San Nicolas
District of Manila
The intersection of Madrid and San Fernando Streets, in front of the San Nicolas Fire Station
The intersection of Madrid and San Fernando Streets, in front of the San Nicolas Fire Station
Location of San Nicolas
RegionNational Capital Region
Congressional districtPart of the 3rd district of Manila
Founded byDominican Order
Named forSaint Nicholas
 • Total42,957[1]
Zip codes
Area codes2

San Nicolas is one of the sixteen districts in the city of Manila in the Philippines. It is located at the west central part of the city, on the northern bank of the Pasig River[2] bounded by the districts of Binondo to the east by Estero de Binondo, and Tondo to the north and west, and by the Pasig River to the south. Considered as a heritage district of Manila,[3] this community has kept its 19th-century ancestral houses, which symbolizes the wealthy lives of the people who used to live there, similar to the ancestral houses of Silay and Vigan.

As of the May 1, 2020, national census, the population of San Nicolas, which is composed of 15 barangays named as numbers from 268 to 276 and from 281 to 286, is 42,957. This is slightly lower than the 2010 census that counted San Nicolas residents at 44,241.[1]


San Nicolas was originally a fishing town named Baybay, which is also a Tagalog word for shore.[3][4] It was renamed to San Nicolas, after the patron saint of sailors, boatmen, and mariners.[5] San Nicolas is the western part of the first Chinatown in the Philippines, and perhaps the world;[6] the eastern part is Binondo, which was founded in 1594 by Governor-General Luis Pérez Dasmariñas.[6] The Dominican order came to western part of Chinatown in 1596[6] and then founded San Nicolas in 1598.[3] This was the first mission by the Dominicans outside Intramuros.[3]

In 1901, during the American colonization of the Philippines, San Nicolas became a district of the newly chartered city of Manila as its borders were extended outside the walled city presently known as Intramuros.[7] Daniel Burnham, an American architect and urban planner, was commissioned to build a Plan of Manila.[8] The result of the plan was the making of places and parishes that included San Nicolas.[9] In modern times, San Nicolas is one of the administrative districts of Manila and part of the third legislative district of Manila.[10] It became an extension of the Filipino-Chinese community in Binondo.[11]

Further information: Real Alcaicería de San Fernando


Zone/Barangay Land area (km²) Population (2020 census)
Zone 25
Barangay 268 0.04373 km² 489
Barangay 269 0.04217 km² 904
Barangay 270 0.03705 km² 918
Barangay 271 0.06139 km² 633
Barangay 272 0.01970 km² 1,064
Barangay 273 0.02041 km² 825
Barangay 274 0.01210 km² 1,944
Barangay 275 0.02696 km² 19,809
Barangay 276 0.02080 km² 2,543
Zone 26
Barangay 281 0.09284 km² 2,288
Barangay 282 0.1113 km² 2,458
Barangay 283 0.05035 km² 1,345
Barangay 284 0.05324 km² 961
Barangay 285 0.05489 km² 2,066
Barangay 286 0.04595 km² 4,710

Barangays 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, and 276 are part of Zone 25; and Barangays 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, and 286 are part of Zone 26.

List of cultural properties of San Nicolas

In art


See also


  1. ^ a b "Highlights of the National Capital Region (NCR) Population 2020 Census of Population and Housing (2020 CPH)". Philippine Statistics Authority. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  2. ^ "Manila Reborn - Filipinas Heritage Library". Google Arts & Culture. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d "Why San Nicolas is Manila's heritage district". Inquirer Lifestyle. November 2, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  4. ^ See, Teresita Ang (November 5, 2018). "Behind Binondo's whimsical street names are some amusing stories". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved April 15, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Sorilla, Franz IV (June 6, 2022). "San Nicolas District: The Forgotten Treasure of Manila". Tatler Asia. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c Lustre Jr., Philip M. (February 18, 2018). "Where heroes and kin used to tread". Retrieved April 15, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Act No. 183 (July 31, 1901). An act to incorporate the City of Manila. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  8. ^ "Historical Background | EMB - National Capital Region". Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  9. ^ "NCR - Regional Profile". Department of Trade and Industry Philippines. Retrieved April 15, 2021.
  10. ^ Torres, Amaryllis T.; Samson, Laura L.; Diaz, Manuel P. (2015). "FILIPINO GENERATIONS IN A CHANGING LANDSCAPE" (PDF). Philippine Social Science Council. p. 120. ISBN 978-971-8514-36-8.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. ^ "Memory and modernity in San Nicolas District". The Urban Roamer. March 30, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2021.