Capital city of the Philippines
. Located on the west coast of Luzon
, the largest island in the archipelago
. Manila was already a center of trade even before the Spaniards arrived. However, it was Miguel Lopez de Legaspi
who declared Manila (then called "Maynila") a city, after it was conquered in 1570.
Legaspi's Manila is what is now called Intramuros.
Since then, Manila has had a long and colorful history. It was the seat of power for the Spanish colonizers (and continues to be the center of government), and a trading hub for the Galleon Trade. During World War II, in what is now called the Liberation of Manila, Manila was bombed by the Americans to rid it of the Japanese. However, this also brought terrible destruction, making it the most devastated city in the war, second only to Warsaw.
Manila City has since been rebuilt, and has become one of the most livable places in Metro Manila (which is not saying much).
"Manila" is frequently used to actually mean "Metro Manila", which is an area that includes Manila and its surrounding cities and municipalities. Metro Manila has a population of about 13 million people.
The cities and municipalities of Metro Manila are: