City of Manila Part 1
Manila (//, Tagalog: Maynilà, pronounced [majˈnilaʔ]), officially the City of Manila (Tagalog: Lungsod ng Maynilà [luŋˈsod nɐŋ majˈnilaʔ]), is the capital of the Philippines and a highly urbanized city. It is the most densely populated city proper in the world as of 2019. It was the first chartered city by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act 183 on July 31, 1901 and gained autonomy with the passage of Republic Act No. 409 or the "Revised Charter of the City of Manila" on June 18, 1949. Manila, alongside Mexico City and Madrid are considered the world's original set of Global Cities due to Manila's commercial networks being the first to traverse the Pacific Ocean, thus connecting Asia with the Spanish Americas, marking the first time in world history when an uninterrupted chain of trade routes circled the planet. Manila is also the second most natural disaster-afflicted capital city in the world next to Tokyo, yet it is simultaneously among the most populous and fastest growing cities in Southeast Asia.
The Spanish city of Manila was founded on June 24, 1571, by Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. The date is regarded as the city's official founding date; however, a Tagalog fortified polity called Maynilà had already existed on the site, dating back as far as 1258, from which the Spanish and English name of Manila was derived. A Spanish fortified city called Intramuros was built directly on top of the site of old Maynilà, following the defeat of the polity's last indigenous Rajah, Sulayman III, in the Battle of Bangkusay. Manila was the seat of power for most of the country's colonial rulers. It is home to many historic sites, some of which were built during the 16th century. Manila has many of the Philippines' firsts, including the first university (1590), light station (1642), lighthouse tower (1846), water system (1878), hotel (1889), electricity (1895), oceanarium (1913), stock exchange (1927), flyover (1930s), zoo (1959), pedestrian underpass (1960), science high school (1963), city-run university (1965), city-run hospital (1969), and rapid transit system (1984; also considered as the first rapid transit system in Southeast Asia).
The term "Manila" is commonly used to refer to the whole metropolitan area, the greater metropolitan area or the city proper. The officially defined metropolitan area called Metro Manila, the capital region of the Philippines, includes the much larger Quezon City and the Makati Central Business District. It is the most populous region of the country, one of the most populous urban areas in the world, and is one of the wealthiest regions in Southeast Asia. The city proper is home to 1,780,148 people in 2015, and is the historic core of a built-up area that extends well beyond its administrative limits. With 71,263 people per square kilometer, Manila is also the most densely populated city proper in the world.
The city is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay. The Pasig River flows through the middle of the city, dividing it into the north and south sections. Manila is made up of 16 administrative 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, while it is divided into six districts for its representation in Congress and the election of the city council members. In 2018, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network listed Manila as an "Alpha-" global city, in the same year, Manila is ranked seventh in economic performance globally and second regionally (the latter situation being behind Delhi, India) while the Global Financial Centres Index ranks Manila 103rd in the world.
Maynilà, the Filipino name for the city, comes from the phrase may-nilà, which translates to "where indigo is found." Nilà is derived from the Sanskrit word nīla which refers to indigo, and, by extension, to several plant species from which this natural dye can be extracted. The Maynilà name is more likely in reference to the presence of indigo-yielding plants growing in the area surrounding the settlement, rather than Maynilà being known as a settlement that trades in indigo dye. This is because the settlement was founded several hundred years before indigo dye extraction became an important economic activity in the area in the 18th century. The native Tagalog name for the indigo plant, tayum (or variations thereof) actually finds use in another toponym within the Manila area — Tayuman ("where the indigo [plant] is") — and elsewhere in the Philippines (e.g., Tayum, Abra; Tagum, Davao del Norte).
Maynilà was eventually adopted into Spanish as Manila.
popularly, but incorrectly: the water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) which still grows on the banks of the Pasig River to this day. However, it is a recent introduction to the Philippines from South America and therefore could not have been the plant species referred to in the toponym.An antiquarian and inaccurate etymology asserts the origin of the city's name as may-nilad ("where nilad is found"). Here, nilad is taken to be the name for one of two littoral plant species:
- correctly: a shrub-like tree (Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea, formerly Ixora manila Blanco) found in or near mangrove swamps, This tree is the actual species that the Tagalog terms nilád or nilár refer to.
From a linguistic perspective it is unlikely for native Tagalog speakers to completely drop the final consonant /d/ in nilad to arrive at the present form Maynilà. As an example, nearby Bacoor still retains the final consonant of the old Tagalog word bakoód ("elevated piece of land"), even in old Spanish renderings of the placename (e.g., Vacol, Bacor). Historians Ambeth Ocampo and Joseph Baumgartner have also found that in all early documents, the place had always been written without the final /d/, thereby making the may-nilad etymology spurious.
The misidentification of nilad as the source of the toponym appears to originate from an 1887 essay written by Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, in which he wrote nila as both referring to Indigofera tinctoria (true indigo) and to Ixora manila (actually, nilád in Tagalog). Early 20th century writings, such as those of Julio Nakpil and of Blair and Robertson then repeated the claim. Today, this erroneous etymology continues to be perpetuated through casual repetition in both literature and popular use, such as in Maynilad Water Services and the name of the underpass close to Manila City Hall, Lagusnilad ("Nilad Pass")
Manila was an active trade partner with the Song and Yuan dynasties. The polity of Tondo flourished during the latter half of the Ming dynasty as a result of direct trade relations with China. The Tondo district was the traditional capital of the empire, and its rulers were sovereign kings, not mere chieftains. Tondo was christened under the Chinese characters for "Eastern Totality (All)" or "東都" due to its location east of China. The kings of Tondo were addressed variously as panginuan in Maranao or panginoón in Tagalog ("lords"); anák banwa ("son of heaven"); or lakandula ("lord of the palace"). The Emperor of China considered the Lakans—the rulers of ancient Manila—"王", or kings.
In the 13th century, Manila consisted of a fortified settlement and trading quarter on the shore of the Pasig River. It was then settled by the Indianized empire of Majapahit, as recorded in the epic eulogy poem "Nagarakretagama", which described the area's conquest by Maharaja Hayam Wuruk. Selurong (षेलुरोङ्), a historical name for Manila, is listed in Canto 14 alongside Sulot, which is now Sulu, and Kalka. Selurong (Manila) together with Sulot (Sulu) was able to regain independence afterwards and Sulu even attacked and looted the Majapahit province of Po-ni (Brunei) in retribution.
During the reign of the Arab Emir, Sharif Ali's descendant, Sultan Bolkiah, from 1485 to 1521, the Sultanate of Brunei which had seceded from Hindu Majapahit and became a Muslim, had invaded the area. The Bruneians wanted to take advantage of Tondo's strategic position in trade with China and Indonesia and thus attacked its environs and established the Muslim Rajahnate of Maynilà (كوتا سلودوڠ; Kota Seludong). The rajahnate was ruled under and gave yearly tribute to the Sultanate of Brunei as a satellite state. It created a new dynasty under the local leader, who accepted Islam and became Rajah Salalila or Sulaiman I. He established a trading challenge to the already rich House of Lakan Dula in Tondo. Islam was further strengthened by the arrival of Muslim traders from the Middle East and Southeast Asia.