Imperial Manila
Imperial Manila is a pejorative
Pejoratives , including name slurs, are words or grammatical forms that connote negativity and express contempt or distaste. A term can be regarded as pejorative in some social groups but not in others, e.g., hacker is a term used for computer criminals as well as quick and clever computer experts...

An epithet or byname is a descriptive term accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, objects, and binomial nomenclature. It is also a descriptive title...

 used by certain sectors of Filipino
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

 society to express the idea that all the affairs of the Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

—whether in politics
Politics of the Philippines
The Politics of the Philippines takes place in an organized framework of a presidential, representative, and democratic republic whereby the president is both the head of state and the head of government within a pluriform multi-party system...

, business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

, economy
Economy of the Philippines
The Economy of the Philippines is the 43rd largest in the world, according to the World Bank with an estimated 2010 gross domestic product of $200 billion, it is estimated that by 2015, the ranking of the Philippines would go up to the 18th and by the year 2050 it will land on the 14th...

, or culture
Culture of the Philippines
Philippine culture is related to Micronesian, Bornean, Mexican and Spanish cultures. The people today are mostly of Malayo-Polynesian origin, although there are people with Spanish, Mexican, Austro-Melanesian and Chinese blood. Geographically, the Philippines is considered part of Southeast Asia...

—are decided by what is happening in the capital region Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

 without considering the rest of the country, largely because of its centralized government
Centralized government
A centralized or centralised government is one in which power or legal authority is exerted or coordinated by a de facto political executive to which federal states, local authorities, and smaller units are considered subject...

. It is unknown when it was first used, but there are political writers, particularly those living outside Metro Manila, who associate this term with the People Power Revolution because it was believed that the country's former president, Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

, was toppled from his position without the participation of Filipinos living in areas outside of the capital region. In an article published in Philippine Daily Inquirer
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippine Daily Inquirer, popularly known as the Inquirer, is the most widely read broadsheet newspaper in the Philippines, with a daily circulation of 260,000 copies. It is one of the Philippines' newspapers of record...

, Amando Doronila wrote that:


The term was used by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

 in her 2006 State of the Nation Address, which she said has "slowed down progress, has become open to over-competition, and oppressed the provinces and its people". It was because of the country's centralized government that provincial governments favor constitutional amendments
Constitutional amendment
A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the text of the written constitution of a nation or state.Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation...

 for a shift to federal government
Federal government
The federal government is the common government of a federation. The structure of federal governments varies from institution to institution. Based on a broad definition of a basic federal political system, there are two or more levels of government that exist within an established territory and...

, as well as supporting Arroyo and rejecting calls from Manila-based activist groups demanding for her resignation due to corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

 charges particularly the Philippine National Broadband Network controversy
Philippine National Broadband Network controversy
The Philippine National Broadband Network controversy involved allegations of corruption in the awarding of a US$329 million construction contract to Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE for the proposed government-managed National Broadband Network .The contract with ZTE was signed on April 20,...


Local opinion polls
Opinion poll
An opinion poll, sometimes simply referred to as a poll is a survey of public opinion from a particular sample. Opinion polls are usually designed to represent the opinions of a population by conducting a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities in ratio or within confidence...

 were also lambasted for solely sampling "Imperial Manila-based residents" when it comes to surveys that deal with nationwide issues. Meanwhile, the term also appears in government websites such as those of League of Provinces and Bohol Province
Bohol is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region, consisting of Bohol Island and 75 minor surrounding islands. Its capital is Tagbilaran City. With a land area of and a coastline long, Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines...



Officials of Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

-based rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front
Moro Islamic Liberation Front
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is an Islamist group located in the southern Philippines. It is one of two Islamic militant groups, the other being the Abu Sayyaf, that are fighting against Government of the Philippines...

 have blamed "Imperial Manila" for making the Muslim Mindanao region
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is the region, located in the Mindanao island group of the Philippines, that is composed of predominantly Muslim provinces, namely: Basilan , Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. It is the only region that has its own government...

 the poorest in the country, stating that "the consequence of neo-colonialism has deprived our people to run themselves unfettered and unhampered". Government figures show that the region's poverty incidence in 2006 is at 55.3%, with three of its six provinces (namely Tawi-Tawi
Tawi-Tawi is an island province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . The capital of Tawi-Tawi is Bongao. The province is the southernmost of the country sharing sea borders with the Malaysian State of Sabah and the Indonesian East Kalimantan province. To the...

, Maguindanao
Maguindanao is a province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . Its capital is Shariff Aguak. It borders Lanao del Sur to the north, Cotabato to the east, and Sultan Kudarat to the south....

, and Lanao del Sur
Lanao del Sur
Lanao del Sur is a province of the Philippines located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao . Its capital is Marawi City and borders Lanao del Norte to the north, Bukidnon to the east, and Maguindanao and Cotabato to the south. To the southwest lies Illana Bay, an arm of the Moro Gulf...

) listed among the country's ten poorest provinces.

"Imperial Manila" is also used by a small but vocal minority in the Philippines' business sector in reference to the notion that advertising
Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

 or marketing
Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments...

 a product only requires a single campaign that would work in Mega Manila
Mega Manila
Mega Manila is the term used for the regions of Central Luzon, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA and Metro Manila. It is frequently used in the press, advertising, television and radio...

 (a term used most frequently by the media
Media of the Philippines
The Office of the President is responsible for managing the government’s policy toward the press, but freedom of speech and freedom of the press are enshrined in the 1987 constitution...

), thinking that it would also attract customers in the provinces. Advertising agencies in Metro Manila are also faulted for publishing print advertisements in Manila-based newspapers that would reach other cities by mid-morning (when the residents have already read their own local daily) or running a television commercial
Television advertisement
A television advertisement or television commercial, often just commercial, advert, ad, or ad-film – is a span of television programming produced and paid for by an organization that conveys a message, typically one intended to market a product...

 at a primetime
Prime time
Prime time or primetime is the block of broadcast programming during the middle of the evening for television programing.The term prime time is often defined in terms of a fixed time period—for example, from 19:00 to 22:00 or 20:00 to 23:00 Prime time or primetime is the block of broadcast...

 slot of 9:00 in the evening in Manila while the rest of the country is already asleep.

In 2009, economists from the University of the Philippines
University of the Philippines
The ' is the national university of the Philippines. Founded in 1908 through Act No...

 and the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 made statements encouraging the Philippine government to further concentrate national economic activity within Metro Manila rather than disperse it around the country.


"Imperial Manila" is also referred to the use of Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

—which is spoken in Metro Manila and in certain areas of Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

—as the basis for Filipino
Filipino language
This move has drawn much criticism from other regional groups.In 1987, a new constitution introduced many provisions for the language.Article XIV, Section 6, omits any mention of Tagalog as the basis for Filipino, and states that:...

, the Philippines' national language. In Cebu Province, the local government enforces all of its schools to sing the national anthem
Lupang Hinirang
Lupang Hinirang is the national anthem of the Philippines. Its music was composed in 1898 by Julián Felipe, with lyrics in Spanish adapted from the poem Filipinas, written by José Palma in 1899....

 in Cebuano
Cebuano language
Cebuano, referred to by most of its speakers as Bisaya , is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 20 million people mostly in the Central Visayas. It is the most widely spoken of the languages within the so-named Bisayan subgroup and is closely related to other Filipino...

 as a form of linguistic protest, in patriotic defiance of a law that punishes the singing of the national anthem in languages other than Tagalog with fine or imprisonment
Political prisoner
According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, a political prisoner is ‘someone who is in prison because they have opposed or criticized the government of their own country’....

. A small number of Cebuanos, ignoring the fact that Filipinos of other ethnolinguistic groups may not speak Cebuano, display intolerant behavior towards Tagalog-speakers, whom they view as arrogant. Filipinos of Visayan origin also use "Imperial Manila mentality" when referring to discrimination by their counterparts in Manila against them.


The term "Imperial Manila" has received criticism especially among people living in Metro Manila. Makati
Makati City
The City of Makati is one of the 17 cities that make up Metro Manila, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. Makati is the financial center of the Philippines and one of the major financial, commercial and economic hubs in Asia...

 Mayor Jejomar Binay
Jejomar Binay
Jejomar "Jojo" Cabauatan Binay, Sr. , also known as Jojo Binay or VPNay, is a Filipino politician who has been the 15th Vice President of the Philippines since 2010. Previously, he was Mayor of Makati City from 1986 to 1998 and again from 2001 to 2010...

, the president of United Opposition
Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino
The Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino or United Opposition or KNP, was the coalition of the dominant opposition in the Philippines during the 2004 general elections...

, said that the statement used by President Arroyo in her State of the Nation Address was unfair to local government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal government...

s and businesses in Metro Manila and accused her of "acting imperial," saying:
Binay cited the use of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA), a form of funding for local governments, as a political tool by the Arroyo administration to reward loyal local political leaders by releasing it on time, and to punish those who do not support her by delaying its release.
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