“Manila” or “Maynila” came from the words “May,” which means “there is” and “Nila,” which refers to a type of flower. There were once Nilad plants with beautiful white and yellow flowers that abundantly surrounded the newly built walls of Intramuros during the Spanish era. They would glow brighter when rayed upon by the tropical sun.
One day, two Spaniards approached a woman holding these dazzling flowers to ask where they came from. The women replied: “Sa Intramuros, sa mga may Nilad” (In Intramuros, the place where there are Nilads). Since then, the natives have been referring to the place as such and people, including foreigners, have come to know the place as Maynila or Manila.