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Manila Serviced Apartments

Serviced apartments for a month or more

It may not be apparent to the visitor, but Manila is actually one of East Asia's oldest cities. Predating even Tokyo, Manila traces its written history to 1571 when Spanish conquistadors, wrested control of the city from three rajahs.   Following its declaration of war on Spain over events in Cuba, the U.S. signed a treaty with Spain whereby it acquired the Philippines for US$2 million.

What followed was Manila's 40 years “in Hollywood.” In retrospect, it was a happy period in the city's history. It saw the introduction of the English language, the institution of mass education, and the construction of new infrastructure. Represented in Casa Manila Museum, Manilans embraced the move toward greater Westernization with gusto. Landmarks like the Old Congress Building, Metropolitan Theater, Manila City Hall and Central Post Office rose in the heart of the city.

Manila rapidly recovered in the postwar years, with the country gaining independence on July 4, 1946. The presidents of the republic were sworn into office at the Quirino Grandstand and took up residence at Malacanang Palace to preside over the showcase of democracy in Asia. The economy flourished, making the Philippines the second richest nation in Asia. In the 1960s, while its regional neighbors were still mired in underdevelopment, Manila launched into another building boom with the erection of new landmarks such as Araneta Coliseum and Ayala Avenue. 

Then came another long dark period in the city's history. In 1972, Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial law and for more than 20 years Manila languished under an authoritarian rule marked by curtailed civil liberties and a widening gap between rich and poor. Once again, Manilans rose to liberate themselves. In near-perfect symmetry with the Philippine Revolution of 1896, the People Power Revolution exploded on the streets of Manila in 1986.

Today, with the institutions of freedom securely in place, the economy growing apace and yet another building boom that is dramatically changing the face of the city, Manila is poised to once again resume its position as one of the preeminent cities of East Asia.

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