Manila Day: More Than Just a Holiday

By: Andrea Julianne Vera Cruz
June 24, 2022

The historical City Hall of Manila and the Manileños. Photo is courtesy of Klienne Eco, taken on the day of the Feast of the Black Nazarene on January 9, 2012 via Wikimedia Commons.

The capital city of the Philippines—Manila, celebrates its 451st founding anniversary today, June 24. Manila is a melting pot of various cultures and the nation’s center of economy, governance, and commerce. Manila Day, otherwise known as Araw ng Maynila, is an annual celebration of chock-full of activities which includes talent competitions, concerts, beauty pageants, and large food feasts.

On June 22, 1964, under the provision of Proclamation number 257, series of 1964, June 24 was declared a special non-working Holiday by former President Diosdado Macapagal. This gave the city an opportunity to unwind from the metro’s daily stresses and commemorate the rich history of the Philippines’ capital city.


A City as Old as Time

Manila got its name from the phrase May-nila, meaning “where the Indigo is found”. The word Nila was the term used to refer to indigo, flowering shrubs growing at the banks of the river. Maynila was home to a thriving civilization rich in culture and traditions before it was conquered. It paved the way for Spanish Manila to become the capital city it is today.

Long before the Spanish arrived, there had already existed a settlement bearing the name, dating as far back as the 13th century. Archaeologists found several pieces of evidence of such in the area – small communities called polities, among them the Polity of Tondo. These communities flourished as they actively traded with their neighbors like China and other Southeast Asian polities.

However, this ancient civilization was not the period Manila Day was celebrating.

On this day, June 24, 1571, Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi established a city council in present-day Intramuros, declaring what would soon be Manila as a new territory for New Spain (Mexico).

The then wooden palisades of the ancient Rajas would be replaced by stone walls. Eventually, Manila spearheaded the Spanish colony’s economic progress through the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade, and it quickly amassed great wealth.

After Miguel de Legazpi's death in 1574, his successor did not honor the deals he made with the Rajahs of Manila. This brought about the Manila revolt of 1574. One of three Rajahs who stood his ground was Rajah Sulayman III, the last King of Manila. According to Spanish papers, his people referred to him as "Rajah Mura'' or "Rajah Muda" (a Sanskrit title for a Prince). The Spaniards referred to him as "Rajah Solimano el Mow." The battle ended with an agreement between Rajah Sulayman and Banaw Dula, and the Spanish counterparts—Friar Geronimo Marian and Juan de Salcedo. Today Rajah Sulayman's monument stands in front of the National Museum of Anthropology and National Museum of Natural History in Rizal Park.


A Day to Remember

It has been four centuries since the Spaniards captured the capital city Manila. Today, the legacy left behind by the events of history can be discovered through a little exploration around the city.

Manila has a number of museums offering a glimpse into the past, among them is the famed walled city of Intramuros, a reflection of the integration of the Filipino and Spanish cultures bringing forth institutions including our beloved Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

Though Araw ng Maynila may celebrate a foundation under Spanish rule, it is important to remember its pre-colonial identity long since buried below the grandiose old walls and structures. 

Let the annual Manila Day not only be a day for merriment, but also for memorializing how far it has come as a city, both in progress and in heritage.


  1. COA: Donations for Typhoon Ulysses Victims found Rotten and Undistributed
  2. Philippines, Vulnerable to Rising Global Temperatures
  3. Knights bite the dust, succumbs to San Beda
  4. Filipino authors, books withstand Red-Tagging remarks VS KWF
  5. Sen. Hontiveros seeks to plumb the P7B "questionable releases" of CHED's UniFAST
  6. Letran celebrates Hybrid Binyag Arriba for Senior High School
  7. COA Reports on the Overpriced 39,583 Laptops Units DepEd Procured
  8. Senate Steps in, Files Resolution to solve Gilas Woes
  9. Students and RSOs Hardwork Pays Off in the Collegiate Orientation and Gaward Arriba 2022
  10. Knights fall to neighbors Pirates, record first loss
  11. Academic Year 2022-2023, Commences with Three Subsequent Annual Events
  12. Letranites Creativity and Passion Mirrors RSOs booths in the 2022 Org Fair
  13. Caralipio, Paraiso lift Knights past Tamaraws in FilOil EcoOil Preseason
  14. First Year CBAA Students, Welcomed to the Colegio with Binyag Arriba Day 2
  15. Colegio welcomes CLAS, COED, CEIT freshmen for Binyag Arriba Day 1
  16. Letran falters to UST, Gets Eliminated from Playoff Contention
  17. Wangs-Letran Bows To Baste, Drops Their Third in a Row
  18. Monkeypox detected in PH, Senate marks DOH Chief as 'urgent'
  19. Vape Law lapses into Law
  20. Wangs-Letran Stung by CEU Scorpions with Second Straight Loss
  21. Kobe Monje powers Letran to first FilOil Preseason Cup Win
  22. The New Slate of Officials for the 19th Congress of the Philippines
  23. Knights succumb to Green Archers in D-League
  24. The Trial Classes for the Elementary, Junior High School, and Senior High School of Letran: A Testament
  25. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his first SONA at the newly renovated Batasang Pambansa
  26. Shooting in Ateneo de Manila University Results into 3 Deaths and Several Injuries
  27. Teatro de Letran’s “Piladelpiya, Hirrr Ay Kammm!!!” Wows Teatro Europa’s Third Edition Launch; Letran Filipiniana Dance Company Opening, a Dazzling Comeback Performance.
  28. The Letran Let’s Flex Hyflex Program: The Start of Modern Innovative Education
  29. Wangs-Letran Outguns Gutsy Marinerong Pilipino, Gains solo Lead in D-League
  30. Letran Survives Gritty AMA Scare to Get 2nd Straight D-League Win
  31. Cyberknights Grab First Win in CCE, Goes 1-3
  32. Letran Gets Swept By San Sebastian, Officially Ends Season 97 Campaign
  33. Former CBCP President, Archbishop Lagdameo, dies at 81
  34. Sangalang, Paraiso, Caralipio provide championship composure as Letran overcomes pesky St. Clare
  35. Knights unveil roster for PBA D-League
  36. Letran stuns Mapua, Improves to 2-6
  37. Esports: Letran bows to Arellano and CSB in MLBB at the Collegiate Center for Esports Competition
  38. Lady Knights Yield to Lady Generals
  39. A Fight Against Poverty: Launching of Angat Buhay NGO
  40. President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.; Now on the Highest Seat of the Nation
  41. First woman-elect Lacuna takes oath as the 28th Mayor of Manila
  42. “It’s not a signal for me to stop, but to keep on going.”: NBA Dream still alive for Kai Sotto even after Draft Snub
  43. Letran bows to Lyceum; Drops to 1-4
  44. Lady Knights Escape San Beda in Five Set Thriller; Finally Enters Winning Column
  45. Knights sweep Cardinals, cops 19th NCAA title
  46. Letran Completes Comeback Over Mapua to Take Game One
  47. Still in Shining Armor: Letran Escaped The Altas’ Scare, Charges to the NCAA 97 Finals With an Unblemished Record.
  48. Letran Escapes Arch-rivals, Finishes Elimination Round With A Clean Sweep
  49. Elite Eight: Abando, Paraiso Lead Knights to Gritty Win Against Golden Stags, Secures Final Four Slot.
  50. Knights Thrash Bombers, Extending Their Unbeaten Streak to 7-0.  
  51. A Look Into Ping Lacson
  52. Letran Escapes Lyceum, Secures Fifth Straight Win of the Season
  53. Knights Continue Hot Streak, Trounces Mapua
  54. Letran Triumphs Over Perpetual, Abando Records Career Game
  55. Letran Dominates Arellano, gets 2nd Straight Win
  56. Letran Charges Back, Edges Benilde in NCAA ‘97 Opener
  57. Rewriting OPM: The P-pop Takeover
  58. Filipino Humor and Pinoy Comedy Films: A Sacrosanct Relationship
  59. The Unfaltering Voice of the Press
  60. To Get The Fire Back
  61. Pearl's Pride and Glory: First Philippine Republic Day
  62. CHED and DOH Visit Letran In Preparation For NCAA Bubble, Colegio Now Approved For Training
  63. Stand-up Comedy Culture with The KoolPals
  64. LCES, Finally an Official Alliance of AcadArena
  65. To The Unsung Heroes in Our Screens
  66. Tokyo 2021: Looking back and moving forward
  67. Exhibiting ‘Resiliency and Creativity’: NCAA Season 96 to kick off on June 13
  68. NCAA ‘Special’ Season 96 to push through with online sporting events in May
  69. Letran alumnus to send Colegio’s 400th Anniversary score and lyrics to the moon
  70. LOOKBACK: A glimpse of Letran’s Yellow Brick Road of Sports in 2020
  71. Two bullets each
  72. DENR awards Colegio with Gawad Maparaan
  73. Letran conducts webinar on violence against women
  74. The Greatest Reset
  75. Lloyd Cadena: More than a vlogger
  76. Long live the King!
  77. Former Tigers Paraiso, Bataller set to become new members of the Knights
  78. Killing our heroes
  79. Students urge suspension of online classes despite memo from VPAA
  80. Philippines under state of calamity due to COVID-19
  81. NCAA Season 95 suspended indefinitely
  82. Letranites express dismay over Paskong Arriba
  83. Quadricentennial Year 4 ends with a double celebration
  84. Letran dethrones San Beda, claims 18th title
  85. Dugong Arriba: Kilalanin ang ating Rektor