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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.
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".
The victorious Spaniards made Manila, the capital of the Spanish East Indies and of the Philippines, which their empire would control for the next three centuries.
Manila became famous during the Manila–Acapulco galleon trade, which lasted for three centuries and brought goods from Europe, Africa and Hispanic America across the Pacific Islands to Southeast Asia (which was already an entrepôt for goods coming from India, Indonesia and China), and vice versa.
The rajahnate was ruled under and gave yearly tribute to the Sultanate of Brunei as a satellite state.
Silver that was mined in Mexico and Peru was exchanged for Chinese silk, Indian gems and the spices of Southeast Asia.
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.