Manila (/məˈnɪlə/; Filipino: Maynilà, pronounced [majˈnilaʔ] or [majniˈla], Spanish: Manila), officially the City of Manila (Filipino: Lungsod ng Maynilà [luŋˈsod nɐŋ majˈnilaʔ], Spanish: Ciudad de Manila), is the capital of the Philippines and the most densely populated city proper in the world. 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. It is home to many of the Philippines' firsts, including the first university (1590), 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 Spanish City of Manila was founded on June 24, 1571, by Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi, which was regarded as the official foundation date of the city. Manila was also the seat of power for most of the country's colonial rulers. It is the home to many historic sites, some of which were built during the 16th century. In 2016, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network listed Manila as an alpha- global city. 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. 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. With about 71,000 people per square kilometer, Manila is also the most densely populated city proper in the world.
On June 24, 1571, the conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in Manila and declared it a territory of New Spain, establishing a city council in what is now the district of Intramuros. López de Legazpi had the local royalty executed or exiled after the failure of the Tondo Conspiracy, 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.
Manila became famous during the Manila–Acapulco galleon trade, which lasted for three 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 Southeast Asia. Likewise, wines and olives grown in Europe and North Africa were shipped via Mexico to Manila. The city was captured by Great Britain in 1762 as part of the European Seven Years' War between Spain, France and Great Britain. The city was then occpuied by the British for almost two years from 1762 to 1764 and remained the capital of the Philippines. Eventually, the British 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.
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 expressed regret that such statue was erected in the city despite the healthy relationship between Japan and the Philippines.
In the 2013 elections, former President Joseph Estrada defeated Lim in the mayoral race. During his term, Estrada has paid more than ₱5 billion in city debts and increased the city's revenues from ₱6.2 billion in 2012 to ₱14.6 billion by 2016, resulting in increased infrastructure spending and the betterment of the welfare of the people of Manila.
Manila is known for its eclectic mix of architecture that shows a wide range of styles spanning different historical and cultural periods. Architectural styles reflect American, Spanish, Chinese, and Malay influences. Prominent Filipino architects such as Antonio Toledo, Felipe Roxas, Juan M. Arellano and Tomás Mapúa have designed significant buildings in Manila such as churches, government offices, theaters, mansions, schools and universities.
Manila is also famed for its Art Deco theaters. Some of these were designed by National Artists for Architecture such as Juan Nakpil and Pablo Antonio. Unfortunately most of these theaters were neglected, and some of it have been demolished. The historic Escolta Street in Binondo features many buildings of Neoclassical and Beaux-Arts architectural style, many of which were designed by prominent Filipino architects during the American Rule in the 1920s to the late 1930s. Many architects, artists, historians and heritage advocacy groups are pushing for the rehabilitation of Escolta Street, which was once the premier street of the Philippines.
The Pandacan Oil Depot houses the storage facilities and distribution terminals of the three major players in the country's petroleum industry, namely Caltex Philippines, Pilipinas Shell and Petron Corporation. The oil depot has been a subject of various concerns, including its environmental and health impact to the residents of Manila. The Supreme Court has ordered that the oil depot to be relocated outside the city by July 2015, but it failed to meet this deadline. Most of the oil depot facility inside the 33 hectare compound have been demolished, and plans are put into place to transform it into a transport hub or even a food park.
Manila is a major publishing center in the Philippines. Manila Bulletin, the Philippines' largest broadsheet newspaper by circulation, is headquartered in Intramuros. Other major publishing companies in the country like The Manila Times, The Philippine Star and Manila Standard Today are headquartered in the Port Area. The Chinese Commercial News, the Philippines' oldest existing Chinese-language newspaper, and the country's third-oldest existing newspaper is headquartered in Binondo.
The city, as the capital, still hosts the Office of the President, as well as the president's official residence. Aside from these, important government agencies and institutions such as the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Departments of Budget and Management, Finance, Health, Justice, Labor and Employment and Public Works and Highways still call the city home. Manila also hosts important national institutions such as the National Library, National Archives, National Museum and the Philippine General Hospital.
Congress previously held office at the Old Congress Building. In 1972, due to declaration of martial law, Congress was dissolved; its successor, the unicameral Batasang Pambansa, held office at the new Batasang Pambansa Complex. When a new constitution restored the bicameral Congress, the House of Representatives stayed at the Batasang Pambansa Complex, while the Senate remained at the Old Congress Building. In May 1997, the Senate transferred to a new building it shares with the Government Service Insurance System at reclaimed land at Pasay. The Supreme Court will also transfer to its new campus at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig in 2019.
The Manila Health Department is responsible for the planning and implementation of the health care programs provided by the city government. It operates 59 health centers and six city-run hospitals, which are free of charge for the city's constituents. The six public city-run hospitals are the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Ospital ng Tondo, Sta. Ana Hospital, and Justice Jose Abad Santos General Hospital. Manila is also the site of the Philippine General Hospital, the tertiary state-owned hospital administered and operated by the University of the Philippines Manila. The city is also planning to put up an education, research and hospital facility for cleft-palate patients.
Manila's healthcare is also provided by private corporations. Private hospitals that operates in the city are the Manila Doctors Hospital, Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center, Dr. José R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Metropolitan Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, and the University of Santo Tomas Hospital.
The Department of Health has its main office in Manila. The national health department also operates the San Lazaro Hospital, a special referral tertiary hospital. Manila is also the home to the headquarters of the World Health Organization's Regional Office for the Western Pacific and Country Office for the Philippines.