The city of Manila (Filipino: Lungsod ng Maynila) is the capital of the Philippines and one of the 16 cities and a municipality that makes up the Manila metropolitan area, the National Capital Region of the Philippines, which is one of the most populous urban areas in the world. It is located on the eastern shores of Manila bay, on the western side of the island of Luzon. With a population of 1,660,714 Manila is the second most populous city in the Philippines behind only neighboring Quezon city. The city’s inhabitants, however, inhabit an area of only 38.55 square kilometers, making Manila not only the most densely populated city in the Philippines but also the most densely populated city in the world.
The city is divided into six legislative districts and consists of sixteen geographical districts: Binondo, Ermita, Intramuros, Malate, Paco, Pandacan, Port Area, Quiapo, Sampaloc, San Andres, San Miguel, San Nicolas, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, Santa Mesa and Tondo. Within their precincts can be found areas of bustling commerce and some of the most historically and culturally significant iconic landmarks in the country as well as the seat of the executive branch of the government. It is home to many scientific and educational institutions, as well as numerous sport facilities. Manila is a major political, commercial, cosmopolitan, cultural, educational, religious, and transportation center of the Philippines.
Manila is bordered by several cities of the Manila metropolitan area: Navotas and Caloocan cities to the north, Quezon city to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong cities to the east, Makati city to the southeast, and Pasay city to the south.
The earliest written accounts of the city date back to the Spanish era which describe a native settlement already existing in the area when the Spanish first arrived. Manila eventually became the center of Spanish activity in the Far East and one end of the Manila–Acapulco galleon trade route leading to it being called the «Pearl of the Orient». Later it saw the arrival of the Americans who made contributions to the city’s urban planning and development only to have most of those improvements lost in the devastation of World War II. Since then the city has been rebuilt.
Manila has been a popular tourist attraction which attracted over 1 million tourist annually. Most well-known landmarks in the Manila metropolitan area lies within the city such as the Rizal Park and the Manila Ocean Park. Historical structures such as the Fort Santiago lies within Intramuros, one of Manila’s popular tourist attractions.
«A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.» — Lao Tzu
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