Malate, Manila

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For the malic acid anion, see malate.
Location of Malate
Country Philippines
Region National Capital Region
City Manila
Congressional districts Part of the 5th district of Manila
Barangays 57
Population (2007[1])
 • Total 78,132

Malate is a district of Manila, Philippines. Together with the district of Ermita, it serves as Manila's center for commerce and tourism.


The word Malate is believed to have stemmed from the corruption of the Tagalog word "maalat'" ("salty"). Tradition notes that the tidewaters from Manila Bay flowed far inland and that seawater intruded into the freshwater collected from wells, thus making the drinking water in the area salty.


View of Malate Church in 1831

Malate during the Spanish colonial period was an open space with a small fishing village. During the Spanish period, the center of activity was the Malate Church, which enshrined Our Lady of Remedies. Devotion to the image was especially popular among pregnant women having a difficult pregnancy.

After the United States of America annexed the islands in 1898 as a consequence of the Spanish-American War, American urban planners envisioned the development of Malate as the newest and trendiest exclusive residential area for American families. American expatriates and some of the old Spanish mestizo families populated the district in modern high rise apartments and bungalows.

Despite extensive damage after the Second World War, many homes and buildings were still standing. The displaced wealthy families who evacuated their homes during the war returned and re-built their private villas and kept the whole district exclusively residential until the 1970s.

The once exclusive residential areas on the western portion of Malate began to transform in the 1970s into a commercial area with some large homes and residential apartments being converted into small hotels, specialty restaurants and cafes.

During the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos, visual and performing artists found a haven in Malate during the 1980s and it became a bohemian enclave and safe haven.

Malate is continuously transforming itself as the center of recreation and entertainment for Manila with more restaurants, boutiques, bars, discos and novelty stores opening for business. The block bounded by the streets; Maria Orosa, Julio Nakpil, Adriatico and Remedios have become synonymous to "street parties," al fresco dining, street dancing and concerts.

The western side of Malate across Taft Avenue remains a quiet middle-class area with several apartment rows converted into dormitories for students enrolled at nearby schools.


Busy street corner of Mabini and Pedro Gil streets

The district can be directly accessed by the main roads like the Roxas Boulevard, Quirino Avenue and Taft Avenue.

The Light Rail Transit (LRT-1) follows Taft Avenue and stops at two stations located in Malate, Vito Cruz Station and Quirino Station.


Government offices[edit]

The country's forefront financial agencies like the Department of Finance or DOF (Kagawaran ng Pananalapi), the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas or BSP (Philippines Central Bank) and lending institution LandBank of the Philippines established their headquarters in the district, while the National Naval Command Headquarters of the Philippine Navy, a unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is at the boundary limits of Manila and the city of Pasay along Roxas Boulevard. The Bureau of Plant Industry is also headquartered in the area.


In the 1990s, Malate and the nearby district of Ermita had been "cleaned-up" and big businesses and resort hotels have sprouted in the district.

Harrison Plaza, Manila's first enclosed modern mall, is located in the Malate district.

There is one hospital, the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center, located at the corner of Roxas Boulevard and Quirino Avenue.


The district is also home to the Philippine's first sports stadium, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and the country's premiere zoological park, the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden. Promenades and parks by the Manila Bay have been made more convenient and safe with the opening of the Manila Baywalk area and the renovated Plaza Rajah Sulayman.

Education and scholarly activity[edit]

Saint La Salle Hall and Henry Sy, Sr. Building of the De La Salle University.

Education in Malate is mostly provided by private schools. Several educational institutions which are part of the University Belt are located in Malate, these are the De La Salle University, De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde, Philippine Christian University, Philippine Women's University, St. Paul University Manila and St. Scholastica's College Manila. Prominent secondary schools in Malate are the Jesus Reigns Christian Academy, Jose Abad Santos Memorial School and the Malate Catholic School. Doña Aurora Quezon Elementary School is the only public school in the district.

Notable residents[edit]



  • By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II, 3 February-3 March 1945 by Alphonso J. Aluit (1994) Bookmark, Inc. © 1994 National Commission for Culture and the Arts ISBN 971-569-162-5


Coordinates: 14°34′01″N 120°58′59″E / 14.567°N 120.983°E / 14.567; 120.983