Located on the South-western side of Luzon island, on the eastern shore of Manila bay, Manila has been the principal city of the Philippines since the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors in the sixteenth century. It is the largest metropolitan area in the Philippine archipelago and the second largest in Asia, after Jakarta. The Pasig River flows through the city and empties into Manila bay. ‘Metropolitan Manila’ (National Capital Region), consists of the cities Manila, Quezon City, Paranaque, Makati, Valenzuela, Pasig, Malabon, and Pasay.
In 1571 Miguel Lopez de Lagaspi sailed into a small but prosperous Muslim trading port, Maynilad. It was so called because a white-flowered mangrove plant (the nilad), which grew in abundance in the area ruled by Sultan Rajah Sulayman.
The 333-year colonization of the Philippines by the Spanish began with Legaspi’s building of the ‘distinguished and ever loyal city’, a double walled stronghold, guarded at its entrance by Fort...