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The earliest written account of the city is the 10th Century Laguna Copperplate Inscription which describe an Indianized kingdom maintaining diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Medang and commercial exchanges with Ancient Japan and Song Dynasty China. The city was invaded by Brunei's Sultan Bolkiah and was already Islamized by the 15th century when the Spanish first arrived. Manila eventually became the center of Spanish activity in the Far East and one end of the Manila–Acapulco galleon trade route linking Latin America and Asia. This caused it to be called the "Pearl of the Orient". Several Chinese insurrections, local revolts, a British Occupation and a Sepoy mutiny also occurred thereafter. Later, it saw the rise of the Philippine Revolution which was followed by the arrival of the Americans who made contributions to the city's urban planning and development only to have most of those improvements lost in the devastation of World War II. Since then the city has been rebuilt.
Manila was first known as Ginto (land of gold) or Suvarnadvipa by its neighboring provinces, and was officially the Kingdom of Maynila. The Kingdom of Maynila flourished during the latter half of the Ming Dynasty as a result of trade relations with China. Ancient Tondo was maintained as the traditional capital of the empire. Its rulers were equivalent to kings and not mere chieftains, and they were addressed as panginuan or panginoon ("lords"), anak banwa ("son of heaven") or lakandula ("lord of the palace"). During the 13th century, the city consisted of a fortified settlement and trading quarter at the shores of the Pasig river, on top of previous older towns. There is also early evidence of Manila being invaded by the Indianized empire of Majapahit, due to the epic eulogy poem Nagarakretagama which inscribed its conquest by Maharaja Hayam Wuruk.Saludong or Selurong which is a historical name for the city of Manila is listed in Canto 14 alongside Sulot, which is now Sulu, and Kalka.
During the reign of Sultan Bolkiah in 1485 to 1521, the Sultanate of Brunei decided to break the Dynasty of Tondo's monopoly in the China trade by attacking it and establishing the state of Selurong (now Manila) as a Bruneian satellite-state. A new dynasty under the Islamized Rajah Salalila. was also established to challenge the House of Lakandula in Tondo. Islam was further strengthened by the arrival to the Philippines of traders and proselytizers from Malaysia and Indonesia.The multiple states that existed in the Philippines simplified Spanish colonization. Manila was temporarily threatened by the invasion of Chinese pirate-warlord Limahong before it became the seat of the colonial government of Spain.
In 1571 Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi founded the Manila in what today is Intramuros. Manila was made the capital of the Philippine Islands, which Spain would control for over three centuries, from 1565 to 1898. The city was occupied by Great Britain for two years from 1762 to 1764 as part of the Seven Years' War. The city remained the capital of the Philippines under the government of the provisional British governor, acting through the Mexican-born Archbishop of Manila, Manuel Rojo del Rio y Vieyra and the captive Real Audiencia. However, armed resistance to the British persisted, centered in Pampanga, and was led by Oidor Don Simón de Anda y Salazar.
Manila also became famous during the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade which lasted for three centuries and brought goods from as far as Mexico and Peru all the way to Southeast Asia. Silver that was mined in Mexico and Peru were exchanged for Chinese silk, Indian gems, and the spices of the East Indies.
In 1898, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States. Under the American control, the new government invited Daniel Burnham to plan a modern Manila. The Burnham Plan was a project that attempted to create Manila as Paris on the Prairie, with a vision of a government center occupying all of Wallace Field, which extends from Luneta to the present Taft Avenue. The Philippines Capitol was to rise on the Taft Avenue end of the field, facing toward the sea, and would form, with the buildings of different government bureaus and departments, a mighty quadrangle, lagoon in the center and a monument to Rizal at its Luneta end. Of Burnham’s proposed government center, only three units were built: the Legislative Building and the building of the Finance and Agricultural departments, which were completed on the eve of the War. By then, President Manuel L. Quezon had doomed the Burnham Plan by creating a new capital outside Manila, which was named after him, Quezon City.
Manila was the site of the most fierce battle in the Pacific theater during the war. During the battle, Manila became a city of bloodbath in Asia where 100,000 civilians were killed. It was the second most devastated city in the world after Warsaw during the Second World War. Since then the city has been rebuilt.
With Arsenio Lacson becoming the first elected mayor (prior to this all mayors were appointed), Manila underwent The Golden Age, Manila was revitalized and became once again the pearl of the orient, which Manila has earned before the outbreak of World War II. During the Marcos dictatorship, the region of the Manila metropolitan area was enacted as an independent entity in 1975 encompassing several cities and towns, being as a whole the seat of government of the Philippines.
On 1992, Alfredo Lim became the mayor, and was known for his anti-crime crusades. When Lim ran for the presidency during the 1998 presidential election, his vice mayor Lito Atienza was elected as city mayor. Atienza was known for renovating most of the city's plaza, and projects that would benefit the populace. He was the Mayor of Manila for 3 terms (9 years); barred for seeking a fourth consecutive term. Lim defeated Atienza's son Ali in the 2007 city election and immediately reversed all of Atienza's projects claiming the projects made little contribution to the improvements of the city. On July 17, 2008, councilor Dennis Alcoreza, filed human rights complaints before the Commission on Human Rights, against Lim, and other Manila officials. Twenty four Manila officials also resigned because of the maltreatment of Lim's police forces.
While the eastern part of Manila faced a catastrophe during the flooding of Tropical Storm Ketsana in 2009, the only major inconvenience in the city was the flooded Quezon Boulevard underpass which took two days to clean up and the district of Santa Mesa, the most flooded area within the city. During the 2010 city elections, Alfredo Lim won against secretary Lito Atienza. After a few months of taking office, Lim was harshly criticized on the bloody resolution of the Manila hostage crisis, one of the deadliest hostage crisis in the Philippines.