HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 18 no. 1 (1973)

THE CITY OF MANILA: Its Life and Progress During the First 100 Years*

Eufronio M. Alip

Discipline: History, Philippine History



The City of Manila, which nestles at the historic delta of the Pasig River on the eastern shore of the horseshoe shaped 20 by 25 mile Manila Bay on the western side of the island of Luzon facing the China Sea, is one of the most interesting spots on the face of the earth. Presently peopled by mixed ethnic groups of well-nigh three million souls (for Greater Manila area) that have been descended from the Brown, the White and the Mongolian races, the city boasts of an Asian population with a culture that is more Occidental than Oriental. Ironically, thinkers and writers, like Plato, Thomas Aquinas, Shakespeare, Milton, James, Dewey and Hemingway are better known and appreciated than the Oriental men of learning, like Confucius, Lao Tsu, Mencius, Rabindranath Tagore and Li Po. They know of Charlemagne, Machiavelli, Napoleon, Washington, Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth I and King Arthur more than of Genghis Khan, Lawrence of Arabia, Asoka, Akbar, the Meiji Emperor, Nogi and Oyama. Manila is indeed, geographically of the East, but for centuries its thinking has been of the West.