The Most Historic Site in the Philippines: Manila Bay

Knoji reviews products and up-and-coming brands we think you'll love. In certain cases, we may receive a commission from brands mentioned in our guides. Learn more.
Manila Bay is one of the most historic parts in the Philippine archipelago. Here are some historic and interesting facts about Manila Bay.

Manila Bay is one of the most historic parts in the Philippine archipelago. This beautiful natural harbor serves the Port of Manila. It is considered to be one of the best natural harbors in Southeast Asia and one of the world’s finest harbors.

 Here are some historic and interesting facts about Manila Bay.

1.) Manila Bay, with an entrance of 19 km wide, is the Philippine gateway for socio-economic development.

2.) This historic water formation has an area of 1,994 km2 and a coastline of 190 km and with an average depth of 17 m.

3.) It is situated in the western part of Luzon and is bounded by Cavite and Metro Manila on the east, Bulacan and Pampanga on the north, and Bataan on the west and northwest.

4.) Remarkable islands on the include Corregidor, Caballo Island, El Fraile Island and Carabao island.

5.) There are two harbors in Manila Bay – the North and South Harbor. North Harbor, which is smaller, is used four inter-island shipping and the South Harbor is used for large ocean-going vessels

Image Source

6.) The Manila Bay Sunset is one of the most beautiful sunset views in the world. The above sunset view was photographed from the Bay City in Pasay City.

7.) Manila Bay is the sanctuary of several Migratory birds such as the Chinese Egret and Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike.

8.) These birds and a large number of migratory birds use the intertidal mudflats, saltpans and fishponds during winter.

9.) There are 99 species of birds that were observed at various monitoring sites along the bay area.

10.) Originally, there are 54,000 hectares of mangroves in the bay. Only 794 hectares of mangroves remain at present due to land reclamation projects.

Image Source

11.) Shipping ports and ferry terminals in the bay area receive and dispatch an average of 30,000 ships annually.

12.) Several historic battles were fought in Manila Bay such as the “Battle of Manila Bay” which took place on May 1, 1898 during the Spanish-American War. This battle was the first major engagement of the Spanish-American War.

13.) Another historic battle fought in Manila Bay is the ”Battle of Manila in 1570” This battle was fought between the native Filipinos led by Raja Soliman III and the Spaniards led by Martin de Goiti on May 24, 1570. The Filipinos were defeated and Manila was declared the Philippine capital.

14.) The “Battle of Manila” in 1762 was fought during the “Seven Years’ War” from September 24, 1762 to October 6, 1762. The battle was between the Kingdom of Spain and Kingdom of Great Britain. The British forces were victorious and occupied Manila and nearby areas for a while.

15.) The Battle of Manila Bay was a “moro-moro” battle between Spain and the United States in the last quarter of 1898. The battle was jointly planned by Spain and US forces to keep Manila from falling to the Filipinos led by Emilio Aguinaldo.

Image Source

Naval Station Sangley Point

16.) Another historic battle that occurred in Manila Bay is the “Battle of Manila in 1899”. Te battle was fought during the Philippine-American War on February 4&5, 1899. It was the first and largest battle fought between the Filipinos and the Americans.

17.) The “Battle of Manila in 1945” is also known as the Liberation of Manila. It was fought from February 3 to March 3, 1945 by American, Filipino and Japanese forces. This one month long battle resulted in a terrible bloodbath and the total destruction of the capital city.

18.) During the Battle of Manila in 1946, about 20,000 soldiers and more than 100,000 Filipino civilians were killed.

19.) The Manila Massacre of February 1945 was one of several major war crimes committed by the Imperial Japanese Army, as judged by the postwar military tribunal.

20.) The US Naval Station Sangley Point was a communication and hospital facility in Manila Bay. It was turned over to the Philippine government in 1971 and is now operated by the Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force.

Image Source


21.) The historic Corregidor Island is located at the entrance of Manila Bay. The area is a popular historic tourist destination.

22.) Corregidor was fortified with several coastal artillery and ammunition magazines to defend the entrance of Manila Bay and Manila City from enemy attacks.

23.) Fort Drum or El Fraile Island is a heavily fortified island fortress located at the entrance of Manila Bay. It is also known as the “concrete battleship”.

Image Source

Fort Drum


Madhushan Muthukumar
Posted on Jan 22, 2012
Virginia Grant
Posted on Jan 17, 2012
Jerry Walch
Posted on Jan 16, 2012
Guimo Pantuhan
Posted on Jan 16, 2012
Yovita Siswati
Posted on Jan 15, 2012