Araw ng Maynila....

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Today, June 24, the City of Manila celebrates its 434th birthday. It was on this day in 1571 that Manila was declared by the Spaniards as the capital of the Spanish Philippines.

It was an auspicious start actually. Manila, or Maynilad as it was known then, was a thriving Mohammedan community in the island of Luzon long before the Spaniards ever came to our shores. It was discovered under the orders of Governor-General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi by an expedition led by Martin de Goiti. Rajah Soliman, its ruler, while welcoming the Spaniards, refused to submit to Spanish authority. As a result Goiti, after some preparation, attacked and took Maynilad by force, in the name of the King of Spain, then returned to the Governor-General. A year later the Spaniards led by de Legazpi himself returned, and founded Spanish Manila.

That was 434 years ago, and only one of several significant historical events which took place in this city named after a plant.

The name Manila comes from the Tagalog phrase may nilad which refers to presence of a particular shrub called nilad which grew abundantly along the shores of Manila Bay and the Pasig River.

Now, the seat of power of the Republic of the Philippines is a bustling and developed modern metropolis, where the old meets the new, rich in history, and ready to face the challenges of the future.

Links:

Manila - A History
Araw ng Kastila

Comments

Renee said…
I've actually been a Manilaphile, at least since Lorenzo and I moved to Malate in the late 90s. We still miss our old love nest baCK there, overlooking Manila Bay.

My late father told me of another theory as to how Manila got its name. Being Muslim, he has long believed that the word "Manila" comes from a Muslim blessing which sounds like "Fi aman Illah" (I don't know the actual spelling so I wrote it phonetically), which the Muslim residents of the city supposedly uttered to the Spaniards when they first came here.

I think it's a more romantic theory and I'll take it over being named for a PLANT any day. ;-)
Renee said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ronald Allan said…
Actually, I would too. :-) I'll try to research it, and post anything I can find here. I find that alternative theory a lot more appealing than the one I found. :-)

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