Manila was a prosperous sultanate that had enjoyed close trading ties with China and other Asian trading nations for many centuries by the time the Spanish arrived in 1570. The sultan initially agreed to trade with the Spanish but declined to submit to Spanish sovereignty but by 1571 the natives were forced out and the town of Manila declared a Spanish colony. The name Manila was derived from a plentiful native scrub called Nila (Mas- Nila). Manila became a vital Spanish trading post linked to New Spain (Mexico) by the Manila-Acapulco galleon. The Spanish expanded their rule from Mania to the rest of the Philippine islands (named after King Phillip of Spain), but were beset by native and Chinese uprisings during the entire length of their reign over the islands.
The Spanish sold the Philippine islands to the Americans in 1898, following their defeat on the battle of Manila Bay. The Spanish influence can still be felt to this day, especially in the old Walled City of Intramuros with its Spanish Colonial churches and Spanish colonial architecture. The Spanish influence is also in the food (Paella, Lechon, etc) and in the Spanish contributions to the official language of the Philippines: Tagalog. The Japanese destroyed and occupied Manila during World War II, evicting the Americans for a few years during the war. The United States retook the Islands in 1944 after defeating the Japanese and returned them to self rule in 1946. Manila has grown into a thriving metropolis of over 19 million inhabitants, making it the most densely populated city on earth, with the largest shopping mall in Asia and over 100 city parks.
Manila, Philippine is served by Ninoy Aquino International Airport; international flights also land into Clark airport (50 Miles from Manila) and directly into the island of Cebu. Taxis are cheap and plentiful; you can also brave the colorful Jeepny local truck-bus, a symbol of the Philippines. For inter Island travel you can take one of the several domestic airlines including Cebu Air. Cheap flights to Manila will help you fly to the city for less. Metro Manila also has a subway.
Things To Do:
Visit the Old Walled City of Intramuros for its Spanish Colonial architecture and Churches. Check out the Manila Hotel, a charming colonial era hotel dripping in History, this was the hotel where General Douglas MacArthur lived before World War II. Visit the Luneta (Rizal Park), home of the best museums in Manila, several upscale eateries, fountains, landscaped greenery and jogging paths. Manila’s Chinatown is the largest in the world, a great place for walking, eating and shopping. Visit the Malacañang Palace, the residence of the Presidents of the Philippines, with beautiful gardens. Manila is the largest Christian center in Asia, with a very large collection of Spanish era churches. Use Manila as a base to explore Cebu, Boracay and other beach paradises on the Philippines Islands.
Renting a car is a perfect way to explore the city. There are plenty of car rental services in Manila that take you to the most exquisite tourist destinations.
Manila weather is usually hot and humid throughout the year. May is the hottest month of the year where the mercury can rise up to 83 degree F/ 28 degrees C. The months of November till February, Manila experiences a very pleasant weather. The climate is normally cool and breezy and this is the best time to visit Manila.
Manila has plenty of hotel accommodation options and the prices range from extremely high to mid-range to low budget. The Modern City, The Tourist Belt and The Historic City are few of the main areas in Manila, where maximum number of hotels, are located.