Metropolitan Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) is the capital of the Philippines and among the world’s thirty most populous metropolitan areas. Metro Manila is one of the two defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines, the other being Metro Cebu.
Metro Manila is the metropolitan area that contains the city of Manila, as well as sixteen surrounding cities and municipalities, including Quezon City, the capital from 1948 to 1976. Metro Manila is the political, economic, social, and cultural center of the Philippines, and is one of the more modern metropolises in Southeast Asia. Among locals, particularly those from Manila proper and those in the provinces, Metro Manila is often simply referred to as Manila; however locals from other parts of the metropolis may see this as offensive, owing to city pride and also the fact that some cities are actually geographically closer to the neighboring provinces than to Manila itself. Metro Manila is often abbreviated as M.M.. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is located in Makati City.
Metro Manila is the smallest of the country’s administrative regions, but the most populous and the most densely populated, having a population of 9,932,560 (2000 census) in an area of only 636 square kilometers. It is also the only region without any provinces. The region is bordered by the provinces of Bulacan to the north, Rizal to the east, and Cavite and Laguna to the south. Metro Manila is also sandwiched by Manila Bay to the west and Laguna de Bay to the southeast with the Pasig River running between them, bisecting the region.
The term Metro Manila should not be confused with the metro rail system of the region, and the word metro itself always describes the metropolitan area (as in the metro). The railways are called by their abbreviations, such as the LRT and the MRT, also known as Light Rail Transit and Metro Rail Transit, respectively.
On paper, Manila is the designated capital and seat of the Philippine government, but in practice, the seats of government are all around Metro Manila. The executive and administrative seat of government is located in Manila, so is the judiciary. The upper house of the legislature (Senate of the Philippines) is located in Pasay City, and the lower house (House of Representatives of the Philippines) in Quezon City.