Overview of Manila

Geography of Manila

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The Philippines, Pearl of the Orient Seas, is known for its white sand beaches and hospitable people. It has one of the longest discontinuous coastlines in the world at 36,289 kilometers (22,549 miles). It has 186 individual languages, four of which no longer have known speakers. It is the only predominantly Christian nation in Asia. It is where three of the world's largest shopping malls are found. It is home to the jeepney, balut and world-renowned boxer Manny Pacquiao.

Manila, Pearl of the Orient and The City of Our Affections, is the capital city of the Philippines. The city is known as Maynila in the Philippines' native tongue and took its name from the Yamstick Mangrove, locally named nila. Maynila or "May nila" literally translates to "There is nila (here)". The Manila of present day is a top tourist destination in the Philippines. It continues to be a vibrant, ever-growing and ever-changing city.

Geography of the Philippines

The Philippines is an archipelago composed of 7,107 islands, of which only about 3,144 are named. It is located in Southeast Asia at the geographic coordinates of 13°00'N, 122°00'E. The country has a total land area of 300,000 square kilometers (115, 831 square miles) and has a population of roughly 93 million.

The Philippines is surrounded by bodies of water: Bashi Channel up north, the Pacific Ocean to the east, Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea down south, and West Philippine Sea (also known as South China Sea) to the west.

The country is only a few hours away by plane to Taiwan and Hong Kong in the north, Indonesia in the south, Malaysia and Singapore in the southwest, and Cambodia and Vietnam in the west.

The Philippines is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and has many volcanoes within its islands, several of which are still active. Mayon Volcano, an active volcano located in the Luzon province of Albay, has an almost symmetric conical shape making it a "perfect cone".

The highest point in the Philippines is the Mount Apo peak located 2,954 meters (9,692 feet) above sea level in Mindanao. The Cagayan River, with a length of 505 kilometers (314 miles), is the largest and longest river in the Philippines, traversing four provinces in northeastern Luzon. Laguna de Bay is the largest lake in the country with a surface area of around 911 square kilometers (352 square miles).

Regions or Major Cities in the Philippines

The Philippines is divided into three main island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Luzon is the largest island group located in the north followed by Mindanao in the south then Visayas at the center. These three main island groups are further subdivided into regions, the regions into provinces, the provinces into cities and municipalities. The cities and municipalities are in turn composed of the smallest units known as barangays.

  • Major cities in Luzon: Baguio, Manila and Puerto Princesa
  • Major cities in Visayas: Bacolod, Cebu, and Iloilo
  • Major cities in Mindanao: Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Zamboanga

Climate in the Philippines

The Philippines has a tropical climate with the wet season and dry season as the two distinct seasons in the country. The wet season brings moderate to heavy rainfall from June to November. This season also brings typhoons, the most recent of which was Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

The dry season brings little to no rain and cooler temperatures in the months of December, January and February. March to May are summer months with temperatures rising as high as 36.0°C.

Time Zone of the Philippines

The Philippines uses the UTC+08:00 time zone. Philippine Standard Time (PST) was established in May 2013 to synchronize time throughout the country in an effort to minimize habitual tardiness, culturally known as 'Filipino time'.

For current time and next change in time, refer here.

Geography of Manila

Manila is part of the National Capital Region of the Philippines and is the country's capital city. It is located on the eastern shore of Manila Bay with an area of 38.55 square kilometers (14.88 square miles) and a population of 1.65 million.

It houses the Malacañan Palace, the official residence and workplace of the President of the Philippines. It is also home to some of the most significant cultural and historical landmarks in the country such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the National Museum of the Philippines, Intramuros and Luneta Park.

Climate of Manila

Manila's climate is considered as tropical savanna. Its temperatures range from 20°C to 38°C with a high level of humidity all year round. The wet season from June to November brings heavy rains for short periods and occasional storms. The dry season comes with cooler temperatures and less rain.

For up-to-date weather information, consult Manila Weather.

Districts in Manila

Manila city is divided into 16 administrative districts which are composed of barangay clusters. Some of the major districts are listed below.

  • Binondo - This is the hub of trade and commerce in Manila, with businesses run by Filipino-Chinese. It is the oldest Chinatown in the world.
  • Ermita - This district serves as the civic center of Manila, housing the Manila City Hall and other government offices.
  • Intramuros - This district is known as the Walled City. Its name is a Spanish word translating to "within the walls". It is the oldest district in Manila and is also its historical center.
  • Malate - This district is the recreation and entertainment center of Manila with its various hotels, restaurants and bars.
  • Quiapo - This district is called the "Old Downtown of Manila" and is known for its bargain markets. It is home to Quiapo Church which holds the yearly Feast of the Black Nazarene having millions of devotees in attendance.
  • Sampaloc - This district is known as Manila's "University Belt" since it houses prominent universities such as Far Eastern University, University of the East and University of Santo Tomas, one of the oldest Catholic universities. It also houses the Dangwa flower market which sells cut flowers from all over the Philippines.
  • San Miguel - This district houses the Malacañan Palace as well as Mendiola Street, a well-known site for anti-government protests. It is also where San Miguel Brewery began, producing San Miguel beer, the most famous beer in the Philippines.

Update 9/06/2016

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