No other place tends to be more associated with the Philippines than its capital city Manila. It shares the name of the region it is located in, Metro Manila, and has been the site of many historic events. Manila was chosen by Spain as the site of its capital in the Philippines, and along the banks of Pasig River it built a fortified city called Intramuros.
Many years later, Manila experienced some sort of a renaissance under American rule. Renowned American architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham created the master plan for the city, which was envisioned to become a city of waterways, neoclassical structures, and public parks. Up to this day, remnants of Burnham’s vision remain, including: Rizal Park, the National Museum, Agrifina Circle, and the Manila Central Post Office.
Despite losing its status as the Philippines’ center for finance and commerce, Manila remains one of the country’s most important cities. It houses the president’s official residence, the Malacañang Palace, and the Supreme Court. It is also the only city in Metro Manila that has a UNESCO-inscribed World Heritage Site (San Agustin Church).
A Cultural and Economic Center
Similar to New York in the United States and Tokyo in Japan, Manila is the city in the Philippines where people of different cultures tend to converge. A center for education and economy, many locals move to Manila to learn or make a living. Arguably the country’s main entry point, Manila is also a business and leisure destination for people from other countries.
Key commercial locations in the city include Binondo where Chinatown is located, and the Ermita District, while heritage sites are comprised of places like the Rizal Shrine, Manila Cathedral, and Fort Santiago.
Living in Manila
Although densely populated, Manila continues to be a popular place of residence for many Filipinos. The city’s many colleges and universities mean that students from all around the country flock to the city to make it their new home. As a result, apartments and condos near the University Belt area and along Taft Avenue are popular.
Land in the city may be a bit scarcer in comparison to surrounding locales, yet there continues to be a reasonably good number of Manila houses and lots on the market. Like most highly urbanized locations, Manila is not left wanting in residential developments, with several condominium projects increasing the number of choices for would-be Manila residents.
Real Estate Market Overview
Although Manila’s real estate market is not as popular as nearby Makati’s or Taguig’s, the city still has some of the most highly sought after pieces real estate. Tight supply best characterizes the city’s real estate market, with commercial lots in the Paco and Sampaloc areas, for instance, boasting asking prices of more than Php40,000 per sqm.
Condominiums are fast becoming a common sight in the city. Recently, real estate giants have launched their respective projects in the city, including Noble Place (Megaworld), The Radiance (Robinsons Land), Celadon (Alveo Land), and Sorrel Residences (DMCI Homes).
What You Can Buy:
The Radiance Manila Bay (preselling)
Selling price: Available upon request
Situated right by Manila Bay, The Radiance provides residents with the utmost comfort right in the middle of fast paced city. This mixed-use, residential project is composed of two 36-story residential towers, 30 of which are used for residential space. Units feature one- or two-bedrooms, with most overlooking Manila Bay. Common amenities include a center swimming pool, four levels of podium parking, and three levels dedicated to commercial establishments.
Selling price: Php9.5–15 million
Boasting 2.2 hectares of greenery and open spaces, this 4.2-hectare master-planned townhouse community is quite a rarity in the city of Manila. Units are very spacious, ranging from 168 to 204 sqm and have three bedrooms, a guest room, and a two-car garage.