Basic Facts about Manila

Manila is the capital city of the Philippines. As an international gateway city, it is served by more than 30 airlines, which fly to different cities throughout the world. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, among other domestic airlines, link Manila to 26 cities in 19 countries and ply the air routes of principal cities and towns all over the country.

Climate. Based on the average of all weather stations in the Philippines, the mean annual temperature is 26.6° Celsius. March to May is hot and dry, with temperatures ranging from 22° to 32° Celsius. June to October is rainy. November to February is cool, with temperatures ranging from 22° to 28° Celsius. Average humidity year-round is 77%.

People. The Filipino is basically of Malay stock with a sprinkling of Chinese, American, Spanish, and Arab blood. The Philippines has a population of about 90 million as of 2007 estimates.

Language. There are two official languages: Filipino and English. English is both spoken and understood throughout the country, especially in business negotiations and in government.

Tourist Destinations. The Philippines boasts of magnificent churches, museums, and theaters with impressive architecture and interiors. There are malls, boutiques, flea markets, and antique shops that offer a multitude of products for shoppers and souvenir-hunters. Historical places of interest in Manila include: Malacañang Palace, the official residence of Philippine heads of state; the Cultural Center of the Philippines; and Intramuros, the “walled city” during the Spanish occupation.

Metro Manila has a cosmopolitan range of cuisine. Filipino specialty restaurants abound, along busy restaurant rows in Ermita, Malate, and Roxas Boulevard (Manila); along Makati Avenue, Jupiter Street, and Pasay Road (Makati City); Serendra and Bonifacio High Street (Taguig City); and along Timog, West, and Quezon Avenues (Quezon City).

Timezone. GMT +8 hours.


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“When you are poor, you cannot think of the future because you face eviction. But once you have secure housing, you can start to think about your welfare and that of your community. Once your house is secure, you can do a lot of things.”

Sanong Roeysungnoen, Thai community leader