"the weekend before I left for Manila"

Manila by night, viewed from across Manila Bay
Creative Commons AttributionManila by night, viewed from across Manila Bay - Credit: Vanessa David
 Manila is the capital city of the Philippines, located on the shores of Manila Bay. It has a population of 1.6 million and is the second largest city in the Philippines. Settled by the Spanish in 1557, it was a major trade centre and remains one of the busiest seaports in the world. It has a vibrant cosmopolitan lifestyle, compounded by the large number of varying religious buildings, many of them impressive cathedrals, which have existed since freedom of worship was passed in the Philippines. One of the city’s major industries is tourism – it attracts around 1 million visitors every year.