Malate is an old district of the city of Manila in Metro Manila, the Philippines. The district is located at the southern end of the city of Manila, bordered by the city of Pasay to the south, by Manila Bay and the Pacific Ocean to the west, by the district of Ermita to the north and by the districts of Paco and San Andres to the east. Malate during the Spanish colonial period was an open space with a small fishing village. During the Spanish period, the center of activity was focused around the Malate Church, the Our Lady of Remedios Parish that had a cult following among pregnant women having a difficult pregnancy.
The once exclusive residential areas on the western portion of Malate began to transform in the 1970s into a commercial area with some large homes and residential apartments being converted into small hotels, specialty restaurants and cafes. Despite the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, visual and performing artists found a haven in Malate during the 1980s and it became a bohemian enclave and safe haven. Malate is continuously transforming itself as the center of recreation and entertainment for Manila with more restaurants, boutiques, bars, discos and novelty stores opening for business.
The block bounded by the streets; Maria Orosa, Julio Nakpil, Adriatico and Remedios have become synonymous to "street parties," al fresco dining, street dancing and concerts. Malate has been called a center of gay night life in the Philippines, and has a Gay Pride Parade every year. The western side of Malate across Taft Avenue remains a quiet middle-class area with several apartment rows converted into dormitories for students enrolled at nearby schools.
In the 1990s, Malate and the nearby district of Ermita had been "cleaned-up" and big businesses and resort hotels have sprouted in the district. Harrison Plaza, Manila's first enclosed shopping center, is located in the Malate district. There is one hospital, the Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center, located at the corner of Roxas Boulevard and Quirino Avenue. The country's forefront financial agencies like the Department of Finance, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas or BSP (Philippines Central Bank) and lending institution LandBank of the Philippines established their headquarters in the district, while the National Naval Command Headquarters of the Philippine Navy, a unit of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is at the boundary limits of Manila and the city of Pasay along Roxas Boulevard.
Alongside several schools and other educational institutions this district is also home to the Philippine's first sports stadium, the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and the country's premiere zoological park, the Manila Zoological and Botanical Garden. Promenades and parks by the Manila Bay have been made more convenient and safe with the opening of the Manila Baywalk area.
The district can be directly accessed by the main roads like the Roxas Boulevard, Quirino Avenue and Taft Avenue. The Light Rail Transit (LRT-1) follows Taft Avenue and stops at three stations located in Malate, the Vito Cruz Station, Quirino Station, and the Pedro Gil Station.