Here’s a bit of trivia that some 2 million Manileños may not know. After the Spanish incorporated Manila as a city in 1571, membership to the council was originally restricted to Spaniards.
On June 24, 1571 (which would later be declared as Manila Day), the municipal government, or the Cabildo, was established, consisting of two mayors, 12 councilors and a secretary. The mayor was chosen by lottery, with councilors nominating four candidates, with two candidates being drawn to serve as mayors.
When Commodore George Dewey crushed the Spanish fleet in the Battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898, the Americans took control of Manila. The Manila Council was first organized on July 31, 1901 at Ayuntamiento de Manila. The new American insular government instituted a municipal board consisting of a Filipino mayor, a Filipino member, and three American members all nominated by the Americans. An advisory board was included, with all 11 members being Filipinos, representing each of Manila’s 11 wards.