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Muntinlupa City is a study in contrasts. First off, it is the location of the country's national penitentiary, the New Bilibid Prison, where thousands of the country's most dangerous convicts are detained. However, as of 2016, it was reported that the Philippine government is pursuing plans to transfer the penitentiary out of Metro Manila. This is expected to happen within the next few years. Muntinlupa City is also the location of Ayala Alabang Village, one of the country's biggest and most affluent gated communities. Alabang is also the business district of the city, where a number of corporate offices are located. There are many accounts of how Muntinlupa got its name. One version alleges that when Spanish colonizers came to the settlement in 1601, the natives were allegedly playing a card game called "Monte sa Lupa." The colonizers asked them what the name of the area was, but they thought they were being asked about the card game. Other accounts claim that the Spaniards themselves assigned the name. Since it was supposedly mountainous, the word "monte" (which means "mountain") was used. For a time, Muntinlupa was part of the province of Rizal. Then, in 1975, it became part of the newly established Metropolitan Manila or National Capital Region. It officially became a city in 1995. Among Muntinlupa's landmarks are Jamboree Lake (known as the smallest natural lake in the country) and the Japanese Garden Cemetery, which hosts the remains of the Japanese soldiers who died in the country during World War II.


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