Manila, Luzon, the Philippines, Asia

Founded: 1571; Combined into metropolitan Manila: 1975
Location: Eastern shore of Manila Bay in Southwestern Luzon, the Philippines, Southeast Asia
Time Zone: 8 PM in Manila = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: Mostly Tagalog group, with approximately 6% Chinese
Elevation: 51 feet
Latitude and Longitude: 14°50′ N, 121°E
Coastline: Manila sits in the coastal lowlands of Manila Bay, and is divided into southern and northern districts by the Pasig River.
Climate: warm and humid most of the year. Rainy season is May through November.
Annual Mean Temperature: 25° C (77° F) ; May average daily high 35° C (95° F)
Average Annual Precipitation: 81.3 inches (208.5 cm), falling mostly between May and November
Government: Mayor, Vice-Mayor, 36 elected Councilors
Weights and Measures: Metric System
Monetary Units: Philippine Peso (P) = 100 centavos
Telephone Area Codes: 02 (city code for Manila); 63 (country code for the Philippines)
Postal Codes: Rarely used in the Philippines

2. Getting There

Metropolitan Manila is located in the southern region of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines, an archipelago nation comprised of more than 7,000 islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer. Manila sits in the coastal lowlands of Manila Bay and is divided into southern and northern districts by the Pasig River.


The major routes into Manila are Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (ESDA), the South Super Highway, the C-5 Highway, and the ESDA-North Diversion link.

Bus and Railroad Service

Good public transportation is available in Manila. Several major bus companies provide transportation into the city from the outlying areas; bus terminals are located throughout the Metro area. Those closest to downtown Manila are at Plaza Lawton (also known as Liwasang Bonifacio) and in Pasay City, on the ESDA near Taft Avenue. There are train depots in Paco and Makati districts, and commuter trains running north-south during rush hours.

Manila Population Profile

City Proper

Population: 1,876,194
Area: 38.3 sq km (14.94 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 94% Christian Malay; 6% Chinese
Nicknames: The Pearl of the Orient

Metropolitan Area

Population: 7,832,000
Description: Includes Manila, plus seven other cities and nine towns
Area: 636 sq km (248.04 sq mi)
World population rank1: approx. 25
Percentage of national population2: 24.6%
Average yearly growth rate: 3.1%
Nicknames: Metro Manila


  1. The Manila metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
  2. The percent of the Philippines's total population living in the Manila metropolitan area.


Manila is the main entry point into the Philippines for international travelers. International flights and many domestic flights land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Paranaque, which is on the southern edge of Metropolitan Manila. Manila Domestic Airport also services domestic flights within the Philippines. Limousine services, public buses, taxis, hotel shuttles, and car rental firms service both airports. Carriers with service to Ninoy Aquino International Airport include Northwest, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and PAL (Philippine Air Lines), the national carrier of the Philippines.


Although Manila is a major Asian seaport, international travel to Manila by boat is very difficult to arrange. Regular passenger boat service exists between Manila and other Philippine ports.

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

The Light Rail Transit provides safe, fast transportation on an elevated railway. It has a limited number of stops, running from Caloocan City south to Baclaran in Pasay City. Currently most stops are in Manila, but more stations are under construction. The Light Rail runs between 4 AM and 9 PM at a fare of P5.


Hotels and travel agencies in Manila offer sightseeing trips by bus. A refitted tanker called the Tennessee Walker provides nightly dinner cruises of Manila Bay. The Department of Tourism can provide English, Spanish, Japanese-speaking guides, as well as guides in other languages.

7. Government

The government of the city of Manila is under an umbrella government called the Metropolitan Manila Authority. The Authority governs all the towns and cities that make up Metropolitan Manila. The city government consists of an elected mayor and vice-mayor, along with 36 elected councilors.

22. For Further Study


Manila Bulletin. [Online] Available (accessed January 21, 2000).

Manila Times. [Online] Available (accessed January 21, 2000).

Government Offices

Mayor's Office
(02) 527-4991

City Press Office
(02) 527-0909

Director, Public Recreation Bureau
(02) 524-8157

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Department of Tourism Office, Manila
TM Kalaw Street
Ermita, Luzon
The Philippines
(02) 523-8411


268 Atlanta

Ang Pahayagang Malaya (Freedom Newspaper)
202 Railroad and 13th Street
Port Area

Ang Pilipino Ngayon
(Philippines Today ; in Filipino)
202 Railroad and 13th Street
Port Area

China Town News (in Chinese)
652 St. Tomas Street

Financial Times of Manila
Times Journal Building
Railroad and 19th Street

Malaya (Freedom)
C. C. Castro Building
Tomog Avenue

Manila Bulletin
Corner of Muralla and Recoletos
P. O. Box 769

Manila Chronicle
371 Bonifacio Drive
Port Area

Manila Standard
Elizalde Building, 4th Floor
Ayalda Avenue

Manila Times
30 Pioneer Street

People's Bagong Taliba
Times Journal Building
Railroad and 19th Street
Port Area

People's Journal
Times Journal Building
Railroad and 19th Street
Port Area

Philippine Daily Inquirer
YIC Building, No. 1006
Romualdez Street
UN Avenue

Philippine Star
202 Railroad and 13th Street
Port Area

Philippines Times Journal
Times Journal Building
Railroad and 19th Street
Port Area

United Daily News (in English and Chinese)
812 Benavides Street


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