Manila Bay

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       Manila Bay, famous for its beautiful sunset, is the best natural harbor in Eastern Asia and one of the finest in the world.  The city of Manila is on the eastern shore of the bay, and on the southeast is the city of Cavite.  The entrance to Manila Bay is divided by the island of Corregidor into two channels. sunset at Manila Bay  dusk at Manila Bay

       The Manila Bay area was the focus, during the early phase of World War II, of a desperate attempt to save the Philippines from Japanese conquest.  In the Allied recovery of the Philippines (1944-45), many Japanese ships were sunk in the bay.

       Situated on the western part of Luzon, Manila Bay is bounded by the provinces of Cavite in the south, Metro Manila and Rizal in the east, Bulacan and Pampanga in the north, and Bataan in the west and northwest. The bay has an area of approximately 1,700 sq km, a length of 60 km, and widths varying from 22 km in the mouth to 60 km at the widest portion.  The average depth of the Bay is 17 m (volume = 30 x 109 cu m), and it receives drainage from nearly 17,000 sq km of watershed composed of 26 catchment areas.

       The Pasig River Basin (area of 9,000 sq km) and the Pampanga River Basin (area of 3,900 sq km) make up more than 75% of the whole watershed.  The Pampanga River contributes approximately 49% of the net fresh water influx into the Bay, while Pasig River contributes about 21%.  The other river systems make up 26% of the freshwater source and the remaining 4% comes from net precipitation over the Bay. 

       The human population of the cities and municipalities within the catchment areas is constantly growing.  Consequently, the organic pollution load into the Pasig River and Manila Bay that comes from domestic wastewater has been its biggest threat.

Photos by Ram Agapay
Source: N and P Budget of Manila Bay, Philippines
  by G.S. Jacinto, M.L. San Diego-McGlone, I.B. Velasquez, and S.V. Smith