History of Manila in Manila - Philippines
A tour of the Philippine capital will often take you to a lot of historical landmarks, and as fascinating as they are, an understanding of the history of Manila can give you even further insights and deeper perspectives.
Just how far back the history of Manila goes is a matter of conjecture and debate, but it is known that for a time the city served as capital of the Luzon Empire, ruled by one of the Song Emperors of China. In the early 1500s the Sultan of Brunei took over and turned Manila, specifically Tondo, as the capital. From the 16th century onwards, the city became subject to numerous Muslim Rajahs, most notably Rajah Sulayman, who presided over several components of the city. Eventually the warring communities became one, and the Kingdom of Manila was formed.
The next important turning point in the history of Manila occurred with the arrival of the Spaniards. The Governor General, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi alternately used diplomacy and force to try and subdue the city and make it a part of the colony. The struggle for control was eventually won by the Spaniards due to a combination of superior forces and also the breakup of the coalition between Rajah Sulayman and the other Muslim leaders in the area. By 1572, the city fell completely in Spanish hands.
The coming of the Americans in the late 1800s marked another important chapter in the history of Manila. Following their defeat of the Spaniards, the Americans and Filipinos became involved in some of the bloodiest battles in Philippine history. Eventually the US managed to occupy the city and country, and this would continue until the advent of the Second World War.
At the beginning stages of the war the Japanese took over, and it was not until the return of General MacArthur that Manila was freed and the country granted independence. Following the war and granting of independence, Manila began a period of reconstruction and today ranks as one of the finest exponents of Philippine progress and prosperity.
If you visit the city today, you can get a sense of the history of Manila through visits to some of its most hallowed historical landmarks, ancient buildings, and ruins. Trips to the museums will also allow you to gain insights as to the other vital events that took place.
The history of Manila is rich, complex and certainly captivating, and as your knowledge of the past increases, so will your admiration for this majestic metropolis.