The Legend Of Malate

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 the bay.

"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 refreshing."

"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 Spanish.

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.