The former region of Tondo is over eleven hundred years old. Historically, Tondo already existed in the year 900 AD according to the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, a legal document written in Kawi now housed in the National Museum of the Philippines. According to this document, Tondo was ruled by person called Jayadeva who holds the Sanskrit title Senapati or "admiral".
Tondo was ruled by a line of Lakan until the Spanish conquest.
After the Spaniards conquered the City in 1571 AD, Tondo was initially included in the creation of the Province of Pampanga, the first colonial province carved out of the former ancient state. In census conducted by Miguel de Loarca in 1583 AD, Tondo was reported to have spoken the same language as the natives of the province of Pampanga. Institute of National Language commissioner Jose Villa Panganiban once wrote that the dividing line between Kapampangan and Tagalog was the Pasig River, and that Tondo therefore originally spoke Kapampangan. Tondo eventually became a separate province in the later half of the Spanish colonial era.
Tondo was one of the first provinces to declare rebellion against Spain in year 1896. In 1911, under the American colonial regime, there was a major reorganization of political divisions, and the province of Tondo was dissolved, and its towns given to the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan. Today, Tondo just exists as a district in the City of Manila.
It has a land area of 5.64 km². with a population of 407,330 (2007); 72,222 persons per km².
East Tondo, commonly known as Gagalangin, has a land area of 3.46 km². with a population of 223,274 (2007); 64,530 persons per km².
average residential population density: 69,297 persons per km².
The 6th administrative district which covers the 4 districts of Sta. Ana, Sta. Mesa, Pandacan, San Miguel has a total land area of 5.48 km². with a total population of 259,157 (2007); 47,291 persons per km².
It is the location of a notorious and now closed landfill called Smokey Mountain.
The Divisoria area, also located in Tondo, is a major business center and shopping area where dry goods, kitchen utensils, vegetables and fruits, shoes, clothing, coffee, candles, candies, fishing equipment etc., can be brought—wholesale or retail. Shoe Mart once had a small store here, as well as being the home of Yangco Market, which sells dry goods; the Divisoria Public Market, now rebuilt; and the new 168 Shopping Mall. Ambulant vendors frequent its major and minor streets.
It once was the location of the major Procter and Gamble plant in the Philippines at Vitas Street—now closed and dismantled.
West of the district lies the major inter-island port of Manila, North Harbor, and the Manila Container Port.
The slaughterhouse (matadero) of the Manila City Government is located also at Vitas Street.
Every third Sunday of January, the Feast of the Sto. Niño of Manila (the Infant Jesus) is celebrated by a procession early in the morning from Tondo Church and winding down its narrow streets punctuated by fireworks.
On the third Sunday of January, the Sto. Niño festivals began in various parts of the country, particularly in Tondo, Manila. Its parish priest Fr. Enrique Santos, of the Sto. Niño Parish, said the celebrations of 2008 started "with the traditional procession of devotees dancing on the street while carrying images of the Child Jesus; a pagoda carrying an old image of Sto. Niño from Spain will lead the parade with 20 smaller boats accompanying it; the parish in Tondo houses the image of Sto. Niño made of ivory that was brought to the country by Augustinian priests from Acapulco, Mexico in the late 1570’s."
Notable Personalities/Celebrities/Politicians born and raised in Tondo