The City of Manila reserves the copyright ownership to all information on this site. The copying, reproduction, duplication, distribution & downloading of texts, graphics, audio & photographs without the city government’s expressed permission is strictly prohibited and will be punished accordingly. Philippine Copyright © 2000-2001. All rights reserved.

A detailed geological study was conducted by Dr. Arthur Saldivar-Sali, a consulting engineering geologist, to delineate high and low seismic risk areas from a foundation engineering perspective. An extensive foundation drilling and soil tests of the Metro Manila area were conducted and based on the results of these tests, Metro Manila could be divided Into zones of varying vulnerability to ground-shaking induced by high intensity earthquakes.

The zonal classifications are defined by the types of soil or rock material present, the depth of the adobe bedrock (or thickness of the soil) which in turn controls the resonance of swaying of a structure, specially high rise building. The very high risk category is assigned to areas underlain by very thick layers greater than 15 meters) of soft clay or loose sand such as those found at the mouth of the Pasig River and Marikina River. Very low risk areas are those where the adobe bedrock is exposed or covered by no more than a couple of meters of soil.


Very Low Risk Zones
Low Risk Zones
High Risk Zones
Very High Risk Zones
Caloocan Pasy City South East Downtown Manila, Quiapo, Intramuros, Sta Cruz
East Sampaloc Marikina Binondo, Port Area
Malabon Pandacan Ermita Reclamation Area Along Roxas Blvd
Valenzuela East Marikina Malate Pasig
Novaliches .. Navotas Pateros
Quezon City .. South Marikina East Taguig
San Juan .. .. Coastal Town of the Marikina Valley Plain
Mandaluyong .. .. ..
Makati .. .. ..
Paranaque .. .. ..
This entry was posted on June 7, 2008.


Manila is strategically located on the eastern coast of the Manila Bay at the mouth of the Pasig River that runs on an east-west course through the center dividing the city into its northern and southern sectors. The City shares borders with seven other cities and municipalities in Metropolitan Manila: in the north by Navotas and Caloocan; in the northeast by Quezon City; in the east by San Juan and Mandaluyong; in the southeast by Makati; and in the south by Pasay.

The City of Manila has a land area of about 35,966,479.65 square meters based on the City Charter (Republic Act 409). The land area of Manila is expected to expand as reclamation projects are in the pipeline. However, the official city map prepared by the City Engineer’s Office estimated the total land area of Manila at 38,552,613.18 square meters, which include all reclaimed area along Manila Bay. The land area of Manila represents a mere 6.50 percent of Metro Manila’s land area of about 636 square kilometers.


Manila and the rest of the National Capital Region lie on a shelf, which has been essentially formed by a ridge of volcanic tuff to the west. Fluvial deposits of sand, gravel and clay bound the ridge. To the east of the ridge are similar deposits, transported by the Marikina River, topping a valley formed by downward and tilted fracture or fault. A good part of Manila is situated in swamps and marshes. Its proximity to the sea and major waterways makes it a strategic location for trade and commerce.


The city’s topography is relatively flat with some portions actually below the sea level so that during high tides, sea water goes about two kilometers inland along the Pasig River towards its source, the Laguna de Bay, a fresh water lake.


The physical make-up of Manila could be subdivided into two – the North Manila that is on the upper part of the Pasig River and the South Manila which is on the lower portion of the river. The Pasig River links the Manila Bay with Laguna de Bay, which has a total length of about 25 kilometers. About 2000 factories and 70,000 families in makeshift dwellings are situated along the banks of the river.

This entry was posted on April 12, 2008.


Among the six congressional districts, District VI has the highest population at 374,099 followed by District I at 364,965. The sixth district’s huge population is attributed to the residential use of land at Sta. Ana (183,306 population), Sta. Mesa (98,792 population), Pandacan (82,194 population) and San Miguel (21,267 population). The Tondo Foreshoreland project led to the conversion of land for utilities to residential use resulting in the growth of settlement areas beside the north harbor.

Districts III and V are the least populated congressional districts having a population of 198,777 and 195,995 respectively. Such can be attributed to the nature of land use in the area. District III which includes San Nicolas, Sta. Cruz and Quiapo is a highly commercial area while District V which encompasses San Andres, Malate, Intramuros and Port Area is host to institutions, transport facilities and utilities and some commercial activities.


Land Area (ha)
Number of Household
Population 1995
Population Density
I 5.64 74,451 364,965 64,710
II 3.46 46,987 224,679 64,936
III 6.23 42,925 198,777 31,906
IV 7.90 62,934 298,284 37,757
V 9.59 58,245 195,995 20,437
VI 5.48 77,939 374,099 68,266
Total 38.30 363,481 1,656,799 43,258
Source CDPO NSO NSO Computed

In terms of population density, District VI also ranks first at 68,266 persons per square kilometer followed by Districts I and II at 64,730 and 64,936, respectively. Districts III and V are also found to be the least dense in population accounting for 31,906 and 20,437 persons per square kilometer, respectively. (Tables 1 and 2)


Land Area (ha)
Number of Household
Population 1995
Population Density
Tondo I 5.64 74,451 364,965 64,710
Tondo II 3.46 46,987 224,679 64,936
Binondo .. 3,213 15,103 ..
Quiapo .. 5,720 25,177 ..
San Nicolas .. 8,817 39,594 ..
Sta Cruz .. 25,175 118,903 ..
District III 6.23 42,925 198,777 31,906
District IV 7.90 62,934 298,284 50,014
Ermita .. 2,148 6,823 ..
Intramuros .. 2,356 10,384 ..
Malate .. 9,481 81,033
Paco 13,105 63,463
Port Area 3,539 15,883
San Andres 46,550 220,549
District V 9.59 9.59 184,462 19,235
San Miguel 4,524 21,267
Pandacan 18,090 82,194
Sta. Ana 34,694 183,306
Sta. Mesa 20,631 98,792
District VI 5.48 77,939 286,767 52,329
TOTAL 38.30 363.481 363.481 363.481
Source CDPO NSO NSO Computed
This entry was posted on November 27, 2007.


Rizal Shrine

The restored shrine inside Fort Santiago houses Rizaliana items in memory of the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal spent his last few days here before he was executed on December 30, 1986. Among the objects exhibited are various books and manuscripts about the national hero; sketches, paintings, wood curvings and sculptures done by the hero; paraphernalia and souvenirs acquired during his several trips abroad and collections of colonial-style furnitures from his hometown in Calamba, Laguna.

Fort Santiago

tspot2Marks its entrance on the northwestern trip to Instramuros which started in 1571 and completed nearly 150 years later by Filipino forced labor. The pre-Spanish settlement of Rajah Sulayman was a wooden fort on the ashes of which was built the Spanish fortress which was Spain’s major defense position in the island. It looked out on the sea, towards which its canons were trained forward off pirates and invaders. Also known as the “Shrine of Freedom”, in memory of the heroic Filipinos imprisoned and killed here during the Spanish and Japanese eras. Partly rebuilt from the ruins of World War II, it is now a park and promenade housing a resident theaters for both traditional and modern plays.

San Agustin Church and Museum

tspot12The San Agustin Church and Museum which is a private museum under the supervision of the Augustinian Friars is housed inside the Old Monastery of the church. The collections include 26 huge oil paintings of saints, the Don Luis Araneta Collection of Antiques, the crypt where Philippine Notables are buried, leads to the refractory with its fine collection of colonial religious art, the Capitulation room where the Spanish surrendered to the Americans in 1898, the Sacristy which house antique carrosas, richly embroidered vestments, a wonderful Saint Michael and famous choir hand carved from Molave wood that dates back to 1614.


This entry was posted on August 28, 2006.


With not more than 2.5% growth rate in the last 25 years, Manila’s population is recorded at 1,654,761 in 1995. This makes Manila one of the ten most populous cities in the country. The population of Manila, which accounts for 17.51% of the total population of the Metropolitan Manila ranks second to Quezon City with 21.04%. Compared to the population of 1,598,918 in 1990, the City’s population increased by an average of 0.67% per annum (Table 5). The minimal growth in population seems to indicate that residents who have the means or find the city very crowded have moved to nearby areas like the CALABARZON in the South. This is reflected in the higher rate of increase during the same period by the so-called “subdivision municipalities” of Las Piñas, Taguig, Laguna, Cavite in the South and Marikina in the East.

With a population of 1,581,082 million and a land area of 38.52 square kilometers, Manila’s population density of 43,258 persons per square kilometer is almost 200 times the national and 2.9 times the NCR. It is estimated that some 150,000 migrants per annum are added to, the ever growing population of Manila.

The daytime population of the City, however, is about a million more because of transients and those who work in the City. The population mix represents almost all ethnic groups, from the Igorot of Benguet in the North to the Tausugs of Jolo in the South.

The suburbanization patterns may be highlighted by the fact that Manila’s share to total metropolitan population had steadily declined while the rest of Metro Manila’s population increased over the time periods. While Manila’s population increased from nearly 220,000 in 1903 to 1.65 million in 1995, it’s share of the total Metro Manila population declined from nearly 67% to about 17.50% for the same period. Statistics from the National Statistics Office (NSO) also show that Manila’s population grew steadily from 2.00% in 1903 to 6.4% in 1948. The population growth appears to level off from 1960 to 1970 until eventually declining to a negative 0.19% from 1980 to 1990 and to 0.67% from 1990 to 1995.


This entry was posted on August 6, 2006.


niladManila began as a small tribal settlement on the banks of the Pasig River near the mouth of Manila Bay. It took its name from a white-flowered mangrove plant – the Nilad – that grew in abundance in the area. Maynilad, or “where the nilad” grows, was a fairly prosperous Islamic community ruled by Rajah Sulayman, descendant of a royal Malay family.
On May 24, 1570, almost 50 years after Ferdinand Magellan – a Portuguese explorer under the service of the King of Spain – first set foot on these islands, a Spanish expedition under Marshal Martin de Goiti reached Sulayman’s settlement. Encountering resistance from the Muslim king, de Goiti retaliated by burning down villages and capturing the artillery. The following year, Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrived at the mouth of the Pasig River and claimed the islands in the name of the King of Spain. He established the “distinguished and ever loyal city” of Manila, proclaiming it as the capital.
Thus began almost 333 years of the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. The new city was encircled by double walls-Intramuros- and guarded by a fort- Fort Santiago. The Spanish kept to their enclave and sent out their missionaries and armies to conquer the countryside. In the suburbs or arabales like Tondo, Santa Cruz, Quiapo, Sampaloc and Malate, the indios-as the natives were called – lived and worked together with the mestizos (of mixed Filipino and foreign descent). The sangleys or Chinese merchants lived in the parian, a district which became part of the present Binondo.
In the 19th century, Spain’s colonies were racked by corrupt administration and internal disorder. Liberal ideologies fired the spirits of enlightened Manileños like Philippine national hero Jose Rizal who studied abroad and Filipino rebel leader Andres Bonifacio who read books on revolutionaries and philosophers. The seeds of revolution were thus sown in Philippine soil, and insurrection sprouted all over the countryside. By the late 1800s, Spain had lost control over the Philippines, and with her major defeat by the American fleet in the Battle of Manila Bay, totally relinquished her hold on the colony

But freedom would not come so easily, for the Filipinos eventually found themselves under their erstwhile ally, the Americans. Under the new conquerors, Manila spread out-wards, roads and bridges were built, and school taught the Filipinos Western culture and proficiency in a new language – English. Democratic processes were introduced; and neo-classical government edifices rose around the old city. But the outbreak of World War II soon halted all that.

For three years, the country chafed under the Japanese occupation. The end of the Pacific War left Manila in ruins but it also brought liberation and independence. In July of 1946, the Commonwealth government under Manuel L. Quezon declared independence.
The post-war years saw the reconstruction of Manila and its growth in area and population. Land was developed in areas now covered by the city municipality of San Juan. Subdivisions and residential villages flourished in Quezon City, Pasig, Pasay and Parañaque. Factories and industrial areas burgeoned in Caloocan, Malabon and Valenzuela. Adjoining municipalities of Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Taguig, Pateros and Marikina were developed and annexed. In 1976, a conglomeration of four cities – Manila, Pasay, Caloocan and Quezon City – and 13 municipalities was officially designated as “Metro Manila”.

Today, Metro Manila is also known as the National Capital Region – a thriving, ever enlarging urban sprawl covering about 630 square kilometers and harboring a population of about ten million.

This entry was posted on May 31, 2006.


andresbonifacioBorn the eldest of poor parents, Bonifacio at fourteen is shown working with his siblings in making and selling pans and canes
Bonifacio working as a messenger and later as a warehouse man

Reading books and attending the meetings of Liga Filipina

The founding of the Katipunan; rigorous recruitment, initiation and orientation of members; formalization of the membership of Emilio Jacinto and other revolutionaries at 314 Azcarraga St., Tondo Manila through blood compact.
Katipunan women sewing the new flag of the katipunan

The discovery of the Katipunan amidst printing press materials
The Cry of Pugad Lawin, signifying the start of the revolt; symbolized by the popular outcry and the tearing of their cedulas

Symbolic “Kalayaan at Kasarinlan” with the modern Philippine Flag; soaring flocks of birds embraced by the light rays from heaven.
The design and composition of the mural artwork is layered to provide openings for hidden light sources. The lights will be designed and used to render a theatrical effect. A layered arrangement also anticipates the need for electrical installments if a light and sound dramatization shall be programmed in the future.
The combination of brass material of the sculpture, with concrete and metallic colored tiles will give a distinctive effect. This will provide the bar-relief sculpture an internal drama with the interplay of light, shapes, planes and color.

All materials in this combination are tested and can withstand any natural weather conditions.

The location, base and surroundings shall be designed and constructed to enhance the aesthetic experience of the viewer, as it blends with the existing and future developments of the park.

The projected mural is to be located on an existing city court area (which is intended to be transformed to a historical park) at the back of Hospital St. facing the historic Manila City Hall at the entrance from Conception St., The position is ideal for everyday visitors to appreciate, and likewise provides a special venue for ceremonies and occasions. It can also be seen from the vantage point of the Mayor’s Office found on the second floor of Manila City Hall.

The base, with a reflecting pool on the front, planting boxes on its left and right is an integral part of the design. This gives the mural and the property the proper ambiance and protection.

This entry was posted on January 13, 2006.


Scarcity of land for urban housing appears to be the major problem in Manila together with other local government units in the metropolis. Residential use is estimated at 52% of the total land area and that low and middle income families are still in a quandary on how to provide for their housing needs.
Settlements have grown and proliferated along the railroad tracks, under the bridges, in government or private lots and properties and other danger zones such as esteros or creek, river or the bay area.

As in any other local government units in the National Capital Region, Manila is confronted with the ever growing problem of blighted areas due to the influx of migrants from the provinces and the unregulated growth of squatter population.

The National Statistics Office conducted their latest survey in 1995 dubbed as the Mid-Decade Survey. The last survey conducted of the physical structures of the city was in 1990. As shown in Table 11, single houses (137,273) and multi-unit residential dwelling units (107,160 are the most preferred type of housing in the city. The figures indicate that people are now open to accept the realities of modern urban living. Because of scarcity in land resources, the typical Filipino single dwelling units could no longer be implemented.

This entry was posted on April 4, 2005.


The Pro-Life Philippines and the Church Council for the Laity today vowed to continue the crusade to protect the rights of the “unborn” and assert he sanctity of human life.

In a joint statement, Pro Life Philippines chairman and Manila Mayor Lito Atienza and Church Council for the Laity of the Philippines president Jose D. Villanueva denounced the proposed House bill mandating a two-child policy as an attempt to curtail the right of couples to choose the number of children they want to have.

Villanueva described the proposed measure as a blatant transgression of the fundamental right of a family to decide in accordance with their faith and morals. “This is anathema to the Church and must never be an option in any population management program of the government.”

Atienza rejected the assertion of population control advocates, including some national leaders and economic managers, that poverty is caused by overpopulation.

“This warped thinking promotes the position that in order to eradicate poverty and achieve economic progress, a country’s population must be reduced and the government must provide incentives for couples that limit the number of children they will have,” Atienza pointed out.

Rather than population control, he said what is needed is to accelerate economic development by providing effective and responsible governance at the national and local level, creating more opportunities for people to be economically productive and pursuing pro-people to be economically productive and pursuing pro-people socio-economic policies.

“History shows that practically all nations that are progressive and wealthy at present started climbing the economic ladder while their populations were booming, and the same declined when their economies flourished. It is simplistic to say that a country is poor because it is overpopulated and therefore must resort to population control through artificial means, including, abortion, as a policy of government,” Atienza noted.

Atienza and Villanueva called upon religious sectors, national and local government officials, businessmen and religious laypeople to oppose any legislation that would threaten the sanctity of human life through so-called reproductive health and abortion-based population control programs.

Both expressed their firm belief that people are a country’s most important resource and can contribute to economic development if government, through effective leadership and good governance, would create opportunities for genuine people’s participation in national development and sustainable growth.

This entry was posted on December 21, 2003.


The provision of basic services in Manila is anchored on public investments, particularly on infrastructure projects. Transportation, water supply, electricity, flood control, telecommunications and other similar public utilities and basic services are the lifeblood of the city without which any city for that matter would succumb to its natural course.


The liberalization policy on telecommunication system opens the door for more investors in the industry. During the past years the telephone system in the City of Manila is being monopolized by the Philippine Long Distance and Telephone Co. (PLDT). PLDT has committed itself to a Zero backlog program aiming to serve 100% of Manila’s telephone demand by the year 1996, but miserably failed. Today there are several telephone companies who offer services. Other telecommunication systems that operate in the City are the cellular telephone, radiophones and pagers. Cellular are in season as GLOBE Telecom was able to come up with the concept of “text messaging”. Its competitors like SMART Telecommunications and NEXTEL are also catching up with the latest craze.


Publication is another popular communication medium which serves the City. Majority of the major publishing companies are located in Manila. These are the Bulletin Today, The Star Group of Companies, The Journal Group and the Manila Standard. These major published newspapers, aside from the tabloids and other magazines, are being circulated in the City as well as the rest of the country.


The City of Manila is being served by two concessionaires in the distribution of its water supply namely: Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (MWSI) and Manila Water Company (MWC) as a result of the privatization of the Metro Manila Waterworks & Sewerage System (MWSS). The coverage service areas of MWSI are Tondo, Sta. Cruz, Quiapo, Sampaloc Sta. Mesa, Pandacan Binondo, San Miguel Ermita, Malate, Intramuros and part of Singalong while MWC are Sta. Ana and part of Singalong.

The adequate and sufficient supply of water in the City of Manila is one of the more basic considerations attuned to the need for development. Water for industrial and domestic use must be made available in order to achieve the desired level of development.

Of the 3,895,799 meters pipeline for the whole NCR, 1.39% or 651,507 meters serve the City of Manila. The next table presents the pipe length by material of the National Capital Region (NCR) and the City of Manila. Almost half or approximately 46% of the pipelines in the City are of unverified materials due to the unavailability of documents.

The table below represents the estimated water requirements of the City in consonance with the projected population. As can be seen from the table, projected population will increase from 1.65 million in 1995 to about 1.91 million in the year 2012. Based on the historical actual consumption, estimated water supply requirement for the City for the year 2000 will increase to about 75.72 million gallons per day from the actual 72.07 million gallons per day in 1995. This figure will further increase to 85.67 million gallons per day by the year 2015.

This entry was posted on November 18, 2001.