20 million people reside in Manila. These occupants inhabit 38.55 sq kilometers making Manila not only the most densly populated city in the Phillipines, but in the world as well. That is a lot of people in a little place! When we would first ask dad how he felt about getting his call to the Philippines he would say, "There are a lot of people!"
The main religion is Roman Catholic which isn't a surprise when you consider that the Spanish helped to settle it. In September of 1984, President Hinckley dedicated the 2nd temple in Asia. The Philippines, Manila temple. It is an interesting story on the trials that arose while trying to dedicate it. The following is taken from LDS.org:
The days prior to the dedication of the Manila Philippines Temples saw several natural disasters in the Philippines including two typhoons, the eruption of Mayon volcano on Bicol Peninsula, and an earthquake in northern Luzon. The temple remained unaffected.
The Manila Philippines Temple was dedicated in nine sessions by President Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency.
On Sunday, December 3, 1989, the grounds of the Manila Philippines Temple were overtaken as the last rebel stronghold in an attempted military coup to overthrow the government. A planned attack by royal troops that evening was miraculously called off. Nevertheless, prior conflict had left the patron housing facility extensively damaged, the temple annex with minor damage, and the temple proper unentered and unharmed except for a single bullet hole at the top of the highest spire. Six mortar or rocket shells had exploded on the grounds, some even passing between the spires.
Dad and mom's mission call letter said that they would be speaking English. They both seemed to be relieved. A week later they received a phone call from the MTC asking them if they could come down and pick up books and training information so they could start learning Tagalog. What a suprise! They went and got their books and CD's, set up a skype account, and scheduled times to meet with their online tutor. Dad keeps saying over and over, "this is nothing like German." Mom says, "I didn't have to learn a language when I went to Minnesota." They are both doing well and thank their tutor Brother Sypher for meeting with them 2-3 times a week!