The Philippines

The Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world. It has a rich history combining Asian, European, and American influences. Prior to Spanish colonization in 1521, the Filipinos had a rich culture and were trading with the Chinese and the Japanese. Spain’s colonization brought about the construction of Intramuros in 1571, a “Walled City” comprised of European buildings and churches, replicated in different parts of the archipelago. In 1898, after 350 years and 300 rebellions, the Filipinos, with leaders like Jose Rizal and Emilio Aguinaldo, succeeded in winning their independence.

In 1898, the Philippines became the first and only colony of the United States. Following the Philippine-American War, the United States brought widespread education to the islands. Filipinos fought alongside Americans during World War II, particularly at the famous battle of Bataan and Corregidor which delayed Japanese advance and saved Australia. They then waged a guerilla war against the Japanese from 1941 to 1945. The Philippines regained its independence in 1946.

About Manila

Manila (Listeni/məˈnɪl.ə/, Filipino: Maynila) is the capital city of the Philippines, founded on June 24, 1571 by Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. It is one of the oldest cities in the country and was the seat of power for most of the colonial rules of the Philippines. It is situated on the eastern shore of Manila Bay and contains a multitude of landmarks, some of which date back to the 16th century, such as the Spanish colonial era Walled City of Intramuros.

Manila is the second most populous city in the Philippines after the former capital Quezon City with a population of 1,780,148 in 2015. Because of its small land area and huge population, Manila is regarded as the most densely populated city in the world with 41,515 people per square kilometer. Manila is one of the sixteen cities and a municipality that make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region of the Philippines. In 2012, Globalization and World Cities Research Network listed Manila as a global city.


Manila, Philippines Travel Essentials

Language – Two official languages — Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog, is the national language. English is also widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education. Eight (8) major dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense

Weather – Light clothing is ideal year-round, and absolutely during the hot and dry months from March to May. Temperatures average from 78°F/25°C to 90°F/32°C. Mean humidity is at 77%.

Getting Around – There are several means of transportation you can use to get around Manila. (1) Jeepneys – this one of the most famous means of transportation in Manila. It is a long-wheeled public vehicle which has guided route that can be seen through its sign board. (2) The LRT & MRT – the metro’s train system is a faster way to get to your destinations. It can get very congested during peak hours but it is still considered to be a faster means. (3) Cabs – Usually white in color, cabs can be easily hailed anywhere and runs by a meter. (4) motorcycles with sidecars (tricycle) – tricycles can be used for short,mostly within the area destination and it’s rate are fixed depending on the point to point.

For visa information, see http://www.dfa.gov.ph/guidelines-requirements