During the Brunei invasion of the Philippines, Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei captured Seludong, a village in modern-day Manila and renamed it Maynilà, a Tagalog term referring to the presence of the nila shrub. Maynila was a vassal state of Brunei, established to overpower the Kingdom of Tondo. The vicinity of Manila was once under the Kingdom of Tondo before it became a province of the Majapahit Empire, a Hindu kingdom in Java. Maynilà had been Indianized since the 6th century or earlier and had become partly Islamic and Hindu-animist by the 15th century.
In 1571, Spanish conquistadors arrived from Mexico, through the Pacific, and founded Manila in present-day Intramuros. Spanish missionaries soon Christianized the city and incorporated Tondo under Manila and then built some of the oldest churches in the country, including San Agustin Church. The colonizers renamed the area Nuevo Reino de Castilla, or New Kingdom of Castille, with a shortened name, Manila.
Manila became the center of Spanish activity in the Far East as it is the other end of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade route, linking Spanish America with Asia. Due to the central location in the Pacific sea trade routes, Manila received the moniker of the "Pearl of the Orient".
During the Spanish rule of Manila and the entire archipelago, there were local revolts, Chinese insurrections, massive pirate attacks, great earthquakes, Dutch raids and invasion attempts, including that of the British. Despite those disturbances, order would usually be restored and the city would return to the business of trade.
Manila was known for being the Philippine Cosmopolitan Capital. And also for the colorful jeepneys, Manila Bay sunset.
Top Landmarks & Tourist Spots
Intramuros, also known as the Walled City, is home to many old and grand churches like the Manila Cathedral, the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Manila and the San Agustin Church, the oldest stone church in Metro Manila and one of the four Philippine Baroque Churches inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Within Intramuros, one will also find Fort Santiago, an old fortification built nearly 150 years ago through Filipino forced labor. One will find a park with flowering trees, homing pigeons, and Dr. Rizal's cell before he was shot at by the firing squad at Bagumbayan, or Luneta. There are also horse-drawn carriages to take you around the Walled City.
Also known as Luneta Park, which is along Roxas Boulevard. From there, you can cross the street to Quirino Grandstand, where major events like inaugural of presidents and papal visits are held.
This is not your ordinary museum for the building itself is rich in history. It used to house the Philippine Congress before the House of Representatives moved out to Batasan Complex and the Senate transferred to the GSIS building.
Found along the bank of the historic Pasig River, it shows the long history of Chinese presence in the country long before the arrival of the Spaniards. Today, it is an important trade and business center, and a primary bargain shopping destination.
This church is found in Chinatown where Quiapo church, which houses the Nazareno, is also nearby.
University of Sto. Tomas
UST, which is found along España Avenue, is the oldest existing university in Asia. In terms of student population, it is the largest Catholic university in the world in a single campus.