Friday, October 19, 2012
3 Reasons Why Manila is the Capital of the Philippines
When I was a kid, my mother always tell stories about Manila. She told me that she grew up in this city, and she knows the ins and outs of it. She also mentioned that there are beautiful and interesting places to visit there. Her stories inspired me to visit the capital city of the Philippines someday. Then it came true when our school had a field trip in Manila.
I was so happy that time because I was able to see the different animals in Manila Zoo; witnessed the Ifugao tribal dance in Nayong Pilipino; marveled at the ‘Spolarium Painting’ of Juan Luna in the National Museum; enjoyed shopping with my family in SM Megamall, the largest shopping center before Mall of Asia was built.
As I looked back on that experience 23 years ago, I can say that Manila is a must see place for every Filipinos. It has a rich cultural heritage that every Filipinos can be proud of. So what makes Manila the capital city of the Philippines? What is in this city that makes it a unique place to visit? There are three things I would like emphasize that will answer to the above questions.
First, Manila is the center of industry, trade, and commerce
Manila has been in existence before the Spaniards came in the Philippines. Historical accounts revealed that Manila was a kingdom ruled by a king. The kingdom had a good diplomatic relations with other countries like China, India, Japan, and some Arab countries. When the Spaniards arrived, they made it the center of Spanish activities.
It was used as a trade route connecting to Asia and Latin America. It was called the ‘Manila – Acapulco Galleon Trade’. At present, Manila is still one of the centers of industry, trade, and commerce not only in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia. And Manila Bay is considered as one of the busiest harbors in the world.
If you will go to Manila these days, you will see different establishments like shopping malls, supermarkets, restaurants, international and local banks, factories, manufacturing industries, etc. These makes Manila attractive to people from the provinces to seek employment and work in different establishments.
Second, Manila is the center of education, sports, and culture
There are many schools, universities, and colleges in Manila. Many students from different parts of the Philippines come to study in these schools. These students believe that these institutions will help them to find a better future. Also, notable and famous universities can be found here like University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila, University of Santo Tomas, Philippine Normal University, Philippine Women University, De La Salle University, etc.
Manila is also home to different institutions that preserves and promote the Filipino Culture. The National Museum of the Philippines displays artifacts that describe the Filipino Culture. We have Cultural Center of the Philippines and Folk Arts Theater. These centers promotes and caters events of Filipino culture like dancing, singing, acting etc. You can also see in Manila the historical places and landmarks that will provide you information about our history. You can visit Luneta Park, Malacañang Palace, Intramuros, etc. These are some places in Manila that will remind you the events that shaped our country. This place also caters local and international sports like basketball, boxing, to develop Filipino athletes and promotes sports. Araneta Colisuem and Rizal Memorial Sports Complex are among the few sports center in Manila.
Third, Manila is the seat of the national government.
Many of the government agencies and offices of the national government are found in Manila. The official residence of the President of the Philippines and the Supreme Court are located in this place. Every time a bill is passed for approval, senators and house representatives hold meetings in the House of Senate or House of the Representatives in Manila. This make Metro Manila the seat of the national government.