|Metro Manila on Openstreetmap|
It is bounded by Bulacan at the north, Laguna at its southern tip, Cavite at its southwest, Rizal at its east, Laguna Bay at its southeast, and Manila Bay at its west.
But do we ever know where its name come from?
Manila to which is its Tagalog name is Maynila, came from the phrase "May Nilad" which in English, means "Where there is nilad". To which nilad is a shrub with scientific name "Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea". Nilad is a shrub seen at mangroves and beaches. And it is not "The Gates to Hell", as one author said in his fictional novel. :-)
Hence Manila is known because of these nilad plants. But where can we find this shrub?
Centuries ago, nilad once proliferates the shore of Manila Bay which is about 23.5 kilometers long. But due to neglect, urbanization, and reclamation of its shores, the mangrove only occupies roughly 1.95 kilometers. And is only situated along the Freedom Island at the Las Piñas and Parañaque border of the Manila-Cavite Expressway. (coordinates 14.483176,120.978374)
|The Nilad Shrub of the Mangroves of Manila Bay along Manila-Cavite Expressway in Las Piñas|
Amidst its numerous benefits to the people, and distinction as from where the Philippine capital has earned its name, what remains of it is still in danger. In fact, this area and the island is part of the plan for yet another major reclamation project extending all the way from the Mall of Asia Complex until Sangley Point in Cavite city, which according to them can give more "jobs" to Filipinos; yet in reality would only enrich a few wealthy investors and soak further the low-lying communities of Cavite, Las Piñas, and Parañaque in flood.
Again, three laws are already available to protect Manila Bay and the mangroves via Proclamation 41 (1954), Republic Act 7586 (1992) Proclamation 1412 (2007), yet upholding the law is still problematic.
As such, Schadow1 Expeditions fully supports the Save the Freedom Island Movement and the S.O.S. Manila Bay: Save our Sunset so our future generations can still witness where Manila got its name and still see one of the best sunsets in the world.