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61 Manila Facts: History, Culture, Food, And Much More For You

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Discover these manila facts and learn more about this city.

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Manila is officially known as the City of Manila, and it is the capital of the Philippines in Southeast Asia (as proclaimed by King Philip II of Spain in the 1500s).

Maynila, the city's Filipino name, comes from the Sanskrit term 'Nila,' which refers to indigo. The name then refers to several plant species from which the natural indigo dye is extracted.

Manila city is the country's social, economic, industrial, and cultural hub and its international port of entry. Binondo, Ermita, Intramuros, Malate, Paco, Pandacan, and Port Area are some districts (there are 16 in total) of Manila City.

Facts About Manila

Manila is a cacophonous metropolis. It's the most congested city in Asia (2019), and traveling around Manila takes a long time. Manila's rich history is notable.

The name Maynila was given because of the indigo-yielding plants that grow in the region.

Manila is the second most populated city in the Philippines.

It is the world's second most disaster-prone capital city, after Tokyo.

Manila is one of Southeast Asia's largest and fastest-growing cities.

The Pasig River runs through the city center.

The river divides the city into north and south sections.

Manila lies on the island of Luzon, on the eastern shore of Manila Bay.

The oldest Chinatown is in Manila, founded in 1954 by Filipino-Chinese families.

It served as a marketplace and meeting place for Chinese merchants and businesses.

Manila has the oldest university in Asia that's still existing.

The University of Santo Tomas was established in 1611.

It is the oldest institution on both the nation and continent.

It is also one of the world's most prominent Catholic institutions.

The historic San Agustin Church was erected in the 16th century during the Spanish colonial period.

The San Agustin Church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Manila.

Intramuros (a city within the fortified walls) is the oldest neighborhood in Manila, famously known as a walled city.

The Spanish rulers constructed this walled city.

Every year, Manila holds the Manila Food And Beverages Expo in May.

It is a trade event that attracts thousands of people each year.

Manila, the country's capital, has a total area of 16.55 sq mi (42.88 sq km).

Manila's History

Let's learn something about the history of this place and its significance in world history.

The earliest evidence of human life near present-day Manila is the nearby Angono Petroglyphs.

These are drawings on rocks from around 3000-2000 BC.

A different group of people called the Malayo-Polynesians came to the Philippines and replaced the natives.

Manila's region has been inhabited for roughly a millennium when the Tondo people lived there.

The town became a Muslim trading hub in the late 15th century, and the Brunei Sultanate ruled it.

The area became a province of the Hindu Indonesian Majapahit Empire for a short time in the 14th century.

The different dynasties that ruled the region helped the Spanish colonists to employ a divide and conquer strategy after their arrival.

Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese mariner who was the first European to set foot on Indonesia's islands in the early 16th century.

The Spanish Empire arrived in force and faced off the city's Muslim defenders.

 In 1571, Miguel López de Legazpi conquered the region after winning the Battle of Bangkusay.

Miguel de Legazpi claimed the islands for the Spanish Empire.

During the 300 years of colonization, Manila became an administrative center.

Jesuit missionaries traveled the countryside, converting the indigenous people to Roman Catholicism, and additional troops were dispatched to the area.

Under Spain, the city became an important trans-Pacific trade center for Chinese porcelain and other items carried to Mexico and Europe.

Manila underwent many different rulers, such as the Chinese, the Dutch, the British.

The capital city of Manila developed accordingly.

If you ever visit the region, you must see the gorgeous view of Manila Bay, port of Manila.

Manila's Culture And Food

Many rulers throughout its illustrious existence have governed Manila. Filipinos have adapted foreign values in their own way. They are tolerant people and tend to be happy, generous, and socially accomodating.

People of Manila are substantial rice eaters, and versatile cuisines are available.

Lechon (roasted pig) is a very popular dish.

Lechon is usually served in celebrations and festive events.

Cafe Ilang-Ilang offers a luxurious collection of Asian, Mediterranean, European, and Italian cuisines.

The options are endless, and so are the delectable dishes!

Kinilaw (raw cubed fish marinated in vinegar dressing and acid fruit juice) is a raw seafood dish, usually served as an appetizer.

Halo Halo (mix-mix) is a popular dessert made from shaved ice topped with jackfruit, sweet potato, purple yam, coconut, caramel, ice cream, and evaporated milk.

Adobo (means sauce in Spanish) is another tangy dish made from chicken, pork, seafood, and marinated vegetables (in soy sauce and vinegar).

Sisig, which originated in the 17th century, is a native dish and involves minced pork and chicken liver.

The meat is then seasoned with chili peppers, onions, and Calamansi.

There is a vegan Sisig available at Cosmic Bistro as well.

Things To Do In Manila

Manila is a city that you should not miss. As the capital of the country of the Philippines, Manila is home to rich historic sites, cultures, architecture, and museums.

Manila has a tropical savanna climate, and temperatures usually vary between 71.6-93.2 F (22-34 C).

The humidity is relatively high; it's best to visit between December and April.

The Manila Cathedral Minor Basilica acts as both the Prime Basilica of the Philippines and the highest seat of the archbishop in the country.

The church has been destroyed eight times; its last structure was demolished during World War Two.

After World War Two, the church's current structure was created in 1958.

The church features Neo-Roman architecture, loaded with splendid designs.

Fort Santiago is a citadel built by Legazpi in 1571.

It is the defense fortress of Intramuros, the walled city.

Fort Santiago is one of the most prominent historical sites in Manila.

The City Hall of Manilla is the official seat where the government resides.

The old legislative building of Manila has been turned into the National Museum of Fine Arts.

It is one of the most striking examples of Neoclassical buildings.

This city has a historical urban park named Rizal Park, located in Ermita (one of the districts).

It is one of the most extensive urban parks in the whole of Asia.

This park was named in honor of José Rizal, a Filipino patriot during the revolution against Spanish rule. 

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