandaluyong, Muntinlupa, Pasay, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Taguig, Pateros, San Juan, and Pasig excluding the Ortigas Center)
  • Eastern Telecom - Western Metro Manila (Southern Caloocan and Manila, excluding the northeast part)

Waste management[edit]

Metro Manila produces about 8,400 to 8,600 tons of garbage each day which is equivalent to 25% of the national waste generation. Paper wastes account for 17% of the daily total while 16% are plastics.[32] Efforts to reduce pollution is one of the metropolis' major public management concerns especially with the closure of some garbage dump sites in Greater Manila. At present, collected waste from the metropolis are disposed to various MMDA-designated waste disposal facilities, namely the Rizal Provincial Sanitary Landfill (SLF) in Rodriguez, Payatas SLF in Quezon City and Tanza SLF in Navotas. These facilities service all 17 LGUs in Metro Manila as well as the dispose of the garbage collected by the MMDA Agency from the different esteros and pumping stations. In addition, the agency also maintains closed disposal facilities in San Mateo, Carmona, and Antipolo (Boso Boso).[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Presidential Decree No. 824 November 7, 1975". Arellano Law Foundation. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "2010 Census of Population and Housing: National Capital Region". National Statistics Office of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Presidential Decree No. 824". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ Republic of the Philippines. National Statistical Coordination Board. (July 2009). 2008 Gross Regional Domestic Product - Levels of GRDP. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
  5. ^ Republic of the Philippines. (May 29, 1976). Presidential Decree No. 940 – Establishing Manila as the Capital of the Philippines and as the Permanent Seat of the National Government. Retrieved 2010-04-04 from the Chan Robles Virtual Law Library.
  6. ^ E.M. Pospelov, Geograficheskie nazvanie mira (Географические название мира) (Moscow 1998).
  7. ^ Ambeth Ocampo (June 25, 2008), Looking Back: Pre-Spanish Manila, Philippine Daily Inquirer, retrieved 2008-09-09 
  8. ^ Volume 5 of 東西洋考 (A study of the Eastern and Western Oceans) mentions that Luzon first sent tribute to Yongle Emperor in 1406.
  9. ^ Gerini, G. E. (1905). "The Nagarakretagama List of Countries on the Indo-Chinese Mainland (Circâ 1380 A.D.)". The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland) (July 1905): 485–511. JSTOR 25210168. 
  10. ^ "Pusat Sejarah Brunei" (in Malay). Government of Brunei Darussalam. Retrieved 04-03-10. 
  11. ^ Santiago, Luciano P.R., The Houses of Lakan Dula, Rajah Matanda, and Tariq Soliman [1571–1898]: Genealogy and Group Identity, Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society 18 [1990]
  12. ^ Stearn, Duncan, Chronology of South-East Asian History 1400-1996 (Dee Why, NSW: The Mitraphab Centre Pty Ltd., 1997)
  13. ^ Republic of the Philippines. (November 7, 1975). Presidential Decree No. 824 – Creating The Metropolitan Manila And The Metropolitan Manila Commission And For Other Purposes. Retrieved 2010-11-21 from the Chan Robles Virtual Law Library.
  14. ^ a b National Statistics Office of the Philippines. (April 2012). "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities Based on 1990, 2000, and 2010 Censuses". Retrieved 2012-04-04. 
  15. ^ "Bill creating new Metro Manila body backed". Philippine Star. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "About Makati, Philippines". Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  17. ^ Santos, Matikas. Foreign investors remain positive over PH real-estate industry. (11-05-2013).
  18. ^ Torres, Jose Victor Z. (2005). Ciudad Murada: A Walk Through Historic Intramuros. Manila: Intramuros Administration & Vibal Publishing House, Inc. pp. 62–63. ISBN 971-07-2276-X. 
  19. ^ Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC). Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. (2008). Urban Transport Energy Use in the APEC Region - Benefits and Costs. Tokyo: Author. p. 62. ISBN 978-4-931482-39-5. 
  20. ^ Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. (2010). Metro Manila Road Classification and Surface Type, 2008. Retrieved April 3, 2010, from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Website.
  21. ^ Cervero, Robert. (2000). Informal Transport in the Developing World. UN-HABITAT. ISBN 92-1-131453-4.
  22. ^ GMA Launches transit system, Philippine Star, July 15, 2003
  23. ^ Amojelar, Darwin G. (2012-07-03). "NAIA is Philippines' busiest airport - NSCB". Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  24. ^ Arroyo wants DMIA become top airport amid plan to close NAIA, GMA News and Public Affairs, January 29, 2008.
  25. ^ AAPA official world study on port rankings
  26. ^ "Largest Urban Areas in the World: 2011". Demographia World Urban Areas: 7th Annual Edition (2011.04). Demogrpahia. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  27. ^ Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. (2010). Basic Education Indicators, 2004 to 2008. Retrieved April 3, 2010, from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Website.
  28. ^ Philippine Information Agency. (2005). The National Capital Region. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
  29. ^ "Hurray for St. Luke's! SLMC-GC chosen as one of the world's most beautiful hospitals". St. Luke's Medical Center. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "St. Luke's lands on list of world's best hospitals". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  31. ^ "St. Luke's Medical Center Global City". St. Luke's Medical Center. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  32. ^ Philippine Daily Inquirer. (8-16-2011). Metro Manila produces a fourth of Philippine garbage. Retrieved 2012-07-31.
  33. ^ Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. Accomplishment Report January-April 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-31.

External links[edit]