Malate is a district of
Manila in the Philippines, under the 5th congressional district of Manila,
divided into fifty-seven (57) barangays
from Zone 75 to 90 and barangays 688 to 744.
Origin of the name
The word Malate is believed to have stemmed from the corruption of
word "ma-alat," meaning
"salty." Legends have it that tidewaters from Manila Bay flowed
in-land as far as where the Remedios Circle is presently located.
The salty sea water polluted the fresh water collected from wells,
thus making drinking water in the area as salty as seawater.
district is located at the southern end of the city of Manila,
adjacent to Pasay
City as its southern most border. North of Malate is the
district Ermita and towards
the east with San Marcelino street as border is the district of
The fountain of the Rajah Sulayman
Park in Malate, Manila
Malate during the Spanish colonial period was an open space with a
small fishing village. During the Spanish period, the center of
activity was focused around the Malate church, the Our Lady of
Remedios Parish that had a cult following among pregnant women
having a difficult pregnancy.
When the Americans came to the country by the turn of the 19th
century, American urban planners envisioned the development of
Malate as the newest and trendiest exclusive residential area for
American families. American expatriates and some of the old Spanish
mestizo families populated the district in modern high rise
apartments and wide aread bungalows.
After World War II, the extensive damage and carnage left behind by
retreating Japanese occupational forces in the area and by the
mortar shelling done by liberating by joint Filipino and American
forces was not enough to level all the buildings and houses.
Displaced wealthy families who abandoned their posh Malate homes
returned and re-built their private villas and kept the whole
district exclusively residential until the 1970s.
There are two sides of Malate, the domain of wealthy expatriates
west of Taft Avenue from Pedro Gil street to Quirino Avenue and the
lower middle class families east of Taft Avenue.
The once exclusive residential areas on the western portion of
Malate started to transform in the 1970s into a commercial area
with some big lotted houses and residential apartments being
converted into small hotels and pensionne houses. Specialty
restaurants and cafes also started to open in the district, as a
result of the spill over of business from next-door Ermita
district, which was for a time the red-light district of
Malate has been called the center of gay night life, and has a
Gay Pride Parade
The western side of Malate across Taft Avenue remains as the quiet
middle class homes with several apartment rows converted into
dormitories for students enrolled at nearby schools.
Busy street corner of Mabini and Pedro
The district can be directly accessed by main roads like the Roxas
Boulevard, Quirino Avenue and Taft Avenue with well-known streets
like Mabini and M.H. del Pilar.
Light Rail Transit
(LRT-1) rolls along Taft Avenue and stops at three stations located
in Malate, the Vito Cruz Station, Quirino Station and the Pedro Gil.
In the 1990s, Malate and its neighbor Ermita has been "cleaned-up"
and legitimate big businesses have sprouted in the district with
the likes of deluxe hotels like the Hyatt Hotel and Casino, the Pan
Pacific Hotel, the Manila Diamond
, Sheraton Hotel and the Grand Boulevard Hotel.
Shopping can be done at the Manila's first enclosed and fully
air-conditioned shopping mall, Harrison Plaza that houses an SM
Department store and Shopwise, a hypermarket owned by Rustan's. It
once housed high-end retailer Rustan's (closed early 2000s).
Malate, east of Taft Avenue is continuously transforming itself as
the center of recreation and entertainment for Manila with more
restaurants, boutiques, entertainment halls, bars, discos and
novelty stores opening for business. Life in the area that usually
starts as soon as the famous Manila Bay sunset is over and the neon
lights and loud glaring sounds are turned-on.
The block bounded by the streets; Maria Orosa, Julio Nakpil,
Adriatico and Remedios have become synonymous to "street parties,"
al fresco drinking and dining, street dancing and even ground-level
The country's forefront financial agencies like the Department of
Finance, the Bangko Sentral
or BSP (Philippines Central Bank) and lending
of the Philippines
established their headquarters in the district, while the National
Naval Command Headquarters of the Philippine Navy
, a unit of the Armed Forces
of the Philippines is at the boundary limits of Manila and Pasay
City along Roxas Boulevard.
Locating a fully functional medical facility is the city-subsidized
Ospital ng Maynila
, located at the corner of Roxas Blvd. and
home to several well-respected educational institutions such as
St. Scholastica's College,
De La Salle-College of Saint
Benilde, De La Salle University-Manila, the Philippine Christian
University, the Philippine Women's University,
St. Paul's College, and for
secondary-level education is the Saint Anthony School and Malate Catholic School.
The only public school managed & operated by the city
government of Manila in the district is the Doña Aurora Quezon
The district is also home to the country's first sports stadium,
the Rizal Memorial Sports
and the country's premiere zoological park, the
and Botanical Garden
.Promenades by the Manila Bay has been made
more convenient and safe with the opening of the Manila Baywalk
that starts near the junction of Pedro Gil St. and Roxas Boulevard.
Tourists and alike can enjoy different types of al fresco
restaurants and cafes and further down south of the path is the
exclusive Manila Yacht Club.
In front of the Malate Church or the historical Parish of Our Lady
of Remedios is the Rajah Sulayman Park that boasts of a dancing
water fountain. Further down Remedio street towards the east is the
Remedios Circle that was improved and renovated under the
administration of Mayor Jose L.
restaurants have been erected at Baywalk in
because of a city ordinance, the businesses are now located in the
bayside of SM Mall of Asia.
An open playground across the Manila Zoological and
was also renovated and improved and is now
called, the Leveriza Children's Park.
Night time is alive at M.
Adriatico and Remedio streets
Night clubs, bars and discoteques started to sprout along the
Malate portion of M.H. del PIlar, Mabini and Adriatico streets.
Upscale restaurants lined-up the corner of Adriatico and Remedios
streets with the opening of landmark restaurants like the Cafe
Adriatico, Larry's Bar and the Korean Village.
Visual and performing artists found a haven in Malate and in the
1980s, the open and nonexclusive watering hole for artists was
Penguin Bar along Remedios Street fronting the Remedios
For a period of time, Malate was the place where artists, poets,
writers, actors, and film industry professionals gathered, where
there was no degree of hypocrisy practiced, just the basic rule of
"come and be yourself, express yourself."
Despite the reign of a dictatorial regime in the 1970s into the
1980s, the glitzy life in Malate flourished and more into the later
part of the 1980s.
- "By Sword and Fire: The Destruction of Manila in World War II,
3 February-3 March 1945" by Alphonso J. Aluit (1994) Bookmark, Inc.
© 1994 National Commission for Culture and the Arts ISBN