Metropolitan Manila: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Metro Manila article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Manila Metropolitan Area
"Kalakhang Maynila"
—  Metropolitan area  —
Motto: Metro Green
Map of showing the location of Metro Manila
Coordinates: 14°35′N 121°0′E / 14.583°N 121°E / 14.583; 121
Country Philippines
Region National Capital Region
Area [1]
 - Total 638.55 km2 (246.5 sq mi)
Population (2007)[2]
 - Total 11,553,427
 Density 18,093/km2 (46,860.7/sq mi)
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)

The Manila Metropolitan Area (Filipino: Kalakhang Maynila, Kamaynilaan) or the National Capital Region (NCR) (Filipino: Pambansang Punong Rehiyon) is the administrative region encompassing the city of Manila, the national capital of the Philippines. As of the 2007 Census, the population is 11,553,427.[2] Including suburbs in the adjacent provinces (Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan) of Greater Manila, the population is around 20 million.[3][4] Metro Manila is one of the twelve defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines.

As of 2008, it is ranked as the 40th richest urban agglomeration in the world with a GDP of $149 billion according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers.[5] Metro Manila is expected to climb to the 33rd spot by 2025 with a GDP of $325 billion and an annual growth rate of 4.7%.[5]

As proclaimed by Presidential Decree No. 940, Metro Manila as a whole is the Philippines' seat of government although only the City of Manila is the capital.[6]



The Metro Manila is situated on an isthmus bounded by Manila Bay to the west and Laguna de Bay to the south-east and divided by Pasig River that links the two bodies of water. The city lies on a wide flood plain that is one of the biggest in the country. The area is bounded by Bulacan to the north, Rizal to the east, Laguna to the south and Cavite to the southwest.

Metro Manila is the general term for the metropolitan area that contains the city of Manila, as well as sixteen surrounding cities and municipalities. The name "Metro Manila" came about and was generally adapted in the 1980s as previously, cities which are now part of the MM area were part of the neighbouring provinces. Metro Manila is the political, economic, social, and cultural center of the Philippines, and is one of the more modern metropolises in Southeast Asia. It is much more economically developed compared to the other major cities in the country. Among locals, particularly those from central Manila and those in the surrounding provinces, Metro Manila is often simply referred to as Manila; however locals from other parts of the metropolis may see this as offensive, owing to city pride and also the fact that some cities are actually geographically closer to the neighboring provinces than to Manila itself. Metro Manila is often abbreviated as M.M.. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is a governing body which is made up of the cities and municipalities in the area, with its main headquarters in Makati City.

Metro Manila is the smallest of the country's administrative regions, but the most populous and the most densely populated, having a population of 11,553,427 (2007 census) in an area of only 636 square kilometers. It is also the only region without any provinces, instead being subdivided into 17 local government units, with 16 cities and one municipality. The term Metro Manila should not be confused with the metro rail system of the region, and the word metro itself always describes the metropolitan area (as in the metro).

On paper, Manila is the designated capital and seat of the Philippine government, but in practice, the seats of government are all around Metro Manila. The executive and administrative seat of government is in Manila, so is the judiciary. The upper house of the legislature (Senate of the Philippines) is in Pasay City, and the lower house (House of Representatives of the Philippines) in Quezon City.


Cities of Metro Manila showing the years that they were made cities. Pateros is the only remaining non-city; it's a municipality.

Spanish Manila was founded in June 24, 1571 by three conquistadors: Martín de Goiti, Juan de Salcedo and Miguel López de Legazpi. In 1867, the Spanish Government of the Philippines founded the municipalities and territories south of the District of Morong in Nueva Ecija, north of the Province of Tondo and Imperial Manila, and isolated these from their mother province of Nueva Ecija. The Government created the Province of Manila composed of the Province of Tondo to the south and the isolated territories of Nueva Ecija to the north. The parts of Tondo were Navotas, Malabon, and Caloocan; and the parts of Nueva Ecija were Mariquina, Balintawak, Caloocan, Pasig, San Felipe Neri (presently called Mandaluyong), Las Piñas, what had been known as Parañaque, and Muntinlupa were combined to form the Province of Manila. The capital of the Province was Intramuros, then itself called and considered to be Manila, a walled city located along the banks of Pasig River and Manila Bay in the present Manila.

In 1897, while the Imperial City of Manila is being prepared for industrialization, most houses in Tondo were demolished to give way to railroad construction. One of those whose house was demolished was Andres Bonifacio, the founder of the Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Supreme and Venerable Society of the Children of the Nation) or the Katipunan, a secret organization which aimed towards independence and self-governance away from the Spanish government. In 1896, the Cry of Balintawak was initiated, an event which denounces the Spanish authority by tearing their cedulas or residence tax slips. On December 30, 1896, Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero, was executed by the Spanish government in Bagumbayan, an execution site near Intramuros. This event led to the Filipino uprising against Spain. Likewise, The Province of Manila was the 8th and last Province to revolt against Spain paving the establishment of the Federated Philippine Republics (composed of Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite and Manila). The Province remained in existence until 1901, when its territory was subdivided by the Americans.

In 1901, the Philippine Assembly created the City of Manila composed of the Municipalities of Ermita, Intramuros or Imperial City of Manila, Tondo, Santa Cruz, Sta. Ana, San Nicolas, San Miguel, Paco, Port Area, Pandacan, Sampaloc, Quiapo, Binondo, Malate, Sta. Mesa and Singalong. The municipalities of Caloocan, Marikina, Pasig, Parañaque, Malabon, Navotas, San Juan, Makati, Mandaluyong (San Felipe Neri), Las Piñas, Muntinglupa and Taguig-Pateros were incorporated into a new province named Rizal. The capital of the province was Pasig.

In 1941 as an emergency measure, President Manuel L. Quezon created the City of Greater Manila, merging the city and municipal governments of Manila, Quezon City, San Juan del Monte, Caloocan, etc. and appointing Jorge Vargas as Mayor. Existing mayors of the included cities and municipalities served as vice-mayors for their areas. This was in order to ensure Vargas, who was Quezon's principal lieutenant for administrative matters, would have a position of authority that would be recognized under international military law. There were doubts if the Japanese Imperial Army poised to occupy Manila would recognize the authorities of members of the Quezon cabinet. The City of Greater Manila was abolished by the Japanese with the formation of the Philippine Executive Commission to govern the occupied regions of the country. As an administrative concept, however, the City of Greater Manila served as a model for Metro Manila and the position of Metro Manila governor established during the Marcos administration.

In 1975, owing a great respect to the history of Manila, President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree 824, creating the Metropolitan Manila Area. The site of the old province of Manila can no longer be used for agricultural purposes and therefore the term 'province' is not applicable. The decree seceded the 12 municipalities and 3 cities of Rizal, the municipality of Valenzuela in Bulacan and Manila. The Metropolitan Manila Commission is created to administer the emerging metropolis. Marcos appointed his wife Imelda Marcos as governor of Metro Manila.

In 1986, after a major government reorganization, President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. 392 and changed the structure of the Metropolitan Manila Commission and renamed it to Metropolitan Manila Authority. Metro Manila Mayors chose from themselves as chair of the agency.

In 1995, through Republic Act 7924, Metro Manila Authority was reorganized and became the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. The chair of the agency is appointed by the President and should not have a concurrent elected position such as mayor.

Geography and climate

Metro Manila is located at 14°40' N 121°3 E. The western metropolitan area lies partly on a swampy isthmus with an average elevation of 10 meters, while the eastern area lies on a ridge overlooking the valley of the Marikina River, which is part swamp gradually rising towards the foothills of the Sierra Madre. Manila Bay lies to the west and Laguna de Bay to the south-east. It is bordered by the provinces of Bulacan to the north, Rizal to the east, Cavite to the south-west and Laguna to the south.

Metro Manila's primary waterway is the Pasig River, which bisects the isthmus. It originates in Laguna de Bay, marking the borders between Makati City and Mandaluyong City, as well as between Pasig City and Taguig, then passing through Manila before draining into Manila Bay. The river is severely polluted from municipal waste.

Under the Köppen climate classification system, Metro Manila is split between a tropical wet and dry climate and a tropical monsoon climate. Manila, which features less rainfall than Quezon City, has a tropical wet and dry climate while Quezon City features a tropical monsoon climate. Together with the rest of the Philippines, Metro Manila lies entirely within the tropics. Its proximity to the equator means that the temperature range is very small, rarely going lower than 20°C and going higher than 38°C. However, humidity levels are usually very high which makes it feel much warmer. It has a distinct, albeit relatively short dry season from January through April, and a relatively lengthy wet season from May through December.

Climate data for Manila
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35
Average high °C (°F) 30
Average low °C (°F) 21
Record low °C (°F) 14
Precipitation mm (inches) 23
Source: October 2009

Climate data for Quezon City
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29
Average low °C (°F) 20
Precipitation mm (inches) 17
Source: November 2009


Metro Manila does not have collective political power. The highest political division are the sixteen cities and the Municipality of Pateros which have political power independent from each other. Each is governed by a mayor who belongs to the Metro Manila Mayor's League, which is part of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Political map of Metro Manila showing its local government units.
Local government unit Population
(2007 census)[7]
Pop. density
(per km²)
Annual pop.
growth rate[7]
Per capita
Caloocan City 1,378,856 53.33 25,855 2.20 $9,426 1962
Las Piñas City 532,330 41.54 12,815 1.65 $8,678 1997
Makati City 510,383 27.36 18,654 1.91 $29,259 1995
Malabon City 363,681 15.76 23,076 0.98 $4,334 2001
Mandaluyong City 305,576 11.26 27,138 1.29 $20,258 1994
Manila 1,660,714 38.55 43,079 0.68 $13,731 1574
Marikina City 424,610 33.97 12,500 1.14 $10,346 1996
Muntinlupa City 452,943 46.70 9,699 2.48 $13,789 1995
Navotas City 245,344 10.77 22,780 0.87 $5,296 2007
Parañaque City 552,660 47.69 11,589 2.88 $10,146 1998
Pasay City 403,064 19.00 21,214 1.77 $6,876 1947
Pasig City 617,301 31.00 19,913 2.80 $12,032 1995
Pateros 61,940 2.10 29,495 1.05 $3,324 Not a city
Quezon City 2,679,450 161.12 16,630 2.92 $11,213 1939
San Juan City 124,187 5.94 20,907 0.87 $16,893 2007
Taguig City 613,343 47.88 12,810 3.82 $12,342 2004
Valenzuela City 568,928 44.58 12,762 2.21 $7,531 1998
Total 11,553,4271 638.55 18,093 2.11 $10,223

1 Includes barangays disputed between Makati and Taguig cities.

Administrative districts of Metro Manila:      1st district      2nd district      3rd district      4th district
Mayors of Metro Manila according to their political party affiliation.

Unlike other regions which are divided into provinces, Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) is divided into four nonfunctioning districts, which are grouped according to geographical basis in reference to the Pasig River. These districts were created in 1976 but have no local government and no congressional representation, in contrast to that of the provinces. These districts are used mostly for fiscal and statistical purposes.

The cities and municipalities within the NCR are grouped into the four districts as follows:

# Alternate Name City/Cities
1 The Capital District Manila
2 Eastern Manila District Mandaluyong City, Marikina City, Pasig City, Quezon City, and San Juan City
3 CAMANAVA District Caloocan City, Malabon City, Navotas City, and Valenzuela City
4 Southern Manila District Las Piñas City, Makati City, Muntinlupa City, Parañaque City, Pasay City, Pateros, and Taguig City

The cities and Pateros are independent from each other politically but several services such as traffic and flood control are handled collectively by the MMDA under the Office of the President.

Representation to the two houses of the Congress of the Philippines is as follows:

  • For the Senate, polling is done at-large, nationwide.
  • For the House of Representatives, each city except for Malabon and Navotas has at least one representative; Malabon and Navotas has one representative (until 2010, when they will have separate seats), while Pateros' representation is included with the first Sangguniang Panlungsod district of Taguig.

Metro Manila is also a judicial region; as such, all regional trial court judges can be stationed anywhere within the region.


Skyline of Ortigas Center in the foreground with Makati in the background on the left

Metro Manila (statistically designated as the National Capital Region or NCR) is the financial, commercial and industrial center of the Philippines and one of the economic command centers of ASEAN. It accounts for 32% of the Philippines' GDP; around US$124 billion (PPP) in 2007. It has a third of the country's bank offices but over two thirds of its deposits.

Skyline of the City of Manila

Business districts

Makati City is the main central business district of Metro Manila

Makati City is the largest financial and economic hub of the metropolitan area. It is one of the major economic centres in Southeast Asia. Now regarded as the city's central business district, several of the Philippines' largest corporations including Ayala, as well as the nation's major banks such as Metrobank, are based here. The Makati area is built around the former Nielsen Air Base, an American installation during World War II, and its runways now form the district's main roads, which cross each other at the Makati Triangle, home of the nation's stock exchange. Different well-known skyscrapers in Metro Manila are here like PBCom Tower and G.T. International Tower. Foreign corporations also have their main Philippine hubs here. The traditional business center of the Chinese-Filipino businessmen and the country's CBD prior to the development of the Makati CBD was the Binondo District in the City of Manila.

Ortigas Center is the second most important central business district in Metro Manila. Situated between Mandaluyong and Pasig, it is home to the headquarters of several major Philippine companies such as San Miguel Corporation and Meralco, surrounded by shopping malls and hotels. The international financial institution, Asian Development Bank, also has its headquarters in Ortigas. Ortigas also contains some of Metro Manila's more famous buildings, such as the One San Miguel, BSA Twin Tower, and the Astoria Plaza.

Also posing as a competitor for a vibrant business center are Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Eastwood City in Quezon City, Manila Bay City Reclamation Area in the cities of Pasay, Parañaque and Las Piñas, and Alabang Estates, Madrigal Business Park & Filinvest in Muntinlupa City. Triangle Park in Quezon City is the latest addition to the commercial business districts in the metropolis. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA is scheduled to be closed down by the year 2012 and will instead be converted into another business and commercial district. A new international gateway of the country is currently being built in the existing Diosdado Macapagal International Airport which is said to become one of the world's biggest in terms of terminal size and land area. A fast train will be built to connect the airport to Metro Manila.

Shopping centers

Ortigas Center Business District

Metro Manila currently has the largest number of malls in the Philippines. There are 3 large signature shopping malls which are part of the Top 10 World's Largest Malls in the Metro Manila area. Three of which are owned by Henry Sy, a Chinese-Filipino Businessman and his company, SM Prime Holdings. The current largest is the new SM City North EDSA (replaced SM Mall of Asia as the 3rd largest mall in the world ), and the recent largest mall as of 1991 up to 2006, SM Megamall.

Aside from SM Megamall, other shopping centers in Ortigas Center include Robinsons Galleria, Shangri-La Plaza, and The Podium.

Recently opened in Pasig is a new development called Frontera Verde, which currently hosts Tiendesitas, a tiangge-style shopping center; SM Supercenter Pasig, the smallest SM mall to date; and SilverCity AutoMall, the first mall in the Philippines that is dedicated to the automotive market.

In the Central Business District of Makati, the Ayala Center hosts other malls, including Glorietta and the upscale Greenbelt shopping districts. Also in Makati is the Rockwell Center. These places are frequented by members of Metro Manila's upper classes.

In the City of Manila, the largest malls include SM City Manila and Robinsons Place Manila.

Cubao is Quezon City's Central Commercial Area that hosts 5 malls that includes the ultra-modern Gateway Mall. Other malls include various SM chains in the metropolis. Aside from Cubao, there is also Eastwood City, located along Libis; SM City Fairview, in the Novaliches District; and TriNoma, Ayala Land's newest mall, in front of SM City North EDSA.

Metro Manila is also full of palengke, the Filipino-style open-air wet markets. One of these is the Central Market, in Sta. Cruz district of Manila, and Divisoria Market, in Manila. Cloverleaf Market in Balintawak, Quezon City supplies most of Metro Manila's fruit and vegetable products. Navotas Port Market supplies most of Metro Manila's fish products. Other smaller markets include the markets of Cubao Farmers, Nepa-Q Mart, Muñoz, Balingasa, Galas, Santa Mesa, Novaliches Talipapa, Baclaran, Pasay Libertad, and Pasay Cartimar, the latter also being one of the finest pet markets in the Philippines.

Midway between a mall and a market are the Philippine-only tiangges, or airconditioned markets selling goods such as clothes, shoes, accessories, computer parts, mobile phones, CDs, VCDs, MP3s, iPods, and DVDs. Among these can be found in Greenhills Shopping Center in the municipality of San Juan and St. Francis Square in Mandaluyong City.

Muntinlupa City hosts malls like Festival Supermall, Alabang Town Center and Metropolis Star Mall, all in Alabang. And an SM SuperCenter Muntinlupa in Barangay Tunasan.

Las Piñas has the SM City Southmall, the largest based SM Mall south of Metro Manila.

Parañaque City has the SM City Sucat and alongside Pasay City, Duty Free Fiesta Mall, known as the mall of the "Balikbayans" or "back-to-home citizens" here in Metro Manila where most arriving Filipinos pay a visit. It is also the only known Duty Free Mall of the Philippines

Wealth Extremes

Aerial view of Makati City.

Metro Manila is a place of economic extremes. It is stated that 97% of the total GDP in the Philippines is controlled by 15% of the population, the majority of which is in the Metro Manila area. Most of the wealthy and upper-middle class in the country reside within gated communities in places such as Forbes Park and Dasmariñas Village in Makati, Loyola Heights in Quezon City, Greenhills in San Juan, BF Homes Subdivision in Parañaque City and Ayala Alabang Village, founded by the influential Zobel de Ayala family, in Muntinlupa City. Other wealthy families opt to live urban and up-scale lifestyles and instead own large apartments and condominium units such as those in the Rockwell Center in Makati and Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, and Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City, while some choose to live in bayfront condos/apartments/townhouses along the stretch of Roxas Boulevard. The area is populated by many of the wealthiest people in the country has also driven up the real estate value of the properties in these areas such that they are unmatched anywhere else.

Most of the wealthy, upper-class Filipinos visit upscale recreation places such as Bonifacio High Street and Serendra in Bonifacio Global City, The Greenbelt complex and Rockwell mall in Makati City. Other upscale malls are SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, Trinoma Complex and Eastwood Mall in Quezon City and the Alabang Town Center in Alabang found in Muntinlupa City.


Rizal Park

Located west of Metro Manila, Rizal Park is the reference point for all kilometer points in the island of Luzon and the Philippines. Rizal Park features the statue of the Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal, as well as several Philippine flags, a gigantic relief map of the Philippines, scenic Chinese gardens, and the several government offices, such as the Department of Tourism. On the seaside front of Rizal Park are numerous seafood restaurants specializing in Filipino and Asian cuisine. The National Museum of the Filipino People can be also found here. It is a complex of two Greco-Roman buildings which house ancient relics, native mummies, natural treasures and factual galleries about the Philippines and other countries. The museum also boasts a vast collection of artworks and masterpieces crafted by Filipinos which were commended by the Louvre Museum per se. Similarly, part of the museum complex is the first planetarium in Southeast Asia. Also located here is the Quirino Grandstand, which apart from the regular miting de avance (Spanish: political gatherings), is also a popular rendezvous of various religious groups, such as the charmismatic Catholic El Shaddai and popular American-based Protestant movements, such as Benny Hinn International Ministries and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Near the Rizal Park is a 400-year-old Imperial City known as Intramuros, Manila. Intramuros, a walled domain which was once the seat of government during the Spanish Colonial Era and Mid-American Periods. Among the attractions are the Fort Santiago, a timeworn Spanish military fortress which was also the cell for the national hero, Jose Rizal in 1896; Casa Manila, a Spanish colonial villa which is converted into a house gallery; Manila Cathedral, the official seat of the Archbishop of Manila; San Agustin Church, Manila|San Agustin Church the oldest existing church/building in the Philippines that survived the wars and earthquakes of Manila since 1587; Intramuros Golf Club, a prime golf course outside the walls; and the Clam Shell Tent, an exhibition center of the Department of Tourism [1]. Horse-carriages and tourist buses are also some of the attractions. The rest also includes a walk above the walls surrounding Intramuros, government offices, universities and colonial houses.

Fort Bonifacio is the location of military detachments, cemeteries, international schools, corporate headquarters and world-class dining and shopping facilities. Other local recreation areas include the Nayong Pilipino (Philippine Village) in Parañaque City, Quezon Memorial Circle and Ninoy Aquino Wildlife Center, both in Diliman district of Quezon City, the posh Greenbelt Center, in Makati City, the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex and Bay City, both in Pasay City. Meanwhile, the Paco Park, Arroceros Botanical Garden, Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden|Manila Zoo, Plaza Rajah Sulayman, Plaza Miranda, new Rizal Avenue Bargain Walkway, the all-steel Gothic San Sebastian Church, the bars and night clubs of Ermita and Malate districts and the famous Roxas Boulevard Bay Walk which offers a fine view of the legendary Manila Bay sunset and hip-dining of Asian, Western and Filipino cuisine, are all in Manila.



MRT passing by the major road EDSA.

The metropolis has an extensive system of highways connecting the various cities and municipalities. The major roads include ten radial roads, which branch out from central Manila and five circumferential roads which form a series of concentric semi-circular arcs around downtown Manila. Most of these roads are very important transportation arteries. One is the C-4 (Circumferential Road 4), also called Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or more popularly as EDSA. It is the major thoroughfare in Metro Manila connecting five cities in Metro Manila, namely Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Caloocan. The MRT-3 line of Manila's metro network also divides the two sides of the road. Some other important roads are R-1 (Radial Road 1) (Roxas Boulevard and Manila-Cavite Expressway) connecting to Cavite province in the southwest; R-3 or the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) connecting to Laguna province in the southeast; R-6 (Aurora Boulevard and Marcos Highway) connecting to Rizal province in the east; and R-8 or the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) connecting to Bulacan province in the north. One of its newest roads, the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, running on the reclamation area parallel to R-1, is one of the destinations of Manila's elite.

Metro Manila is notorious for its traffic jams. A trip that should take 20 minutes will last an hour or more especially during rush hour. Consequently, the Metro Manila Development Authority (see section below) has constructed many projects to decongest traffic.

Such projects of the MMDA for motorists are the construction of flyovers (elevated roads), interchanges, loading bays for Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs), emergency bays, and U-Turn slots over various intersections and thoroughfares, and the completion of the comprehensive railway system (see below). It has also been engaged in road widening with the support of the Department of Public Works and Highways. MMDA has also utilized projects for the pedestrians such as the installation of footbridges, waiting sheds, and men's urinals to various roads in the metropolis. The agency has also implemented various schemes for motorists such as the Uniform Vehicular Volume Reduction Scheme (UVVRS), more popularly known as "color coding", where vehicles whose plate numbers end in different digits are banned from traveling on different days, the Yellow Lane scheme, where yellow-plated PUBs (Public Utility Buses) will only use the two outermost lanes in EDSA, and the Organized Bus Route (OBR) for Metro Manila.

The Major Alternate Route in the East of EDSA is C-5 Road.


As of 2005, there are two different rapid transit systems in Metro Manila: the Manila Light Rail Transit System, or the LRT, and the Manila Metro Rail Transit System, or the MRT. The Yellow Line (LRT-1) and the Purple Line (LRT-2) form the LRT network, while the Blue Line (MRT-3) forms the MRT network, with 29 stations on the LRT and 13 stations on the MRT . Four more lines are proposed and would connect Metro Manila to the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal upon their completion.

Philippine National Railways also operates two main-line railway lines within Metro Manila, all part of the once-flourishing Luzon railway system. The northern line, known as Northrail and connecting Manila to Caloocan City, is currently closed. Line extensions are proposed to Valenzuela City and further on to Bulacan and Pampanga. The trans-Metro Manila portion of the still-open southern line, known as Southrail, commences at Tutuban station in Tondo, Manila, passes through the cities of Manila, Makati, Taguig, Parañaque and Las Piñas, and ends in Barangay Buli, Muntinlupa City, before entering the province of Laguna.


Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which straddles the boundary between Parañaque City and Pasay City, is the country's busiest airport. It consists of a domestic terminal and two international terminals, with a third that recently opened. There are two main runways and the hangar of Philippine Airlines is located near the Villamor Air Base. NAIA will be closed in favor of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Pampanga, as the major gateway of the Philippines by the year 2012.

Water Transportation

Manila Seaport Terminal is the shipping gateway to the Philippines. The Manila Seaport Terminal is in Port Area, Manila (near Luneta and beside Manila Bay). And the Pasig River Ferry Service the water-transport cruises the Pasig River from Intramuros, Manila to Barangay Kalawaan Sur in Pasig City.


Metro Manila has a registered population of 11,553,427 people.[2] However, the greater urban area of Manila which includes Metro Manila and the suburbs in the surrounding provinces puts the population at around 20,075,000 people (2009 estimate)[3][8].

Population Census
Census Pop. Rate
1980 5,925,884
1990 7,948,392 3.0%
1995 9,454,040 3.5%
2000 9,932,560 1.07%
2007 11,553,427 2.11%

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,932,560 people and 2,132,989 households residing in Metro Manila. With a population density of 15,617/km², it is by far the most densely populated region of the Philippines. For the period 1995 to 2000, the annual population growth rate was 1.06 percent, lower than that of the 1990 to 1995 period (3.30 percent).

The indigenous people of the area now known as Metro Manila were the Tagalog. Other native ethnic groups of the Philippines also inhabit the metropolis as a result of migration. The include the Visayans, Ilocanos, Bicolanos, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, and Moro groups (mostly Maranao and Maguindanao). Tribal groups such as the Igorot and the Bajau have also settled. There are also numerous peoples of Chinese and Japanese, Indian descent. Resident Spaniards, Americans, and Koreans are also present in large numbers. Metro Manila is classified as a social urban conglomerate, meaning, it is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world.

The most common language spoken in households is Tagalog (94.34%). English is widely used and understood, and is the main language of the upper classes and in business. Chinese is taught in certain Chinese schools. Other languages of the Philippines are also spoken, mostly between family members, relatives, or neighbors belonging to the same ethnic group. Among these languages, the most spoken include Visayan languages, Ilokano, Bikol languages, and Kapampangan.

The large majority of the population of Metro Manila is Roman Catholic (90%). Other religions include Protestant (3%), Islam (5%), and Hinduism and Buddhism (2%).


PSHS Main Campus

Metro Manila is home to several noteworthy Philippine higher educational institutions. It is the educational seat of the country and many students from the provinces head onto Metro Manila to study. As such, several dormitories, apartments and boarding houses abound. Areas of high number of educational institutions include the so-called "University Belt" and Taft Avenue in Manila, Katipunan Avenue and Fairview in Quezon City and Sta. Mesa straddling the Manila, Quezon City and Mandaluyong City borders. Metro Manila is also home to many private schools usually run by religious orders like the Jesuits, Dominicans, Augustinians and Lasallian Brothers, and others. There are also many international schools located around the Metro, most are located in Taguig like the British School Manila, Manila Japanese School, Chinese International School, Korean International School and the International School Manila.

Police and security

The National Capital Region Police Office of the Philippine National Police divides Metro Manila into five districts, each with its own police force.

Police structure in the Philippines is centralized and its command center is in Camp Rafael Crame in Santolan, Quezon City. Metro Manila is divided into 5 police districts under National Capital Region Police Office namely Central (Quezon City), Western (City of Manila), Eastern (Mandaluyong, Pasig, Marikina, San Juan), Northern (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) and Southern (Makati, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Taguig and Pateros). The NCRPO Headquarters is located in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines' command headquarters is in Camp Emilio Aguinaldo in Murphy, Quezon City. The National Capital Region Command is in Metro Manila and was created by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to defend the metropolis from insurgents and terrorist groups. Philippine Army headquarters is in Fort Andres Bonifacio in Taguig City. Philippine Air Force headquarters is in Jesus Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. Philippine Navy headquarters is in Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

Public utilities


Metro Manila's electricity is generated by the state-owned National Power Corporation (Napocor) and other independent power producers across the island of Luzon. It is transmitted by the privately-owned National Grid Corporation of The Philippines (NGCP) through high tension wires. It is distributed by the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the only company allowed to distribute electricity to the metropolis.


Metro Manila and its surrounding areas are divided into two water concessionaires: Maynilad Water (red) and Manila Water (blue).

Metro Manila's tap water is sourced from the Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan. It is stored in the Novaliches Reservoir and filtered in the La Mesa Dam, both in northeast Quezon City. Metro Manila's water distribution and sewerage system used to be managed by the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage System (MWSS), a state-owned company. In 1997, MWSS awarded concessionaire licenses to two private corporations. Metro Manila was sliced into two distribution areas.

  • Maynilad Water Services Inc. (MWSI). It is currently majority-owned by the MWSS, which took it over from Benpres Holdings Company, which also controls MERALCO. It operates in western Quezon City, southern Caloocan City, Manila (excludes Downtown), Valenzuela City, Malabon City, Navotas, Pasay City, Parañaque City, Las Piñas City, and western Muntinlupa City. MWSS is currently bidding out its shares in MWSI and expects to conclude the bidding before the end of the year.
  • Manila Water Company, Inc. (MWC). It is majority-owned by the Ayala Corporation, which also controls Globe Telecom. MWC operates the East Concession Zone, which comprises Makati City, Mandaluyong City, Marikina City, Pasig City, Pateros, San Juan City, Taguig City, eastern Quezon City, and the southeast portions of Manila.


Since 1925, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) was the Philippines' only phone carrier. With the passage of the National Telecommunications Act of 1995, the Philippine National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) granted licenses to new and independent companies to install new phones across the Philippines. The NTC granted 3 new licenses for Metro Manila.

  • Bayantel/ Benpres - Northern Metro Manila (Quezon City, northern Caloocan City, Malabon City, Navotas, Valenzuela City, Marikina City, northeastern Manila, and the Ortigas Center in Pasig City)
  • Globelines/ Innove - Southern Metro Manila (Makati City, Mandaluyong City, Muntinlupa City, Pasay City, Las Piñas City, Parañaque City, Taguig City, Pateros, San Juan, and Pasig City excluding the Ortigas Center)
  • Eastern Telecoms - Western Metro Manila (Southern Caloocan City and Manila, excluding the northeast part)


Metro Manila alone produces 4,000 tons of garbage each day and paper wastes account for nearly 14% of the daily total. But efforts to also reduce pollution is one of the major concerns due to garbage, closure of some garbage dump sites in Greater Manila.

See also


  1. ^ "Table 1.0: Metropolitan Manila Land Area and Year of Cityhood By Local Government Units". Metro Manila Developent Authority. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  2. ^ a b c "Total Population and Annual Population Growth Rates by Region: Population Censuses 1995, 2000, and 2007". Census Bureau of the Philippines. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  3. ^ a b Demographia Retrieved 16 June 2009
  4. ^ Philippine National Statistics Office
  5. ^ a b PriceWaterhouseCoopers, "UK Economic Outlook, March 2007", page 5. ""Global city GDP rankings 2008-2025"" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  6. ^ Presidential Decree No. 940
  7. ^ a b Final Results - 2007 Census of Population
  8. ^ The population is higher than other agglomeration estimates (such as the United Nations), these estimates tend to be limited to Metro Manila, which is a province level jurisdiction. The continuous urbanization of Manila extends outward into Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Quezon provinces. Demographia explanation of the Manila urban area

Coordinates: 14°35′N 121°00′E / 14.583°N 121°E / 14.583; 121

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Metro Manila article)

From Wikitravel

Asia : Southeast Asia : Philippines : Luzon : Metro Manila
Map of the Philippines showing the region of Metro Manila(click for larger version).
Map of the Philippines showing the region of Metro Manila(click for larger version).

Metro Manila (Filipino: Kalakhang Maynila) is the National Capital Region and the prime tourist destination in the Philippines. The metropolis is the Philippines' center of commerce, education, and entertainment. It is located on the island of Luzon, bordered by the province of Bulacan on the North, Rizal on the east, Laguna in the south and Manila Bay in the west. Though it is the smallest region in the country, Metro Manila has the highest population with almost 15 million inhabitants.

Map of Metro Manila showing the cities and municipalities.
Map of Metro Manila showing the cities and municipalities.
  • City of Manila
  • Quezon City also has its share of large shopping malls, and electronic and automotive parts discount centers. The Ortigas Center at the confluence of Quezon City, Mandaluyong and San Juan is also a shopper's paradise.
  • Caloocan City the main hub of people from the Northern Philippines. Known to be one of the 4 original cities of Metro Manila, along side Manila, Quezon City, and Pasay City.
  • Pasay City
  • Pasig city - A city named after the river next to it, the Pasig River. It is an industrial town with a booming business district in the uptown Ortigas Center. Downtown Pasig is home to more rustic churches, American period houses, and excellent cuisine.
  • Makati City - Metro Manila's business district with tall buildings, luxurious hotels, vast shopping malls, lively entertainment spots, and numerous restaurants.
  • Mandaluyong City
  • Marikina City
  • Valenzuela City
  • Muntinlupa City
  • Parañaque City
  • Las Piñas City
  • Malabon City
  • Taguig City


Locals refer to Metro Manila simply as Manila. However, the City of Manila forms only the city proper of Metro Manila. Consisting of 17 cities and 3 municipalities in 630 square kilometers, the metro is an ideal destination to consider. As the national capital region, Metro Manila is the center of Philippine culture, arts, commerce, industry, and tourism. Metro Manila likewise serves as the pivot point to other exciting, popular destinations in the Philippines such as Boracay, Cebu City, Davao City and more.


Communication with the locals is easy because almost everyone is bilingual. While Filipino is the national language, English is the primary language of trade, government, media and education not only in Metro Manila but in the whole Philippines as well. Spanish-speakers may recognize some words in Tagalog, since 40% of its vocabulary is Spanish-derived.

Get in

By air

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Filipino: Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Ninoy Aquino) (IATA: MNL) (ICAO: RPLL) Metro Manila is the primary gateway to the Philippines. This airport, caters to regular flights from China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, United States, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.

From overseas, most visitors arrive by plane. Manila is served by three international airports. Philippine Airlines (PAL) has its own terminal, called Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 (NAIA 2), that serves both international and domestic flights. PAL usually provides seamless transfers between their international and domestic network whereas you would generally not be given this service on other carriers.

All other international airlines use NAIA Terminal 1, which is due to be replaced by the newly built modern NAIA Terminal 3 (NAIA 3) in 2009; while other domestic airlines use the old domestic airport which is about a 5 to 10 minute ride from Terminal 1. Be wary of this if you have a connection between a domestic and international flight arriving/departing from these airports.

Coupon (pre-paid) taxis are available at the airports to bring you to your hotel or wherever you may be going. Rates are fixed and dependent on the destination and generally are more expensive compared to what you would pay in a metered taxi. Coupon taxi counters usually are found immediately after exiting customs in both Terminals 1 and 2. Expect to pay somewhere between 10 to 15 USD for destinations within Metro Manila. The usual metered taxis are generally not allowed at the Arrival Terminal so you would either need to catch one unloading at the Departure Area or outside the airport complex. This may be easier said than done however, particularly when lugging around kilos upon kilos of baggage.

Apart from taxis, there are no regular public transport services to the airports except for buses and jeepneys plying routes that pass nearby. It will take a few minutes' walk however before you get to a place where you can board and all this effort may not be worth the hassle so most opt to take the coupon taxis.

Low cost carriers such as Air Asia[1] and Tiger Airways utilize the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) in Clark, Pampanga, which is a 2-hour drive north of Manila. These airlines have dedicated bus transfer services that transport passengers to and from the DMIA via newly renovated toll roads. You can catch the bus by Philtranco [2] either from it's terminal in Pasay City, Manila or from SM Megamall (behind building A) in Mandaluyong, Manila. From Pasay the fare is 350 pesos and from SM Megamall 300 pesos. Departure tax for this airport has been increased to 500 peso.

  • Ferries run all over the Philippines, but should you not reserve a first class cabin be prepared for uncomfortable cramped conditions. There seems to be lax enforcement of Western safety standards.
  • Supercats and fastcrafts connect short distances between islands on high-speed air-conditioned hydrofoil crafts. Not only do they provide a faster option than ordinary ferries, they are also much better maintained and have a remarkable safety record. Among the major routes serviced by fastcrafts in and around Manila are: Manila-Bataan, Manila-Cavite and Batangas-Puerto Galera.
  • The Strong Republic Nautical Highway has made inter-island travel by bus possible. Major islands are connected by Roll On - Roll Off ferries which can carry cars, buses and cargo trucks. An example is the Manila to Boracay route which goes via Batangas, Calapan and Roxas in Mindoro then Caticlan. Philtranco [3] serves various inter-island routes and has a terminal in Cubao, Quezon City. Needless to say however that these trips can take quite a bit of time and may not be worth the savings if you have only a few days to spend in the Philippines.
  • Normal provincial buses serving other parts of Luzon also have terminals in various portions of Metro Manila. The Cubao area in Quezon City and the Bonifacio Monument area in Kalookan City is where buses serving the northern portions of Luzon (e.g. Baguio, Zambales) have their terminals.
  • The Buendia Ave. cor Taft Ave. intersection in Makati and the area near the Taft Ave. and EDSA intersection in Pasay is where buses from the south (e.g. Batangas, Laguna) have their terminals.

Get around

By car

The metropolis has an extensive system of highways connecting the various cities and municipalities. The major roads include ten radial roads, which branch out from central Manila and five circumferential roads which form concentric arcs around downtown Manila. Most of these roads are very important transportation arteries. One is the C-4 (Circumferential Road 4) also called Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or more popularly known as EDSA. Some other other important roads are R-1 (Radial Road 1) or Coastal Road/Manila-Cavite Road; R-3 or South Luzon Expressway (SLEX); R-7, which consists of Espana Avenue, Quezon Avenue, and Commonwealth Avenue; R-8 or the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX); and C-5 going from Bicutan to Libis (simply referred to as C-5).

However, driving in a private car is not recommended for people who are unfamiliar with Manila because many drivers there ignore such things as stoplights and lane markings and most also have no idea what right of way means (although this behavior has been decreasing significantly over the years). Public transport is very cheap however but may get very crowded during the rush hours in the morning and early evening (7 AM to 10 AM and 4 PM to 7 PM). Traffic also tends to crawl during these times so best avoid being on the move in these occasions. Another fact to take note is, just like any city in South-East Asia, drivers in Manila tend to be reckless, but road signages are very common, though some are not that visible, and are also well abided and respected by at least 75% of Manila drivers despite the fact that this signages are quite different from international standards because of its very dominant pink color.

When driving, be cautious of pedestrians crossing illegally. Be also aware when driving in narrow streets, where children usually play, given Manila is a crowded metropolis. Be also aware of the existing Number-Coding Scheme, where some vehicles are not allowed to ply Metro Manila streets from 7AM to 10AM, and from 3PM to 7PM, Mondays to Fridays, i.e. cars with license plates ending in numbers 1 and 2 should not go out of the street on the said schedule every Mondays, 3 and 4 every Tuesdays, and so on and so forth. Makati City however observes the Number-Coding scheme the whole day.

The price of petroleum is relatively comparable to that paid in the US but expensive in the eyes of locals.


Jeepneys are evolved versions of the Jeep which American Armed Force units used as utility vehicles during the war years. Usually built with a reconditioned surplus diesel engine from Japan coupled to a locally fabricated chassis, jeepneys come in a wide range of colors and decorations that are limited only by the owner's/driver's imagination and taste. Over time, it has become the most common means of public transport in the Philippines. Recently however, the introduction of more modern buses as well as the more efficient LRT and MRT have lessened the importance of the jeepney. They still do travel all over the city, particularly in routes which are too small to be serviced by buses - but know exactly where you are headed before getting on. Once inside, pay your fare or "bayad" directly to the driver by telling him where you want to get off and how many people you are paying for. It is a norm all over the country that if you are seated far from the driver, one just need to say "Bayad po" while extending the hand with your fare to the driver and someone will readily take your fare and pass it until it gets to the driver. Giving back of change or "sukli" if the fare given is in a large denomination will come in a similar manner, and a polite expression of "Thank you" or "Salamat po" as a sign of gratitude is encouraged.

The fare structure begins with a minimum fare for the first four kilometers and increases every additional kilometer thereafter. As of Jan 2010 minimum fare is P 7 (14 US cts) while the per kilometer additional fare is P 1.25. Do not however expect that a driver will be able to give any change for very large denominations, e.g. P500 or P1000.

You can also request the driver to inform you that you are near to your destination. Note that loading and unloading zones for jeepneys are rarely followed so people hop on and get off practically at will. Saying "para" or "para po!" is the standard way to tell the driver that you need to get off. Caution - Jeeps are designed to carry small people - and can get very cramped for anyone over 6ft tall particularly if the jeepney is fully loaded! This arrangement is cramped even for the size of the locals who are small by Western comparison and some would regularly complain. Though not widely practiced, some people would pay for the price of two to avoid getting cramped by someone else as the fares are anyway extremely cheap. Jeepneys usually seat anywhere from 0 to 30 people.

By taxi

Taxis are very affordable by western standards but pretty expensive for locals and almost all are now air-conditioned and use a meter to compute for the final fare. The taxi rates start at PHP 30 (USD 0.60) for the first 500 metres and an extra PHP 2.5 (USD 0.10) for every succeeding 300-metres or 2 minutes of stopping.

Some drivers may take advantage of tourists, but closer regulation by authorities and even by mall operators, are curbing this practice slowly. Many taxis are in a poor state of repair and drivers drive erratically. The LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) has now instituted hotline numbers to report erring drivers. Just take note of the cab name and number. Mall operators also closely monitor the operations of taxis that use their taxi racks by ensuring that cab drivers do not choose only passengers bound for nearby destinations. Do not hire taxis waiting at bus terminals; they will charge much higher fare (100% more than normal fare). Just walk out from any main bus terminal, and you will find plenty of cabs. Be wary especially during traffic as drivers will ask for a minimum fare higher than what the meter requires you to pay. Also during rush hour (both morning and evening), it is not unusual to see taxi drivers hesitant to drive you if your destination involves crossing EDSA. During the early morning, passengers are strongly advised to bring smaller denominations of bills (as well as coins) as drivers usually don't have ready change.

By bus

Buses are common in the major thoroughfares of Metro Manila and most will pass through EDSA. The common routes are as follows:

  • Baclaran-Navotas (via EDSA and Ayala or via EDSA alone)
  • Baclaran-SM Fairview (via EDSA and Ayala)
  • Baclaran-Malanday (via EDSA and Ayala)
  • Baclaran-Novaliches (via EDSA and north Luzon Expressway)
  • Baclaran-Sta. Maria Bulacan (via EDSA and Ayala and North Luzon Expressway or MacArthur Highway)
  • Grotto-NAIA (the airport in Paranaque and will pass through EDSA and SM Fairview)
  • Malanday-NAIA (via EDSA)
  • Alabang/Pacita-Navotas (via south Luzon Expressway and EDSA)
  • Alabang-Malanday (via south Luzon Expressway and EDSA)
  • Alabang-SM Fairview (via south Luzon Expressway and EDSA)
  • Alabang/Pacita-Novaliches (via south Luzon Expressway, EDSA and north Luzon Expressway)

There are both ordinary and air-conditioned buses available. Conductors collect your fare once on board and they are ready with change although it is suggested you have coins during morning rush-hours ready. Just tell him/her where you want to get off. Like the jeepneys, buses do not have route numbers identifying their routes and often do not observe loading and unloading areas except for some highly regulated zones where they are bound to get a ticket for not doing so, most notably in Makati's central business district. As such, it is not uncommon for people to get on and off in odd places. Buses sometimes load and unload in the middle of the road and couldn't care less about the traffic they may cause. Furthermore, they don't have a timetable for when to stop at a particular area although buses bound to the same place stop at a particular area seconds from each other. The fare structure of buses is almost the same as that of jeepneys where a fare matrix is provided and fares increase at a constant rate per kilometre after the first few kilometres. While EDSA has a bus lane (two lanes wide on each side), these are generally packed with buses from city/provincial routes funneling down the thorughfare, and are rarely followed. If your route/destination is along EDSA, it is best to take the MRT (see below) to avoid the traffic.

By minivan

FX (minivans) are a relatively new transport mode available now. They are more expensive than jeepneys, but cheaper than taxis. FX follow the jeepney practice of having a fixed route but like taxis are usually air-conditioned. You likely will have to share the ride as the FX can take up to 10 passengers at a time, but it's reasonably comfortable.

By tricycle

Tricycles (motorcycles with modified side cars) These are common for short trips in areas where jeepneys do not travel. In Manila proper you are unlikely to see any. However, in outlying suburbs and towns they are more common. Another variant is the pedicab which is merely a bicycle with a side car.

Mass Rail System
Mass Rail System

Travelling by rail is so far, the safest option. Here are some options to choose from:

  • There the LRT which is run by the Light Rail Transit Authority or LRTA [4]. The LRT has two lines. Line 1 (also known as the Yellow Line) runs along Taft Avenue from Baclaran in Paranaque to the Bonifacio Monument in Kalookan City. Line 2 (also known as the Purple Line) runs from Santolan in Pasig to Recto in the heart of downtown Manila.
  • MRT The Metro Rail Transit [5] (also known as Line 3 or the Blue Line) is a light rail transit system that runs along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or EDSA, one of the main thoroughfares in Metro Manila. The MRT runs from the North Avenue Station in Quezon City to the Taft Avenue Station in Pasay City. Fares are cheap (15 pesos for the entire length) and it is air conditioned albeit quite crowded during the morning and early evening rush hours. Entering the system requires a ticket which like other countries, must be inserted onto the turnstile. Alternatively, contactless plastic cards are increasingly becoming available to access the system although surcharges to both top-up the card and to pay for actual travel apply.

Single-journey and stored-value tickets are available for each of the lines. You can transfer between lines at the following areas:

    • Between Line 1 and Line 2: Dorroteo Jose-Recto
    • Between Line 1 and Line 3: Taft Avenue-EDSA
    • Between Line 2 and Line 3: Araneta Centre/Cubao

However, unlike most other countries, you will need to exit the system and purchase a separate ticket to ride on the other lines except if you're in possession Strong Republic Transit Flash Pass.

On foot

It is not recommended to walk in Manila since many street sides are infested with vendors and peddlers. If walking is inevitable, just remember that you should always walk on areas were pedestrians walk (common sense), and crossing a street is not a problem, if you know how to cross the street correctly.

Walking at night is not also recommended, especially for women. Walking in groups is a safe option if you are going at night.


One should see Metro Manila's numerous attractions.

  • Luneta Park
  • Manila Zoological and Botannical Gardens
  • Ninoy Aquino Wildlife Center
  • La Mesa Dam EcoPark
  • Quezon Memorial Circle
  • Greenbelt Park
  • Plaza de Roma
  • Plaza de Goiti
  • Plaza Miranda
  • Manila Ocean Park
  • Intramuros
  • Manila Cathedral (Basilica Minore de la Immaculada Concepcion)
  • San Agustin Church
  • Baclaran Church (Redemptorist Church)
  • Malate Church (Remedios Church)
  • Binondo Church (Basilica Minore de San Lorenzo Ruiz)
  • Quiapo Church (Basilica Minore de Jesus Nazareno)
  • Sanctuario de San Antonio
  • Epifanio de los Santos Shrine
  • The National Museum of the Filipino People
  • Metropolitan Museum
  • Filipinas Heritage Library
  • Ateneo Art Gallery
  • Ayala Museum
  • Lopez Museum
  • The Museum at De La Salle University-Manila
  • Museum of Contemporary Art and Design at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde
  • Monumento de la Revolucion
  • Rizal Monument
  • People Power Monument
  • Quezon Monument
  • Bonifacio Monument



There are generally two kinds of shopping destinations in Manila: the mall and the tiangge ("chang-ghe"). The Manila mall is more than just a shopping experience but a cultural destination as well. The largest malls in Metro Manila are practically their own cities within the city: complete with boutiques, supermarkets, department stores, restaurants, cinemas, medical facilities, hotels, schools, offices, gyms, serviced apartments, spas, convention centers, art galleries, bowling alleys, museums, ice skating rinks, and even a chapel for Sunday masses.

Major shopping destinantions:

  • SM Mall of Asia - (MOA) Second largest mall in Asia, third biggest mall in the World. (Main attraction: IMAX Cinemas)
  • Ayala Center - You should allocate at least half a day for this shopping area as it is much larger than you think. It appears that the interconnected malls are much larger than SM Mall of Asia.
    • Glorietta Shopping Mall
    • Greenbelt - the country's lifestyle center
    • Landmark

Nearby luxury hotels: Makati Shangri-La, Hotel Intercontinental, Mandarin Oriental, Manila Peninsula

In February 2006, Manila upped the ante on shopping malling with the opening of the gargantuan SM Mall of Asia exactly adjacent to Manila Bay, said to be the largest mall in the region. Simply put, shopping malls abound in Metro Manila, and the shopping experience is second to none, even by western standards.

However, if you wish to experience the "ultimate Manila shopping experience", one has to shop at a tiangge. Tiangges are small makeshift stalls clustered together that sell anything and everything you can imagine think bazaars). But at bargain basement prices. In these places, one has to haggle, particularly if you are buying wholesale (defined as at least six pieces of the same item). The best tiangge complexes are in the Greenhills Shopping Center, Tiendesitas, Market! Market!, St. Francis Square, Tutuban Center Mall, Divisoria Mall, and 168 Mall. Go crazy buying quality clothes and shoes, pretty fashion jewelry and things for the house at very reasonable prices!

An entertainment city is planned by the government and has since broken ground in 2008 adjacent to the Mall of Asia which will feature 5-6 star hotels, casinos, high-end condominiums, shopping malls, theme park, an observation tower that is set to be one of the tallest in Southeast Asia and Manila's version of the London Eye. Already a Neochinatown has sprung nearby as well as the new Marriot Resort Community (Newport) is currently under different phases of development.

Metro Manila is by-far the most expensive urbanized area in the Philippines, but cheaper compared to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Brunei. According to the Mercer Human Resource Consulting Cost of Living Survey of 2008, Manila is the cheapest to live in Southeast Asia for expatriates.


A tourist or visitor may be amused or perplexed to see Filipinos eating most of the time. Apart from the three major meals of the day, there are snacks in the morning and in the afternoon called "merienda" which are integral part of a typical Pinoy's everyday life. In the rural areas, every little town or barrio throws at least one feast a year in honor of its patron saint. And since a lot of Filipinos are family-oriented, food has become as significant as any family celebration which includes weddings, birthdays, baptisms, anniversaries and more. The proliferation of dining places or restaurants thus seems to mirror this aspect of the Filipino culture and the following are just some of the hip areas to visit for someone who wants to go on a food trip:

  • Greenbelt Lifestyle Center - the widest selection of food choices, which also happen to be the trendiest and most unique, can be found in the Greenbelt Area at heart of Ayala Center in Makati City.
  • Tomas Morato - Before midnight strikes, the strip is becoming increasily famous among locals for comedy bars. However, restaurants with gastronomic delights of every kind or dish abound from end-to-end.
  • The Promenade at Greenhills -
  • Baywalk - Prior to 2006, this used to be the most famous location for an abundance of affordable, delightful street food, by the bay. However, this has been closed by the city government for certain issues. Nevertheless, a visit to this area provides a different perspective of the old city of Manila.
  • Eastwood - Peppered with a lot of choices that offer comfortable dining in airconditioned or al fresco style, this place appeals to the upbeat, on-the-rise professionals and more affluent members of the Filipino society. There are lots of things to enjoy from good food, music, to midnight movies and shopping. Very appropriate for the night owls.
  • The Fort Strip and Serendra located in Global City, Taguig - Trendy, classy, isolated yet warm, surprising and fulfilling. From Makati City, it is easy to reach the newest dining and entertainment hub in the Metropolis by private car or cab.
  • Tiendesitas - literally "little stores", This place seems to have been primarily built with returning Filipinos in mind as well as foreigners interested in some kind of cultural immersion. It is a confluence of some 450 traders from the three major islands of the Philippines, namely Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, selling specialty merchandise. So much to choose from but the food pavilions are the busiest.


The epicenter of Metro Manila's famous nightlife is the Greenbelt in Makati where some of the city's best restaurants, cafes, bars and karaoke joints cluster around a park in the middle of the main business district. The Fort, Serendra and Bonifacio High Street are three different clusters that offers high-end restaurants, bars and shops in the nearby city of Taguig. Bohemian Malate and the adjoining Baywalk contain a variety of venues serving a combination of food, comedy, alcohol and live music in Manila. Other nightlife clusters in the Metro are Eastwood, Araneta Center, and Timog all in Quezon City.

The introduction of American hip hop music has had a noticeable effect on Philippine night life, serving as the soundtrack to a high-spirited Manila youth culture. Many nightclubs now rival first-world standards both in terms of luxury and vibrancy.

Additionally, there are numerous venues in which to catch elements of an active Philippine alternative rock community. Some venues, such as saGuijo Cafe in Makati, have risen to some prominence.

Stay safe

Aside from pickpockets and cellphone-snatching, Manila is relatively safe for almost all tourists, especially Caucasian-looking people, and nowadays, Koreans. Tourists are expected to receive warm welcome from locals if they are somewhat connected to the locals (for example, your are married to a local, or you have a boyfriend/girlfriend who is a local).

Violent crime is quite evident in some parts of the metro, but this usually happens among locals, and tourists shouldn't worry a lot, since police visibility is very high, with frequent police patrol cars plying within Metro Manila, especially touristy areas.

Bag-snatching is also common, but of course, common sense will do good. This incidents are of less frequency to tourists compared to neighboring cities, notably Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, and most victims are locals.

Be also aware of stray dogs, but they are very very rare in Manila City proper and Makati CBD, and can only be seen in residential outskirts and non-commercialized suburbs of Metro Manila.


Metro Manila has a lot of hotels, inns and apartelles. Most of these accommodations can be found within Makati, Roxas Boulevard overlooking Manila Bay, or in the districts of Ermita and Malate. The choices listed below are about 20 to 30 minutes away from the international and domestic airport and have been aligned with the Manila and the Makati links of this website.

  • OUR MELTING POT, Unit 5-K, Azotea de Bel-ar Condo, Polaris St., Makati City, Philippines. ☎ +(632)812-6535 or mobile (63917)832-8539 c/o Lani, (63917)803-9428 c/o Kidz. A new, comfortable and friendly 7-bed & breakfast budget accommodation in the cozy central district of Old Poblacion (now Burgos area), Makati, Metro Manila. For only P750 for an individual overnight stay, the place is literally at the center of many things, less than 30 minutes from the airport, 10 minutes to the Ayala Center where you find the Glorietta and the Greenbelt Malls, close to the Metro trains, US$2-taxi-ride away from major tourist attractions, etc. It is a strategic take-off point to the prime tourist destinations of this country’s 7,107 islands. The backpackers joint comes with free internet access and common area for guests. It exudes a modern atmosphere and peaceful vibe, which closely complements the diverse character of the area, catering to various needs from mundane to spiritual, laid-back to upbeat, western to oriental.
  • GINHAWA, #100 K-6th Street, Kamias, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. ☎ +(632)441-0658 or mobile (63928)554-5825, (63915)3270457. Situated in the residential district of Quezon City, this place is not the usual accommodation for tourists, very accessible to public transportation and very affordable at the cost of P350.00/person for an overnight stay. Ginhawa, which in English literally means comfort or well-being, is a half-way house for itinerant beings searching for deeper meaning and broader perspective of the Philippines in their travel experiences thru cultural immersion and relational bonding with healers, transformation facilitators, environmentalists, student leaders and professionals. The house, which is some 15 minutes away from the premiere University of the Philippines, is also a well-maintained community center for integrative or complementary renewal and transformation work which draw from both eastern and western traditions, such as Reiki Healing, Dance Movement Therapy, Body-based Meditation, etc. A pick-up arrangement from the airport, anytime, anyday, can be arranged at a cost of P500 or roughly US $10.00 per person. The center’s service vehicle may also be used to bring the guest/s to the nearest Metro Station, upon prior arrangement with the guest house administrators.
  • MAKATI APARTELLE, 4411 Montojo St. near corner Chino Roces Ave. and Kalayaan Ave., Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Telephones +632-8974219 or +632-8973787 or +632-8974218. E-mail reservations or inquiries to Offers one-bedroom fully furnished units at PHP895/day for single or double occupancy in a three-storey building. Walking distance to food outlets, supermarkets and public transportation. One short jeepney or taxi ride away from the Makati Central Business District and the malls/nightlife of either Makati or Ermita, Manila. Patronized by Filipino and foreign guests. Each unit has an air-con, cable TV, refrigerator, 1 double bed (sleeps 2 people), living and dining room sets, private bath with hot shower,an intercom/telephone for free local calls, electric kettle, electric stove (upon request at extra charge),chinaware and kitchen utensils. Free WIFI at all floor lobbies. Linens and towels provided, daily housekeeping provided, utilities included. Extra bed can be provided upon request. All-female friendly staff. Very clean, safe and inexpensive. Maps and library available. Their website, for further information, pictures and location map, is
  • Green Mango Inn, 365 Aguirre Avenue (near El Grande Avenue & 7 houses from BPI Family Savings Bank), BF Homes, Sucat, Parañaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Telephones (24 hours) +632 -8208730 or +632-7102223 or +632-4151692. E-mail reservations or any inquiries to Nearest 4 airports, Metro Manila's only garden-style bed & breakfast guesthouse with charming colonial-style architecture and handmade mother-of-pearl "capiz" seashell windows. Free WiFi for your laptop computers, also affordable internet computer. Only P 300 Pesos each dorm bed with air-conditioning and and free locker, P 700 Pesos or P800 Pesos for each private room good for 2 persons. Owned by young traveller and multi-awarded writer to promote affordable but fun tourism. Hot & cold showers. All new rooms and facilities with international cable TV channels. Nice extensive library. Big clean guests' kitchen, elegant patio for dining room under giant Mango tree (eat free delicious mangoes if in season!) and also beside organic vegetable garden (you can eat fresh vegetables here), lounge & social areas in reception lobby and in the verandah with orchids and hanging plants on pillars and walls.
  • Friendlys Guesthouse, 1750 Adriatico St. Corner Nakpil St., Malate, Manila, Philippines, ☎ +63 (0)917 333 1418 (, [14]. Offers good clean accommodation aimed at backpackers and travelers. Hostel has large living areas, a big kitchen and free wi-fi. Their website (for further information) is Fan Dormitory - Php 290, Aircon Dormitory - Php 340, Single Bed / Big Bed Fan Rooms - Php 450, 500, 550, Big Bed / Double Deck Bed Aircon Rooms - Php800, Triple Economy Double Deck Aircon Rooms (sofa bed on bottom and single bed on top for 3 persons) - Php 900, Big Bed Aircon Rooms With Private Bath - Php 900. edit
  • Townhouse Hotel, #31 Villa Carolina Townhouse, 201 Roxas Boulevard cor. Bayview Dr., Tambo Paranaque, Metro Manila Philippines, ☎ +632-716-1262 (fax: +632-715-6358), [15]. Not the cleanest and located in a dilapidated area, but only 3km from the main nightlife district. They also have an extensive library & Friendly filipino staff. Best dormitory rates start at PHP180 (approximately US$4). edit
  • Windsor Inn, #1748 A. Maceda Street, Sampaloc district (across 7-11 store of Dimasalang Street), ☎ +632 7118679 & +632 7836781 & +632 4112311. 3-storey classical-style architecture mansion converted into an affordable inn in the heart of an ancient part of Manila called Sampalodc (Tagalog for "Tamarind") district, near the country's famous 24-hours fresh flowers market in Dangwa and almost next door to the La Loma area well-known as the "Lechon" or roasted pigs center of the Philippines with its lots of native Filipino eateries, next door to La Loma Cockpit for exciting blood sport of cockfighting, and not far from exotioc ancient Chinese Cemetery. Convenient for diverse nightlife and public transport including Light Rail Transit or LRT (Blumentritt Station), tricycles and all kinds of bus stations to major provincial destinations like Baguio City, Banaue Rice Terraces, Sagada and other places. All tourists going to Banaue Rice Terraces need to go to Sampaloc district to ride Dangwa or Autobus buses near Windsor Inn. It has perhaps the most affordable room rates in the city and friendly Filipino staff who speak good English. However, don't expect luxury here or any fancy stuff, despite the grand high-ceiling lobby and chandeliers in internet photos, this is just a plain and very simple budget inn just right for its price. Safety is assured by 24-hours security guard outside the well-lighted gas station and its lively neighborhood. Private Room in Windsor Inn is only P350 Pesos per night or less than US$7 dollars. edit
  • Hotel Indah Manila 350 A J Villegas Street, Ermita, Manila. Tel. No.: +63 (2) 536 1188 / 536 2288. This modest 76-room hotel is the ideal choice for practical travelers who demand clean and comfortable accommodation in an accessible location. Facilities include Café Indah and conference and function rooms. Comprehensive service suite includes airport and city transfers, tour assistance, and laundry service.
  • El Cielito Inn, 804 Arnaiz Avenue (formerly Pasay Road), Makati City, Metro Manila, ☎ +632-815-8951 (fax: +632-817-9610), [3]. Located in Manila's financial district of Makati City, El Cielito’s generous standard, deluxe, and superior rooms guarantee a cozy stay. Very close to the first-class Ayala Malls, this hotel is renowned for its budget rooms at bargain-basement prices. Best rates on official website start at US$33. edit
  • Saint Illian's Inn, 7461 Santillan Street, Pio del Pilar, Makati City 1230, ☎ +(632)893-0754 (fax: +(632)812-1998), [4]. Situated in the business district of Makati City, Saint Illian's Inn is a budget Makati hotel that is clean and efficient. Located along Santillan Street, a five-minute walk or so away from Makati Cinema Square, one of Makati City's many malls, and about 15 minutes away (by foot) from the two premiere Makati City malls, the Ayala Glorietta and the Ayala Greenbelt. Best rates on official website start at US$27.
  • A. Venue Hotel Suites Avenue Hotel Suites, Antel Lifestyle City, Makati Avenue, Makati City, Philippines, (632) 757.2615. A luxury hotel located right in the heart of Makati’s business district. It offers world class restaurants, function rooms, and comfortable accommodations. Starts at Php3,800.
  • Nichols Airport Hotel Quirino Avenue, Paranaque, Metro Manila. Nichols Airport Hotel provides comfortable air-conditioned accommodations with room service, airport and city transfers, and other travel-friendly services.
  • Nichols Airport Hotel Quirino Avenue, Paranaque, Metro Manila. Nichols Airport Hotel provides comfortable air-conditioned accommodations with room service, airport and city transfers, and other travel-friendly services.
  • The Legend Villas, 60 Pioneer corner Madison Streets,Mandaluyong City 1550, Philippines, ☎ (632) 633-1501 to 10, [16]. Best rates on official website start at US$50. edit
  • Binondo Suites, 801 Ongpin and S. Padilla Streets, Binondo, Manila, ☎ +632-736-6501 (, fax: +632-736-5783), [17]. Three-star Standard Business Hotel in the heart of Chinatown, Manila. Best rates on official website start at US$35. edit
  • CSB Hotel, Arellano Avenue corner Estrada Street, Manila, [18]. Four-star hotel near Taft Avenue, accessible to public transportation and tourist areas. Close to Central Business District. Known for its quality furnishings, terrific food, and value for money. edit
  • Garden Plaza Hotel and Suites, 1030 Belen Street, Paco, Manila, ☎ +632-522-4835 (fax: +632-526-2740), [19]. Strategically located in the heart of Manila, The Garden Plaza Hotel and Suites offers excellent proximity to all things exciting. The hotel is a daily witness to the Manila’s gorgeous sunsets and active nightlife. A short distance away is Malate and Ermita. At night, Manila’s main tourist belts are pulsing with life. Best rates on official website start at US$44. edit
  • Lotus Garden Suites Manila, 1227 A. Mabini corner Padre Faura Sts., Manila, ☎ +632-522-1515 (fax: +632-522-0768), [20]. Lotus Garden Hotel is a three star hotel now emerging to be one of the most preferred standard hotels in Manila, Philippines. Best rates on official website start at US$33. edit
  • Fersal Inn - Manila#1455 A. Mendoza Street corner Alvarez Street Sta. Cruz, Manila Philippines. Tel. No.: (632) 911-2161 loc. 148 DL: (632) 912-2691 discount hotel Manila - Official website of Fersal Inn-Manila in Manila, Philippines. Strategically close to the university belt, malls, shipping lines, night markets, and parks.
  • AIM Conference Center Manila (Accommodation in Makati), Buenavidez cor. Trasierra Streets, Legaspi Village, Makati City 1260 Philippines., ☎ +632 750-1010 (, fax: +632 751 7160 / +632 750 4459), [5]. Conference / Accommodation in Makati - AIM Conference Center Manila edit
  • Asian Mansion II Condotel Makati, 107 Dela Rosa Street, Legaspi Village Makati City Philippines, ☎ +632-844-9061 (fax: +632-844-9061), [6]. The Asian Mansion II Condotel Makati is an elegant property along De La Rosa Avenue, very near the Ayala Center that features better-than-average rooms with just the right mix of amenities, facilities, and services. Online reservation at best rates with instant confirmation start at $50. Best rates on official website start at US$45. edit
  • Asian Mansion II Condotel Makati, 107 Dela Rosa Street, Legaspi Village Makati City Philippines, ☎ +632-844-9061 (fax: +632-844-9061), [7]. The Asian Mansion II Condotel Makati is an elegant property along De La Rosa Avenue, very near the Ayala Center that features better-than-average rooms with just the right mix of amenities, facilities, and services. Online reservation at best rates with instant confirmation start at $50. Best rates on official website start at US$45. edit
  • BSA Mansion Condotel Makati, 103 Carlos Palanca St., Legaspi Village Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines, 1200, ☎ +632-812-2729 (fax: +632-812-2671), [8]. BSA Mansion Condotel's rooms are tastefully appointed and designed to integrate all the comforts of home. Location-wise, this hotel is walking distance to the Ayala Center, the city's major shopping and business mecca. Best rates on official website start at US$40. edit
  • BSA Suites, 108 Benavidez Street, Legaspi Village Makati City Philippines, ☎ +632 8841463 (fax: (632) 887-0513), [9]. Units at BSA Suites Serviced Apartments are uniquely furnished to offer functional and comfortable apartments complete with living, dining and kitchen facilities meeting the needs of both business travelers and leisure guests on short or extended stays. Best rates on official website start at US$40. edit
  • BSA Tower, 108 Legaspi St., Legaspi Village Makati City, Philippines, ☎ (632) 887-0147 (fax: +632 8841463), [10]. BSA Tower is elegantly designed to provide both business and leisure travelers with a relaxing stay in the country's central business hub. Best rates on official website start at US$56. edit
  • City Garden Hotel, 7870 Makati Avenue cor Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City, Metro Manila, ☎ +632-899-1111 (fax: +632-899-1415), [11]. This three-star Makati hotel along Makati Avenue is one of the more popular mid-range hotels, with excellent dining, sightseeing, and evening opportunities all in the area. Best rates on official website start at US$33. edit
  • Copacabana Businessman's Hotel, 912 Pasay Road, Makati City, Metro Manila, ☎ +632-844-8811 (fax: +632-844-6126), [12]. Guests who stay at the Copa Businessman's Hotel in Makati appreciate its convenient location in the heart of the Central Business District. This Makati hotel is in walking distance from major shopping centers and a vast choice of restaurants, entertainment centers and most especially, top business addresses. Best rates on official website start at US$59. edit
  • Makati Prime Tower Suites, Kalayaan Avenue corner P. Burgos St., Bel-Air Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines, ☎ +632-750-3010 (fax: +632-750-2982), [13]. A 110-room property located along bustling Kalayaan Avenue (Makati Avenue). Close to the Power Plant Mall and accessible to great Makati entertainment. Fully air-conditioned executive studios, one and two bedroom suites, and luxury penthouses available. Best rates on official website start at US$38. edit
  • Oxford Suites, Durban corner P. Burgos Street, Makati City, ☎ +632-899-7888 (fax: +632-897-7900), [14]. A 27-storey property located at the heart of the city’s Business & Entertainment district, the Oxford Suites are patterned after the emerging trend of boutique lodging found in Los Angeles and London. Best rates on official website start at US$50. edit
  • The Orange Place Hotel, 726-6712 / 726-6713, [6]. The Orange Place Hotel, a comfortably Indulgent hotel offers 23 comfortable rooms; standard, deluxe and family rooms. It includes hot and cold showers, cable TV and WiFi access which makes your stay a very pleasurable one. Its Home-like interior will make you feel like you never left home, but it affords you with everything you ever wanted your home to be. 312 Santolan Rd. corner J. Abad Santos, San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines. Rates start at PHP 1,570.  edit
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address