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For other uses, see Ermita (disambiguation).
The skyline of Ermita with Intramuros in the foreground
The skyline of Ermita with Intramuros in the foreground
Location within Manila
Location within Manila
Country Philippines
Region National Capital Region
City Manila
Congressional District 5th District of Manila
Barangays 13
 • Total 1.59 km2 (0.61 sq mi)
Population (2010[1])
 • Total 7,143
 • Density 4,500/km2 (12,000/sq mi)

Ermita is a district in Manila, Philippines. It is a significant center of finance, education, culture and commerce. Ermita serves as the civic center of the city, bearing the seat of city government and a large portion of the area's employment, business, and entertainment activities.

Private and government offices, museums, and university thrives in Ermita. It is also the home to famous tourist attractions and landmarks, among them is the Rizal Park, the premier national park of the Philippines.


Ermita was founded in the late 16th century. Its name was taken from La Hermita, the Spanish word for "hermitage", after the fact that on this site was built a hermitage housing an image of the Virgin Mary known as the Nuestra Señora de Guia (Our Lady of Guidance). The hermitage has since evolved into Ermita Church, which has been rebuilt several times since the early 17th century.[2]

Ermita gained renewed prominence during the American colonial period. It became known as the university district, containing the campuses and dormitories of the University of the Philippines, the Ateneo de Manila, Adamson University, the Assumption College and St. Paul College. The residential portion of Ermita was populated by American residents, who set up such establishments as the Army and Navy Club, and the University Club.[3]

In February 1945, during the 1945 Battle of Manila, Ermita was the scene of some of the most horrific massacres that occurred during the Second World War. The wife and four children of future President Elpidio Quirino were murdered in Ermita, as was Supreme Court Associate Justice Anacleto Diaz. Between 68% to 85% of Ermita was destroyed during the Battle of Manila, with an estimated total of 100,000 Filipino civilians killed in the city itself.[4]

Ermita was rebuilt after the devastation of the war. University life remained vibrant therein. However, as decades passed, Ermita started earning a reputation as the red-light district of Manila.[5] During the term of Mayor Alfredo Lim, an effort was made to "clean up" Ermita's image and reputation. However, a local city ordinance prohibiting the establishment of motels, lodging houses and other similar establishments, was later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.[6] As a result of the clean-up efforts, nightlife in the area dwindled though it later picked up with the help of the emergence of the nearby Malate district and the Roxas Boulevard revitalization efforts along Manila Bay.


The district can be directly accessed by the main roads like the Roxas Boulevard, Padre Burgos Street, Taft Avenue and United Nations Avenue. The "Park N Ride" Lawton Bus Station, the city's main public transport hub, is located in the district along Padre Burgos Street.

The Manila Light Rail Transit System (LRT-1) follows Taft Avenue and stops at three stations located in Ermita, Central Terminal Station, United Nations Station and Pedro Gil Station.


Government offices[edit]

Ermita is known as the civic center of Manila. The city government is housed in the Manila City Hall along Padre Burgos Street. The offices of the judicial department of the Philippine government is located in the districtt along Taft Avenue and Padre Faura Street. The Supreme Court of the Philippines, Court of Appeals, National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice is headquartered in this area.

Corporate offices[edit]

Ermita is home of the country's major maritime and travel companies which can be found along Kalaw and UN Avenues. Philam Life Insurance Company is headquartered in its building along United Nations Avenue. The Daily Tribune has its publishing house in the are along Kalaw Avenue. Moldex Realty Inc., the largest real estate developer in the city, is headquartered in 1322 Golden Empire Tower, the tallest building in the City of Manila which is along Roxas Boulevard. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation is also headquartered along Roxas Boulevard.

Commercial centers[edit]

Ermita is really a shopping destination for Manila's upper and middle-class families and for students studying in the University Belt. Robinsons Place Manila, Manila's largest shopping mall, is located in the district's tourist belt along Pedro Gil and Adriatico Streets. SM City Manila, on the other hand, is located in the district's civic center along Mayor Antonio Villegas Road. It is also home of the city's hotels, casinos and night clubs. And it is part of Manila's tourist belt along Roxas Boulevard with Malate.


Liwasang Bonifacio and the Manila City Hall


Rizal Park,the widest open urban public park in the country and location of the monument to the national hero José Rizal, is a prominent feature of Ermita. This was the original site for Burnham's planned government center and capitol building. Other sites of interest in Ermita include:


A number of educational institutions are also found in Ermita, including:

Zones and barangays[edit]

Ermita is divded into two zones: Zone 71 and Zone 72.

Zone 71: 659, 659-A, 660, 660-A, 661, 663, 663-A, 664
Zone 72: 666, 667, 668, 669, 670

Barangays of Ermita
Name Population[1] Zone
Barangay 659 318 Zone 71
Barangay 659-A 974 Zone 71
Barangay 660 483 Zone 71
Barangay 660-A 605 Zone 71
Barangay 661 329 Zone 71
Barangay 663 389 Zone 71
Barangay 663-A 362 Zone 71
Barangay 664 146 Zone 71
Barangay 666 560 Zone 72
Barangay 667 1,307 Zone 72
Barangay 668 612 Zone 72
Barangay 669 443 Zone 72
Barangay 670 615 Zone 72


  • Aluit, Alfonso (1994). "The Christian City". By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II 3 February - 3 March 1945. Philippines: National Commission for Culture and the Arts. pp. 85–89. ISBN 971-8521-10-0. 
  1. ^ a b "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010" (PDF). Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved January 17, 2015. 
  2. ^ By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II 3 February - 3 March 1945, p. 85-86
  3. ^ By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II 3 February - 3 March 1945, p. 89
  4. ^ By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II 3 February - 3 March 1945, p. 405
  5. ^ Leo van der Velden, Tussen Prostituee en Maitresse, de Hospitality Girls van Ermita, Manila, 1982, ASC-VAZZOA Universiteit van Amsterdam
  6. ^ G.R. No. 118127. April 12, 2005 (archived from the original on 2008-02-24)

Coordinates: 14°34′59″N 120°58′59″E / 14.583°N 120.983°E / 14.583; 120.983