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General Information

Metro Manila

Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is located by the mouth of the natural harbor of Manila Bay. Metro Manila's circumferential highway is known as EDSA and has carried miraculous uprisings called "People Power." Together with the new Metro Railway Transit, EDSA links the major city hubs: Roxas Boulevard, rimming Manila Bay to Makati with her spiffy Ayala Center; Ortigas Center in Pasig where huge shopping malls are found; and Cubao in middle-class Quezon City. Makati, is the country's top business and financial center.

Points of interest

  • Malacañang Palace - The official residence of the President of the Philippines stands on the banks of the Pasig River , which snakes through Metropolitan Manila.
  • Rizal Park - This is Manila's chief landmark. The Rizal Monument enshrines the remains of national hero, Jose Rizal. Quirino Grandstand has been the inaugural site of several Philippine presidents, while nearby Manila Hotel is a historical landmark.
  • Intramuros - This 400-year old walled city was the site of early trade center long before the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines. When the city of Manila was founded by a Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Lepazpi in 1571 on the site of the old settlement, the city became the capital and seat of Spanish sovereignty. Threats of invasion by Chinese, Japanese, Dutch and Portuguese pirates prompted the construction of defenses consisting of high stone walls, bulwarks and moats. Thus, the city earned the name Intramuros, meaning "within the walls". Visit the museums where Intramuros memories are kept: Casa Manila near ancient San Agustin Church, the oldest church in the Philippines whose magnificent interiors include a museum of ecclesiastical art and the new Bahay Tsinoy (Chinese Filipino) Museum. The creativity of the Filipinos is showcased in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Coconut Palace and Cultural Center of the Philippines.
  • Fort Santiago - Is the military outpost guarding Manila for three centuries. It is now a park and the site of the shrine of Jose Rizal, the country's national hero.
  • Roxas Boulevard - Boasts of the world-famous sunsets of Manila Bay.
  • San Sebastian Church - One of the few churches in the world made of entirely steel.
  • American Cemetery and War Memorial - Remains of American and Filipino soldiers who fought side by side during World War II were buried in this beautifully-landscaped cemetery.

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