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Definition: Manila from Philip's Encyclopedia

Capital of the Philippines, on Manila Bay, SW Luzon island. Manila is the industrial, commercial, and administrative heart of the Philippines. The River Pasig bisects the city. On the S bank stands the old walled city (Intramuros), built by the Spanish in the 16th century on the site of a Muslim settlement. It became a trading centre for the Pacific area. On the N bank lies Ermita, the administrative and tourist centre. Japan occupied the city in 1942. In 1945 a battle between Japanese and Allied forces destroyed the old city. Pop. (2005) 10,677,000.

Summary Article: Manila
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(mənĭl'ə), city (1990 pop. 1,601,234), capital of the Philippines, SW Luzon, on Manila Bay. Manila is the center of the country's largest metropolitan area, its chief port, and the focus of all governmental, commercial, industrial, and cultural activities. In addition to its extensive and superb port facilities, Manila has a major international airport and is the terminus of the island's railroads and highways. It is the manufacturing center of the Philippines, with large metal fabrication, automobile assembly, and textile and garment industries. It also has food- and hemp-processing plants, cigarette factories, and establishments making toilet articles, pharmaceuticals, and other chemical products.


A fortified walled colony was established on the Pasig in 1571 by López de Legaspi and developed mainly by Spanish missionaries. Except for two years (1762–64) when the city was in British hands, it remained under Spanish control until the Spanish-American War (1898), when it was seized by U.S. forces three months after the battle of Manila Bay. Filipino uprisings occurred for several years, and not until 1901 was a civil government definitely established. In World War II the city was occupied by the Japanese (Jan. 2, 1942). Its recovery (Feb., 1945) involved fierce house-to-house fighting, which reduced the old walled city to rubble, destroying many fine examples of 17th-century Spanish architecture. Only the Church of San Agustin (1606) survived. Reconstruction of the Manila Cathedral began in 1958. Quezon City replaced the city as the national capital in 1948, but Manila was restored as the capital in 1976. In 1968, Manila was shaken by a severe earthquake, which killed over 300 people and caused extensive property damage. In 1972 the city was damaged by floodwaters resulting from more than three weeks of torrential rains.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

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