Remedios Circle
Plaza de la Virgen de los Remedios
Remedios Rotonda
Rotary Circle
Remedios Circle, with the Malate Bayview Mansion in the background
Malate, Manila, Philippines
Coordinates14°34′13.33″N 120°59′11.58″E / 14.5703694°N 120.9865500°E / 14.5703694; 120.9865500
Roads at
Remedios Street
Jorge Bocobo Street
Adriatico Street
TypeTraffic circle
Maintained byDepartment of Public Works and Highways

Remedios Circle, also known as the Plaza de la Virgen de los Remedios,[1] Remedios Rotonda,[2] and Rotary Circle,[3] is a traffic circle in Malate, Manila in the Philippines, serving as the intersection between Remedios Street, Jorge Bocobo Street and Adriatico Street. The circle and a traversing street are both named after Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (Our Lady of Remedies), the patroness of the nearby Malate Church,[2] and is one of two major open spaces in Malate, the other being Plaza Rajah Sulayman.

Originally a cemetery in colonial times, the circle is known today for being the center of Manila's nightlife,[4] as well as a popular cruising spot for men who have sex with men.[5]


Remedios Circle was originally the Malate Cemetery, built in a manner similar to what is now Paco Park.[6] It was one of two traffic circles built in Manila during the Spanish colonial period, the other being the Carriedo Fountain on the Rotonda de Sampaloc (now the Nagtahan Interchange), although it wasn't originally built to serve as a traffic circle. For much of its history, Malate and the neighboring district of Ermita were largely residential districts home to the Philippine elite,[7] and the area around the circle was similarly residential, where it was surrounded by nipa-roofed houses and banana plantations, and a circular fountain—which has since been lost—stood at the circle's center.[2]

The circle and its immediate area were destroyed by aerial bombs dropped in the Battle of Manila during World War II. Immediately after the war, the Malate Cemetery was turned over to the newly independent Philippine Government by the Church in the Philippines, demolished, and the bodies re-interred at the Manila South Cemetery.[8] Although Malate and Ermita were subsequently rebuilt, both districts suffered from significant urban decay as former residents began moving out for the suburbs,[7] and the area became a center for prostitution, vagrancy, and petty crime.[2]

As a center for nightlife

Remedios Circle at dusk

In 1980, restaurateur Larry Cruz opened Café Adriatico at the corner of Remedios Circle and Adriatico Street, attracting other entrepreneurs who have been credited for not only reviving the circle, but also for transforming it into the center of Manila's nightlife for much of the 1980s and 1990s:[9] an event which author Alfred "Krip" Yuson called a red-letter day in the cultural calendar of the Philippines.[10]

Unlike other cities in Southeast Asia such as Singapore, where the government invested heavily in developing particular areas for nightlife, little government investment was poured into transforming Remedios Circle, instead growing organically on its own.[11] Government investment has focused largely on infrastructure improvements, with the circle last being renovated in 2006,[2] and a bike lane connecting it to the Paraiso ng Batang Maynila opening in 2012.[12] On August 30, 2009, a monument to Marcelo H. del Pilar was transferred here by the Association of Filipino Journalists.[13]

In popular culture

Remedios Circle was one of the settings for The Bourne Legacy, which was shot in Manila. In the scene, a Filipina woman, Marta, was being chased by two policemen from the Manila Police District until she reaches a dead end: a narrow alleyway in a nearby slum. This alleyway, known internally as the "chasm", was in fact custom built for the movie, being built on a vacant lot across from the circle.[14]


  1. ^ "Larry serves up music". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc. January 18, 2001. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Santos, Tina G. (June 24, 2006). "Manila's 'redeveloped' parks now open to public". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  3. ^ The Philippines, Pearl of the Orient. Manila: Islas Filipinas Publishing Company. 1988. p. 205.
  4. ^ Dalton, David (2007). The Rough Guide to the Philippines. Penguin Books. p. 100. ISBN 9781843538066.
  5. ^ Garcia, J. Neil C. (2009). Philippine Gay Culture: Binabae to Bakla, Silahis to MSM. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. p. 231. ISBN 9789622099852.
  6. ^ Alcazaren, Paulo (July 14, 2001). "Rotundas: Circles of urban life". The Philippine Star. PhilStar Daily, Inc. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Fiel, Corito; Ortego, Kitch (June 29, 1987). "Like the good old Ermita". Manila Standard. Standard Publications, Inc. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  8. ^ Mora, MG; Santos Jr., Reynaldo (November 2, 2013). "Cemetery trivia: What now lies above former burial grounds?". Rappler. Rappler, Inc. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  9. ^ Villalon, Augusto F. (2001). Best, Jonathan (ed.). Lugar: Essays on Philippine Heritage and Architecture. Makati: The Bookmark, Inc. p. 183. ISBN 971-569-422-5.
  10. ^ De Sequera, Vanni (June 9, 2002). "Larry Cruz: The Unwilling Icon". The Philippine Star. PhilStar Daily, Inc. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  11. ^ San Juan, Thelma S. (November 9, 2001). "There's no dumping Malate". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  12. ^ "MMDA opens children's road safety park, 2 bicycle lanes in Manila". GMA News and Public Affairs. November 15, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  13. ^ "MetroBriefs: Journalists honor Del Pilar". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc. September 1, 2009. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  14. ^ Tiu, Cheryl (August 20, 2012). "Thrilla in Manila: On location with 'The Bourne Legacy'". CNN. Retrieved July 10, 2014.