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This page is about a place in the Philippines, for the novel, see Ermita .

Ermita is a district of Manilamarker, Philippinesmarker located halfway between Intramurosmarker (the old walled city) and Malatemarker.


Ermita was founded in the late 16th century. The name was taken from the Spanish word for "hermitage", after the fact that on this site was built a hermitage housing an image of the Virgin Mary known as the Nuestra Señora de Guia (Our Lady of Guidance). The hermitage has since evolved into Ermita Church, which has been rebuilt several times since the early 17th century.

Ermita gained renewed prominence during the American colonial period. It became known as the university district, containing the campuses of the University of the Philippines, the Ateneo de Manilamarker, the Assumption College and the St. Paul College for girls. Dormitories for students also flourished in the area. The residential portion of Ermita was populated by American residents, who set up such establishments as the Army and Navy Club, and the University Club.

During the 1945 Battle of Manila, Ermita was the scene of some of the most horrific massacres that occurred during the month of February, 1945. The wife and four children of future President Elpidio Quirino were murdered in Ermita, as was Supreme Court Associate Justice Anacleto Diaz. Between 68% to 85% of Ermita was destroyed during the Battle of Manila, with an estimated total of 100,000 Filipino civilians killed in the city itself.

Ermita was rebuilt after the devastation of the war. University life remained vibrant therein. However, as decades passed, Ermita started earning a reputation as the red-light district of Manila. During the term of Mayor Alfredo Lim, an effort was made to "clean up" Ermita, helping improve its reputation since then. However, a local city ordinance prohibiting the establishment, on grounds of public morality, of motels, lodging houses and other similar establishments, was later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. As a result of the clean-up efforts, nightlife in the area dwindled though it has picked up of late with the help of the emergence of the nearby Malate district and the Roxas Blvd. Baywalk area in the nightlife scene. Since 2001 there has been a resurgence of prostitution in Ermita. So-called Karaoke bars (KTV) operated by Korean and Japanese nationals, have lured thousands of women into prostitution and it remains the Philippines second largest center for prostitution after the infamous Angeles City to the north of the capital.

Ermiteño was a Spanish-creole that was spoken in Ermita. It is believed to be extinct today.

Sites of interest

Façade of the Department of Tourism

Several government institutions are housed in Ermita, including the and other offices found along the old government circle designed during the American era by architect and urban planner Daniel Burnham, such as the

Other sites of interest in Ermita include the

A number of educational institutions are also found in Ermita, including the

Ermita also hosts a number of coin shops and antique shops, as well as some artists who remained in the area, such as the novelist and National Artist F. Sionil Jose who maintains a modest bookstore, La Solidaridad, on Padre Faura Street.

Prostitution is centralized around the 'Karaoke bars' and 'Cafes' of M.H.Del Pilar street. Despite efforts of the government to litigate the perpetrators, sex tourism is still a huge source of revenue in the local area.


Zone 71: 659, 659-A, 660, 660-A, 661, 663, 663-A, 664

Zone 72: 666, 667, 668, 669, 670

Barangays of Ermita
Name Population
Barangay 659
Barangay 659-A
Barangay 660
Barangay 660-A
Barangay 661
Barangay 663
Barangay 663-A
Barangay 664
Barangay 666
Barangay 667
Barangay 668
Barangay 669
Barangay 670


  1. By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II 3 February - 3 March 1945, p. 85-86
  2. By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II 3 February - 3 March 1945, p. 89
  3. By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II 3 February - 3 March 1945, p. 405
  4. [1]
  5. " Branch Offices Southeast Asia." China Airlines. Retrieved on June 18, 2009.

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