History - The Philippines was one of the
most developed and prosperous countries after World
War II, but neighboring countries surpassed it when
corruption in the government took over. Now, the country
is slowly trying to make up for its losses through
foreign investors and overseas contract workers, and
the fact that majority of the locals can speak English.
Manila is the present capital of the Philippines,
and it is known as "The Pearl of the Orient".
It occupies a unique position in Philippine political
geography, for it is both a chartered city, and also
it fulfills the functions of a province for the four
cities and thirteen municipalities composing its metropolitan
area known as Metro Manila.
is known about Manila History during
pre-colonial times, except that Manila was a small
tribal area around the Pasig River. The name comes
from the words "may" ("there is")
and "nilad" (a type of plant that grew near
the Pasig). In the 14th century, three rajahs (Muslim
community leaders) governed the Manila area. They
were Rajah Sulayman and Rajah Matanda who ruled the
communities south of the Pasig River, and Rajah Lakandula
who ruled the community north of the river. Manila
was then the northernmost Muslim sultanate in the
islands. It held ties with the sultanates of Brunei,
Sulu, and Ternate in Cavite. When the Spanish explorer
Miguel Lopez de Legazpi came to Manila, the Spanish
missionaries he took with him rebuilt Manila after
a battle with Rajah Sulayman's troops.
The Spaniards then controlled Manila until the US
seized control during the Mock Battle of Manila Bay.
The two countries signed a treaty that Spain was to
hand over their control over Manila to the Americans
for the sum of $20,000,000. They staged a battle so
that the Spanish forces would save face while handing
over Manila and the other Spanish settlements to the
More Manila History. Although Manila
is currently a little rough around the edges, it is
struggling to return to its golden age. Despite some
evidence of bad governance and poverty, Manila is
irresistible to those who are interested in its rich
history and beautiful people.