FACTS & FIGURES
The City of Manila (Filipino: Lungsod ng Maynila), or simply Manila, is the capital of the Philippines and one of the municipalities that comprise Metro Manila. The city is located on the eastern shore of Manila Bay on Luzon, the country's largest island. Manila is the hub of a thriving metropolitan area home to over 10 million people. The Metro Manila area also known as the National Capital Region (NCR), of which the City of Manila is a part, is a much bigger metropolis consisting of 17 cities and municipalities. This article discusses the city itself; see Metro Manila for the article on the metropolis.Land Area
630 square metersLocation
It is bordered by Manila Bay on the west, Laguna de Bay on the south, the Marikina Valley and the Sierra Madre on the east, and the large and fertile plains of Central Luzon on the North.
Manila lies at the mouth of the Pasig River on the eastern shores of Manila Bay, which is on the western side of Luzon. It lies about 950 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong and 2,400 kilometers northeast of Singapore. The river bisects the city in the middle. Almost all of the city sits on top of centuries of pre-historic alluvial deposits built by the waters of the Pasig River and on some land reclaimed from Manila Bay. The layout of the city was haphazardly planned during Spanish Era as a set of communities surrounding the original Spanish Era walled city of Manila called Intramuros. Intramuros is one of the oldest walled cities in the Far East. During the American Period, some semblance of city planning using the architectural designs by Daniel Burnham, was done on the portions of the city south of the Pasig River.Population
Manila is the second most populous city proper in the Philippines with more than 1.5 million inhabitants. Only nearby Quezon City, the country's former capital, is more populous. Manila is currently included in the roster of global cities of the world.Language
English is widely spoken and is the basic language in business, government , schools, and everyday communications. Filipino, based on the Tagalog dialect, is the national language.
Every district in the city with the exception of Port Area has its own public market, locally called the pamilihang bayan or palengke. Public markets are often divided into two, the dry goods section and the wet goods section. Commerce in these public markets is lively, especially in the early morning. Under the urban renewal program of the incumbent administration, some of the public markets had been refurbished and given a fresher look, like the Sta. Ana public market. It is one of the more advanced markets in the city featuring a modern two-story building with an escalator.
The tropical climate in Manila plus the facilities of its world-class malls continue to attract Filipinos to the shopping malls. Modern shopping malls dot the city especially in the areas of Malate and Ermita. SM City Manila, part of the country's largest chain of SM malls, stands behind the Manila City Hall while the original SM Department store still operates in Carriedo in Sta. Cruz. Another is SM Centrepoint which is located north east of the city in Sta. Mesa close to the Quezon City-San Juan boundary. One of the popular malls that lies at the heart of Manila is Robinson's Place Ermita. In the southern part of the city in Malate district is Harrison Plaza, one of the city's oldest shopping malls.
For the adventurous shoppers, you may venture beyond the hotel/shopping complex package and combine other interesting destinations for cheap buys such as in Divisoria and Quiapo districts. Bargaining is the major part of your shopping experience when you pass by on these areas, as it sells goods at rock-bottom prices. In Divisoria, there is already a shopping mall that caters to the adventurous shoppers. Tutuban Center in Divisoria gives a little comfort to the shoppers as it offers air-conditioned mall but the price of the goods here is still very similar to the goods bought outside. In Quiapo, one unique spot is the marketplace under the bridge. It sells indigenous Filipino crafts and delicacies. Raon Center is famous for its cheap electronic products. Though through the changing times, department stores began sprouting the Quiapo area but still the flea market of Quiapo is still vibrant and very much popular among the average Filipinos. Photo and video enthusiasts looking for cheap equipment can proceed to R. Hidalgo street in the Quiapo district.
The establishment of the country's manufacturing base centered around the not so distant districts of Manila during the Spanish colonial times. During the arrival of the Americans at the turn of the 20th century, Manila's manufacturing base expanded and diversified into different areas and interests. The district of Tondo due to its proximity to the Manila North and South Harbor became a center for several manufacturing facilities and the district of Pandacan and portions of Paco nearest to the banks of the Pasig River served as centers for manufacturing in the city.
Manila during the Spanish period was well-known for its quality tobacco production by the Manila Tabacalera Company which had its manufacturing and production base along Tayuman street in Tondo. Philippine food and beverage giant San Miguel Corporation first started its beer brewing production along San Miguel district. The old brewing building for San Miguel is now within the high security enclave of MalacaÃ±an Palace grounds. Nearby the old San Miguel brewery was the Manila Ice Plant and portions of its old building now houses the Department of Budget and Management. Tanduay Distilleries, a manufacturer of rhum still operates its facilities in the San Miguel district while its rival La TondeÃ±a which had its production facilities in nearby Quiapo district has scaled down its operations.
Tondo was base for food manufacturing by the 1920s and several American companies established plants in the area. The Philippine Manufacturing Company or PMC established production of various products derived from coconut oil ranging from cooling oil to soaps and toiletries. The Philippine Manufacturing Company would later become Procter and Gamble Philippines and in the late 1980s, production from within the crowded Tondo area was gradually phased down and moved to areas outside of Metro Manila.
PMC's rival company, the Philippine Refining Company or PRC established its based of operations five kilometers upstream of the Pasig River in Paco district, along the United Nations Avenue, near Isla de Provisor. PRC was also engaged in the manufacture of product derivatives from coconut oil. In the 1990s, PRC changed its corporate name as part of the global strategy of company brand recognition and is now called Unilever Philippines.
The United Nation's Avenue near the corner of Romualdez street used to be the mini Detroit in the 1930s when the Ford Motor Company established its first assembly plant in the area. The plant facility remains standing and it houses the government office issuing the seaman's passbook.
American owned oil companies in the 1930s like Esso, Mobil Oil and Filipino Oil or FilOil established their oil distribution and lube facilities along the banks of the Pasig River in Pandacan district, at a time when the area was largely a farm village. after almost a century of operations, the fuel distribution and manufacturing facilities are gradually being removed due to its potential security and safety risk to the highly dense population in the area.
Coca Cola still operates its bottling plant in Pandacan but its plant operations is more focused on product distribution into the Metro Manila franchise area.
Several key and notable manufacturing facilities in the City of Manila closed down through the years especially after 1980s. The country's then largest copra milling company at the boundary of Paco and Pandacan district closed down and its plant site is now a middle class town house facility. The depot of the Philippines only gas company with pipelines servicing every home, the Manila Gas Company ceased operations in the 1980s after a protracted legal battle on ownership issue and its facilities were torn down as the 5.5 hectare Manila Gas property is now being converted into a mixed condomimium and commercial tower.
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