Metropolitan Manila (often shortened as Metro Manila; Filipino: Kalakhang Maynila), officially the National Capital Region (NCR; Filipino: Pambansang Punong Rehiyon), is the seat of government and one of three defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines. It is composed of 16 highly urbanized cities: the city of Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela, as well as the municipality of Pateros. The region encompasses an area of 619.57 square kilometers (239.22 sq mi) and a population of 13,484,462 as of 2020. It is the second most populous and the most densely populated region of the Philippines. It is also the 9th most populous metropolitan area in Asia and the 5th most populous urban area in the world.
The region is the center of the Philippines’ culture, economy, education and government. Designated as a global power city, the region significantly impacts commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment, both locally and internationally. It is the home to all Philippines embassies, making it an important center for international diplomacy in the country. Its economic power makes the region the country’s premier center for finance and commerce. The region accounts for 36% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Philippines.
The region was established in 1975 through Presidential Decree No. 824 in response to the need to sustain the growing population and for the creation of the center of political power and the seat of the government of the Philippines. The Province of Manila, the predecessor entity of the region, is one of the first eight provinces that revolted against the Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines at the end of the 19th century. Manila’s role in the Revolution is honored in the flag of the Philippines, where the sun’s eight rays symbolize the eight revolutionary provinces.