Governor-General Miguel López de Legazpi, searching for a suitable place to establish his capital after being compelled to move from Cebu to Panay by Portugese pirates, and hearing of the existence of a prosperous sultanate in Luzon, sent an expedition under Marshall Martin de Goiti and Captain Juan de Salcedo to discover its location and potentials. De Goiti anchored at Cavite, and tried to establish his authority peaceably by sending a message of friendship to Maynilad. Rajah Sulayman, then its ruler, was willing to accept the friendship that the Spaniards were offering, but did not want to submit to its sovereignty unto them and waged war against them. As a result, De Goiti and his army attacked Maynilad on June 1570. After a stout fight, he captured the city before returning to Panay.
In 1571, the unity of the Luzon Empire was already threatened by the uneasy alliance of the Rajah Matanda of Sapa, the Lakandula of Tondo, and Rajah Suliman III, the rajah muda or "crown prince" of Maynila and laxamana or "grand admiral" of the Macabebe Armada. Powerful states like Lubao, Betis and Macabebe became bold enough to challenge the traditional leadership of Tondo and Maynila In about the same year, the Spaniards returned, this time led by Legazpi himself along with his entire force (consisting of 280 Spaniards and 600 native allies). Seeing them approach, the natives set the city on fire and fled to ancient Tondo and neighboring towns. The Spaniards occupied the ruins of Maynilad and established a settlement there. On June 3, 1571, Legaspi gave the title city to the colony of Manila.
The title was certified on June 19, 1572. Under Spain, Manila became the colonial entrepot in the Far East. The Philippines was a Spanish colony administered under the Viceroyalty of New Spain and the Governor-General of the Philippines who ruled from Manila was sub-ordinate to the Viceroy in Mexico City. The Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade route between the Philippines and Mexico flourished from 1571 until 1815. Manila became famous during the Manila-Acapulco trade which brought the goods as far as Mexico all the way to South East Asia.
Because of the Spanish presence in the area, the Chinese people, who were living in the area and engaging in free trade relations with the natives, were subjected to commercial restrictions as well as laws requiring them to pay tribute to Spanish authorities. As a result, the Chinese revolted against the Spaniards in 1574, when a force of about 3,000 men and 62 Chinese warships under the command of Limahong attacked the city. The said attempt was fruitless, and the Chinese were defeated. In order to safeguard the city from similar uprisings later, the Spanish authorities confined the Chinese residents and merchants to a separate district called Parian de Alcaceria.
On June 19, 1591, after the commencing the construction of the fort there, Legazpi made overtures of friendship of Rajah Lakandula of Tondo, which was prudently accepted. However, Rajah Sulayman refused to submit to the Spaniards and gathered together a force composed of Tagalog warriors after failing to get the support of Lakandula and that of the chieftains of Hagonoy and Macabebe. On June 3, 1571, Sulayman led his troops and attacked the Spaniards in a decisive battle at the town of Bangkusay, but they were defeated, and Sulayman himself was killed. With the destruction of Sulayman's army and the friendship with Rajah Lakandula, the Spaniards were enabled to establish throughout the city and its neighboring towns.
Rajah Sulaiman II consented to give the Spaniards a land for their settlement and moved out of Maynilad. Because of Rajah Sulaiman II's recognition of the Spanish authority, he was proclaimed as the first Christian. Through his efforts, many of his relatives were converted to Christianity. When Rajah Sulaiman II died in 1572, López de Legazpi and other high officials carried his remains and placed it in front of the main altar of the Manila Cathedral, a place of the highest honor. This act overwhelmed the other native chieftains like Lakandula who was baptized as Don Carlos Lacadola to accept the Spanish sovereignty. According to historian John Foreman, "Lakandula appears to have been regarded more as a servant by the Spaniards, rather than a free ally." To ensure their loyalty the Spaniards they were given privileges and titles. Eventually, the Augustinians came to spread the Roman Catholic faith through the establishment of schools and parishes. They were soon followed by the Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans, Augustinians and other religious orders who came later in the centuries.
In 1595, Manila was decreed to be the capital of the Philippines, although it had already in fact served that function practically from its founding in 1571. Legazpi then ordered the creation of a municipal government or cabildo with a set of Spanish-style houses, monasteries, nunneries, churches, and schools giving birth to Intramuros. The layout of the city was haphazardly planned during the this era as a set of communities surrounding the fortified walls of Intramuros (within the walls), which was the original Manila. Intramuros, one of the oldest walled cities in the Far East, was constructed and designed by Spanish Jesuit missionaries to keep from invading Chinese pirates and native uprisings.
At various times in the following century, the Chinese rose in revolt against the Spaniards. In 1602, they set fire to Quiapo and Tondo, and for a time threatened to capture Intramuros. In 1662, they again revolted, while in 1686, a conspiracy led by Tingco plotted to kill all the Spaniards. These events led to the expulsion of the Chinese from Manila and the entire country by virtue of the decrees that were made by the Spanish authorities to that effect. However, later reconciliations nearly always permitted the continuation of the Chinese community in the city.
Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia