Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is located in the northern island of Luzon close to Quezon City. Quezon City was once the capital, from 1948 to 1976, and is actually the most populous city. Manila is the second most populated city with a population of 1,652,171. It is just under 15 square miles, making it one of the most densely populated cities in the Philippines and in the world. It is where the seat of the Philippine government is located.
The earliest known records of the city date back to the tenth century. It was known as the Pearl of the Orient because of its location in the Pacific as an important trade route. The city suffered devastating destruction during World War II but has since been rebuilt. It is now the center of education, headquarters to the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, and attracts more than one million tourists each year.
Manila has two international airports and a Light Rail Transit System of 11 different above ground train stations. There are also taxis, motorcycles with sidecars known as tricycles, and the most popular form of transportation known as jeepneys, which are jeep-like public utility vehicles. They have their roots from World War II with the surplus jeeps that were sold to the Philippines who painted them in bright native colors and began using them and producing them for family and tourist transportation.
The climate in Manila is cooler than other islands due to its more northern location closer to the Equator. Temperatures range from 68 to 100 degrees. The rainy season runs from May through the middle of December, and rains can average from 2 - 19 inches during this time.
Shopping is popular in Manila. The city’s largest mall is Robinson’s Place Manila, a seven-level shopping mall that contains over 330 shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities. Sports are also popular; basketball is the main sport. Baseball, football and billiards are also popular sports. The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila is where many sporting events are held, including track, football, baseball and tennis. Professional baseball is played at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium where Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig scored the first home runs.
Other attractions include Rizal Park located in the middle of the city. There tourists can enjoy the Museum of the Filipino People, the National Library of the Philippines, the beautiful Japanese Garden at Rizal Park, and the Rizal Monument.
Metro Manila consists of many other surrounding cities, including Pasay, Paranaque, Mandaluyong, Makati, Taguig, Pasig, Quezon City, and more. It is within just a 1-2 hours drive from other cities such as Cavite City, Tagaytay, Botangas, and even Angeles City.
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