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Manila is the capital city of the Philippines. Like all big cities, it has both good and bad sides. It was originally a trading post, named after the mangroves which grew by the riverside. (Nothing grows there now because the water is used as a rubbish bin and sewer by millions of people). It was set up as the capital by the Spaniards in the 1570s and has remained so ever since (subject to verification). The city grew; its population is now some 10.8 million, making it the world's 16th largest city. (The largest is Tokyo, population 28 million; London is 25th with 7.6 million). It has many cultural and architectural treasures, such as the San Agustin church, Manila Cathedral, Malacanang Palace (where the President lives) and many theatres, concert halls and an opera house. And like all big cities it has a high crime rate and thousands of indigent people who came to Manila seeking their fortunes, and finding only dust. (photos compliment from Luz and Lenette)

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