Manila Bay

October 30, 2010

Manila Bay

Manila Bay is a natural harbor which serves the Port of Manila on Luzon, in the Philippines. The bay is considered to be one of the best natural seaports in Southeast Asia and one of the finest in the world. It has an area of 1,994 km2 or 769.9 sq mi, and a coastline of 190 kilometre or 118.1 mi. The entrance is 19 kilometre or 11.8 mi wide & expands to a breadth of 48 km or 29.8 mi. Corregidor Island divides the entrance into 2 channels, about two miles or 3.2 kilometer towards the North and 6.5 miles or 10.5 kilometre wide on the South side. Mariveles, in the province of Bataan, is an anchorage just inside the northern entry & Sangley Point is the former location of Cavite Naval Base. On either side of the bay are volcanic peaks topped w/ tropical foliage: 40 kilometre to the north is the Bataan Peninsula and to the south is the province of Cavite. View of the famous Manila Bay Sunset from the Bay City in Pasay (near SM Mall of Asia). Across the entrance to Manila Bay are several islands. The largest is Corregidor, which is 3 kilometers from Bataan &, along with the island of Caballo, separates the mouth of the bay into the North & South Channels. In the south channel is El Fraile Island & outside the entrance, & to the south, is Carabao Island. El Fraile, a rocky island some 4 acres or 1.6 hectares in area, supports the massive concrete and steel ruins of Fort Drum, an island fortress constructed by the United States Army to defend the southern entry of the bay. To the immediate north and south are additional harbours. The bay was the setting for the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 & the siege of Corregidor Island by invading Japanese forces in 1942.

Manila Bay drains more or less 17,000 km2 or 6,563.7 sq mi of watershed area, with the Pampanga River bringing about 49% of the freshwater influx. w/ an average depth of 17 m or 55.8 ft, it is estimated to have a total volume of 28.9 billion cubic meters or 28.9 cubic km. Today, Manila Bay still remains important for commerce and industry, including fishing, although rapid urban growth & industrialization are leading to a decline in water quality and dropping marine habitats. It also serves a focus for recreation for Metro Manila and is a popular destination for walks & for viewing the sunset. Much of the land fronting the bay along Metro Manila is reclaimed land which now takes important sites such as the Philippine Senate and the Mall of Asia.

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