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Maynilà, the Filipino name for the city, originated from the word nilà, referring to a flowering mangrove tree that grew on the delta of the Pasig River and the shores of Manila Bay.
The flowers were made into garlands that, according to folklore, were offered to statues on religious altars or in churches.
The polity of Tondo flourished during the latter half of the Ming dynasty as a result of direct trade relations with China.
The Tondo district was the traditional capital of the empire, and its rulers were sovereign kings, not mere chieftains.
The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 facilitated direct trade and communications with Spain.
The city's growing wealth and education attracted indigenous people, Chinese, Indians, Latinos, and Europeans from the surrounding provinces The Americans defeated the First Philippine Republic and captured President Emilio Aguinaldo, who declared allegiance to the United States on April 1, 1901.
Likewise, wines and olives grown in Europe and North Africa were shipped via Mexico to Manila.
It is the home to many historic sites, some of which were built during the 16th century.
In 2016, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network listed Manila as an alpha- global city., and is the historic core of a built-up area that extends well beyond its administrative limits.
As nilà products were distributed in other places, people came to refer to the area as Sa may Nilà, Tagalog for "the place where there are nilàs".
The word nilà itself is probably from the Sanskrit nila (नील), meaning "indigo tree".