Manila, officially the City of Manila, is the capital of the Philippines and a highly urbanized city. It is the most densely populated city proper in the world as of 2018. It was the first chartered city by virtue of the Philippine Commission Act 183 on July 31, 1901 and gained autonomy with the passage of Republic Act No. 409 or the "Revised Charter of the City of Manila" on June 18, 1949. Manila, alongside Mexico City and Madrid are considered the world's original set of Global Cities due to Manila's commercial networks being the first to traverse the Pacific Ocean, thus connecting Asia with the Spanish Americas, marking the first time in world history when an uninterrupted chain of trade routes circled the planet. Manila is also the second most natural disaster-afflicted capital city in the world next to Tokyo, yet it is simultaneously among the most populous and fastest growing cities in Southeast Asia.
The Spanish city of Manila was founded on June 24, 1571, by Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi. The date is regarded as the city's official founding date; however, a settlement has already existed dating back as far as 1258.