Geography in Manila - Philippines
Before the arrival of the Spaniards in the Philippines, Manila was the capital of a province whose territory covered the majority of Luzon and includes territorial subdivisions like Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Mindoro, Marinduque, Masbate and Pampanga. Later on, these subdivisions declared themselves as provinces, leaving Manila with its present territory (except Intramuros) and the northwestern part of the Rizal province.
The boundary of Manila from southwest to northeast includes Antipolo, Cainta, Taytay and Taguig and all of the areas located in the northern and western part of Manila. The towns of Angono, Morong and Teresa also share a boundary with Manila as well as the towns in the southern and eastern area in Laguna province.
Early in Manilas history, its name was changed to Tondo Province and it was known by that name for most of the Spanish occupation. In 1853, 4 pueblos of the Tondo Province merged with the towns of Laguna province in the northeastern area to make the military district Distrito de los Montes de San Mateo (District of the San Mateo Mountains). Tondo Province annexed the towns of Cainta, Antipolo and Taytay while Laguna contributed to the move the towns of Binangonan, Cardona, Baras, Tanay, Jalajala, Pililla, Morong and Angono.
In 1859, the district was renamed Morong District and Tondo Province was renamed Manila Province. When the Spaniards handed over the country to the Americans, a civil government was made. In the same year, Manila Province was dissolved by government officials. The pueblos of the Manila Province were absorbed by the newly created Province of Rizal.
The newly created charter for Manila clearly defined the citys territory and boundaries and allowed the city to absorb some of the towns of Rizal. But these boundaries were changed on January 29th, 1902 when Gagalangin was absorbed by Tondo and Santa Ana was changed into a district of Manila.
On July 30th, 1902, city board officials divided Manila into thirteen districts. Pandacan was also annexed as one of Manilas district on August 15th, 1902. During the Second World War, Manila was declared an open city and its boundaries expanded to neighboring municipalities and cities. It was named Greater Manila and included city districts like Bagumbayan, Bagumpanahon, Bagumbuhay and Bagong Diwa.
Quezon City was also dissolved and divided into two separate districts, while the area of Caloocan, Malabon, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasay, Paranaque, San Juan and Las Pinas became city districts of Manila. In 1948, Quezon City was recognized as the capital of the Philippines. But President Ferdinand E. Marcos returned the capital to Manila on May 29th, 1976 by Presidential Decree No. 940.
Presidential Decree 824 also declared Manila as the seat of the Philippine Government. At present, Manila is divided into 16 districts. Only a single district was not part of the original area-Port Area. Around 8 districts are located in the northern area of the Pasig River and 8 in the southern area of the Pasig River.
All of these Manila districts, except for the Port Area, have their own place of worship and majority of these districts have achieved recognition in their own right. Intramuros is a historic and old enclave in Manila where a lot of tourists visit to learn about the history of the country. Binondo is Manilas Chinatown. Tondo is considered to be the densest area in Manila in terms of its big population and land area.
Dr. Jose Rizal, a Philippine National Hero, was interred at Paco Park. Then there are the areas of Malate and Ermita which are popular entertainment districts, offering numerous bars, eating establishments, hotels as well as shopping areas. The districts of Pandacan and San Miguel play host to the Malacanang Palace.