City of Manila Part 2
On June 24, 1571, the conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in Manila and declared it a territory of New Spain (Mexico), establishing a city council in what is now the district of Intramuros. He took advantage of a Tondo vs Manila territorial conflict to justify expelling or converting Bruneian Muslim colonists who supported their Manila vassals while his Mexican grandson Juan de Salcedo had a romance with a princess of Tondo, Kandarapa. López de Legazpi had the local royalty executed or exiled after the failure of the Conspiracy of the Maharlikas, a plot wherein an alliance between datus, rajahs, Japanese merchants and the Sultanate of Brunei would band together to execute the Spaniards, along with their Latin American recruits and Visayan allies. The victorious Spaniards made Manila, the capital of the Spanish East Indies and of the Philippines, which their empire would control for the next three centuries. In 1574, Manila was temporarily besieged by the Chinese pirate Lim Hong, who was ultimately thwarted by the local inhabitants. Upon Spanish settlement, Manila was immediately made, by papal decree, a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Mexico. Then, by royal decree of Philip II of Spain, the city of Manila was put under the spiritual patronage of Saint Pudentiana and Our Lady of Guidance (Spurred by a locally found sacred image i.e. a Black Madonna of unknown origin; one theory is that it is from Portuguese-Macau, another is that, it is a Tantric goddess and this was worshiped by the natives in a Pagan-Hindu manner and had survived Islamic iconoclasm by the Sultanate of Brunei.
Manila became famous for its role in the Manila–Acapulco galleon trade, which lasted for more than two centuries and brought goods from Europe, Africa and Hispanic America across the Pacific Islands to Southeast Asia (which was already an entrepôt for goods coming from India, Indonesia and China), and vice versa. Silver that was mined in Mexico and Peru was exchanged for Chinese silk, Indian gems and the spices of Indonesia and Malaysia. Likewise, wines and olives grown in Europe and North Africa were shipped via Mexico to Manila. In 1606, upon the Spanish conquest of the Sultanate of Ternate, one of monopolizers of the growing of spice, the Spanish deported the Sultan of Ternate along with his clan and his entire entourage to Manila were they were initially enslaved and eventually converted to Christianity. About 200 families of mixed Mexican-Filipino-Spanish and Papuan-Indonesian-Portuguese descent from Ternate and Tidor followed him there at a later date. The city attained great wealth due to it being at the confluence of three great commercial exchanges: the Silk Road, the Spice Route and the Silver Flow. Jealous of her wealth, the city was captured by Great Britain in 1762 as part of the Seven Years' War in Europe. The city was then occupied by the British for twenty months from 1762 to 1764 in their attempt to rule the Spanish East Indies, but the city was cut off from the rest of the country by Spanish-Filipino forces who refused to accept British rule. Frustrated by their inability to take the rest of the archipelago, the British eventually withdrew in accordance with the 1763 Treaty of Paris. An unknown number of Indian soldiers known as sepoys, who came with the British, deserted and settled in nearby Cainta, Rizal, which explains the uniquely Indian features of generations of Cainta residents.
The Chinese were then punished for supporting the British invasion, and the fortress city of Intramuros, initially populated by 1200 Spanish families and garrisoned by 400 Spanish troops, kept its cannons pointed at Binondo, the world's oldest Chinatown. The Mexican population was concentrated at the south part of Manila, and also at Cavite, where ships from Spain's American colonies docked, and at Ermita, an area so named because of a Mexican hermit that lived there. The Philippines hosts the only Latin American-established districts in Asia. When the Spanish evacuated Ternate, they settled the Papuan refugees in Ternate, Cavite which was named after their former homeland.
"The diversity here is immense such that I could go on forever trying to differentiate lands and peoples. There are Castilians from all provinces. There are Portuguese and Italians; Dutch, Greeks and Canary Islanders, and Mexican Indians. There are slaves from Africa brought by the Spaniards [Through America], and others brought by the Portuguese [Through India]. There is an African Moor with his turban here. There are Javanese from Java, Japanese and Bengalese from Bengal. Among all these people are the Chinese whose numbers here are untold and who outnumber everyone else. From China there are peoples so different from each other, and from provinces as distant, as Italy is from Spain. Finally, of the mestizos, the mixed-race people here, I cannot even write because in Manila there is no limit to combinations of peoples with peoples. This is in the city where all the buzz is." (Remesal, 1629: 680–1)The rise of Spanish Manila marked the first time in world history where all hemispheres and continents were interconnected in a worldwide trade network. Thus, making Manila, alongside Mexico and Madrid, the world's original set of Global Cities, predating the ascent of modern Alpha++ class world cities like New York or London as global financial centers, by hundreds of years. A Spanish Jesuit Priest commented that due to the confluence of many foreign languages gathering in Manila, he said that the confessional in Manila is "the most difficult in the world." Another Spanish missionary in the 1600s by the name of Fray Juan de Cobo was so astonished by the manifold commerce, cultural complexity and ethnic diversity in Manila he thus wrote the following to his brethren in Mexico:
After Mexico gained independence in 1821, Spain began to govern Manila directly. Under direct Spanish rule, banking, industry and education flourished more than they had in the previous two centuries. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 facilitated direct trade and communications with Spain. The city's growing wealth and education attracted indigenous peoples, Negritos, Malays, Africans, Chinese, Indians, Arabs, Europeans, Latinos and Papuans from the surrounding provinces and facilitated the rise of an ilustrado class that espoused liberal ideas: the ideological foundations of the Philippine Revolution, which sought independence from Spain. A revolt by Andres Novales was inspired by the Latin American wars of independence. Following the Cavite Mutiny and the Propaganda Movement, the Philippine revolution eventually erupted, Manila was among the first eight provinces to rebel and thus their role was immortalized in the Philippine Flag where Manila was marked as one of the eight rays of the symbolic sun.
Upon drafting a new charter for Manila in June 1901, the Americans made official what had long been tacit: that the city of Manila consisted not of Intramuros alone but also of the surrounding areas. The new charter proclaimed that Manila was composed of eleven municipal districts: presumably Binondo, Ermita, Intramuros, Malate, Paco, Pandacan, Sampaloc, San Miguel, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz and Tondo. In addition, the Catholic Church recognized five parishes—Gagalangin, Trozo, Balic-Balic, Santa Mesa and Singalong—as part of Manila. Later, two more would be added: Balut and San Andres.
Under American control, a new, civilian-oriented Insular Government headed by Governor-General William Howard Taft invited city planner Daniel Burnham to adapt Manila to modern needs. The Burnham Plan included the development of a road system, the use of waterways for transportation, and the beautification of Manila with waterfront improvements and construction of parks, parkways and buildings. The planned buildings included a government center occupying all of Wallace Field, which extends from Rizal Park to the present Taft Avenue. The Philippine Capitol was to rise at the Taft Avenue end of the field, facing toward the sea. Along with buildings for various government bureaus and departments, it would form a quadrangle with a lagoon in the center and a monument to José Rizal at the other end of the field. Of Burnham's proposed government center, only three units—the Legislative Building and the buildings of the Finance and Agricultural Departments—were completed when World War II erupted.
Japanese occupation and World War II
From February 3 to March 3, 1945, Manila was the site of the bloodiest battle in the Pacific theater of World War II. Some 100,000 civilians were killed in February. At the end of the battle, Manila was recaptured by joint American and Philippine troops. It was the second most devastated city in the world, after Warsaw, during the Second World War. Almost all of the structures in the city, particularly in Intramuros, were destroyed.During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, American soldiers were ordered to withdraw from Manila, and all military installations were removed on December 24, 1941. General Douglas MacArthur declared Manila an open city to prevent further death and destruction, but Japanese warplanes continued to bomb it. Manila was occupied by Japanese forces on January 2, 1942.
It was after the many times when Manila was once again destroyed by war, when the city earned the moniker "The City of Our Affections". This nickname was given by National Artist and writer Nick Joaquin, in reference to the spirit of resilience the city has had in the face of the constant wars that have razed it and also in repeatedly surviving and rebuilding despite being the second-most natural disaster prone city in the world. This is reflected in the noble spirit of Manileños and Filipinos who, despite having the second-most disaster prone capital city in the world and also the second-most war devastated capital city in recent history, are the most generous nationality in Southeast Asia and the 17th most generous nationality worldwide. Manila (and the Philippines in general) is also among the top sources of missionaries worldwide. This is explained by the fact that the Philippines is one of the most fervently Christian countries in the world and is ranked as the 5th most religious country, globally.
Post-war years and the martial law era (1945-1986)
With the Visayan-born Arsenio Lacson as its first elected mayor in 1952 (all mayors were appointed before this), Manila underwent The Golden Age, once again earning its status as the "Pearl of the Orient", a moniker it earned before the Second World War. After Lacson's term in the 1950s, Manila was led by Antonio Villegas for most of the 1960s. Ramon Bagatsing (an Indian-Filipino) was mayor for nearly the entire 1970s until the 1986 People Power Revolution. Mayors Lacson, Villegas, and Bagatsing are collectively known as the "Big Three of Manila" for their contribution to the development of the city and their lasting legacy in improving the quality of life and welfare of the people of Manila.In 1948, President Elpidio Quirino moved the seat of government of the Philippines to Quezon City, a new capital in the suburbs and fields northeast of Manila, created in 1939 during the administration of President Manuel L. Quezon. The move ended any implementation of the Burnham Plan's intent for the government centre to be at Luneta.
During the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, the region of Metro Manila was created as an integrated unit with the enactment of Presidential Decree No. 824 on November 7, 1975. The area encompassed four cities and thirteen adjoining towns, as a separate regional unit of government. On the 405th anniversary of the city's foundation on June 24, 1976, Manila was reinstated by President Marcos as the capital of the Philippines for its historical significance as the seat of government since the Spanish Period. Presidential Decree No. 940 states that Manila has always been to the Filipino people and in the eyes of the world, the premier city of the Philippines being the center of trade, commerce, education and culture. Concurrent with the reinstatement of Manila as the capital, Ferdinand Marcos designated his wife, Imelda Marcos, as the first governor of Metro Manila. She started the rejuvenation of the city as she re-branded Manila as the "City of Man".
During the martial law era, Manila became a hot-bed of resistance activity as youth and student demonstrators repeatedly clashed with the police and military which were subservient to the Marcos regime. After decades of resistance, the non-violent People Power Revolution (predecessor to the peaceful-revolutions that toppled the iron-curtain in Europe), led by Maria Corazon Aquino and Cardinal Jaime Sin, ousted the dictator Marcos from power.
Contemporary period (1986-present)
From 1986–1992, Mel Lopez was mayor of Manila. During his early years, his administration was faced with 700 million pesos worth of debt and inherited an empty treasury. In the first eleven months, however, the debt was reduced to 365 million pesos and the city's income rose by around 70% eventually leaving the city with positive income until the end of his term. Lopez closed down numerous illegal gambling joints and jueteng. In January 1990, Lopez padlocked two Manila casinos operated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), saying the billions it gained cannot make up for the negative effects gambling inflicts upon the people, particularly the youth. He also revived the Boys’ Town Haven (now referred to as “Boys Town”), rehabilitating its facilities to accommodate underprivileged children and provide them with livelihood and education.
In 1992, Alfredo Lim was elected mayor, the first Chinese-Filipino to hold the office. He was known for his anti-crime crusades. Lim was succeeded by Lito Atienza, who served as his vice mayor. Atienza was known for his campaign (and city slogan) "Buhayin ang Maynila" (Revive Manila), which saw the establishment of several parks and the repair and rehabilitation of the city's deteriorating facilities. He was the city's mayor for 3 terms (9 years) before being termed out of office. Lim once again ran for mayor and defeated Atienza's son Ali in the 2007 city election and immediately reversed all of Atienza's projects claiming Atienza's projects made little contribution to the improvements of the city. The relationship of both parties turned bitter, with the two pitting again during the 2010 city elections in which Lim won against Atienza. Lim was sued by councilor Dennis Alcoreza on 2008 over human rights, charged with graft over the rehabilitation of public schools, and was heavily criticized for his haphazard resolution of the Rizal Park hostage taking incident, one of the deadliest hostage crisis in the Philippines. Later on, Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and 28 city councilors filed another case against Lim in 2012, stating that Lim's statement in a meeting were "life-threatening" to them.
In the 2013 elections, former President Joseph Estrada defeated Lim in the mayoral race. During his term, Estrada allegedly paid ₱5 billion in city debts and increased the city's revenues. In 2015, in line with President Noynoy Aquino's administration progress, the city became the most competitive city in the Philippines, making the city the best place for doing business and for living in. In the 2016 elections, Estrada narrowly won over Lim in their electoral rematch. Throughout Estrada's term, numerous Filipino heritage sites were demolished, gutted out, or approved for demolition. Among such sites are the post-war Santa Cruz Building, Capitol Theater, El Hogar, old Magnolia Ice Cream Plant, and Rizal Memorial Stadium, among many others Some of these sites were saved upon the intervention of various cultural agencies of government and heritage advocate groups against Estrada's orders. In May 2019, Estrada claimed that Manila was debt-free, however, two months later, the Commission on Audit verified that Manila has a total of 4.4 billion pesos in debt.In 2012, DMCI Homes began constructing Torre de Manila, which became controversial for ruining the sight line of Rizal Park. The tower is infamously known as "Terror de Manila" or the "national photobomber." The Torre de Manila controversy is regarded as one of the most sensationalized heritage issues of the country. In 2017, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines erected a 'comfort woman' statue along Roxas Boulevard, which made Japan express regret that such statue was erected in the city despite the healthy relationship between Japan and the Philippines.
On March 12, 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte placed the city and the entire region of Metro Manila under a community quarantine starting March 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Luzon-wide "enhanced community quarantine" order was issued on March 16. The enhanced community quarantine lasted until May 31, 2020, after which a general community quarantine began to be implementedEstrada, who was seeking for reelection for his third and final term, lost to Isko Moreno in the 2019 local elections. Moreno has served as the Vice Mayor under both the Lim and Estrada administrations. Estrada's defeat was seen as the end of their reign as a political clan, whose other family members run for various national and local positions. After assuming office, Moreno initiated a city-wide cleanup against illegal vendors, signed an executive order promoting open governance, and vowed to stop bribery and corruption in the city. Under his administration, several ordinances were signed, giving additional perks and privileges to Manila's senior citizens, and monthly allowances for Grade 12 Manileño students in all public schools in the city, including students of Universidad de Manila and the University of the City of Manila. The city government also undertook infrastructure projects such as the restoration of Jones Bridge to its near-original architecture, sprucing up the city's parks and plazas, and clearing the public roads of obstructions.
The City of Manila is situated on the eastern shore of Manila Bay, on the western edge of Luzon, 1,300 km (810 mi) from mainland Asia. One of Manila's greatest natural resources is the protected harbor upon which it sits, regarded as the finest in all of Asia. The Pasig River flows through the middle of city, dividing it into the north and south. The overall grade of the city's central, built-up areas, is relatively consistent with the natural flatness of its overall natural geography, generally exhibiting only slight differentiation otherwise.
In 2017, the City Government approved five reclamation projects: the New Manila Bay–City of Pearl (New Manila Bay International Community) (407.43 hectares), Solar City (148 hectares), the Manila Harbour Center expansion (50 hectares), Manila Waterfront City (318 hectares) and Horizon Manila (419 hectares). Once completed, it will increase the city's total area from 42.88 km2 (4,288 ha) to 58.3 km2 (5,830 ha). Another reclamation project is possible and when built, it will contain the in-city housing relocation projects. Reclamation projects have been criticized by environmental activists and the Philippine Catholic Church, claiming that these are not sustainable and would put communities at risk of flooding. In line of the upcoming reclamation projects, the Philippines and the Netherlands forged a cooperation to craft the ₱250 million Manila Bay Sustainable Development Master Plan to guide future decisions on programs and projects on Manila Bay.Almost all of Manila sits on top of centuries of prehistoric alluvial deposits built by the waters of the Pasig River and on some land reclaimed from Manila Bay. Manila's land has been altered substantially by human intervention, with considerable land reclamation along the waterfronts since the American colonial times. Some of the city's natural variations in topography have been evened out. As of 2013, Manila had a total area of 42.88 square kilometers.
Under the Köppen climate classification system, Manila has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen Aw), bordering closely on a tropical monsoon climate (Köppen Am). Together with the rest of the Philippines, Manila lies entirely within the tropics. Its proximity to the equator means that temperatures are hot year-round especially during the daytime, rarely going below 19 °C (66.2 °F) or above 39 °C (102.2 °F). Temperature extremes have ranged from 14.5 °C (58.1 °F) on January 11, 1914, to 38.6 °C (101.5 °F) on May 7, 1915.
Humidity levels are usually very high all year round, making the temperature feel hotter than it is. Manila has a distinct dry season from late November through early March, and a relatively lengthy wet season that covers the remaining period with slightly cooler temperatures during the daytime. In the wet season, it rarely rains all day, but rainfall is very heavy during short periods. Typhoons usually occur from June to September.
Swiss Re ranked Manila as the second riskiest capital city to live in, citing its exposure to natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, floods and landslides. The seismically active Marikina Valley Fault System poses a threat of a large-scale earthquake with an estimated magnitude between 6–7 and as high as 7.6 to Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Manila has endured several deadly earthquakes, notably in 1645 and in 1677 which destroyed the stone and brick medieval city. The Earthquake Baroque style was used by architects during the Spanish colonial period in order to adapt to the frequent earthquakes.
Manila is hit with five to seven typhoons yearly. In 2009, Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) struck the Philippines. It led to one of the worst floodings in Metro Manila and several provinces in Luzon with an estimated damages worth ₱11 billion ($237 million). The floodings caused 448 deaths in Metro Manila alone. Following the aftermath of Typhoon Ketsana, the city began to dredge its rivers and improve its drainage network.
The Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission is in charge of cleaning up the Pasig River and tributaries for transportation, recreation and tourism purposes. Rehabilitation efforts have resulted in the creation of parks along the riverside, along with stricter pollution controls. In 2019, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has launched a rehabilitation program for Manila Bay that will be administered by different government agenciesDue to industrial waste and automobiles, Manila suffers from air pollution, affecting 98% of the population. Air pollution alone causes more than 4,000 deaths yearly. On a 1995 report, Ermita is regarded as Manila's most air polluted district due to open dump sites and industrial waste. According to a report in 2003, the Pasig River is one of the most polluted rivers in the world with 150 tons of domestic waste and 75 tons of industrial waste dumped daily. The city is the second biggest waste producer in the country with 1,151.79 tons (7,500.07 cubic meters) per day, after Quezon City which yields 1,386.84 tons or 12,730.59 cubic meters per day. Both cities were cited as having poor management in garbage collection and disposal.