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Posted by motoman 03/02/2009 @ 15:36

Tags : manila, philippines, asia, world

News headlines
David and David wrapped up in swine flu precautions in Manila - Seattle Times
Looks like Philippines health officials are really trying to make sure they keep the swine flu epidemic from reaching their country. According to press reports, "It took almost three hours to persuade the celebrities [David Cook and David Archuleta] to...
San Miguel to Control 43% of Meralco Votes, Back Chairman - Bloomberg
By Ian Sayson May 13 (Bloomberg) -- San Miguel Corp. said it will control at least 43 percent of votes at this month's shareholder meeting of Manila Electric Co., the Philippine power producer that's been the focus of takeover speculation for more than...
Manila sees 2009 growth high end of target - Forbes
By Karen Lema MANILA, May 13 (Reuters) - The Philippines' central bank governor said on Wednesday the country may hit the high end of its 3.1-4.1 percent growth target this year as a sharp decline in the country's exports had started to ease in March....
P12M worth of illegal drugs seized in Manila -
By Niña Catherine Calleja MANILA, Philippines—Police confiscated P12 million worth of illegal drugs and arrested three suspected dealers, including a Chinese national, in a buy-bust operation in Binondo, Manila on Wednesday, the National Capital Region...
Manila's PSALM sets roadshow for bond of up to $1 bln - Forbes
By Karen Lema MANILA, May 13 (Reuters) - Philippine state agency PSALM will start a roadshow from Thursday to drum up investor interest in a planned global bond offer of up to $1 billion, a senior central bank official said. Two other banking sources...
Carjackers active in Metro Manila - GMA
MANILA, Philippines - Car thieves steal an average of three cars a day around Metro Manila, prompting authorities to advise motorists to equip their vehicles with anti-theft devices. According to a report aired on primetime TV news 24 Oras,...
Manila's Jollibee Q1 net income up 17.1 pct on yr - Reuters
MANILA, May 14 (Reuters) - Three months ending March 31, 2009. (in million pesos unless stated) Net income 562 vs 480 Revenue (billion) 11.33 vs 9.99 System-wide retail sales (billion) 15.07 vs 13.24 Earnings per share (basic, pesos) 0.55 vs 0.47 Note:...
Manila dads allow 'Big 3' to keep Pandacan depot - ABS CBN News
The Manila City Council has passed a zoning ordinance allowing the "Big 3" to keep their oil depot in Pandacan district. Twenty-two out of 32 councilors voted in favor of Ordinance 7177, authored by Councilor Arlene Koa, which amends Ordinance 8119 or...
Lim hints at acceptance of new zoning ordinance - BusinessWorld Online
BY LOUELLA D. DESIDERIO and IRA P. PEDRASA, Reporters Mayor Alfredo S. Lim on Friday strongly hinted that he would accept an ordinance approved by the city council of Manila that would allow all medium and heavy industries — including the Pandacan oil...
San Miguel eyes $800 million from packaging IPO, beer unit - Reuters
MANILA (Reuters) - San Miguel Corp (SMC.PS) wants to raise $800 million from the sale of its overseas beer operations and a public offering of up to 14 percent of its packaging unit, its president said on Wednesday. The Philippine conglomerate wants to...

Manila massacre

Slain children in the ruins of Manila

The Manila massacre refers to the February 1945 atrocities conducted against Filipino civilians in Manila, Philippines by Japanese troops during World War II.

To avoid needless violence and civilian deaths, and also to preserve as large a force as possible to continue defensive operations in rural Luzon, Japanese Imperial Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita had ordered a complete withdrawal of Japanese troops from Manila. However, 19,000 marines under Vice Admiral Sanji Iwabuchi disobeyed Yamashita's orders and remained in Manila along with some IJA stragglers.

Various credible Western and Eastern sources agree that the death toll was at least 100,000 people. The massacre was at its worst in the Battle of Manila. During lulls in the battle for control of the city, Japanese troops took out their anger and frustration on the civilians caught in the crossfire. Japanese troops brutally looted, burned, executed, decapitated and abused women, men and children alike, including priests, Red Cross personnel, prisoners of war and hospital patients. Manila was called the "Warsaw of Asia".

The Manila massacre is one of the several major war crimes committed by the Imperial Japanese Army as judged by the postwar military tribunal. Although General Yamashita had ordered all Japanese forces under his command to withdraw from Manila, and had no control over those who chose to disobey his orders, he was nonetheless judged to be responsible and executed.

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Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila

The façade of the Basilica Minore de Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno in Quiapo, Manila

Auxiliary Bishop , S.D.B, D.D.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila or Archdiocese of Manila is a particular church or diocese of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. It is also considered as the primal see of the country.

The original Diocese of Manila, the precursor to the most powerful archdiocese in Asia was canonically erected on February 6, 1579 encompassing all of the Spanish colonies in Asia and originally was a suffragan of Mexico. Over the course of Philippine history and the growth of Catholicism in the region, the Archdiocese of Manila had carved new dioceses from its territory.

On August 14, 1595, Pope Clement VIII raised the diocese to the status of an archdiocese and created three new dioceses as suffragan to Manila: Nueva Caceres, Nueva Segovia, and Cebu. With the creation of these new dioceses, the territory of the Archdiocese was reduced to the city of Manila and the ten civil provinces in proximity to it, namely: Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Bataan, Zambales, and Mindoro.

On April 10, 1910, the province of Mindoro was established as an independent diocese by virtue of a Decretum Consistoriale executed by Pope Pius X, implementing the Bull “Quae Mari Sinico” of Pope Leo XIII. Also on that date saw the creation of the Diocese of Lipa (now known as the Archdiocese of Lipa) which had jurisdiction over the provinces of Batangas, Quezon Province, and some parts of Masbate.

Eighteen years later, on May 19, 1928, Pope Pius XI established the Diocese of Lingayen, dividing Manila and Nueva Segovia. In this division 26 parishes were separated from Manila.

On December 11, 1948, the Apostolic Constitution, “Probe noscitur” further divided the Archdiocese of Manila by separating the northern part of the Archdiocese and establishing it as the Diocese of San Fernando. On November 25, 1961, the Archdiocese of Manila was divided once more. The civil provinces of Bulacan in the north and Cavite in the south were separated from the archdiocese, the northern part becoming the Diocese of Malolos and towards the south the Diocese of Imus.

The eastern part of the province of Rizal was excised from the Archdiocese of Manila on January 24, 1983. Fifteen towns and two barangays were separated from Manila to form the Diocese of Antipolo.

In 2002, two more dioceses were carved out of the Archdiocese of Manila. These are the Diocese of Novaliches in the north and the Diocese of Parañaque in the south also comprising the cities of Las Piñas and Muntinlupa.

In 2003, by the recommendation of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin and by papal decree of Pope John Paul II, the Archdiocese was further subdivided to form three new dioceses: the Dioceses of Cubao, Kalookan and Pasig.

The Archbishop of Manila's see is located in the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, under the patronage of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The Archbishop of Manila is also the metropolitan bishop of several suffragan archdioceses and dioceses as well as the Primate of the Philippines.

After having been served by a single residential bishop, 19 Archbishops of Manila appointed from Spain served the archdiocese. In 1903, the Archdiocese of Manila received its first archbishop from the United States as appointed by the Holy See. Following the tenure of Archbishop Jeremiah James Harty from St. Louis, Missouri, an Irishman was appointed in succession. On September 6, 1916, Michael J. O'Doherty was received by the Filipinos.

Archbishop O'Doherty would lead the Church in the Philippines in its most difficult times. Filipinos had seen years of petitioning for independence from the United States and then the Japanese attacked Manila on December 8, 1941. The Philippines would become subject to Imperial Japan during World War II through 1945. The Philippines gained its full sovereignty with Archbishop O'Doherty leading the nation through spiritual thanksgiving.

When Archbishop O'Doherty died, the Vatican chose the first Filipino to become Archbishop of Manila. Fr. Gabriel Reyes was already serving as Coadjutor Archbishop of Manila before being raised to the position. His successor, Archbishop (later, Cardinal) Rufino Jiao Santos, became the first Filipino to become a cardinal in consistory.

Archbishop Jaime Lachica Sin became the most recognized Archbishop of Manila worldwide when he challenged the authoritarian regime of Ferdinand Marcos. Becoming only the third Filipino cardinal created in consistory, Archbishop Sin was credited as one of the architects of the 1986 People Power movement that forced the dictator into exile.

Currently, the see of the Archdiocese of Manila is held by Gaudencio Borbon Cardinal Rosales. He is currently assisted by two auxiliary bishops.

The archdiocese is considered to be one of the wealthiest archdioceses in the world, and the wealthiest in the Philippines. It has a considerable number of real estate holdings located in Metro Manila and financial interests in some institutions, even after the division of its territories in the past few years. For one, the archdiocese owns 8.5% of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, the Philippines' second largest bank and has shares in San Miguel Corporation, Southeast Asia's largest food and beverage company. The archdiocese also owns schools, hostels, charitable institutions and a travel agency.

As of 2004, the Archdiocese of Manila has registered a total of 2,719,781 baptized Catholics. The faithful are served by the archdiocese's 475 diocesan and religious priests - with a ratio of 5,725 Catholics per priests, under 85 parishes. The archdiocese also houses 369 male religious and 1,730 female religious engaged in various social, pastoral and missionary works in various areas of the archdiocese.

The archdiocese operates San Carlos Seminary, which is responsible for the formation of future priests for the archdiocese and for its suffragan dioceses. Located in Makati City, it has collegiate- and theologate-level formation houses as well as formation houses for Chinese Filipino future priests (which is the Lorenzo Mission Institute) and a center for adult vocations (Holy Apostles Senior Seminary). The seminary offers civil and ecclesiastical degrees in philosophy, theology and pastoral ministry.

The archdiocese also operates Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary, a seminary for young men in the secondary school level. It is located a few blocks away from San Carlos Seminary.

Other major seminaries that serve the spiritual and pastoral needs of the archdiocese include the San Jose Seminary (under the administration of the Jesuits, located within the Ateneo de Manila University complex) and the UST Central Seminary, the Royal and Pontifical Interdiocesan Seminary of the Philippines, (under the administration of the Dominicans, located within the University of Santo Tomas campus).

The official residence of the Papal Nuncio to the Philippines is located within the archdiocese, although the nuncio is not subject to the authority of the archbishop. The present papal nuncio is Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, who is also the concurrent dean of the diplomatic corps in the Philippines by virtue of local diplomatic protocol.

The Filipino Catholic TV Channel that Leading You to the Fullness of Life! watch us at Global Destiny Cable Channel 93, Dream Satellite Channel 21, Unicable (Cebu City) Channel 17, and on ASAP Cable (Tagudin) Channel 13. TV Maria is now being made available to all Participating Cable Stations.

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Metro Manila

Satellite image of Metro Manila and Manila Bay

Metropolitan Manila (Filipino: Kalakhang Maynila, Kamaynilaan) or the National Capital Region (NCR) (Filipino: Pambansang Punong Rehiyon) is the metropolitan area of the city of Manila, the national capital of the Philippines. Its residential population as of August 2007 Census is 11,553,427. Including suburbs in the adjacent provinces (Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan) of Greater Manila, the population approaches 20 million. Metro Manila is one of the two defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines, the other being Metro Cebu.

In 2005, it ranked as the 42nd richest urban agglomeration in the world with a GDP of $108 billion according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Metro Manila is expected to climb to the 30th spot by 2020 with a GDP of $257 billion and an annual growth rate of 5.9%.

As proclaimed by Presidential Decree No. 940, Metro Manila as a whole is the Philippines' seat of government although only the City of Manila is the capital.

Metro Manila is situated on an isthmus bounded by Manila Bay to the west and Laguna de Bay to the south-east and divided by Pasig River that links the two bodies of water. The city lies on a wide flood plain that is one of the biggest in the country. The area is bounded by Bulacan to the north, Rizal to the east, Laguna to the south and Cavite to the southwest.

Metro Manila is the general term for the metropolitan area that contains the city of Manila, as well as sixteen surrounding cities and municipalities. The name "Metro Manila" came about and was generally adapted in the 1980s as previously, cities which are now part of the MM area were part of the neighbouring provinces. Metro Manila is the political, economic, social, and cultural center of the Philippines, and is one of the more modern metropolises in Southeast Asia. It is much more economically developed compared to the other major cities in the country. Among locals, particularly those from central Manila and those in the surrounding provinces, Metro Manila is often simply referred to as Manila; however locals from other parts of the metropolis may see this as offensive, owing to city pride and also the fact that some cities are actually geographically closer to the neighboring provinces than to Manila itself. Metro Manila is often abbreviated as M.M.. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is a governing body which is made up of the cities and municipalities in the area, located in Makati City.

Metro Manila is the smallest of the country's administrative regions, but the most populous and the most densely populated, having a population of 11,553,427 (2007 census) in an area of only 636 square kilometers. It is also the only region without any provinces, instead being subdivided into 17 local government areas, with 16 cities and one municipality.

The term Metro Manila should not be confused with the metro rail system of the region, and the word metro itself always describes the metropolitan area (as in the metro). The railways are called by their abbreviations, such as the LRT and the MRT, also known as Light Rail Transit and Metro Rail Transit, respectively.

On paper, Manila is the designated capital and seat of the Philippine government, but in practice, the seats of government are all around Metro Manila. The executive and administrative seat of government is in Manila, so is the judiciary. The upper house of the legislature (Senate of the Philippines) is in Pasay City, and the lower house (House of Representatives of the Philippines) in Quezon City.

Manila was first founded in June 24, 1571 by three Spanish conquistadors, led by Martín de Goiti, Juan de Salcedo and Miguel López de Legazpi. In 1867, the Spanish Government of the Philippines founded the municipalities and territories south of the District of Morong in Nueva Ecija, north of the Province of Tondo and Imperial Manila, and isolated these from their mother province-Nueva Ecija. The Government created the Province of Manila composed of the Province of Tondo to the south and the isolated territories of Nueva Ecija to the north. The parts of Tondo were Navotas, Malabon, and Caloocan; and the parts of Nueva Ecija were Mariquina, Balintawak, Caloocan, Pasig, San Felipe Neri (presently called Makati), Las Piñas, what had been known as Paranaque, and Muntinlupa were combined to form the Province of Manila. The capital of the Province was Intramuros, then itself called and considered to be Manila, a walled city located along the banks of Pasig River and Manila Bay in the present Manila.

In 1897, while the Imperial City of Manila is being prepared for industrialization, most houses in Tondo were demolished to give way to railroad construction. One of those whose house was demolished was Andres Bonifacio, the founder of the Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalangan, Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (Supreme and Revered Union of the Children of the Nation) or KKK, a secret organization which aimed towards independence and self-governance away from the Spanish government. In 1896, the Cry of Balintawak was initiated, an event which denounces the Spanish authority by tearing their cedulas or residence tax slips. On December 30, 1896, Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero, was executed by the Spanish government in Bagumbayan, an execution site near Intramuros. This event led to the Filipino uprising against Spain. Likewise, The Province of Manila was the 8th and last Province to revolt against Spain paving the establishment of the Federated Philippine Republics (composed of Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite and Manila). The Province remained in existence until 1901, when its territory was subdivided by the Americans.

In 1901, the Philippine Assembly created the City of Manila composed of the Municipalities of Ermita, Intramuros or Imperial City of Manila, Tondo, Santa Cruz, Sta. Ana, San Nicolas, San Miguel, Paco, Port Area, Pandacan, Sampaloc, Quiapo, Binondo, Malate, Sta. Mesa and Singalong. Some Assemblymen included the municipalities of Caloocan, Marikina, Pasig, Parañaque, Malabon, Navotas, San Juan, Makati, Mandaluyong (San Felipe Neri), Las Piñas, Muntinglupa and Taguig-Pateros to a new province named Rizal. The capital of the province was Pasig.

In 1941 as an emergency measure, President Manuel L. Quezon created the City of Greater Manila, merging the city and municipal governments of Manila, Quezon City, San Juan del Monte, Caloocan, etc. and appointing Jorge Vargas as Mayor. Existing mayors of the included cities and municipalities served as vice-mayors for their areas. This was in order to ensure Vargas, who was Quezon's principal lieutenant for administrative matters, would have a position of authority that would be recognized under international military law. There were doubts if the Japanese Imperial Army poised to occupy Manila would recognize the authorities of members of the Quezon cabinet. The City of Greater Manila was abolished by the Japanese with the formation of the Philippine Executive Commission to govern the occupied regions of the country. As an administrative concept, however, the City of Greater Manila served as a model for Metro Manila and the position of Metro Manila governor established during the Marcos administration.

In 1975, owing a great respect to the history of Manila, President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree 824, creating the Metropolitan Manila Area. The site of the old province of Manila can no longer be used for agricultural purposes and therefore the term 'province' is not applicable. The decree seceded the 12 municipalities and 3 cities of Rizal, the municipality of Valenzuela in Bulacan and Manila. The Metropolitan Manila Commission is created to administer the emerging metropolis. Marcos appointed his wife Imelda Marcos as governor of Metro Manila.

In 1986, after a major government reorganization, President Corazon Aquino issued Executive Order No. 392 and changed the structure of the Metropolitan Manila Commission and renamed it to Metropolitan Manila Authority. Metro Manila Mayors chose from themselves as chair of the agency.

In 1995, through Republic Act 7924, Metro Manila Authority was reorganized and became the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. The chair of the agency is appointed by the President and should not have a concurrent elected position such as mayor.

Metro Manila is located at 14°40' N 121°3 E. The metropolitan area lies entirely on a swampy isthmus with an average elevation of 10 metres. Manila Manila Bay lies to the west and Laguna de Bay to the south-east. It is bordered by the provinces of Bulacan to the north, Rizal to the east, Cavite to the south-west and Laguna to the south.

Metro Manila's primary waterway is the Pasig River, which bisects the isthmus. It originates in Laguna de Bay, marking the borders between Makati City and Mandaluyong City, as well as between Pasig City and Taguig, then passing through Manila before draining into Manila Bay. The river is severely polluted from municipal waste.

Metro Manila does not have collective political power. The highest political division are the sixteen cities and the Municipality of Pateros which have political power independent from each other. Each is governed by a mayor who belongs to the Metro Manila Mayor's League, which is part of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

1 Includes barangays disputed between Makati and Taguig cities.

Unlike other regions which are divided into provinces, Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) is divided into four nonfunctioning districts, which are grouped according to geographical basis in reference to the Pasig River. These districts were created in 1976 but have no local government and no congressional representation, in contrast to that of the provinces. These districts are used mostly for fiscal and statistical purposes.

The cities and Pateros are independent from each other politically but several services such as traffic and flood control are handled collectively by the MMDA under the Office of the President.

Metro Manila is also a judicial region; as such, all regional trial court judges can be stationed anywhere within the region.

Metro Manila (statistically designated as the National Capital Region or NCR) is the financial, commercial and industrial center of the Philippines. It accounts for 32% of the Philippines' GDP; around US$124 billion (PPP) in 2007. It has a third of the country's bank offices but over two thirds of its deposits.

The GDP of Metro Manila reaches $178 billion if calculated by Demographia's estimated total population of 19,150,000 and the average $9,347 GDP per capita of the NCR region.

Makati City is the largest financial and economic hub of the metropolitan area. It is one of the major economic centres in Southeast Asia. Now regarded as the city's central business district, several of the Philippines' largest corporations including Ayala, as well as the nation's major banks such as Metrobank, are based here. The Makati area is built around the former Nielsen Air Base, an American installation during World War II, and its runways now form the district's main roads, which cross each other at the Makati Triangle, home of the nation's stock exchange. Different well-known skycrapers in Metro Manila are here like PBCom Tower and G.T. International Tower. Foreign corporations also have their main Philippine hubs here. The traditional business center of the Chinese-Filipino businessmen and the country's CBD prior to the development of the Makati CBD was the Binondo District in the City of Manila.

Ortigas Center is the second most important central business district in Metro Manila. Situated between Mandaluyong and Pasig, it is home to the headquarters of several major Philippine companies such as San Miguel Corporation and Meralco. The Asian Development Bank also has its headquarters in Ortigas. Ortigas also contains some of Metro Manila's more famous buildings, such as the One San Miguel Corporation, BSA Twin Tower, and the Astoria Plaza.

Also posing as a competitor for a vibrant business center are Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Eastwood City in Quezon City, Manila Bay City Reclamation Area in the cities of Pasay, Parañaque and Las Piñas, and Alabang Estates, Madrigal Business Park & Filinvest in Muntinlupa City. Triangle Park in Quezon City is the latest addition to the commercial business districts in the metropolis.

Metro Manila currently has a large number of malls in the Philippines, There are 3 large signature shopping malls which are part of the Top 10 World's Largest Malls in the Metro Manila area. Three of which are owned by Henry Sy, a Chinese-Filipino Businessman and his company, SM Prime Holdings. The current largest is the new SM City North EDSA ( replaced by SM Mall of Asia as the 3rd largest mall in the world ), and the recent largest mall as of 1991 up to 2006, SM Megamall.

Aside from SM Megamall, other shopping centers in Ortigas Center include Robinsons Galleria, Shangri-La Plaza, and The Podium.

Recently opened in Pasig is a new development called Frontera Verde, which currently hosts Tiendesitas, a tiangge-style shopping center; SM Supercenter Pasig, the smallest SM mall to date; and SilverCity AutoMall, the first mall in the Philippines that is dedicated to the automotive market.

In the Central Business District of Makati, the Ayala Center hosts other malls, including Glorietta and the upscale Greenbelt shopping districts. Also in Makati is the Rockwell Center. These places are frequented by members of Metro Manila's upper classes.

In the City of Manila, the largest malls include SM City Manila and Robinsons Place Manila.

Cubao is Quezon City's Central Commercial Area that hosts 5 malls that includes the ultra-modern Gateway Mall. Other malls include various SM chains in the metropolis. Aside from Cubao, there is also Eastwood City, located along Libis; SM City Fairview, in the Novaliches District; and TriNoma, Ayala Land's newest mall, in front of SM City North EDSA.

Metro Manila is also full of palengke, the Filipino-style open-air wet markets. One of these is the Central Market, in Sta. Cruz district of Manila, and Divisoria Market, in Manila. Cloverleaf Market in Balintawak, Quezon City supplies most of Metro Manila's fruit and vegetable products. Navotas Port Market supplies most of Metro Manila's fish products. Other smaller markets include the markets of Cubao Farmers, Nepa-Q Mart, Muñoz, Balingasa, Galas, Santa Mesa, Novaliches Talipapa, Baclaran, Pasay Libertad, and Pasay Cartimar, the latter also being one of the finest pet markets in the Philippines.

Midway between a mall and a market are the Philippine-only tiangges, or airconditioned markets selling goods such as clothes, shoes, accessories, computer parts, mobile phones, CDs, VCDs, MP3s, iPods, and DVDs. Among these can be found in Greenhills Shopping Center in the municipality of San Juan and St. Francis Square in Mandaluyong City.

Muntinlupa City hosts malls like Festival Supermall, Alabang Town Center and Metropolis Star Mall, all in Alabang. And an SM SuperCenter Muntinlupa in Barangay Tunasan.

Las Piñas has the SM City Southmall, the largest based SM Mall south of Metro Manila.

Metro Manila is a place of economic extremes. It is stated that 97% of the total GDP in the Philippines is controlled by 15% of the population, the majority of which is in the Metro Manila area. Most of the wealthy and upper-middle class in the country reside within gated communities in places such as Forbes Park and Dasmariñas Village in Makati, Loyola Heights in Quezon City, Greenhills in San Juan, BF Homes Subdivision in Parañaque City and Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City. Other wealthy families opt to live urban lifestyles and instead own large apartments and condominium units such as those in the Rockwell Center in Makati and Fort Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, while some choose to live in bayfront condos/apartments/townhouses along the stretch of Roxas Boulevard. That the area is populated by many of the wealthiest people in the country has also driven up the real estate value of the properties in these areas such that they are unmatched anywhere else.

However, similarly to many Latin American countries where side-by-side with the residences of Metro Manila's elite are slums and squattered areas, most of which are in the outskirts of the aforementioned gated communities, as well as areas left behind by the rapid development of the rest of Metro Manila, such as Tondo and Sampaloc in Manila, Guadalupe in Makati, some parts of Marikina, Caloocan, and Valenzuela, and most parts of Navotas.

Highway roadsides are often crowded with corrugated-steel-roofed huts and straw markets by which livelihood is obtained, in a stark contrast to the gated subdivisions present in Metro Manila. Less than 10% of the population actually lives in the aforementioned neighborhoods, while the rest live in non-gated (normal) neighborhoods in regular houses, apartments, tenements and shacks. However the Macapagal-Arroyo government has started to gentrify the area, removing squatters from certain roadsides and even the national railway and replacing them with green areas.

Located west of Metro Manila, Rizal Park is the reference point for all kilometer points in the island of Luzon and the Philippines. Rizal Park features the statue of the Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal, as well as several Philippine flags, a gigantic relief map of the Philippines, scenic Chinese gardens, and the several government offices, such as the Department of Tourism. On the seaside front of Rizal Park are numerous seafood restaurants specializing in Filipino and Asian cuisine. The National Museum of the Filipino People can be also found here. It is a complex of two Greco-Roman buildings which house ancient relics, native mummies, natural treasures and factual galleries about the Philippines and other countries. The museum also boasts a vast collection of artworks and masterpieces crafted by Filipinos which were commended by the Louvre Museum per se. Similarly, part of the museum complex is the first planetarium in Southeast Asia. Also located here is the Quirino Grandstand, which apart from the regular miting de avance (Spanish: political gatherings), is also a popular rendezvous of various religious groups, such as the charmismatic Catholic El Shaddai and popular American-based Protestant movements, such as Benny Hinn International Ministries.

Near the Rizal Park is a 400-year-old Imperial City known as Intramuros, a walled domain which was once the seat of government during the Spanish Colonial Era and Mid-American Periods. Among the attractions are the Fort Santiago, a timeworn Spanish military fortress which was also the cell for the national hero, Jose Rizal in 1896; Casa Manila, a Spanish colonial villa which is converted into a house gallery; Manila Cathedral, the official seat of the Archbishop of Manila; San Agustin Church the oldest existing church/building in the Philippines that survived the wars and earthquakes of Manila since 1587; Intramuros Golf Club, a prime golf course outside the walls; and the Clam Shell Tent, an exhibition center of the Department of Tourism. Horse-carriages and tourist buses are also some of the attractions. The rest also includes a walk above the walls surrounding Intramuros, government offices, universities and colonial houses.

Fort Bonifacio is the location of military detachments, cemeteries, international schools, corporate headquarters and world-class dining and shopping facilities. Other local recreation areas include the Nayong Pilipino (Philippine Village) in Parañaque City, Quezon Memorial Circle and Ninoy Aquino Wildlife Center, both in Diliman district of Quezon City, the posh Greenbelt Center, in Makati City, the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex and Bay City, both in Pasay City. Meanwhile, the Paco Park, Arroceros Botanical Garden, Manila Zoo, Plaza Rajah Sulayman, Plaza Miranda, new Rizal Avenue Bargain Walkway, the all-steel Gothic Church of San Sebastian, the bars and night clubs of Ermita and Malate districts and the famous Roxas Boulevard Bay Walk which offers a fine view of the legendary Manila Bay sunset and hip-dining of Asian, Western and Filipino cuisine, are all in Manila.

The metropolis has an extensive system of highways connecting the various cities and municipalities. The major roads include ten radial roads, which branch out from central Manila and five circumferential roads which form a series of concentric semi-circular arcs around downtown Manila. Most of these roads are very important transportation arteries. One is the C-4 (Circumferential Road 4), also called Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or more popularly as EDSA. It is the major thoroughfare in Metro Manila connecting five cities in Metro Manila, namely Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and Caloocan. The MRT-3 line of Manila's metro network also divides the two sides of the road. Some other important roads are R-1 (Radial Road 1) (Roxas Boulevard and Manila-Cavite Expressway) connecting to Cavite province in the southwest; R-3 or the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) connecting to Laguna province in the southeast; R-6 (Aurora Boulevard and Marcos Highway) connecting to Rizal province in the east; and R-8 or the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) connecting to Bulacan province in the north. One of its newest roads, the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, running on the reclamation area parallel to R-1, is one of the destinations of Manila's elite.

Metro Manila is notorious for its traffic jams. A trip that should take 20 minutes will last an hour or more especially during rush hour. Consequently, the Metro Manila Development Authority (see section below) has constructed many projects to decongest traffic.

Such projects of the MMDA for motorists are the construction of flyovers (elevated roads), interchanges, loading bays for Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs), emergency bays, and U-Turn slots over various intersections and thoroughfares, and the completion of the comprehensive railway system (see below). It has also been engaged in road widening with the support of the Department of Public Works and Highways. MMDA has also utilized projects for the pedestrians such as the installation of footbridges, waiting sheds, and men's urinals to various roads in the metropolis. The agency has also implemented various schemes for motorists such as the Uniform Vehicular Volume Reduction Scheme (UVVRS), more popularly known as "color coding", where vehicles whose plate numbers end in different digits are banned from traveling on different days, the Yellow Lane scheme, where yellow-plated PUBs (Public Utility Buses) will only use the two outermost lanes in EDSA, and the Organized Bus Route (OBR) for Metro Manila.

The Major Alternate Route in the East of EDSA is C-5 Road.

As of 2005, there are two different rapid transit systems in Metro Manila: the Manila Light Rail Transit System, or the LRT, and the Manila Metro Rail Transit System, or the MRT. The Yellow Line (LRT-1) and the Purple Line (LRT-2) form the LRT network, while the Blue Line (MRT-3) forms the MRT network, with 29 stations on the LRT and 13 stations on the MRT . Four more lines are proposed and would connect Metro Manila to the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal upon their completion.

Philippine National Railways also operates two main-line railway lines within Metro Manila, all part of the once-flourishing Luzon railway system. The northern line, known as Northrail and connecting Manila to Caloocan City, is currently closed. Line extensions are proposed to Valenzuela City and further on to Bulacan and Pampanga. The trans-Metro Manila portion of the still-open southern line, known as Southrail, commences at Tutuban station in Tondo, Manila, passes through the cities of Manila, Makati, Taguig, Parañaque and Las Piñas, and ends in Barangay Buli, Muntinlupa City, before entering the province of Laguna.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which straddles the boundary between Parañaque City and Pasay City, is the country's busiest airport. It consists of a domestic terminal and two international terminals, with a third that recently opened. There are two main runways and the hangar of Philippine Airlines is located near the Villamor Air Base.

Manila Seaport Terminal is the shipping gateway to the Philippines. The Manila Seaport Terminal is in Port Area, Manila (near Luneta and beside Manila Bay). And the Pasig River Ferry Service the water-transport cruises the Pasig River from Intramuros, Manila to Barangay Kalawaan Sur in Pasig City.

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,932,560 people and 2,132,989 households residing in Metro Manila. With a population density of 15,617/km², it is by far the most densely populated region of the Philippines. For the period 1995 to 2000, the annual population growth rate was 1.06 percent, lower than that of the 1990 to 1995 period (3.30 percent).

The indigenous people of the area now known as Metro Manila were the Tagalog. Other native ethnic groups of the Philippines also inhabit the metropolis as a result of migration. The include the Visayans, Ilocanos, Bicolanos, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, and Moro groups (mostly Maranao and Maguindanao). Tribal groups such as the Igorot and the Bajau have also settled. There are also numerous peoples of Chinese and Japanese, Indian descent. Resident Spaniards, Americans, and Koreans are also present in large numbers. Metro Manila is classified as a social urban conglomerate, meaning, it is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world.

The most common language spoken in households is Tagalog (94.34%). English is widely used and understood, and is the main language of the upper classes and in business. Chinese is taught in certain Chinese schools. Other languages of the Philippines are also spoken, mostly between family members, relatives, or neighbors belonging to the same ethnic group. Among these languages, the most spoken include Visayan languages, Ilokano, Bikol languages, and Kapampangan.

The large majority of the population of Metro Manila is Roman Catholic (89%). Other religions include Protestant (3%), Islam (5%), and Hinduism and Buddhism (3%).

Metro Manila is home to several noteworthy Philippine higher educational institutions. It is the educational seat of the country and many students from the provinces head onto Metro Manila to study. As such, several dormitories, apartments and boarding houses abound. Areas of high number of educational institutions include the so-called "University Belt" and Taft Avenue in Manila, Katipunan Avenue and Fairview in Quezon City and Sta. Mesa straddling the Manila, Quezon City and Mandaluyong City borders. Metro Manila is also home to many private schools usually run by religious orders like the Jesuits and Lasallians. There are also many international schools located around the Metro like the British School Manila or the International School Manila.

Police structure in the Philippines is centralized and its command center is in Camp Rafael Crame in Santolan, Quezon City. Metro Manila is divided into 5 police districts namely Central (Quezon City), Western (City of Manila), Eastern (Mandaluyong, Pasig, Marikina, San Juan), Northern (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) and Southern (Makati, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Taguig and Pateros).

The Armed Forces of the Philippines' command headquarters is in Camp Emilio Aguinaldo in Murphy, Quezon City. The National Capital Region Command is in Metro Manila and was created by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to defend the metropolis from insurgents and terrorist groups. Philippine Army headquarters is in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City. Philippine Air Force headquarters is in Villamor Airbase in Pasay City. Philippine Navy headquarters is in Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

Metro Manila's electricity is generated by the state-owned National Power Corporation (Napocor) and other independent power producers across the island of Luzon. It is transmitted by the state-owned National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) through high tension wires. It is distributed by the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the only company allowed to distribute electricity to the metropolis.

Metro Manila's tap water is sourced from the Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan. It is stored in the Novaliches Reservoir and filtered in the La Mesa Dam, both in northeast Quezon City. Metro Manila's water distribution and sewerage system used to be managed by the Metropolitan Water and Sewerage System (MWSS), a state-owned company. In 1997, MWSS awarded concessionare licenses to two private corporations. Metro Manila was sliced into two distribution areas.

Since 1925, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) was the Philippines' only phone carrier. With the passage of the National Telecommunications Act of 1995, the Philippine National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) granted licenses to new and independent companies to install new phones across the Philippines. The NTC granted 3 new licenses for Metro Manila.

Metro Manila alone produces 4,000 tons of garbage each day and paper wastes account for nearly 14% of the daily total. But efforts to also reduce pollution is one of the major concerns due to garbage, in Payatas, Quezon City.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is the administrative body in charge of the metropolis' development, including traffic management, flood control, garbage disposal and sewage maintenance. It closely coordinates with other organizations such as the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), as well as the local government units of the component cities and municipalities. Its agency's head is appointed by the president, which is now presided by Chairman Bayani Fernando.

It is a member of Asian Network of Major Cities 21.

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Source : Wikipedia