June 24, 2015 marks the 444th Foundation Day of the City of Manila. The Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) joins the commemoration by publishing a special webpage that examines its rich pre-colonial past, its evolution from a walled city to a megacity, and the significance of the Ultramar—symbol of the city the Spaniards once heralded as the Distinguished and Ever Loyal.


While Manila has been the capital of the Philippines for almost the entirety of the Republic’s history, this infographic details the movement of the Philippine seat of government from within the archipelago to Japan and the United States of America. In times of war, as experienced by Spanish authorities during the British Occupation, and by the governments of the First Republic, the Commonwealth and the Second Republic, the location of the head of government was usually designated the capital. Today, by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 940, s. 1976, the City of Manila has been designated as Capital while Metro Manila is the seat of the national government. Simply this denotes Manila’s status as the primary city of the Philippines while the administrative and political centers, are spread throughout Metro Manila with the executive (Malacañang) and the judiciary (Supreme Court) both in Manila while the legislative branch located in two separate locations: The House of Representatives in Quezon City and the Senate in Pasay.

This division is not unusual as other countries in the region and throughout the world also have similar setups such as Malaysia, the Netherlands, and South Africa, among others.

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