Malate, Manila

Malate, Manila

Malate is a neighborhood within Manila, and alongside Ermita, it's a hub for commerce and tourism in the city. The name "Malate" is believed to have originated from the Tagalog word "maalat," meaning "salty." According to legend, when two Spanish soldiers inquired about the area's name, a young boy, tasting the saltiness of the surroundings, exclaimed to his sister, "Maalat, Ate!" ("Sister, it's salty!"). The Spanish soldiers misinterpreted this as the name of the place. However, this explanation is considered a modern Filipino folk etymology and lacks a historical basis.

The true origin of Malate can be traced back to geographical features. Antonio Morga, writing in 1609, described it as a recreational area extending along the shore, passing through a settlement called Bagumbayan to a chapel named Nuestra Señora de Guia, and further to a monastery and mission-house of the Augustinians, referred to as Mahalat.

In the post-Second World War era, despite significant damage, many homes and buildings in western Malate managed to survive. Wealthy families, who had evacuated during the war, returned and reconstructed their private villas, maintaining the area's residential exclusivity until the 1970s.

Over time, however, the landscape began to shift. Formerly exclusive residential zones gradually gave way to commercial development. Large homes and residential apartments underwent conversions, transforming into small hotels, specialty restaurants, and cafes.

The presidency of Ferdinand Marcos marked a pivotal period for Malate. Artists, both visual and performing, found solace and inspiration in the district, turning it into a vibrant bohemian enclave. This era witnessed the fusion of creativity and culture, shaping Malate into a unique and eclectic hub.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Manila. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Malate on Map

Sight Name: Malate
Sight Location: Manila, Philippines (See walking tours in Manila)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark

Walking Tours in Manila, Philippines

Create Your Own Walk in Manila

Create Your Own Walk in Manila

Creating your own self-guided walk in Manila is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Traditional Markets

Traditional Markets

Traditional markets showcase a unique aspect of life in any city. The ones featured in this walk offer a glance into the authentic life and habits of Manila’s people and play a vital role in the Philippines' capital's economic and cultural landscape. Traditionally, local markets sell a broader range of products than regular shops can provide: from veggies and fruits to dried fish and...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Manila Introduction Walking Tour

Manila Introduction Walking Tour

The capital of the Philippines, Manila was officially founded in 1571 by Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. However, an organized polity, called Maynila (meaning "where indigo is found" in Tagalog), existed on the site since as early as 1258.

The earliest human life in the area dates to 3000 BCE, but much of the existing constructions found around the city were created...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

International surveys have repeatedly ranked Filipinos among the world’s most religious people. The archipelago’s colonization and evangelization by the Spanish, started in 1565, has left Manila with many shrines and churches sprawled around its streets, despite the destructions by wars and natural disasters. Some of these old churches are especially attractive due to their delicate mixture of...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Historical Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Buildings Walking Tour

Manila’s long history results from its situation as a natural port in a huge bay. With the Spanish conquest of the Philippines in the 16th century, it became united, along with Mexico City and Madrid, into the first truly globalised trade system. Intramuros, Manila’s old walled Spanish town, stood for 350 years before World War II came, and still houses many of the historic buildings.

For a...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Manila Shopping: 20 Filipino Goods To Bring Home

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