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Metro Manila

Metro Manila (Kalakhang Maynila in Filipino), also simply called Manila outside the metropolis, is the metropolitan area that contains the City of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The metropolis is officially called the National Capital Region (NCR) (Pambansang Kabiserang Rehiyon) and is composed of Manila plus 16 surrounding cities and municipalities, including Quezon City, the former capital. Metro Manila is the political, economic, social, and cultural center of the country, and it is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world. Metro Manila is often simply referred to as Manila, especially by non-residents, and is abbreviated as M.M. The region is also sometimes called the Greater Manila Area, but this term usually also includes adjacent towns not strictly a part of Metro Manila.

Metro Manila is the smallest of the country's regions, but the most populous and the most densely populated, having a population of around 10 million (2000 census) in an area only 636 square kilometers large. It is also the only region without any provinces. The region is bordered by the provinces of Bulacan to the north, Rizal to the east, and Cavite and Laguna to the south. Metro Manila is also sandwiched by the Manila Bay to the west and the Laguna de Bay to the southeast with the Pasig River running between them, bisecting the region.

The term Metro Manila does not mean 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.

Table of contents
1 Cities and Municipalities
2 Interesting Spots
3 Transportation
4 The Metro Manila Development Authority
5 History
6 External Links

Cities and Municipalities

Metro Manila is composed of thirteen cities and four municipalities. Each is governed by a Mayor who all belong to the Metro Manila Mayor's League.

City Population¹   Area (km²)   Pop. Density (per km²)
Quezon City 2,173,831 161.12 13,492
Manila 1,581,082 38.55 41,014
Caloocan City 1,177,604 53.33 22,081
Pasig City 505,058 31.00 16,292
Valenzuela City 485,433 44.58 10,889
Las Piñas City 472,780 41.54 11,381
Parañaque City 449,811 47.69 9,432
Makati City 444,867 27.36 16,260
Marikina City 391,170 33.97 11,515
Muntinlupa City 379,310 46.70 8,122
Pasay City 354,908 19.00 18,679
Malabon City 338,855 15.76 21,501
Mandaluyong City   278,474 11.26 24,731
Municipality Population¹ Area (km²) Pop. Density (per km²)
Taguig 467,375 47.88 9,761
Navotas 230,403 10.77 21,393
San Juan 117,680 5.94 19,811
Pateros 57,407 2.10 27,337

¹ 2000 Census

Interesting Spots

Being the political, economic, and cultural center of the Philippines, Metro Manila is the location of many interesting places and areas. In the city of Manila, one can visit the Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the Philippine president, and Intramuros, which was the seat of the Spanish colonial government in the country.

Makati City is acknowledged as the business capital of the country where one can find the Makati Central Business District. Ortigas Center, located at the boundary where Mandaluyong City, Pasig City, and Quezon City meet is another fast-developing commercial and business center.

The night life in Metro Manila is very vibrant. The districts Malate and Ermita in Manila is a popular tourist spot, while some prefer to go to Timog Avenue and Libis in Quezon City, or the Ayala Center and Rockwell Center in Makati City.

In Pasay City, one can go and taste Philippine cultural arts at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), while Manila also hosts the National Musuem, National Library, and Rizal Park (also called Luneta).

For other interesting places to visit, go to the articles of the individual cities and municipalities of Metro Manila.


See also Transportation in the Philippines


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 concentric 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. Some other other important roads are R-1 (Radial Road 1) or Coastal Road/Manila-Cavite Road; R-3 or South Luzon Expressway (SLEX); R-7, which consists of España Avenue, Quezon Avenue, and Commonwealth Avenue; and R-8 or the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

Metro Manila is notorious for its traffic jams. A trip that should take 20 minutes will last an hour or more especially during rush hours. Consequently, the Metro Manila Development Authority (see also section below) has implemented many projects to ease traffic such as "flyovers" (elevated roads) over various intersections, the completion of the railway system (see below), and the Uniform Vehicular Volume Reduction Scheme (UVRRS) where vehicles whose plate numbers end in different digits are banned from traveling on different days.


Metro Manila has three electric railways: the original Light Railway Transit (LRT or MRT-1); the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3), popularly known as the MetroStar; and the Metro Rail Transit 2 (MRT-2), which will be operational in late 2003. Plans are underway to begin construction of three more lines.

There is also a motor railway, part of the Luzon railway system, which passes through the metropolis.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport

The country's main airport is the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) which straddles the boundary between Parañaque City and Pasay City. It presently consists of two terminals, while a third one is being constructed. There are two main runway lines and the hangar of Philippine Airlines is located near the Villamor Air Base.

The Metro Manila Development Authority

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is the administrative body in charge of development and solving the problems of the metropolis. It closely coordinates with various other organizations such as the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), as well as the local government units of the component cities and municipalities.


(what R.A. founded Metro Manila, and the Metro Manila Commission?)

External Links