Throughout the reign of the Spanish colonial government, Manila’s rich political, cultural and social history evolved in the enclave of Intramuros. However, throughout the almost 500 years of the country’s recorded history, the regions surrounding the enclave also served as critical, if not crucial to the development of the nation’s capital, lending invaluable services and products to the development of the entire region.
Surrounding the Intramuros enclave were districts such as Malate, Ermita, Pandacan, San Andres, Paco and Sta. Ana, while cross the Pasig River which is also considered as part of Manila even before were Binondo, San Miguel, Quiapo, Sta. Cruz, Tondo and Sampaloc.
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These districts provided the Intramuros enclave much of its supply and goods as well as laborers and other products critical to the development of the capital. Today, these districts are thriving communities and remains critical to the interweaving web of development for the entire city.
Today, the city is divided into six congressional districts for easy political identification. All these six districts are sub-divided into 100 zones and 897 barangays (the smallest political unit in the city). The old administrative 14 districts became 17 due to the redefining of congressional district boundaries. Tondo was divided into two – Tondo I which is the first congressional district and Tondo II, the second congressional district. Some barangays were separated from the then administrative districts of Sampaloc forming Sta. Mesa which is part of the sixth congressional district and some barangays of Sta. Ana comprising the area of San Andres which is now part of the fifth congressional district.