One day two siblings planned to go for a swim in
Manila de Bay. The name of one was Jose and that of this
older sister was Maria. While they were swimming down
below, two Spaniard happened to be taking a stroll by
"Do you know the name of this place?" asked one
of the spaniards to his fellow friend. "I kind of like this
place. It's cool and the breeze coming from the sea is very
"Well, I don't know the name of this place. I think
it's best we ask the two children swimming over there what
this place is called."
"I'll go ask them," volunteered the other as he
approached the children, followed behind by his friends.
At that time, the two siblings were just getting out
of the waters. "Ate (=sister), I'am very hungry already.
Let's eat!" complained Jose.
"Okay! Oh my gosh I think I forgot to bring our
drinking water," Maria lamented.
"Well. Maybe the water of the bay would do,"
suggested Jose as he headed back to the bay to fetch
some sea water.
Mean while, the two Spaniards arrived at where Maria
was sitted. "Hi! there, young lady! Can you tell us the name
of this place?" asked the taller of the two Spaniards in
Maria could not quite understand at all what the
man was saying for she know not spanish, so she called
out to Jose to come over. By then Jose had already begun
to taste the seawater. He scooped some inside the palm
of his hands tossed it down his mouth.
"Ma-alat Ate! Ma-alat Ate! ("It's too salty, sis-
eter! It's just too salty!" Jose shouted back as he spitted
the sea water out of his mouth.
"Is it too salty, Jose?" asked Maria with a giggle.
The two Spaniards who didn't know what the two
siblings were really talking about, thought Jose was shout-
ing back the name of the place. "Ma-la-te!" said one of
the Spaniard to the other as he tried to repeat what Jose
said, with the usual difficulty foreigners encounter when
trying to pronounce local terms they hear of.
Ma-la-te, confirmed the other Spaniard and then
they left together. Since then the other Spaniards who came
later had the place called Malate which verily must have
been referred to them by our two Spanish visitors men-
tioned above. In fact, during the Spanish regime, many
rich and powerful Spaniards made their residence in Malate.
Many of their old mansions still stands today as major his-
torical sites that have attracted many tourist who come to
Manila aside from the famous Malate Church across which
is Roxas Boulevard and next to which in the outer pheriphery
is the Manila de Bay, famous for its sunset view.