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You will often see Manila spelt Maynilà it is not a spelling mistake, it is the way it is spelt in Tagalog.

Manila was founded in 1571 by the Spanish and it turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes of the Philippines.

Manila was ideal place to build the capital in 1571 with it sitting on the shore of Manila Bay which gave natural protection for the ships and the Pasig River meant good could be transported in to the heart of the city. However today it is about the worst place it could be, if you look at a map you will understand why. Manila is stuck between Manila bay to the West, Laguna Lake to the South East and Mountains to the North East so it has no room for the ever growing population to spread apart from North or South.

Manila has become the most densely populated city in the world because it has nowhere to spread and the traffic has become a nightmare as there is no way to bypass the city. Any one travelling from South Luzon to North has to pass through Manila a journey that will take between 1 hour 20 minutes to 3 hours 20 minutes according to Google Maps, it took me 4 hours 30 minutes once.

The city also sits on to major fault lines, with a population of 22.7 million a major earthquake could cause one of the biggest earthquake disasters the world has ever seen.

Despite its problems it is a fascinating city with a huge amount of history, it is a city that never sleeps it has a huge amount of nightlife, some fantastic markets where you will find some of the best bargains in the world, seeing the slums which they call squats in the Philippines and the conditions people live in as heart wrenching and is a life changing experience for many, it makes you realise how good you have it.