Your starting point for visiting anywhere in the Philippines.

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Traveling to or from Manila? Choose Your Destination...

Angeles City

Visit Angeles City for the best nightlife in the Philippines. Try your hand at our world-class casinos. 

Subic & Alongapo

For a laid back feeling, the ocean breeze, and even more nightlife, check out Subic and Olongapo.


For scuba, diving, sorkeling, and 18th-century Spanish Christian Relics, you can't beat Cebu.

Puerto Galera

The white beaches, bars, and resorts make Puerto Galera the perfect place for outdoor sports of all kinds.


Beautiful water, beaches, seascapes, and acuatic wildlife make Palawan an ocean lovers dream come true. 


White beach, palm trees, bars and restaurants in a tropical setting. Coral reefs and shipwrecks top it all off. 

Manila Past and Present

Manila started as a small tribal settlement near Manila Bay on the banks of the Pasig River. It took its name from two Tagalog words: "may," it means "there is," and "nilad," a mangrove plant with white flowers, originally grew abundantly along the Pasig River and Manila Bay shores. 

Maynilad was a relatively prosperous Islamic community ruled by Rajah Sulayman, the descendant of a royal Malay dynasty, or where the nilad grows. On May 24, 1570, a Spanish expedition supporting Marshal Martin de Goiti entered the settlement of Sulayman, nearly 50 years after a Portuguese navigator, Ferdinand Magellan, commanded by Spain's King first set its foot on Manila. 

By burning down the villages and taking the cannons, De Goiti met the resistance of the Muslim king. Manila was enclosed within walls the Muslim settlement in the late 16th century whose sovereign imposed customs duties on all trade that passed the River of Pasig. The Spanish conquistadors, who are out to conquer new territory was accompanied by the first Spanish Governor-General of the Philippines, Miguel López de Legazpi entered the river on 1571. The settlement was destroyed and Intramuros Fortress City was built in its place. Manila has become the new colony's capital. 

A few scattered villages were standing outside the city walls, each governed by a local chieftain and each centered on a marketplace. With the establishment of Spanish colonial rule, churches were built near the marketplaces, where the population density was greatest. By then, Manila had become the Philippines' capital and main town. 

The City has a unique position in the political geography of the Philippines because it is a chartered city and fulfills the functions of a province for the 16 cities and; 1 municipality that makes up its metropolitan area. It is composed of 16 cities namely: Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan City, Las Piñas City, Makati City, Malabon City, Mandaluyong City, Marikina City, Muntinlupa City, Navotas City, Parañaque City, Pasay City, Pasig City, San Juan City, Taguig City, Valenzuela City, and the municipality of Pateros. 

The city is the center of the economic, political, social and cultural development of the country. Located on Luzon Island, it extends along Manila Bay's eastern shore at the Pasig River mouth. For four decades, Manila has been the main city of the Philippines and is the center of both its industrial development and the international port of entry. 

When you visit the Philippines, you are likely to start your trip in Manila, the capital city of the country. Manila is a people-filled city with colonial Spanish architecture, historical buildings and museum, street vendors, and Jeepneys. 

Most travelers simply use Manila as a gateway to other Philippine destinations, but we would suggest that you spend at least one day there in preparation for the rest of your adventure. It is admired for its friendly and hospitable locals, historic landmarks, and astonishing sights that leave everyone mesmerized. Until today, the schools, historical buildings, landmarks, museums and other places that have been constructed during the Spanish time are being preserved by the government. 

Manila is home to the oldest functioning university in Asia. It is the University of Santo Tomas in Sampaloc, Manila. Founded in 1611, the university is also the region's largest Catholic university in terms of the student population. In the walled city of Intramuros, you will see a slice of Spanish colonial history within it. The widely lauded Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception also known as Manila Cathedral that is located in Intramuros, and a citadel known as Fort Santiago that built In 1953 by the Spanish navigator and governor back then.