Manila Bay - Philippines
It has a wide area (2000 square kilometers) where sea vessels of different sizes from the Philippine seas and from abroad can maneuver freely, yet its entrance from the South China Sea is a mere 18 kilometers wide. Manila Bay is like a basketball ring with a two-foot radius but with a gap of about 3 to 4 inches on one side. Thus, it is strategic and easy to secure.
Manila Bay is located west of the southern plains of Luzon bounded by the city of Manila, some towns of Cavite, and a portion of Bataan. Since the pre-Spanish era, Manila Bay has been acknowledge internationally as the strategic and appropriate gateway to the Philippines and known locally as the best exit point to other Philippine seas and abroad. This was way back the Galleon Trade with Mexico and the Asian exploration by sea-faring natives on small but swift sail-bancas.
The Spaniards were the first to use the naval potential of Manila Bay. At the point where the Pasig River emptied out into the bay and where Nilad plants grew wild abundantly, they built Intramuros or the Walled City of Manila. Intramuros was surrounded by formidable forts, one of which was Fort Santiago. Vessels coming into Manila from the international and Philippine Seas were held in abeyance and checked at the Manila Bay. The British Navy once tried but the Spanish Naval power at Manila Bay easily dispersed it.
Then the Americans came and defeated the Spanish army in the mock battle of Manila Bay where Commodore George Dewey allegedly demolished the Spanish fleet somewhere in the waters of Cavite. They also found Manila Bay strategic not only militarily but also for trade and commerce. Thus, the Philippine seas were soon the scenes of maritime commercial activities based in Manila Bay. Soon, too, the business districts in Binondo and Sta. Cruz Manila became more active.
The Japanese, in the 1940s, successfully invaded Manila despite joint Filipino and American efforts to secure Manila Bay, among other portions os the Philippine seas, especially at the point where the Bay mouth was secured from the Corregidor Island. But that same point, Manila Bay, was among the scenes where American liberation forces were most active four years after.
Today, to visit Manila Bay, simply roam along Roxas Boulevard in Manila to get a glimpse of it, especially its famous sunset. To get there, a cab ride costing about P150 from nearby Manila districts is all it takes.