Philippines

Philippines

Overview
The Philippines officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait
Luzon Strait
The Luzon Strait is the strait between the island country of Taiwan and Luzon island of the Philippines. The strait thereby connects the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea in the western Pacific Ocean....

 lies Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. West across the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

 sits Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

. The Sulu Sea
Sulu Sea
The Sulu Sea is a body of water in the southwestern area of the Philippines, separated from the South China Sea in the northwest by Palawan and from the Celebes Sea in the southeast by the Sulu Archipelago. Borneo is found to the southwest and Visayas to the northeast.Sulu Sea contains a number of...

 to the southwest lies between the country and the island of Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

, and to the south the Celebes Sea
Celebes Sea
The Celebes Sea of the western Pacific Ocean is bordered on the north by the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea and Mindanao Island of the Philippines, on the east by the Sangihe Islands chain, on the south by Sulawesi, and on the west by Kalimantan in Indonesia...

 separates it from other islands of Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea
Philippine Sea
The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea east and north of the Philippines occupying an estimated surface area of 2 million mi² on the western part of the North Pacific Ocean...

. Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire
Pacific Ring of Fire
The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements...

 and its tropical climate make the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons but have also endowed the country with natural resources and made it one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world.
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Timeline

1519   Ferdinand Magellan's five ships set sail from Seville to circumnavigate the globe. The Basque second in command Sebastian Elcano will complete the expedition after Magellan's death in the Philippines.

1521   Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Philippines.

1521   Battle of Mactan: Explorer Ferdinand Magellan is killed by natives in the Philippines led by chief Lapu-Lapu.

1565   Cebu is established becoming the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines.

1594   Philip II recognizes the rights and privileges of the local nobles and chieftains in the Philippines, which paves way to the creation of the Principalía (an elite ruling class of native nobility in Spanish Philippines).

1607   San Agustin Church in Manila is officially completed; it is the oldest church still standing in the Philippines.

1686   Municipality of Ilagan is founded in the Philippines.

1814   Mayon Volcano, in the Philippines, erupts, killing around 1,200 people, the most devastating eruption of the volcano.

1896   Eight provinces in the Philippines are declared under martial law by the Spanish Governor-General Ramón Blanco y Erenas. These were Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Laguna, and Batangas.

1898   Philippine Declaration of Independence: General Emilio Aguinaldo declares the Philippines' independence from Spain.

 
Encyclopedia
The Philippines officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait
Luzon Strait
The Luzon Strait is the strait between the island country of Taiwan and Luzon island of the Philippines. The strait thereby connects the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea in the western Pacific Ocean....

 lies Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. West across the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

 sits Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

. The Sulu Sea
Sulu Sea
The Sulu Sea is a body of water in the southwestern area of the Philippines, separated from the South China Sea in the northwest by Palawan and from the Celebes Sea in the southeast by the Sulu Archipelago. Borneo is found to the southwest and Visayas to the northeast.Sulu Sea contains a number of...

 to the southwest lies between the country and the island of Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

, and to the south the Celebes Sea
Celebes Sea
The Celebes Sea of the western Pacific Ocean is bordered on the north by the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea and Mindanao Island of the Philippines, on the east by the Sangihe Islands chain, on the south by Sulawesi, and on the west by Kalimantan in Indonesia...

 separates it from other islands of Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea
Philippine Sea
The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea east and north of the Philippines occupying an estimated surface area of 2 million mi² on the western part of the North Pacific Ocean...

. Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire
Pacific Ring of Fire
The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements...

 and its tropical climate make the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons but have also endowed the country with natural resources and made it one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world. An archipelago comprising 7,107 islands, the Philippines is categorized broadly into three main geographical divisions: Luzon
Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

, Visayas
Visayas
The Visayas or Visayan Islands and locally known as Kabisay-an gid, is one of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines, along with Mindanao and Luzon. It consists of several islands, primarily surrounding the Visayan Sea, although the Visayas are considered the northeast...

, and Mindanao
Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

. Its capital city is Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

.

With an estimated population of about 94 million people, the Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country. An additional 11 million Filipinos live overseas
Overseas Filipino
An Overseas Filipino is a person of Philippine origin who lives outside of the Philippines. This term applies both to people of Filipino ancestry who are citizens or residents of a different country and to those Filipino citizens abroad on a more temporary status.Most overseas Filipinos migrate to...

. Multiple ethnicities
Ethnic groups in the Philippines
The Philippine islands are inhabited by number of different ethnic groups. The majority of the population is composed of ethnolinguistic groups whose languages are Austronesian in origin. Many of these groups converted to Christianity, and adopted many foreign elements of culture...

 and cultures are found throughout the islands. In prehistoric times, Negrito
Negrito
The Negrito are a class of several ethnic groups who inhabit isolated parts of Southeast Asia.Their current populations include 12 Andamanese peoples of the Andaman Islands, six Semang peoples of Malaysia, the Mani of Thailand, and the Aeta, Agta, Ati, and 30 other peoples of the Philippines....

s were some of the archipelago's earliest inhabitants. They were followed by successive waves
Models of migration to the Philippines
There have been several models of early human migration to the Philippines. Since H. Otley Beyer first proposed his wave migration theory, numerous scholars have approached the question of how, when and why humans first came to the Philippines...

 of Austronesian peoples who brought with them influences from Malay
Malay people
Malays are an ethnic group of Austronesian people predominantly inhabiting the Malay Peninsula, including the southernmost parts of Thailand, the east coast of Sumatra, the coast of Borneo, and the smaller islands which lie between these locations...

, Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

, and Islamic societies. Trade introduced Chinese
Culture of China
Chinese culture is one of the world's oldest and most complex. The area in which the culture is dominant covers a large geographical region in eastern Asia with customs and traditions varying greatly between towns, cities and provinces...

 cultural influences which remain to this day.

The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer. He was born in Sabrosa, in northern Portugal, and served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the "Spice Islands" ....

 in 1521 marked the beginning of an era of Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 interest and eventual dominance. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos
Ruy López de Villalobos
Ruy López de Villalobos was a Spanish explorer who sailed the Pacific from Mexico to establish a permanent foothold for Spain in the East Indies, which was near the Line of Demarcation between Spain and Portugal according to the Treaty of Saragossa in 1529...

 named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi , also known as El Adelantado and El Viejo , was a Spanish conquistador who established one of the first European settlements in the East Indies and the Pacific Islands in 1565. He is the first Governor-General in the Philippines...

 arrived in the Philippines in 1565 and consolidated Spanish rule in the islands, which remained a colony
Colony
In politics and history, a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception....

 of Spain for more than 300 years.

Manila became the Asian hub of the Manila–Acapulco galleon
Manila Galleon
The Manila galleons or Manila-Acapulco galleons were Spanish trading ships that sailed once or twice per year across the Pacific Ocean between Manila in the Philippines, and Acapulco, New Spain . The name changed reflecting the city that the ship was sailing from...

 fleet
Spanish treasure fleet
The Spanish treasure fleets was a convoy system adopted by the Spanish Empire from 1566 to 1790...

. Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 was widely adopted. As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, there followed in quick succession the Philippine Revolution
Philippine Revolution
The Philippine Revolution , called the "Tagalog War" by the Spanish, was an armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and the Spanish colonial authorities which resulted in the secession of the Philippine Islands from the Spanish Empire.The Philippine Revolution began in August...

 which spawned the short-lived First Philippine Republic
First Philippine Republic
The Philippine Republic , more commonly known as the First Philippine Republic or the Malolos Republic was a short-lived insurgent revolutionary government in the Philippines...

, the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

, and the Philippine–American War. In the aftermath, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 emerged as the dominant power. Aside from the period of Japanese occupation
Japanese occupation of the Philippines
The Japanese occupation of the Philippines was the period in the history of the Philippines between 1942 and 1945, when the Empire of Japan occupied the previously American-controlled Philippines during World War II....

, the United States retained sovereignty over the islands until the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 when the Philippines gained independence. The United States bequeathed to the Philippines the English language and a stronger affinity for Western culture. Since independence the Philippines has had an often tumultuous experience with democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, with popular "People Power
People power
The term as currently defined was first used in the Philippines in 1986, during the revolt thattoppled the dictatorship of President Ferdinand Marcos. The word is derived from the 1960's flower power movement against the Vietnam War....

" movements overthrowing a dictatorship in one instance but also underlining the institutional weaknesses of its constitutional republic
Constitutional republic
A constitutional republic is a state in which the head of state and other officials are representatives of the people and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government's power over all of its citizens...

 in others.

Etymology


The name Philippines is derived from that of King Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

. Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos
Ruy López de Villalobos
Ruy López de Villalobos was a Spanish explorer who sailed the Pacific from Mexico to establish a permanent foothold for Spain in the East Indies, which was near the Line of Demarcation between Spain and Portugal according to the Treaty of Saragossa in 1529...

 during his expedition in 1542 named the islands of Leyte
Leyte
Leyte is a province of the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas region. Its capital is Tacloban City and occupies the northern three-quarters of the Leyte Island. Leyte is located west of Samar Island, north of Southern Leyte and south of Biliran...

 and Samar
Samar
Samar, formerly and also known as Western Samar, is a province in the Philippines located in the Eastern Visayas region. Its capital is Catbalogan City and covers the western portion of Samar as well as several islands in the Samar Sea located to the west of the mainland...

 Felipinas after the then Prince of Asturias
Prince of Asturias
Prince of Asturias is the historical title given to the heir to the Spanish throne. It was also the title under the earlier Kingdom of Castile. The current Prince of Asturias is Felipe, son of King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sofía...

. Eventually the name Las Islas Filipinas would be used to cover all the islands of the archipelago. Before it became commonplace, other names such as Islas del Poniente (Islands of the West) and Magellan's name for the islands San Lázaro were also used by the Spanish to refer to the islands.

The official name of the Philippines has changed several times in the course of the country's history. During the Philippine Revolution
Philippine Revolution
The Philippine Revolution , called the "Tagalog War" by the Spanish, was an armed military conflict between the people of the Philippines and the Spanish colonial authorities which resulted in the secession of the Philippine Islands from the Spanish Empire.The Philippine Revolution began in August...

, the Malolos Congress
Malolos Congress
-Further reading:*Philippine House of Representatives Congressional Library...

 proclaimed the establishment of the República Filipina or the Philippine Republic
First Philippine Republic
The Philippine Republic , more commonly known as the First Philippine Republic or the Malolos Republic was a short-lived insurgent revolutionary government in the Philippines...

. From the period of the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 and the Philippine–American War until the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of the Philippines
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was a designation of the Philippines from 1935 to 1946 when the country was a commonwealth of the United States. The Commonwealth was created by the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1934. When Manuel L...

 period, American colonial authorities referred to the country as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the Spanish name. During the American period the name Philippines began to appear and it has since become the country's common name. Since independence the official name of the country has been the Republic of the Philippines.

History


The metatarsal of Callao Man
Callao Man
Callao man refers to fossilized remains discovered in Callao Cave, Peñablanca, Cagayan in 2007 by Armand Salvador Mijares. Specifically, the find consisted of a single 61 milimeter metatarsal which, when dated using uranium series ablation, was found to be at least about 67,000 years old...

 is reported to have been reliably dated by uranium-series dating
Uranium-thorium dating
Uranium-thorium dating, also called thorium-230 dating, uranium-series disequilibrium dating or uranium-series dating, is a radiometric dating technique commonly used to determine the age of calcium carbonate materials such as speleothem or coral...

 to 67,000 years ago thereby replacing the Tabon Man
Tabon Man
Tabon Man refers to fossilized anatomically modern human remains discovered on the island of Palawan in the Philippines on May 28, 1962 by Dr. Robert B. Fox, an American anthropologist of the National Museum of the Philippines...

 of Palawan
Palawan
Palawan is an island province of the Philippines located in the MIMAROPA region or Region 4. Its capital is Puerto Princesa City, and it is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. The islands of Palawan stretch from Mindoro in the northeast to Borneo in the...

, carbon-dated to around 24,000 years ago as the oldest human remains found in the archipelago. Negrito
Negrito
The Negrito are a class of several ethnic groups who inhabit isolated parts of Southeast Asia.Their current populations include 12 Andamanese peoples of the Andaman Islands, six Semang peoples of Malaysia, the Mani of Thailand, and the Aeta, Agta, Ati, and 30 other peoples of the Philippines....

s were among the archipelago's earliest inhabitants but their appearance in the Philippines has not been reliably dated. There are several opposing theories regarding the origins of ancient Filipinos. F. Landa Jocano theorizes that the ancestors of the Filipinos evolved locally. Wilhelm Solheim
Wilhelm Solheim
Wilhelm G. Solheim II is an American anthropologist recognized as most senior practitioner of archaeology in Southeast Asia, and as a pioneer in the study of Philippine and Southeast Asian prehistoric archaeology...

's Island Origin Theory
Nusantao Maritime Trading and Communication Network
The Nusantao Maritime Trading and Communication Network is a trade and communication network that first appeared in the Asia-Pacific region during its Neolithic age. The concept was first suggested by Wilhelm Solheim, known for being the senior practitioner of archaeology in Southeast Asia today...

 postulates that the peopling of the archipelago transpired via trade networks originating in the antediluvian
Antediluvian
The antediluvian period meaning "before the deluge" is the period referred to in the Bible between the Creation of the Earth and the Deluge . The narrative takes up chapters 1-6 of Genesis...

 Sundaland
Sundaland
Sundaland is a biogeographical region of Southeastern Asia which encompasses the areas of the Asian continental shelf that was exposed during the last ice age. It included the Malay Peninsula on the Asian mainland, as well as the large islands of Borneo, Java, and Sumatra and their surrounding...

 area around 48000 to 5000 BCE rather than by wide-scale migration. The Austronesian Expansion Theory states that Malayo-Polynesians
Malayo-Polynesian languages
The Malayo-Polynesian languages are a subgroup of the Austronesian languages, with approximately 385.5 million speakers. These are widely dispersed throughout the island nations of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean, with a smaller number in continental Asia...

 coming from Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 began migrating to the Philippines around 4000 BCE, displacing earlier arrivals. Whatever the case, by 1000 BCE the inhabitants of the archipelago had developed into four kinds of social groups: hunter-gathering tribes, warrior societies, petty plutocracies, and maritime-centered harbor principalities.

Trade between the maritime-oriented peoples and other Asian countries during the subsequent period brought influences from Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. During this time there was no unifying political state encompassing the entire Philippine Archipelago. Instead, the islands were divided among competing thalassocracies
Thalassocracy
The term thalassocracy refers to a state with primarily maritime realms—an empire at sea, such as Athens or the Phoenician network of merchant cities...

 ruled by various datu
Datu
Datu is the title for tribal chiefs, sovereign princes, and monarchs in the Visayas and Mindanao Regions of the Philippines. Together with Lakan , Apo in Central and Northern Luzon, Sultan and Rajah, they are titles used for native royalty, and are still currently used in the Philippines...

s, rajahs, or sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

s. These thalassocracies
Thalassocracy
The term thalassocracy refers to a state with primarily maritime realms—an empire at sea, such as Athens or the Phoenician network of merchant cities...

 were composed of autonomous barangays which were independent to or allied with larger nations. Among them were the kingdoms of Maynila
Kingdom of Maynila
The Kingdom of Seludong , or Maynila, which after colonization became Manila, capital of the Philippines, was one of three major city-states that dominated the area around the upper portion of the Pasig River before the arrival of Spanish colonizers in the 16th century.The early inhabitants of the...

, Namayan
Kingdom of Namayan
The ancient Kingdom of Namayan, alternately referred to as the Kingdom of Sapa, Maysapan or Nasapan after its capital which goes by those names, was one of three major kingdoms that dominated the area around the upper portion of the Pasig River and the coast of Laguna Lake in the Philippines before...

, and Tondo, the confederation of Madyaas
Confederation of Madya-as
The Confederation of Madya-as was a pre-Hispanic Philippine state within the Visayas island region. It was established in the 13th century by rebel datus , led by Datu Puti, who had fled from Rajah Makatunao of Borneo...

, the state of Ma-i
Ma-i
The Ma-i was a Prehispanic Philippine state whose existence was recorded in the Chinese Imperial annals Zhu Fan Zhi and History of Song. It is also recorded in the Sultanate of Brunei's royal records as the nation of Maidh...

, the rajahnates of Butuan
Kingdom of Butuan
The Kingdom of Butuan was an ancient Indianized kingdom in pre-colonial southern Philippines centered on the present Mindanao island city of Butuan. It was known for its mining of gold, its gold products and its extensive trade network across the Nusantara area...

 and Cebu
Rajahnate of Cebu
Rajahante of Cebu was a classical Philippine state which used to exist on Cebu island prior to the arrival of the Spanish. It was founded by Sri Lumay or Rajamuda Lumaya, a minor prince of the Chola dynasty which occupied Sumatra...

, and the sultanates of Maguindanao and Sulu
Sulu Sultanate
The Sultanate of Sulu Dar al-IslamSometimes known as the Royal Sultanate of Sulu or Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam. was an Islamic Tausūgstate that ruled over many of the islands of the Sulu Sea, in the southern Philippines and several places in northern Borneo. The sultanate was founded in 1457...

. Some of these societies were part of the Malayan empires of Srivijaya
Srivijaya
Srivijaya was a powerful ancient thalassocratic Malay empire based on the island of Sumatra, modern day Indonesia, which influenced much of Southeast Asia. The earliest solid proof of its existence dates from the 7th century; a Chinese monk, I-Tsing, wrote that he visited Srivijaya in 671 for 6...

, Majapahit, and Brunei
Brunei
Brunei , officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace , is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia...

. Islam was brought to the Philippines by traders and proselytizers from Malaysia and Indonesia. By the 15th century, Islam was established in the Sulu Archipelago
Sulu Archipelago
The Sulu Archipelago is a chain of islands in the southwestern Philippines. This archipelago is considered to be part of the Moroland by the local rebel independence movement. This island group forms the northern limit of the Celebes Sea....

 and by 1565 had reached Mindanao
Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

, the Visayas
Visayas
The Visayas or Visayan Islands and locally known as Kabisay-an gid, is one of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines, along with Mindanao and Luzon. It consists of several islands, primarily surrounding the Visayan Sea, although the Visayas are considered the northeast...

, and Luzon
Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

.

In 1521, Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 explorer Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan
Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer. He was born in Sabrosa, in northern Portugal, and served King Charles I of Spain in search of a westward route to the "Spice Islands" ....

 arrived in the Philippines and claimed the islands for Spain. Colonization began when Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi
Miguel López de Legazpi , also known as El Adelantado and El Viejo , was a Spanish conquistador who established one of the first European settlements in the East Indies and the Pacific Islands in 1565. He is the first Governor-General in the Philippines...

 arrived from Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 in 1565 and formed the first European settlements in Cebu. In 1571, after dealing with the local royal families
Royal family
A royal family is the extended family of a king or queen regnant. The term imperial family appropriately describes the extended family of an emperor or empress, while the terms "ducal family", "grand ducal family" or "princely family" are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning...

 in the wake of the Tondo Conspiracy and defeating the Chinese pirate warlord Limahong
Limahong
Limahong, Lim Hong or also called Lin Feng was a notorious Chinese pirate and warlord who invaded the northern Philippine Islands in 1574. He built up a reputation for his constant raids to ports in Guangdong, Fujian and southern China...

, the Spanish established Manila as the capital of the Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies
Spanish East Indies was a term used to describe Spanish territories in Asia-Pacific which lasted for three centuries . With the seat of government in Manila, the territory encompassed the Philippine Islands, Guam and the Mariana Islands, the Caroline Islands, and for a period of time, parts of...

.

Spanish rule contributed significantly to bringing political unity to the archipelago. From 1565 to 1821, the Philippines was governed as a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain and then was administered directly from Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 after the Mexican War of Independence
Mexican War of Independence
The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict between the people of Mexico and the Spanish colonial authorities which started on 16 September 1810. The movement, which became known as the Mexican War of Independence, was led by Mexican-born Spaniards, Mestizos and Amerindians who sought...

. The Manila galleons linking Manila to Acapulco
Acapulco
Acapulco is a city, municipality and major sea port in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, southwest from Mexico City. Acapulco is located on a deep, semi-circular bay and has been a port since the early colonial period of Mexico’s history...

 traveled once or twice a year between the 16th and 19th centuries. Trade introduced foods such as corn
Maize
Maize known in many English-speaking countries as corn or mielie/mealie, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain seeds called kernels. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable...

, tomatoes, potatoes, chili peppers, and pineapples from the Americas. Roman Catholic missionaries converted most of the lowland inhabitants to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 and founded schools, a university, and hospitals. While a Spanish decree introduced free public schooling in 1863, efforts in mass public education mainly came to fruition during the American period.

During its rule, the Spanish fought off various indigenous revolts
Philippine revolts against Spain
During the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines, there were several revolts against of the Spanish colonial government by native-born Filipinos and Chinese, often with the goal of re-establishing the rights and powers that had traditionally belonged to tribal chiefs and Chinese traders...

 and several external colonial challenges from Chinese pirates, the Dutch, and the Portuguese. In an extension of the fighting of the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

, British forces
Recruitment in the British Army
The British Army came into being with the unification of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England and Scotland...

 under the command of Brigadier General William Draper
William Draper (British Army officer)
Sir William Draper KCB , was a British military officer who conquered Manila in 1762, but lost Minorca in 1782. He was involved in 1774 with a key meeting that agreed an early set of cricket rules including the leg before wicket rule.- Biography :Draper was born in Bristol, then the second largest...

 and Rear-Admiral Samuel Cornish
Sir Samuel Cornish, 1st Baronet
Sir Samuel Cornish, 1st Baronet was a British naval commander who fought in the Seven Years' War and conquered Manila on October 6, 1762....

 briefly occupied Manila
British occupation of the Philippines
The British occupation of Manila occurred between 1762 and 1764, when a British force occupied Manila, the Spanish colonial capital of the Philippines, and the nearby principal port, Cavite, both on Manila Bay....

. They found local allies like Diego
Diego Silang
Diego Silang y Andaya was a revolutionary leader who conspired with British forces to overthrow Spanish rule in the northern Philippines and establish an independent Ilocano nation...

 and Gabriela Silang
Gabriela Silang
María Josefa Gabriela Cariño Silang was the wife of the Ilocano insurgent leader, Diego Silang. Following Diego's assassination in 1763, she led the group for four months before she was captured and executed....

 who took the opportunity to lead a revolt, but Spanish rule was eventually restored following the 1763 Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

.
In the 19th century, Philippine ports were opened to world trade and shifts were occurring within Philippine society. Many Spaniards born in the Philippines (criollos
Criollo people
The Criollo class ranked below that of the Iberian Peninsulares, the high-born permanent residence colonists born in Spain. But Criollos were higher status/rank than all other castes—people of mixed descent, Amerindians, and enslaved Africans...

) and those of mixed ancestry (mestizos) became wealthy. The influx of Spanish and Latino settlers secularized churches and opened up government positions traditionally held by Spaniards born in the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 (peninsulares
Peninsulares
In the colonial caste system of Spanish America, a peninsular was a Spanish-born Spaniard or mainland Spaniard residing in the New World, as opposed to a person of full Spanish descent born in the Americas or Philippines...

). The ideals of revolution also began to spread through the islands. Criollo dissatisfaction resulted in the revolt in Cavite El Viejo
Cavite Mutiny
The Cavite Mutiny of 1872 was an uprising of military personnel of Fort San Felipe, the Spanish arsenal in Cavite, Philippines on January 20, 1872. Around 200 soldiers and laborers rose up in the belief that it would elevate to a national uprising...

 in 1872 that was a precursor to the Philippine Revolution.

Revolutionary sentiments were stoked in 1872 after three priests—Mariano Gómez
Mariano Gómez
Mariano Gómez y Guard was a Filipino secular priest, part of the Gomburza trio who were falsely accused of mutiny by the Spanish colonial authorities in the Philippines in the 19th century. He was placed in a mock trial and summarily executed in Manila along with two other clergymen.-Early...

, José Burgos
José Burgos
José Apolonio Burgos y García was a Filipino mestizo secular priest, accused of mutiny by the Spanish colonial authorities in the Philippines in the 19th century...

, and Jacinto Zamora
Jacinto Zamora
Jacinto Zamora y del Rosario was a Filipino friar, part of the Gomburza trio who were falsely accused of mutiny by the Spanish colonial authorities in the Philippines in the 19th century...

 (collectively known as Gomburza
Gomburza
Gomburza or GOMBURZA is an acronym denoting the surnames of the priests Mariano Gómez, José Apolonio Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora, three Filipino priests who were executed on 17 February 1872 at Bagumbayan in Manila, Philippines by Spanish colonial authorities on charges of subversion arising from...

)—were accused of sedition by colonial authorities and executed. This would inspire a propaganda movement
Propaganda Movement
The Propaganda Movement was a literary and cultural organization formed in 1872 by Filipino émigrés who had settled in Europe. Composed of Filipino liberals exiled in 1872 and students attending Europe's universities, the organization aimed to increase Spanish awareness of the needs of its colony,...

 in Spain, organized by Marcelo H. del Pilar
Marcelo H. del Pilar
Marcelo Hilario del Pilar y Gatmaitán , better known by his nom-de-plume Plaridel, was a celebrated figure in the Philippine Revolution and a leading propagandist for reforms in the Philippines A master polemicist in both the Tagalog and Spanish languages, he helped the Propaganda Movement through...

, José Rizal
José Rizal
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda , was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by...

, and Mariano Ponce
Mariano Ponce
Mariano Ponce , was a Filipino physician, writer, and active member of the Propaganda Movement. In Spain, he was among the founders of La Solidaridad and Asociacion Hispano-Filipino...

, lobbying for political reforms in the Philippines. Rizal was eventually executed on December 30, 1896, on charges of rebellion. As attempts at reform were meeting with resistance, Andrés Bonifacio
Andres Bonifacio
Andrés Bonifacio y de Castro was a Filipino nationalist and revolutionary. He was a founder and later Supremo of the Katipunan movement which sought the independence of the Philippines from Spanish colonial rule and started the Philippine Revolution...

 in 1892 established the secret society called the Katipunan
Katipunan
The Katipunan was a Philippine revolutionary society founded by anti-Spanish Filipinos in Manila in 1892, whose primary aim was to gain independence from Spain through revolution. The society was initiated by Filipino patriots Andrés Bonifacio, Teodoro Plata, Ladislao Diwa, and others on the night...

, a society along the lines of the freemasons, which sought independence from Spain through armed revolt. Bonifacio and the Katipunan started the Philippine Revolution in 1896. A faction of the Katipunan, the Magdalo
Magdalo (Katipunan faction)
The Magdalo faction of the Katipunan was a chapter in Cavite, mostly led by ilustrados of that province.It was named after Mary Magdalene...

 of Cavite
Cavite
Cavite is a province of the Philippines located on the southern shores of Manila Bay in the CALABARZON region in Luzon, just 30 kilometers south of Manila. Cavite is surrounded by Laguna to the east, Metro Manila to the northeast, and Batangas to the south...

 province, eventually came to challenge Bonifacio's position as the leader of the revolution and Emilio Aguinaldo
Emilio Aguinaldo
Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy was a Filipino general, politician, and independence leader. He played an instrumental role during the Philippines' revolution against Spain, and the subsequent Philippine-American War or War of Philippine Independence that resisted American occupation...

 took over. In 1898, the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 began in Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 and reached the Philippines. Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence
Philippine Declaration of Independence
The Philippine Declaration of Independence occurred on June 12, 1898 in Cavite II el Viejo , Cavite, Philippines. With the public reading of the Act of the Declaration of Independence, Filipino revolutionary forces under General Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the sovereignty and independence of the...

 from Spain in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898 and the First Philippine Republic
First Philippine Republic
The Philippine Republic , more commonly known as the First Philippine Republic or the Malolos Republic was a short-lived insurgent revolutionary government in the Philippines...

 was established the following year. Meanwhile, the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States for US$20 million in the 1898 Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1898)
The Treaty of Paris of 1898 was signed on December 10, 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American War, and came into effect on April 11, 1899, when the ratifications were exchanged....

. As it became increasingly clear the United States would not recognize the First Philippine Republic, the Philippine–American War broke out. It ended with American control over the islands which were then administered as an insular area
Insular area
An insular area is a United States territory, that is neither a part of one of the fifty U.S. states nor the District of Columbia, the federal district of the United States...

.

In 1935, the Philippines was granted Commonwealth
Commonwealth of the Philippines
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was a designation of the Philippines from 1935 to 1946 when the country was a commonwealth of the United States. The Commonwealth was created by the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1934. When Manuel L...

 status. Plans for independence over the next decade were interrupted by World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 when the Japanese Empire invaded and established a puppet government
Second Philippine Republic
The Second Philippine Republic, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , was a state in the Philippines established on October 14, 1943 under Japanese occupation....

. Many atrocities and war crimes
Japanese war crimes
Japanese war crimes occurred during the period of Japanese imperialism, primarily during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. Some of the incidents have also been described as an Asian Holocaust and Japanese war atrocities...

 were committed during the war such as the Bataan Death March
Bataan Death March
The Bataan Death March was the forcible transfer, by the Imperial Japanese Army, of 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of prisoners.The march was characterized by...

 and the Manila massacre
Manila massacre
The Manila massacre refers to the February 1945 atrocities conducted against Filipino civilians in Manila, Philippines by Japanese troops during World War II.-Description:...

 that culminated during the Battle of Manila. Allied troops defeated the Japanese in 1945. By the end of the war it is estimated over a million Filipinos had died. On July 4, 1946, the Philippines attained its independence.
Immediately after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the Philippines faced a number of challenges. The country had to be rebuilt from the ravages of war. It also had to come to terms with Japanese collaborators. Meanwhile, disgruntled remnants of the Hukbalahap
Hukbalahap
The Hukbalahap , was the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines , formed in 1942 to fight the Japanese Empire's occupation of the Philippines during World War II. It fought a second war from 1946 to 1954 against the pro-Western leaders of their newly independent country...

 communist rebel army that had previously fought against and resisted the Japanese continued to roam the rural regions
Regions of the Philippines
In the Philippines, regions are administrative divisions that serve primarily to organize the provinces of the country for administrative convenience. Currently, the archipelagic republic of the Philippines is divided into 17 regions...

. Eventually this threat was dealt with by Secretary of National Defense and later President Ramon Magsaysay
Ramon Magsaysay
Ramón del Fierro Magsaysay was the third President of the Republic of the Philippines from December 30, 1953 until his death in a plane crash in 1957. He was elected President under the banner of the Nacionalista Party.-Early life:Ramon F...

 but sporadic cases of communist insurgency continued to flare up long afterward.
In 1965, Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

 was elected president, his wife Imelda Marcos
Imelda Marcos
Imelda R. Marcos is a Filipino politician and widow of 10th Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. Upon the ascension of her husband to political power, she held various positions to the government until 1986...

 at his side. Nearing the end of his second term and constitutionally barred from seeking a third, he declared martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 on September 21, 1972. By using political divisions, the tension of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, and the specter of communist rebellion and Islamic insurgency as justifications, he was able to govern by decree
Rule by decree
Rule by decree is a style of governance allowing quick, unchallenged creation of law by a single person or group, and is used primarily by dictators and absolute monarchs, although philosophers such as Giorgio Agamben have argued that it has been generalized since World War I in all modern states,...

.
On August 21, 1983, Marcos' chief rival opposition leader Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr.
Benigno Aquino, Jr.
Benigno Simeon "Ninoy" Aquino, Jr. was a Filipino Senator and a former Governor of Tarlac. Aquino, together with Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, formed the leadership of the opposition to the Marcos regime in the years leading to the imposition of martial law in the Philippines...

 ignored warnings and returned from exile in the United States. He was assassinated as he was taken off the plane at the Manila International Airport (now called the Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Ninoy Aquino International Airport
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA , also known as Manila International Airport , is the airport serving the general area of Manila and its surrounding metropolitan area...

 in his memory). With political pressure building, Marcos eventually called for snap presidential elections in 1986
Philippine presidential election, 1986
The Presidential and Vice-Presidential snap elections were held on February 7, 1986 in the Philippines.-Background:President Ferdinand E...

. Corazon Aquino
Corazon Aquino
Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino was the 11th President of the Philippines and the first woman to hold that office in Philippine history. She is best remembered for leading the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the Philippines...

, Benigno's widow, was persuaded to become the presidential candidate and standard bearer of the opposition. The elections were widely thought of as rigged when Marcos was proclaimed the winner. This led to the People Power Revolution, instigated when two long-time Marcos allies—Armed Forces of the Philippines Vice Chief-of-Staff Fidel V. Ramos
Fidel V. Ramos
Fidel "Eddie" Valdez Ramos , popularly known as FVR, was the 12th President of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998. During his six years in office, Ramos was widely credited and admired by many for revitalizing and renewing international confidence in the Philippine economy.Prior to his election as...

 and Secretary of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrile
Juan Ponce Enrile
Juan Ponce Enrile is a Filipino politician. As a protege of President Ferdinand Marcos, he served as Justice Secretary and then Defense Secretary under the Marcos regime. He later became one of the leaders of the 1986 People Power Movement that drove Marcos from power...

—resigned and barricaded themselves in Camp Aguinaldo
Camp Aguinaldo
Camp Aguinaldo is the military headquarters of the Philippine Army and the Armed Forces of the Philippines and is located in Quezon City in the Philippines. It is along Epifanio de los Santos Ave. , in front of Camp Crame, the national headquarters of the Philippine National Police...

 and Camp Crame
Camp Crame
Camp Crame is the national headquarters of the Philippine National Police and is located in along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City...

. Exhorted by the Cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

 Archbishop of Manila Jaime Sin, people gathered in support of the rebel leaders and protested on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue
Epifanio de los Santos Avenue
Epifanio de los Santos Avenue , formerly known as Highway 54, is the main circumferential road and highway of Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is an important commuting artery between the northern and southern parts of the metropolitan area...

 (EDSA). In the face of mass protests and military defections, Marcos and his allies fled to Hawaii and into exile. Corazon Aquino was recognized as president.

The return of democracy and government reforms after the events of 1986 were hampered by national debt, government corruption, coup attempts, a persistent communist insurgency
New People's Army
The New People's Army is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. It was formed on March 29, 1969. The Maoist NPA conducts its armed guerrilla struggle based on the strategical line of 'protracted people's war'.The NPA exacts so called "revolutionary taxes" from business owners...

, and Islamic separatists
Moro National Liberation Front
The Moro National Liberation Front is a political organization that was founded by Nur Misuari in 1969. The MNLF struggles against the Philippine Government to achieve independence of the Bangsamoro Land...

. The economy improved during the administration of Fidel V. Ramos, who was elected president in 1992. However, the economic improvements were negated with the onset of the East Asian financial crisis
East Asian financial crisis
The Asian financial crisis was a period of financial crisis that gripped much of Asia beginning in July 1997, and raised fears of a worldwide economic meltdown due to financial contagion....

 in 1997. In 2001, amid charges of corruption and a stalled impeachment process, Ramos' successor Joseph Estrada
Joseph Estrada
Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada was the 13th President of the Philippines, serving from 1998 until 2001. Estrada was the first person in the Post-EDSA era to be elected both to the presidency and vice-presidency.Estrada gained popularity as a film actor, playing the lead role in over 100 films in...

 was ousted from the presidency by the 2001 EDSA Revolution
2001 EDSA Revolution
The EDSA Revolution of 2001, also called by the local media as EDSA II or the Second People Power Revolution, is the common name of the four-day revolution that peacefully overthrew Philippine President Joseph Estrada from January 17–20, 2001...

 and replaced by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

. As a result of the May 2010 elections
Philippine presidential election, 2010
-Timeline:The COMELEC-mandated election period for this election was from January 10 to June 9, 2010.-2008:*August 26 - Then Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando announces bid for presidency....

, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III
Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III , also known as Noynoy Aquino or PNoy, is a Filipino politician who has been the 15th and current President of the Philippines since June 2010....

 was elected president.

Politics and government


The Philippines is a constitutional republic with a presidential system
Presidential system
A presidential system is a system of government where an executive branch exists and presides separately from the legislature, to which it is not responsible and which cannot, in normal circumstances, dismiss it....

 of government. It is governed as a unitary state
Unitary state
A unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate...

 with the exception of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is the region, located in the Mindanao island group of the Philippines, that is composed of predominantly Muslim provinces, namely: Basilan , Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. It is the only region that has its own government...

 which is largely free from the national government. The President
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 functions as both head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

 and is the commander-in-chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

 of the armed forces
Armed Forces of the Philippines
The Armed Forces of the Philippines is composed of the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force...

. The president is elected by popular vote for a single six-year term, during which he or she appoints and presides over the cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

.

The bicameral Congress
Congress of the Philippines
The Congress of the Philippines is the national legislature of the Republic of the Philippines. It is a bicameral body consisting of the Senate , and the House of Representatives although commonly in the Philippines the term congress refers to the latter.The Senate is composed of 24 senators half...

 is composed of the Senate
Senate of the Philippines
The Senate of the Philippines is the upper chamber of the bicameral legislature of the Philippines, the Congress of the Philippines...

, serving as the upper house
Upper house
An upper house, often called a senate, is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house; a legislature composed of only one house is described as unicameral.- Possible specific characteristics :...

, with members elected to a six-year term, and the House of Representatives
House of Representatives of the Philippines
The House of Representatives of the Philippines is the lower chamber of the...

, serving as the lower house
Lower house
A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house.Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide the lower house has come to wield more power...

, with members elected to a three-year term. The senators are elected at large while the representatives are elected from both legislative districts
Legislative districts of the Philippines
The Legislative districts of the Philippines are the division are the representations of the Philippines' provinces and cities in the House of Representatives. The first composition of legislative districts were enshrined in the Ordinance appended to the Constitution...

 and through sectoral representation.

The judicial
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 power is vested in the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...

, composed of a Chief Justice
Chief Justice of the Philippines
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines presides over the Supreme Court of the Philippines and is the highest judicial officer of the government of the Philippines...

 as its presiding officer and fourteen associate justices
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines
An Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines is one of 15 members of the Philippine Supreme Court, the highest court in the Philippines. The Chief Justice presides over the High Court, but carries only 1 of the 15 votes in the court...

, all of whom are appointed by the President from nominations submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council
Judicial and Bar Council
The Judicial and Bar Council of the Philippines is a constitutionally-created body that recommends appointees for vacancies that may arise in the composition of the Supreme Court and other lower courts.-Composition:...

.

There have been attempts to change the government to a federal
Federal government
The federal government is the common government of a federation. The structure of federal governments varies from institution to institution. Based on a broad definition of a basic federal political system, there are two or more levels of government that exist within an established territory and...

, unicameral, or parliamentary government since the Ramos administration.

Security and defense


Philippine defense is handled by the Armed Forces of the Philippines
Armed Forces of the Philippines
The Armed Forces of the Philippines is composed of the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force...

 and is composed of three branches: the Air Force
Philippine Air Force
The Philippine Air Force is the air force of the Republic of the Philippines, and one of the three main services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas....

, the Army
Philippine Army
The Philippine Army is the ground arm of the Armed Forces of the Philippines . Its official name in Tagalog is Hukbong Katihan ng Pilipinas. On July 23, 2010, President Benigno Aquino III appointed Maj. Gen...

, and the Navy
Philippine Navy
The Philippine Navy is the naval arm of the Armed Forces of the Philippines . Its official name in Filipino is Hukbong Dagat ng Pilipinas, literally, "Sea Force of the Philippines"....

 (including the Marine Corps
Philippine Marine Corps
The Philippine Marine Corps is the marine corps of the Philippines, and is part of the Philippine Navy.- History :...

). Civilian security is handled by Philippine National Police
Philippine National Police
The Philippine National Police is the national police force of the Republic of the Philippines. It is both a national and a local police force in that it does provides all law enforcement services throughout the Philippines...

 under the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)
Department of the Interior and Local Government (Philippines)
The Philippines' Department of the Interior and Local Government is the executive department of the Philippine Government responsible for promoting peace and order, ensuring public safety, and strengthening the capabilities of local government units...

.

In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is the region, located in the Mindanao island group of the Philippines, that is composed of predominantly Muslim provinces, namely: Basilan , Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. It is the only region that has its own government...

, the largest separatist organization, the Moro National Liberation Front
Moro National Liberation Front
The Moro National Liberation Front is a political organization that was founded by Nur Misuari in 1969. The MNLF struggles against the Philippine Government to achieve independence of the Bangsamoro Land...

, is now engaging the government politically. Other more militant groups like the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
Moro Islamic Liberation Front
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is an Islamist group located in the southern Philippines. It is one of two Islamic militant groups, the other being the Abu Sayyaf, that are fighting against Government of the Philippines...

, the communist New People's Army
New People's Army
The New People's Army is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines. It was formed on March 29, 1969. The Maoist NPA conducts its armed guerrilla struggle based on the strategical line of 'protracted people's war'.The NPA exacts so called "revolutionary taxes" from business owners...

, and the Abu Sayyaf
Abu Sayyaf
Abu Sayyaf also known as al-Harakat al-Islamiyya is one of several military Islamist separatist groups based in and around the southern Philippines, in Bangsamoro where for almost 30 years various Muslim groups have been engaged in an insurgency for an independent province in the country...

 still roam the provinces
Provinces of the Philippines
The Provinces of the Philippines are the primary political and administrative divisions of the Philippines. There are 80 provinces at present, further subdivided into component cities and municipalities. The National Capital Region, as well as independent cities, are autonomous from any provincial...

, but their presence has decreased in recent years due to successful security provided by the Philippine government.

The Philippines has been an ally
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 of the United States since World War II. A mutual defense treaty between the two countries was signed in 1951. The Philippines supported American policies during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 and participated in the Korean
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 and Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 wars. It was a member of the now dissolved SEATO, a group that was intended to serve a role similar to NATO and that included Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and the United States. After the start of the War on Terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, the Philippines was part of the coalition that gave support to the United States in Iraq. The United States designated the country a major non-NATO ally
Major non-NATO ally
Major non-NATO ally is a designation given by the United States government to close allies who have strategic working relationships with US armed forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization...

. The Philippines is currently working to end its domestic insurgency with help from the United States.

International relations


The Philippines' international relations are based on trade with other nations and the well-being of the 11 million overseas Filipino
Overseas Filipino
An Overseas Filipino is a person of Philippine origin who lives outside of the Philippines. This term applies both to people of Filipino ancestry who are citizens or residents of a different country and to those Filipino citizens abroad on a more temporary status.Most overseas Filipinos migrate to...

s living outside the country. As a founding and active member of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, the Philippines has been elected several times into the Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

. Carlos P. Romulo
Carlos P. Rómulo
Carlos Peña Rómulo was a Filipino diplomat, politician, soldier, journalist and author. He was a reporter at 16, a newspaper editor by the age of 20, and a publisher at 32...

 was a former President of the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

. The country is an active participant in the Human Rights Council as well as in peacekeeping
Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

 missions, particularly in East Timor
United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor
The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor provided an interim civil administration and a peacekeeping mission in the territory of East Timor, from its establishment on October 25, 1999 until its independence on May 20, 2002 following the outcome of the East Timor Special...

.

In addition to membership in the United Nations, the country is also a founding and active member of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), an organization designed to strengthen relations and promote economic and cultural growth among states in the Southeast Asian region. It has hosted several summits
ASEAN Summit
The ASEAN Summit is an annual meeting held by the member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in relation to economic, and cultural development of Southeast Asian countries....

 and is an active contributor to the direction and policies of the bloc. The relations it currently enjoys with other Southeast Asian states are in contrast to its relations with them before the 1970s when it was at war
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 with Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 and was heavily disputing Sabah
Sabah dispute
North Borneo dispute refers to the status of northeastern part of the state of Sabah in Malaysia. Sabah was previously known as North Borneo prior to the formation of the Malaysian federation in 1963...

 with Malaysia; although, disagreements continue to exist due to the Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
The Spratly Islands are a group of more than 750 reefs, islets, atolls, cays and islands in the South China Sea. The archipelago lies off the coasts of the Philippines and Malaysia , about one third of the way from there to southern Vietnam. They comprise less than four square kilometers of land...

.

The Philippines values its relations with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It supported the United States during the Cold War and the War on Terror and is a major non-NATO ally
Major non-NATO ally
Major non-NATO ally is a designation given by the United States government to close allies who have strategic working relationships with US armed forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization...

. Despite this history of goodwill, controversies related to the presence of the now former U.S. military bases in Subic Bay
Subic Bay
Subic Bay is a bay forming part of Luzon Sea on the west coast of the island of Luzon in Zambales, Philippines, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila Bay. Its shores were formerly the site of a major United States Navy facility named U.S...

 and Clark
Clark Air Base
Clark Air Base is a former United States Air Force base on Luzon Island in the Philippines, located 3 miles west of Angeles City, about 40 miles northwest of Metro Manila. Clark Air Base was an American military facility from 1903 to 1991...

 and the current Visiting Forces Agreement have flared up from time to time. Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, the biggest contributor of official development assistance
Official development assistance
Official development assistance is a term compiled by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to measure aid. The DAC first compiled the term in 1969. It is widely used by academics and journalists as a convenient indicator of...

 to the country, is thought of as a friend. Although historical tensions still exist on issues such as the plight of comfort women
Comfort women
The term "comfort women" was a euphemism used to describe women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during World War II.Estimates vary as to how many women were involved, with numbers ranging from as low as 20,000 from some Japanese scholars to as high as 410,000 from some Chinese...

 much of the animosity inspired by memories of World War II have faded.

Relations with other nations are generally positive. Shared democratic values ease relations with Western and European countries while similar economic concerns help in relations with other developing countries. Historical ties and cultural similarities also serve as a bridge in relations with Spain and Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

. Despite issues such as domestic abuse and war affecting overseas Filipino workers and obstacles posed by Islamic insurgency in Mindanao, relations with Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

ern countries (including Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, and the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

) are friendly as seen in the continuous employment of more than two million overseas Filipinos living there.

With communism no longer the threat it once was, once hostile relations in the 1950s between the Philippines and the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 have improved greatly. Issues involving Taiwan, the Spratly Islands, and concerns of expanding Chinese influence, however, still encourage a degree of carefulness. Recent foreign policy has been mostly about economic relations with its Southeast Asian and Asia-Pacific neighbors.

The Philippines is a member of the East Asia Summit
East Asia Summit
The East Asia Summit is a forum held annually by leaders of, initially, 16 countries in the East Asian region. Membership will expand to 18 countries including the United States and Russia at the Sixth EAS in 2011. EAS meetings are held after annual ASEAN leaders’ meetings...

 (EAS), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region...

 (APEC), the Latin Union
Latin Union
The Latin Union is an international organization of nations that use Romance languages, with the aim of protecting, projecting, and promoting the common cultural heritage and unifying identities of the Latin, and Latin-influenced, world. It was created in 1954 in Madrid, Spain, and has existed as a...

, the Group of 24, and the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

. It is also seeking to strengthen relations with Islamic countries by campaigning for observer status in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Administrative divisions


The Philippines is divided into three island groups: Luzon
Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

, Visayas
Visayas
The Visayas or Visayan Islands and locally known as Kabisay-an gid, is one of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines, along with Mindanao and Luzon. It consists of several islands, primarily surrounding the Visayan Sea, although the Visayas are considered the northeast...

, and Mindanao
Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

. , these were divided into 17 regions
Regions of the Philippines
In the Philippines, regions are administrative divisions that serve primarily to organize the provinces of the country for administrative convenience. Currently, the archipelagic republic of the Philippines is divided into 17 regions...

, 80 provinces
Provinces of the Philippines
The Provinces of the Philippines are the primary political and administrative divisions of the Philippines. There are 80 provinces at present, further subdivided into component cities and municipalities. The National Capital Region, as well as independent cities, are autonomous from any provincial...

, 138 cities
Cities of the Philippines
A city is a tier of local government in the Philippines. All Philippine cities are chartered cities, whose existence as corporate and administrative entities is governed by their own specific charters in addition to the Local Government Code of 1991, which specifies the administrative structure...

, 1,496 municipalities
Municipalities of the Philippines
A municipality is a local government unit in the Philippines. Municipalities are also called towns . They are distinct from cities, which are a different category of local government unit...

, and 42,025 barangays. In addition, Section 2 of Republic Act No. 5446 asserts that the definition of the territorial sea around the Philippine archipelago does not affect the claim over Sabah
Sabah
Sabah is one of 13 member states of Malaysia. It is located on the northern portion of the island of Borneo. It is the second largest state in the country after Sarawak, which it borders on its southwest. It also shares a border with the province of East Kalimantan of Indonesia in the south...

.

Region Designation Regional center
Ilocos Region
Ilocos Region
The Ilocos region or Region I is a Region of the Philippines and is located in the northwest of Luzon. It borders to the east the regions of the Cordillera Administrative Region and Cagayan Valley and to the south the region of Central Luzon...

 
Region I San Fernando, La Union
La Unión
La Union or La Unión may refer to:-Colombia:*La Unión, Antioquia*La Unión, Nariño*La Unión, Sucre*La Unión, Valle del Cauca-Peru:*La Unión Province, Peru...

Cagayan Valley
Cagayan Valley
Cagayan Valley is a region of the Philippines, also designated as Region II or Region 02. It is composed of five provinces, namely: Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino...

 
Region II Tuguegarao, Cagayan
Cagayan
Cagayan , the "Land of Smiling Beauty", is a province of the Philippines in the Cagayan Valley region in Luzon. Its capital is Tuguegarao City and is located at the northeastern corner of the island of Luzon. Cagayan also includes the Babuyan Islands to the north. The province borders Ilocos Norte...

Central Luzon
Central Luzon
Central Luzon , also known as Region III , is an administrative division or region of the Republic of the Philippines, primarily serve to organize the 7 provinces of the vast central plain of the island of Luzon , for administrative convenience...

 
Region III San Fernando, Pampanga
Pampanga
Pampanga is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Luzon region. Its capital is the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. Pampanga is bordered by the provinces of Bataan and Zambales to the west, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija to the north, and Bulacan to the southeast...

CALABARZON
CALABARZON
CALABARZON is one of the regions of the Philippines. It is also designated as Region IV-A and its regional center is Calamba City in Laguna...

 
Region IV-A Calamba
Calamba City
Calamba City is a first class component city located in the province of Laguna, Philippines. Situated only 54 kilometers south of Manila, about an hour by chartered bus, Calamba City is a popular tourist destination with its hot spring resorts, most of the resorts are located in Barangay Pansol...

, Laguna
MIMAROPA  Region IV-B Calapan, Oriental Mindoro
Oriental Mindoro
Oriental Mindoro is a province of the Philippines located in the island of Mindoro under MIMAROPA region in Luzon, about 140 km southwest of Manila...

Bicol Region
Bicol Region
The Bicol Region or Bicolandia is one of the 17 regions of the Philippines. Its regional center is Legazpi City...

 
Region V Legazpi, Albay
Albay
Albay is a province of the Philippines located in the Bicol Region in Luzon. Its capital is Legazpi City and the province borders Camarines Sur to the north and Sorsogon to the south. Also to the northeast is Lagonoy Gulf....

Western Visayas
Western Visayas
Western Visayas, one of the regions of the Philippines, is designated as Region VI. It consists of six provinces; Aklan, Antique, Negros Occidental, Capiz, Guimaras and Iloilo and 16 cities making it the region with the highest number of cities. Iloilo City is the regional center...

Region VI Iloilo City
Iloilo City
The City of Iloilo is a highly urbanized city in the Philippines and the capital city of Iloilo province. It is the regional center of the Western Visayas, as well as the center of the Iloilo-Guimaras Metropolitan Area...

Central Visayas
Central Visayas
Central Visayas, designated as Region VII, is a region of the Philippines located in the central part of the Visayas island group. It consists of four provinces—Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor— and the highly urbanized cities of Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City....

 
Region VII Cebu City
Cebu City
The City of Cebu is the capital city of Cebu and is the second largest city in the Philippines, the second most significant metropolitan centre in the Philippines and known as the oldest settlement established by the Spaniards in the country.The city is located on the eastern shore of Cebu and was...

Eastern Visayas
Eastern Visayas
Eastern Visayas is one of the two regions of the Philippines having no land border with another region, MIMAROPA being the other, and is designated as Region VIII...

 
Region VIII Tacloban
Tacloban City
The City of Tacloban is a port city approximately 360 miles southeast of Manila. It is the first in Eastern Visayas to be classified as a Highly Urbanized City. It is the capital of the Philippine province of Leyte and is the largest city in terms of population in Eastern Visayas...

Zamboanga Peninsula  Region IX Zamboanga City
Zamboanga City
The City of Zamboanga : is a highly urbanized, independent and a chartered city located in Mindanao, Philippines....

Northern Mindanao
Northern Mindanao
Designated as Region X of the Philippines, Northern Mindanao is composed of five provinces and two cities classified as highly-urbanized, all occupying the north-central part of Mindanao island, and the island-province of Camiguin...

 
Region X Cagayan de Oro
Cagayan de Oro City
Cagayan de Oro; , officially the City of Cagayan de Oro, is the provincial capital city of the province of Misamis Oriental in the Philippines...

Davao Region
Davao Region
Davao Region / Southern Mindanao, designated as Region XI, is one of the regions of the Philippines, located on the southeastern portion of Mindanao. Davao Region consists of four provinces, namely: Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Davao del Sur. The region encloses the Davao...

 
Region XI Davao City
Davao City
The City of Davao is the largest city in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Its international airport and seaports are among the busiest cargo hubs in the Philippines....

SOCCSKSARGEN
SOCCSKSARGEN
SOCCSKSARGEN is a region of the Philippines, located in central Mindanao, and is officially designated as Region XII. The name is an acronym that stands for the region's four provinces and one of its cities: South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City...

 
Region XII Koronadal, South Cotabato
South Cotabato
South Cotabato is a province of the Philippines located in the SOCCSKSARGEN region in Mindanao. Its capital is Koronadal City, and it borders Sultan Kudarat to the north and west, Sarangani to the south and east, and Davao del Sur to the east...

Caraga
Caraga
Caraga is an administrative region of the Philippines, on the northeastern portion of the island of Mindanao. It is the newest region in the Philippines and is also called Region XIII. The Caraga Region was created through Republic Act No. 7901 on February 25, 1995...

 
Region XIII Butuan
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is the region, located in the Mindanao island group of the Philippines, that is composed of predominantly Muslim provinces, namely: Basilan , Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. It is the only region that has its own government...

 
ARMM Cotabato City
Cotabato City
The City of Cotabato is one of the cities of the Philippines located in Mindanao. Cotabato City is an exclave of the SOCCSKSARGEN region found within the boundaries of Maguindanao province, but is independent of that province...

Cordillera Administrative Region
Cordillera Administrative Region
The Cordillera Administrative Region is a region in the Philippines composed of the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province, as well as Baguio City, the regional center. The Cordillera Administrative Region encompasses most of the areas within the Cordillera...

 
CAR Baguio
National Capital Region
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

 
NCR Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...


Geography


The Philippines is an archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 of 7,107 islands with a total land area, including inland bodies of water, of approximately 300000 square kilometres (115,830.6 sq mi). Its 36289 kilometres (22,549 mi) of coastline makes it the country with the 5th longest coastline in the world. It is located between 116° 40', and 126° 34' E. longitude and 4° 40' and 21° 10' N. latitude and is bordered by the Philippine Sea
Philippine Sea
The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea east and north of the Philippines occupying an estimated surface area of 2 million mi² on the western part of the North Pacific Ocean...

 to the east, the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

 to the west, and the Celebes Sea
Celebes Sea
The Celebes Sea of the western Pacific Ocean is bordered on the north by the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea and Mindanao Island of the Philippines, on the east by the Sangihe Islands chain, on the south by Sulawesi, and on the west by Kalimantan in Indonesia...

 to the south. The island of Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

 is located a few hundred kilometers southwest and Taiwan is located directly to the north. The Moluccas and Sulawesi
Sulawesi
Sulawesi is one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia and is situated between Borneo and the Maluku Islands. In Indonesia, only Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua are larger in territory, and only Java and Sumatra have larger Indonesian populations.- Etymology :The Portuguese were the first to...

 are located to the south-southwest and Palau
Palau
Palau , officially the Republic of Palau , is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Philippines and south of Tokyo. In 1978, after three decades as being part of the United Nations trusteeship, Palau chose independence instead of becoming part of the Federated States of Micronesia, a...

 is located to the east of the islands.

Most of the mountainous islands are covered in tropical rainforest
Tropical rainforest
A tropical rainforest is an ecosystem type that occurs roughly within the latitudes 28 degrees north or south of the equator . This ecosystem experiences high average temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall...

 and volcanic in origin. The highest mountain is Mount Apo
Mount Apo
Mount Apo is a large solfataric, potentially-active stratovolcano in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. With an altitude of , it is the highest mountain in the country and is located between Davao City and Davao del Sur province in Region XI and Cotabato province in Region XII...

. It measures up to 2,954 meters (9,692 feet) above sea level and is located on the island of Mindanao. The Galathea Depth in the Philippine Trench
Philippine Trench
The Philippine Trench is a submarine trench to the east of the Philippines. It has a length of approximately 1,320 km and a width of about 30 km from the centre of the Philippine island of Luzon trending southeast to the northern Maluku island of Halmahera in Indonesia...

 is the deepest point in the country and the third deepest in the world. The trench is located in the Philippine Sea
Philippine Sea
The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea east and north of the Philippines occupying an estimated surface area of 2 million mi² on the western part of the North Pacific Ocean...

. The longest river is the Cagayan River
Cagayan River
The Cagayan River is the longest and largest river in the Philippine Archipelago. It is located in the Cagayan Valley region in northeastern part of Luzon island and traverses the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela and Cagayan.-Topography:...

 in northern Luzon. Manila Bay
Manila Bay
Manila Bay is a natural harbor which serves the Port of Manila , in the Philippines.The bay is considered to be one of the best natural harbors in Southeast Asia and one of the finest in the world...

, upon the shore of which the capital city of Manila lies, is connected to Laguna de Bay
Laguna de Bay
Laguna de Bay is the largest lake in the Philippines and the third largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia after Tonle Sap in Cambodia and Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia. It is on the island of Luzon between the provinces of Laguna to the south and Rizal to the north...

, the largest lake in the Philippines, by the Pasig River
Pasig River
The Pasig River is a river in the Philippines that connects Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay. Stretching for , it is lined by Metro Manila on each side...

. Subic Bay
Subic Bay
Subic Bay is a bay forming part of Luzon Sea on the west coast of the island of Luzon in Zambales, Philippines, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila Bay. Its shores were formerly the site of a major United States Navy facility named U.S...

, the Davao Gulf
Davao Gulf
Davao Gulf is a gulf found in Mindanao in the Philippines. It has an area of 308,000 hectares. Davao Gulf cuts into the island of Mindanao from Celebes Sea. It is surrounded by all four provinces in the Davao Region. The largest island in the gulf is Samal Island. Davao City, on the gulf's west...

, and the Moro Gulf
Moro Gulf
The Moro Gulf is a sea in Mindanao in the Philippines. It is part of Celebes Sea and is surrounded by the Zamboanga Peninsula and the central part of Mindanao. Sibuguey Bay and Illana Bay are its major branches. Zamboanga City is the most important port city on its coast...

 are other important bays. The San Juanico Strait
San Juanico Strait
San Juanico Strait is a narrow strait in the Philippines. It separates the islands of Samar and Leyte. At its narrowest point, the strait is only wide, said to be the narrowest strait in the world. It is crossed by the San Juanico Bridge....

 separates the islands of Samar and Leyte but it is traversed by the San Juanico Bridge
San Juanico Bridge
The San Juanico Bridge, part of the Pan-Philippine Highway, stretches from Samar to Leyte across the San Juanico Strait in the Philippines. Its longest length is a steel girder viaduct built on reinforced concrete piers, and its main span is of an arch-shaped truss design. With a total length of ,...

.

Situated on the western fringes of the Pacific Ring of Fire
Pacific Ring of Fire
The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements...

, the Philippines experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity. The Benham Plateau
Benham Plateau
Benham Plateau , also known as the Benham Rise, is a seismically active undersea region and extinct volcanic ridge east of the Philippines, in the Philippine Sea. Under the Philippine Sea lies a number of Basins including the West Philippine Basin of which inside the Basin is located the Central...

 to the east in the Philippine Sea is an undersea region active in tectonic
Plate tectonics
Plate tectonics is a scientific theory that describes the large scale motions of Earth's lithosphere...

 subduction
Subduction
In geology, subduction is the process that takes place at convergent boundaries by which one tectonic plate moves under another tectonic plate, sinking into the Earth's mantle, as the plates converge. These 3D regions of mantle downwellings are known as "Subduction Zones"...

. Around 20 earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

s are registered daily, though most are too weak to be felt. The last major earthquake was the 1990 Luzon earthquake
1990 Luzon earthquake
The Luzon earthquake occurred on Monday, July 16, 1990, at 4:26 PM local time in the Philippines. The densely populated island of Luzon was struck by an earthquake with a 7.8 Ms...

. There are many active volcanoes
Active volcanoes in the Philippines
Active is commonly termed for volcanoes with historical eruptions. Moreover, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology classify active volcanoes in the country as having erupted within historical times , with accounts of these eruptions documented by man; or having erupted within the...

 such as the Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano, also known as Mount Mayon, is an active volcano in the province of Albay, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Renowned as the "perfect cone" because of its almost symmetric conical shape, Mayon forms the northern boundary of Legazpi City, the largest city in terms of...

, Mount Pinatubo
Mount Pinatubo
Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano located on the island of Luzon, near the tripoint of the Philippine provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. It is located in the Tri-Cabusilan Mountain range separating the west coast of Luzon from the central plains, and is west of the dormant and...

, and Taal Volcano
Taal Volcano
Taal Volcano is a complex volcano located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Historical eruptions are concentrated on Volcano Island, an island near the middle of Lake Taal. The lake partially fills Taal Caldera, which was formed by powerful prehistoric eruptions between 140,000 to 5,380 BP...

. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June 1991 produced the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century. Not all notable geographic features are so violent or destructive. A more serene legacy of the geological disturbances is the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. The white sand beaches that make Boracay
Boracay
Boracay is an island of the Philippines located approximately south of Manila and 2 km off the northwest tip of Panay Island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Boracay Island and its beaches have received awards numerous times. Boracay was awarded in the "Travelers' Choice...

 a popular vacation getaway are made of coral remnants.

Due to the volcanic nature of the islands, mineral deposits are abundant. The country is estimated to have the second-largest gold deposits after South Africa and one of the largest copper deposits in the world. It is also rich in nickel, chromite, and zinc. Despite this, poor management, high population density, and environmental consciousness have resulted in these mineral resources remaining largely untapped. Geothermal energy, however, is another product of volcanic activity that the country has harnessed more successfully. The Philippines is the world's second-biggest geothermal producer behind the United States, with 18% of the country's electricity needs being met by geothermal power.

Flora and fauna



The Philippines' rainforests and its extensive coastlines make it home to a diverse range of birds, plants, animals, and sea creatures. It is one of the ten most biologically mega-diverse countries and is at or near the top in terms of biodiversity per unit area. Around 1,100 land vertebrate species can be found in the Philippines including over 100 mammal species and 170 bird species not thought to exist elsewhere. Endemic species include the tamaraw
Tamaraw
The Tamaraw or Mindoro Dwarf Buffalo is a small, hoofed mammal belonging to the family Bovidae. It is endemic to the island of Mindoro in the Philippines and is the only endemic Philippine bovine. It is believed, however, to have once also thrived on the greater island of Luzon...

 of Mindoro, the Visayan spotted deer, the Philippine mouse deer, the Visayan warty pig
Visayan warty pig
The Visayan Warty Pig, Sus cebifrons, is a critically endangered species of pig. The Visayan warty pig is endemic to two of the Visayan Islands in the central Philippines, and is threatened by habitat loss, food shortages and hunting - these are the leading causes of the Visayan Warty Pig's status...

, the Philippine flying lemur
Philippine Flying Lemur
The Philippine Flying Lemur is one of two species of flying lemurs, the only two living species in the order Dermoptera. Additionally, it is the only member of the genus Cynocephalus.-Distribution:...

, and several species of bat
Bat
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera "hand" and pteron "wing") whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly,...

s.
The Philippines lacks large predators, with the exception of snakes, such as pythons and cobra
Cobra
Cobra is a venomous snake belonging to the family Elapidae. However, not all snakes commonly referred to as cobras are of the same genus, or even of the same family. The name is short for cobra capo or capa Snake, which is Portuguese for "snake with hood", or "hood-snake"...

s, and birds of prey, such as the national bird, known as the Philippine eagle
Philippine Eagle
The Philippine Eagle , also known as the Monkey-eating Eagle, is an eagle of the family Accipitridae that is endemic to forests in the Philippines. It has brown and white-coloured plumage, and a shaggy crest, and generally measures in length and weighs...

. Other native animals include the palm civet cat, the dugong
Dugong
The dugong is a large marine mammal which, together with the manatees, is one of four living species of the order Sirenia. It is the only living representative of the once-diverse family Dugongidae; its closest modern relative, Steller's sea cow , was hunted to extinction in the 18th century...

, and the Philippine tarsier
Philippine Tarsier
The Philippine Tarsier , known locally as the Kupal in Cebuano/Visayan and Mamag in Luzon, is an endangered species of tarsier endemic to the Philippines. It is found in the southeastern part of the archipelago, particularly in the islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao...

 associated with Bohol
Bohol
Bohol is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region, consisting of Bohol Island and 75 minor surrounding islands. Its capital is Tagbilaran City. With a land area of and a coastline long, Bohol is the tenth largest island of the Philippines...

. With an estimated 13,500 plant species in the country, 3,200 of which are unique to the islands, Philippine rainforests boast an array of flora, including many rare types of orchids and rafflesia
Rafflesia
Rafflesia is a genus of parasitic flowering plants. It contains approximately 28 species , all found in southeastern Asia, on the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, Thailand and the Philippines.Rafflesia was found in the Indonesian rain forest by an Indonesian guide working for Dr...

. The narra is considered as the most important type of hardwood
Hardwood
Hardwood is wood from angiosperm trees . It may also be used for those trees themselves: these are usually broad-leaved; in temperate and boreal latitudes they are mostly deciduous, but in tropics and subtropics mostly evergreen.Hardwood contrasts with softwood...

.

Philippine maritime waters
Territorial waters
Territorial waters, or a territorial sea, as defined by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is a belt of coastal waters extending at most from the baseline of a coastal state...

 encompass as much as 2.2 million square kilometers (850,000 square miles) producing unique and diverse marine life and is an important part of the Coral Triangle
Coral Triangle
The Coral Triangle is a geographical term so named as it refers to a roughly triangular area of the tropical marine waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste that contain at least 500 species of reef-building corals in each ecoregion...

. There are 2,400 fish species and over 500 species of coral. The Apo Reef
Apo Reef
Apo Reef is a series of coral reefs encompassing 34 square kilometers within the waters of Occidental Mindoro in the Philippines. It is the world's second-largest contiguous coral reef system and the largest in the country...

 is the country's largest contiguous coral reef system and the second-largest in the world. Philippine waters also sustain the cultivation of pearls, crabs, and seaweeds.

Deforestation
Deforestation
Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use....

, often the result of illegal logging
Illegal logging
Illegal logging is the harvest, transportation, purchase or sale of timber in violation of laws. The harvesting procedure itself may be illegal, including using corrupt means to gain access to forests; extraction without permission or from a protected area; the cutting of protected species; or the...

, is an acute problem in the Philippines. Forest cover declined from 70% of the country's total land area in 1900 to about 18.3% in 1999. Many species are endangered and scientists say that Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, which the Philippines is part of, faces a catastrophic extinction rate of 20% by the end of the century. According to Conservation International
Conservation International
Conservation International is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, which seeks to ensure the health of humanity by protecting Earth's ecosystems and biodiversity. CI’s work focuses on six key initiatives that affect human well-being: climate, food security, freshwater...

, "the country is one of the few nations that is, in its entirety, both a hotspot and a megadiversity country, placing it among the top priority hotspots for global conservation."

Climate


The Philippines has a tropical maritime climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 and is usually hot and humid. There are three seasons: tag-init or tag-araw, the hot dry season or summer from March to May; tag-ulan, the rainy season from June to November; and tag-lamig, the cool dry season from December to February. The southwest monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

 (from May to October) is known as the Habagat, and the dry winds of the northeast monsoon (from November to April), the Amihan. Temperatures usually range from 21°C (70°F) to 32°C (90°F) although it can get cooler or hotter depending on the season. The coolest month is January; the warmest is May.

The average yearly temperature is around 26.6°C (79.88°F). In considering temperature, location in terms of latitude and longitude is not a significant factor. Whether in the extreme north, south, east, or west of the country, temperatures at sea level tend to be in the same range. Altitude usually has more of an impact. The average annual temperature of Baguio at an elevation of 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) above sea level is 18.3°C (64.9°F), making it a popular destination during hot summers. Likewise, Tagaytay is a favored retreat.

Sitting astride the typhoon belt
Typhoons in the Philippines
Typhoons in the Philippines refer in general to tropical cyclones that enter the Philippine area of responsibility and affect the Philippines. Locally they are called bagyo...

, most of the islands experience annual torrential rains and thunderstorms from July to October, with around nineteen typhoons entering the Philippine area of responsibility in a typical year and eight or nine making landfall. Annual rainfall measures as much as 5,000 millimeters (200 inches) in the mountainous east coast section but less than 1,000 millimeters (39 inches) in some of the sheltered valleys. The wettest known tropical cyclone to impact the archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 was the July 1911 cyclone
Cyclone
In meteorology, a cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth. This is usually characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth. Most large-scale...

, which dropped over 1168 millimetres (46 in) of rainfall within a 24-hour period in Baguio City. Bagyo is the local term for a tropical cyclone
Tropical cyclone
A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

 in the Philippines.

Economy



The national economy of the Philippines is the 46th largest in the world, with an estimated 2010 gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 (nominal) of $189 billion. Primary exports include semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

 products, petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 products, coconut oil
Coconut oil
Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm . Throughout the tropical world, it has provided the primary source of fat in the diets of millions of people for generations. It has various applications in food, medicine, and industry...

, and fruits. Major trading partners include the United States, Japan, China, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Taiwan
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

, and Thailand. Its unit of currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 is the Philippine peso
Philippine peso
The peso is the currency of the Philippines. It is subdivided into 100 centavos . Before 1967, the language used on the banknotes and coins was English and so "peso" was the name used...

 (₱ or PHP).
A newly industrialized country, the Philippine economy has been transitioning from one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. Of the country's total labor force of around 38.1 million, the agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 sector employs close to 32% but contributes to only about 13.8% of GDP. The industrial sector employs around 13.7% of the workforce and accounts for 30% of GDP. Meanwhile the 46.5% of workers involved in the services sector are responsible for 56.2% of GDP.

The unemployment rate as of July 2009 stands at around 7.6% and due to the global economic slowdown inflation as of September 2009 reads 0.70%. Gross international reserves as of July 2011 are $75.174 billion. In 2004, public debt as a percentage of GDP was estimated to be 74.2%; in 2008, 56.9%. Gross external debt has risen to $66.27 billion. The country is a net importer.


After World War II, the country was for a time regarded as the second wealthiest in East Asia, next only to Japan. However, by the 1960s its economic performance started being overtaken. The economy stagnated under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos as the regime spawned economic mismanagement and political volatility. The country suffered from slow economic growth and bouts of economic recession
Recession
In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction, a general slowdown in economic activity. During recessions, many macroeconomic indicators vary in a similar way...

. Only in the 1990s with a program of economic liberalization did the economy begin to recover.

The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis affected the economy, resulting in a lingering decline of the value of the peso
Philippine peso
The peso is the currency of the Philippines. It is subdivided into 100 centavos . Before 1967, the language used on the banknotes and coins was English and so "peso" was the name used...

 and falls in the stock market. But the extent it was affected initially was not as severe as that of some of its Asian neighbors. This was largely due to the fiscal conservatism of the government, partly as a result of decades of monitoring and fiscal supervision from the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 (IMF), in comparison to the massive spending of its neighbors on the rapid acceleration of economic growth. There have been signs of progress since. In 2004, the economy experienced 6.4% GDP growth and 7.1% in 2007, its fastest pace of growth in three decades. Yet average annual GDP growth per capita for the period 1966–2007 still stands at 1.45% in comparison to an average of 5.96% for the East Asia and the Pacific region as a whole and the daily income for 45% of the population of the Philippines remains less than $2. Despite enjoying sustained economic growth during the first decade of the 21st century, , the country's economy remains smaller than those of its Southeast Asian neighbors Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore in terms of GDP and GDP per capita (nominal).

Other incongruities and challenges exist. The economy is heavily reliant on remittances which surpass foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

 as a source of foreign currency. Regional development is uneven with Luzon—Metro Manila in particular—gaining most of the new economic growth at the expense of the other regions, although the government has taken steps to distribute economic growth by promoting investment in other areas of the country. Despite constraints, service industries such as tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 and business process outsourcing
Business process outsourcing
Business process outsourcing is a subset of outsourcing that involves the contracting of the operations and responsibilities of specific business functions to a third-party service provider. Originally, this was associated with manufacturing firms, such as Coca Cola that outsourced large segments...

 have been identified as areas with some of the best opportunities for growth for the country. Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

 includes the country in its list of the "Next Eleven
Next Eleven
The Next Eleven are eleven countries—Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, and Vietnam — identified by Goldman Sachs investment bank and Jim O'Neill as having a high potential of becoming, along with the BRICS, the world's largest...

" economies. But China and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 have emerged as major economic competitors.

The Philippines is a member of the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 (WTO), the Asian Development Bank
Asian Development Bank
The Asian Development Bank is a regional development bank established on 22 August 1966 to facilitate economic development of countries in Asia...

 which is headquartered in Mandaluyong City
Mandaluyong City
The City of Mandaluyong is one of the cities and municipalities that comprise Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is bordered on the west by the country's capital, Manila, to the north by San Juan City, to the east by Quezon City and Pasig City, and by Makati City to the south...

, the Colombo Plan
Colombo Plan
The Colombo Plan is a regional organization that embodies the concept of collective inter-governmental effort to strengthen economic and social development of member countries in the Asia-Pacific Region...

, and the G-77
Group of 77
The Group of 77 at the United Nations is a loose coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members' collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations. There were 77 founding members of the organization, but the organization has...

 among other groups and institutions.

Demographics





Population in Philippines
Year Million
1971 37.6
1980 48.1
1990 62.4
2000 77.7
2004 83.9
2008 90.3
Source: OECD/World Bank


Population in Philippines increased from 1990 to 2008 with 28 million with 45 % growth. The first official census
Philippines census
The Philippines census is a regularly occurring and official count of the human population of a certain local administrative unit in the Philippines...

 in the Philippines was carried out in 1877 and recorded a population of 5,567,685. As of 2011, the Philippines has become the world's 12th most populous nation, with a population of over 94 million.
It is estimated that half of the population resides on the island of Luzon. The population growth rate between 1995 to 2000 of 3.21% decreased to an estimated 1.95% for the 2005 to 2010 period, but remains a contentious issue
Reproductive Health Bill (Philippines)
The Reproductive Health bills, popularly known as the RH Bill, are Philippine bills aiming to guarantee universal access to methods and information on birth control and maternal care. The bills have become the center of a contentious national debate. There are presently two bills with the same...

. The population's median age is 22.7 years with 60.9% aged from 15 to 64 years old. Life expectancy at birth is 71.38 years, 74.45 years for females and 68.45 years for males.

There are about 11 million Filipinos outside the Philippines. Since the liberalization of United States immigration laws in 1965, the number of people in the United States having Filipino
Filipino American
Filipino Americans are Americans of Filipino ancestry. Filipino Americans, often shortened to "Fil-Ams", or "Pinoy",Filipinos in what is now the United States were first documented in the 16th century, with small settlements beginning in the 18th century...

 ancestry has grown substantially. In 2007 there were an estimated 3.1 million. According to the United States Census Bureau, immigrants from the Philippines made up the second largest group after Mexico that sought family reunification. Some two million Filipinos work in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, with nearly a million in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 alone.

Ethnicity


According to the 2000 census 28.1% of Filipinos are Tagalog, 13.1% Cebuano, 9% Ilocano, 7.6% Bisaya/Binisaya, 7.5% Hiligaynon, 6% Bikol, 3.4% Waray, and 25.3% are classified as other. These general headings can be broken down further to yield more distinct non-tribal groups like the Moro, the Kapampangan
Kapampangan people
The Kapampangans or Capampan͠gans are the sixth largest Filipino ethnolinguistic group, numbering about 2,890,000. The original Kapampangans may have descended from Austronesian-speaking immigrants to Luzon during the Iron Age.The province of Pampanga is traditional homeland of the Kapampangans...

, the Pangasinense
Pangasinan people
The Pangasinan are the eighth largest Filipino ethnolinguistic group. They are the residents or indigenous peoples of the Province of Pangasinan, one of the provinces of the Republic of the Philippines, located on the west central area in the island of Luzon along Lingayen Gulf...

, the Ibanag, and the Ivatan
Ivatan people
The Ivatans are a Filipino ethnolinguistic group predominant in the Batanes Islands of the Philippines. The origins of the Ivatans remained untraced among scholars, although evidences suggest that they are Christians who lived in the islands between northern Luzon and Taiwan...

. There are also indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples of the Philippines
The indigenous peoples of the Philippines consist of a large number of indigenous ethnic groups living in the country. They are the descendants of the original inhabitants of the Philippines who have managed to resist centuries of Spanish and United States colonization and in the process have...

 like the Igorot
Igorot
Cordillerans are the people of the Cordillera region, in the Philippines island of Luzon. The word, Igorot is a misnomer term invented by the Spaniards in mockery against the Nortnern Luzon tribes. The word ‘Igorot’ also as coined and applied by the Spaniards means a savage, head-hunting and...

, the Lumad
Lumad
The Lumad is a term being used to denote a group of indigenous peoples of the southern Philippines. It is a Cebuano term meaning "native" or "indigenous"...

, the Mangyan
Mangyan
Mangyan is the generic name for the eight indigenous groups found in the Philippine island of Mindoro, each with its own tribal name, language, and customs...

, the Bajau
Bajau
The Bajau or Bajaw , also spelled Bajao, Badjau, Badjaw, or Badjao, are an indigenous ethnic group of Maritime Southeast Asia...

, and the tribes of Palawan. Negrito
Negrito
The Negrito are a class of several ethnic groups who inhabit isolated parts of Southeast Asia.Their current populations include 12 Andamanese peoples of the Andaman Islands, six Semang peoples of Malaysia, the Mani of Thailand, and the Aeta, Agta, Ati, and 30 other peoples of the Philippines....

s, such as the Aeta
Aeta
The Aeta , Agta or Ayta are an indigenous people who live in scattered, isolated mountainous parts of Luzon, Philippines. They are considered to be Negritos, who are dark to very dark brown-skinned and tend to have features such as a small stature, small frame, curly to kinky afro-like textured...

 and the Ati, are considered among the earliest inhabitants of the islands.

Filipinos generally belong to several Asian
Asian people
Asian people or Asiatic people is a term with multiple meanings that refers to people who descend from a portion of Asia's population.- Central Asia :...

 ethnic groups classified linguistically as part of the Austronesian or Malayo-Polynesian
Malayo-Polynesian languages
The Malayo-Polynesian languages are a subgroup of the Austronesian languages, with approximately 385.5 million speakers. These are widely dispersed throughout the island nations of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean, with a smaller number in continental Asia...

 speaking people. It's believed that thousands of years ago Taiwanese aborigines
Taiwanese aborigines
Taiwanese aborigines is the term commonly applied in reference to the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. Although Taiwanese indigenous groups hold a variety of creation myths, recent research suggests their ancestors may have been living on the islands for approximately 8,000 years before major Han...

 migrated to the Philippines from Taiwan, bringing with them knowledge of agriculture and ocean-sailing, and displacing the earlier Negrito groups of the islands.

Eventually Chinese, Spanish, and American arrivals intermarried with the various indigenous ethnic groups that had evolved. Their descendants are known as mestizos
Filipino mestizo
Filipino mestizo is a term used in the Philippines to describe people of mixed Filipino and foreign ancestry. The word mestizo is of Spanish origin, and was originally used in the Americas to only describe people of mixed European and Native American ancestry.- History :Spanish periodThe Spanish...

. Chinese Filipino
Chinese Filipino
A Chinese Filipino derived from two words: "Tsino" and "Pinoy" ) is a Philippine national of Chinese ethnicity but born/raised in the Philippines....

s number about two million. Other migrant ethnic groups who have settled in the country from elsewhere include Arabs, Britons, other Europeans, Indonesians, Japanese, Koreans
Koreans in the Philippines
Koreans in the Philippines, largely consisting of expatriates from South Korea, form the largest Korean diaspora community in Southeast Asia and the eighth-largest in the world, after Korean Australians and before Koreans in Kazakhstan; as of 2009, statistics of South Korea's Ministry of Foreign...

, and South Asians.

Cities



Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

 is the most populous of the twelve defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines and the 11th most populous in the world. As of the 2007 census, it had a population of 11,553,427, comprising 13% of the national population. Including suburbs in the adjacent provinces (Bulacan
Bulacan
Bulacan , officially called the Province of Bulacan or simply Bulacan Province, is a first class province of the Republic of the Philippines located in the Central Luzon Region in the island of Luzon, north of Manila , and part of the Metro...

, Cavite
Cavite
Cavite is a province of the Philippines located on the southern shores of Manila Bay in the CALABARZON region in Luzon, just 30 kilometers south of Manila. Cavite is surrounded by Laguna to the east, Metro Manila to the northeast, and Batangas to the south...

, Laguna, and Rizal
Rizal
Rizal is a province located in the CALABARZON , just 16 kilometers east of Manila. The province was named after the country's national hero, José Rizal. Rizal Governor Casimiro A. Ynares III on June 17, 2008 announced the transfer of the Capitol from Pasig. Its P 270-million capitol building,...

) of Greater Manila
Greater Manila Area
Greater Manila generally refers to the contiguous urbanization surrounding Metro Manila. Greater Manila spills into the neighboring provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga and Batangas. Greater Manila hugs Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in Luzon...

, the population is around 21 million.

Metro Manila's gross regional product
Gross Regional Product
A metropolitan area's gross regional product, i.e. GMP or GRP, is one of several measures of the size of its economy. Similar to GDP, GRP is defined as the market value of all final goods and services produced within a metropolitan area in a given period of time.-See also:*List of European...

 is estimated as of July 2009 to be
Philippine peso
The peso is the currency of the Philippines. It is subdivided into 100 centavos . Before 1967, the language used on the banknotes and coins was English and so "peso" was the name used...

468.4 billion (at constant 1985 prices) and accounts for 33% of the nation's GDP. In 2008, it ranked as the 40th wealthiest urban agglomeration in the world and the 2nd in Southeast Asia, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers
PricewaterhouseCoopers
PricewaterhouseCoopers is a global professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the world's largest professional services firm measured by revenues and one of the "Big Four" accountancy firms....

. Davao City
Davao City
The City of Davao is the largest city in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Its international airport and seaports are among the busiest cargo hubs in the Philippines....

 in Mindanao and Cebu City
Cebu City
The City of Cebu is the capital city of Cebu and is the second largest city in the Philippines, the second most significant metropolitan centre in the Philippines and known as the oldest settlement established by the Spaniards in the country.The city is located on the eastern shore of Cebu and was...

 in the Visayas are other important urban centers.

Language


Ethnologue
Ethnologue
Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International , a Christian linguistic service organization, which studies lesser-known languages, to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language and support their efforts in language development.The Ethnologue...

lists 175 individual languages in the Philippines, 171 of which are living languages while 4 no longer have any known speakers. They are part of the Borneo–Philippines group of the Malayo-Polynesian languages
Malayo-Polynesian languages
The Malayo-Polynesian languages are a subgroup of the Austronesian languages, with approximately 385.5 million speakers. These are widely dispersed throughout the island nations of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean, with a smaller number in continental Asia...

, which is itself a branch of the Austronesian language
Austronesian languages
The Austronesian languages are a language family widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members spoken on continental Asia that are spoken by about 386 million people. It is on par with Indo-European, Niger-Congo, Afroasiatic and Uralic as one of the...

 family.

According to the 1987 Philippine Constitution
Constitution of the Philippines
The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the Philippines.The Constitution currently in effect was enacted in 1987, during the administration of President Corazon Aquino, and is popularly known as the "1987 Constitution"...

, Filipino
Filipino language
This move has drawn much criticism from other regional groups.In 1987, a new constitution introduced many provisions for the language.Article XIV, Section 6, omits any mention of Tagalog as the basis for Filipino, and states that:...

 and English are the official languages. Filipino is a de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

 version of Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

, spoken mainly in Metro Manila and other urban regions. Both Filipino and English are used in government, education, print, broadcast media, and business. The constitution designates regional languages such as Bicolano
Bikol language
Central Bicolano , is one of the individual languages of the Bikol languages. It belongs to Coastal Bikol. It is spoken in Bicol Region of the Philippines .-Bikol-Naga:...

, Cebuano
Cebuano language
Cebuano, referred to by most of its speakers as Bisaya , is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 20 million people mostly in the Central Visayas. It is the most widely spoken of the languages within the so-named Bisayan subgroup and is closely related to other Filipino...

, Ilocano
Ilokano language
Ilokano or Ilocano is the third most-spoken language of the Republic of the Philippines....

, Hiligaynon
Hiligaynon language
Hiligaynon, often referred to as Ilonggo, is an Austronesian language spoken in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines.Hiligaynon is concentrated in the provinces of Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Capiz but is also spoken in the other provinces of the Panay Island group, including Antique,...

, Kapampangan
Kapampangan language
The Pampangan language, or Kapampangan , is one of the major languages of the Philippines. It is the language spoken in the province of Pampanga, the southern half of the province of Tarlac and the northern portion of the province of Bataan. Kapampangan is also understood in some barangays of...

, Pangasinan
Pangasinan language
The Pangasinan language or Pangasinense is one of the twelve major languages in the Philippines....

, Tagalog, and Waray-Waray
Waray-Waray language
Wáray-Wáray or Samarnon is a language spoken in the provinces of Samar, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, and in some parts of the Leyte and Biliran in the Philippines...

 as auxiliary official languages, and mandates that Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 and Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 shall be promoted on a voluntary and optional basis.

Other languages such as Aklanon, Boholano
Boholano language
Boholano is a variant of Cebuano spoken in the province of Bohol in the Philippines and eastern parts of Southern Leyte...

, Chavacano
Chavacano language
Chavacano or Chabacano, sometimes referred to by linguists as Philippine Creole Spanish, is a Spanish-based creole language spoken in the Philippines...

, Zamboangueño, Cuyonon
Cuyonon language
Cuyonon is a language spoken on the coast of Palawan, and the Cuyo Islands in the Philippines.-External links:*, cuyonon.org...

, Ifugao
Ifugao language
Ifugao or Batad is a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken in the Ifugao Province of the northern valleys Philippines, closely related to Bontok and Kankanai...

, Itbayat, Ivatan
Ivatan language
The Ivatan language, also known as Ibatan or Chirin nu Ibatan , is an Austronesian language spoken exclusively in the Batanes Islands...

, Kalinga
Kalinga language
Kalinga is a language cluster of Kalinga Province in the Philippines, spoken by the Igorot people.The languages are Banao Itneg, Butbut Kalinga, Limos Kalinga, Lubuagan Kalinga, Mabaka Valley Kalinga, Madukayang Kalinga, Southern Kalinga, Tanudan Kalinga....

, Kamayo, Kankana-ey, Kinaray-a
Kinaray-a language
Kinaray-a is an Austronesian language spoken mainly in Antique Province in the Philippines. It is also spoken in Iloilo province, the south of Capiz Province, and certain villages in Mindanao that trace their roots to Antique Province or Kinaray-a speaking areas of Iloilo and Capiz Provinces...

, Maguindanao
Maguindanao language
Maguindanaon is an Austronesian language spoken by majority of the population of Maguindanao Province in the Philippines. It is also spoken by sizable minorities in different parts of Mindanao such as the cities of Zamboanga, Davao, and General Santos, and the provinces of North Cotabato, Sultan...

, Maranao
Maranao language
Maranao is an Austronesian language spoken by the Maranao people in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur in the Philippines.-External links:*, Maranao Dictionary...

, Masbatenyo
Masbatenyo language
Masbateño is a Visayan language spoken by more than 600,000 people, primarily in the province of Masbate in the Philippines. It is close to Capiznon and Hiligaynon , both spoken on Panay...

, Romblomanon
Romblomanon language
Romblomanon is a Visayan language spoken, along with the Asi and Onhan languages, in the province of Romblon in the Philippines. The language is also called Ini, Tiyad Ini, Basi, Niromblon, Sibuyanon, and Bisaya....

, Surigaonon
Surigaonon language
Surigaonon is a local Philippine language spoken by Surigaonon people in the province of Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and some portion of Agusan del Norte especially the towns near the Mainit Lake...

, Tausug
Tausug language
Tausūg is a language spoken in the province of Sulu in the Philippines, in Malaysia, and in Indonesia by the Tausūg people....

, Yakan
Yakan
The Yakan people are among the major indigenous tribes in Mindanao. Having a significant number of followers of Islam, it is considered as one of the 13 Moro groups in the Philippines. There are also a good number of Christians in this tribe as a result of the conversion of the line of Datu Kalun -...

, and several Visayan languages
Visayan languages
The Visayan languages of the Philippines, along with Tagalog and Bikol, are part of the Central Philippine languages...

 are prevalent in their respective provinces.

Religion


More than 90% of the population are Christians: about 80% belong to the Roman Catholic Church while 10% belong to other Christian denominations, such as the Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo
Iglesia ni Cristo also known as INC, is the largest entirely indigenous Christian religious organization that originated from the Philippines and the largest independent church in Asia. Due to a number of similarities, some Protestant writers describe the INC's doctrines as restorationist in...

, the Philippine Independent Church
Philippine Independent Church
The Philippine Independent Church, The Philippine Independent Church, The Philippine Independent Church, (officially the or the IFI, also known as the Philippine Independent Catholic Church or in Ilocano: Siwawayawaya nga Simbaan ti Filipinas (in in Kinaray-a/Hiligaynon: Simbahan Hilway nga...

, the Seventh-day Adventist Church
Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination distinguished by its observance of Saturday, the original seventh day of the Judeo-Christian week, as the Sabbath, and by its emphasis on the imminent second coming of Jesus Christ...

, United Church of Christ in the Philippines
United Church of Christ in the Philippines
The United Church of Christ in the Philippines is a Christian denomination in the Philippines...

, and Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

. The Philippines is one of two predominantly Roman Catholic countries in Asia, the other being East Timor
East Timor
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor , is a state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor...

.

Between five and ten percent of the population are Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, most of whom live in parts of Mindanao, Palawan, and the Sulu Archipelago—an area known as Bangsamoro
Bangsamoro
The term Bangsamoro refers to a people who are natives or original inhabitants of the island of Mindanao and its adjacent islands in the Philippines, including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time of conquest or colonization...

 or the Moro region. Some have migrated into urban and rural areas in different parts of the country. Most Muslim Filipinos practice Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 according to the Shafi'i
Shafi'i
The Shafi'i madhhab is one of the schools of fiqh, or religious law, within the Sunni branch of Islam. The Shafi'i school of fiqh is named after Imām ash-Shafi'i.-Principles:...

 school. Philippine traditional religions
Philippine mythology
Philippine mythology include a collection of tales and superstitions about magical creatures and entities. Some Filipinos, even though heavily westernized and Christianized, still believe on these tales...

 are still practiced by many aboriginal and tribal groups, often syncretized with Christianity and Islam. Animism
Animism
Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

, folk religion
Folk religion
Folk religion consists of ethnic or regional religious customs under the umbrella of an organized religion, but outside of official doctrine and practices...

, and shamanism
Shamanism
Shamanism is an anthropological term referencing a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world. To quote Eliade: "A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = technique of ecstasy." Shamanism encompasses the...

 remain present as undercurrents of mainstream religion, through the albularyo
Albularyo
Albularyo , sometimes spelled albulario, is a Tagalog term for a folk healer or medicine men.-Etymology and Alternative Names:The word arbularyo derives from herbolario, a Spanish word meaning herbalist....

, the babaylan
Babaylan
Babaylan is a Visayan term identifying an indigenous Filipino religious leader, who functions as a healer, a shaman, a seer and a community "miracle-worker"...

, and the manghihilot
Hilot
Hilot is an ancient Filipino art of healing, commonly used today to relax stressed muscles. Manghihilots as well as arbularyos are usually cheaper alternatives to medical doctors in the Philippines, especially in very deep rural areas...

. Buddhism
Buddhism in the Philippines
Buddhism is a relatively minor religion in the Philippines. It is largely confined to the Filipino Chinese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese communities. There are temples in Manila, Davao, and Cebu, and other places. Estimates at the Buddhist population of the Philippines varies...

, Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

, and Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion or Shenism , which is a term of considerable debate, are labels used to describe the collection of ethnic religious traditions which have been a main belief system in China and among Han Chinese ethnic groups for most of the civilization's history until today...

, are dominant in Chinese communities. There are also followers of Judaism and Baha'i.

Education


The National Statistics Office
National Statistics Office (Philippines)
The National Statistics Office is the Philippine government's major statistical agency responsible in collecting, compiling, classifying, producing, publishing, and disseminating general-purpose statistics as provided for in Commonwealth Act No...

 reports a simple literacy rate of 93.4% and a functional literacy rate of 84.1% for 2003. Literacy is about equal for males and females. Spending for education is around 2.5% of GDP. According to the Department of Education
Department of Education (Philippines)
The Department of Education , is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for the management and governing of the Philippine system of basic education. It is the chief formulator of Philippine educational policy and is responsible for the Philippine primary and secondary...

, or DepEd, there were 44,846 elementary schools and 10,384 secondary schools registered for the school year 2009–2010 while the Commission on Higher Education
Commission on Higher Education (Philippines)
The Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines, , abbreviated as CHED. The CHED is attached to the Office of the President for administrative purposes...

 (CHED) lists 2,180 higher education institutions, 607 of which are public and 1,573 private. Classes start in June and end in March. The majority of colleges and universities follow a semester calendar from June to October and November to March. There are a number of foreign schools with study programs. Republic Act No. 9155 gives the framework of basic education in the Philippines and provides for compulsory elementary education and free high school education.

Several government agencies are involved with education. The Department of Education covers elementary, secondary, and nonformal education; the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) administers the post-secondary middle-level education training and development; and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) supervises the college and graduate academic programs and degrees as well as regulates standards in higher education. In 2004, madrasah
Madrasah
Madrasah is the Arabic word for any type of educational institution, whether secular or religious...

s were mainstreamed in 16 regions nationwide mainly in Muslim areas in Mindanao under the auspices and program of the Department of Education. Public universities are all non-sectarian entities, and are further classified as State University and College
State university and college
State University and College Systems in the Philippines, or also known by its acronym SUC refers to any public institutions of higher learning that were created it by an act passed by the Philippine Congress, and is fully subsidized by the national government...

 (SUC) or Local College and University (LCU). SUCs are funded by the national government as determined by the Philippine Congress. The University of the Philippines
University of the Philippines
The ' is the national university of the Philippines. Founded in 1908 through Act No...

 is the national university
National university
A national university is generally a university created or run by a government, but which at the same time operates autonomously without direct oversight or control by the state. Some national universities are closely associated with national cultural or political aspirations...

 of the Philippines.

Health


Most of the national burden of health care is taken up by private health providers. In 2006, total expenditures on health represented 3.8% of GDP. 67.1% of that came from private expenditures while 32.9% was from government. External resources accounted for 2.9% of the total. Health expenditures represented about 6.1% of total government spending. Per capita total expenditure at average exchange rate was $52. The proposed national health budget for 2010 is ₱28 billion (about $597 million) or ₱310 ($7) per person. The government share of total spending on health has declined steadily, and with more people, there has been less to spend per person.

There are an estimated 90,370 physicians or 1 per every 833 people, 480,910 nurses, 43,220 dentists, and 1 hospital bed per every 769 people. Retention of skilled practitioners is a problem. 70% of nursing graduates go overseas to work. The country is the biggest supplier of nurses. In 2001 there were about 1,700 hospitals, of which about 40% were government-run and 60% private. Cardiovascular diseases account for more than 25% of all deaths. According to official estimates, 1,965 cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were reported in 2003, of which 636 had developed acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Other estimates have as many as 12,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in 2005.

Transportation


The transportation infrastructure in the country is relatively underdeveloped. Partly this is due to the mountainous terrain and the scattered geography of the islands, but it is also the result of the government's persistent underinvestment in infrastructure. In 2003, only 3.6% of GDP went to infrastructure development which was significantly lower than that of some of its neighbors. Consequently, while there are 203025 kilometres (126,154.2 mi) of roads in the country, only around 20% of the total is paved.

Nevertheless there are many ways to get around, especially in urban areas. Buses, jeepneys, taxis, and motorized tricycles are commonly available in major cities and towns. In 2007, there were about 5.53 million registered motor vehicles with registration increasing at an average annual rate of 4.55%. Train services are provided by three main railway networks that serve different areas of Metro Manila and parts of Luzon: the Manila Light Rail Transit System
Manila Light Rail Transit System
The Manila Light Rail Transit System, popularly known as the LRT, is a metropolitan rail system serving the Metro Manila area in the Philippines. Although referred to as a light rail system because it originally used light rail vehicles, it has many characteristics of a rapid transit system, such...

 (LRT), the Manila Metro Rail Transit System
Manila Metro Rail Transit System
The Metro Rail Transit is Metro Manila's third rapid transit line. It forms part of the Strong Republic Transit System, which includes the Manila Light Rail Transit System. The line operates under the name Metrostar Express and is colored blue on rail maps.The line is located along the Epifanio de...

 (MRT), and the Philippine National Railways
Philippine National Railways
The Philippine National Railways , or PNR, is a state-owned railway company in the Philippines, operating a single line of track on Luzon. As of 2010, it operates one commuter rail service in Metro Manila and a second in the Bicol Region. PNR restored its intercity service to the Bicol region in 2011...

 (PNR).
As an archipelago, inter-island travel via watercraft is often necessary. The busiest seaports are Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga. Passenger ships and other sea vessels such as those operated by Superferry
SuperFerry
SuperFerry, founded as Aboitiz SuperFerry, is a shipping company based in Manila, Philippines. It is the country’s largest shipping company,with its main hub located in Pier 15 in Manila South Harbor...

, Negros Navigation
Negros Navigation
Negros Navigation Co., Inc. is one of the oldest domestic shipping companies in the Philippines. It is also one of the largest companies in the passenger transport business in the Philippines...

, and Sulpicio Lines
Sulpicio Lines
Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corporation is a shipping line in the Philippines. It is notable in the Philippines and around the world for owning and operating the vessel MV Doña Paz, which figured in the worst maritime disaster during peace time on December 20, 1987 where 4,375 people lost their...

 serve Manila, with links to various cities and towns. In 2003, the 919 kilometres (571 mi) Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH), an integrated set of highway segments and ferry routes covering 17 cities was established.

Some rivers that pass through metropolitan areas, such as the Pasig River
Pasig River
The Pasig River is a river in the Philippines that connects Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay. Stretching for , it is lined by Metro Manila on each side...

 and Marikina River
Marikina River
The San Mateo - Marikina River is a main river system in Eastern Metro Manila, Philippines. A river stretching from Rodriguez, Rizal, to Pasig City that connects to Pasig River as major tributary near Napindan Area in Pasig City.San Mateo - Marikina River used to be an important transport route...

, have air-conditioned commuter ferries. The Pasig River Ferry Service
Pasig River Ferry Service
The Pasig River Ferry Service, was the only water-based transportation that cruised the Pasig River from Barangay Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City to Intramuros, Manila. The system is owned and operated by a private company, SCC Nautical Transport Services Incorporated...

 has numerous stops in Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig and Marikina. There are 3219 kilometres (2,000.2 mi) of navigable inland waterways.

There are 85 public airports in the country, and around 111 more that are private. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Ninoy Aquino International Airport
The Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA , also known as Manila International Airport , is the airport serving the general area of Manila and its surrounding metropolitan area...

 (NAIA) is the main international airport. Other important airports include the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
Diosdado Macapagal International Airport
Diosdado Macapagal International Airport , also called Clark International Airport , is the main airport serving the immediate vicinity of the Clark Freeport Zone and the general area of Angeles City in the Philippines...

, Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Mactan-Cebu International Airport is a major international airport in the Visayas region of the Philippines. It is located in Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan Island, Metro Cebu and is the country's second primary gateway...

, Francisco Bangoy International Airport
Francisco Bangoy International Airport
Francisco Bangoy International Airport , also called Davao International Airport , is the main airport serving Davao City in the Philippines. It is the busiest airport in the island of Mindanao...

 and Zamboanga International Airport
Zamboanga International Airport
Zamboanga International Airport is the main airport serving Zamboanga City in the Philippines. The airport is Mindanao's third-busiest airport after Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City and Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro City...

. Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines, Inc. operating as Philippine Airlines, is a flag carrier of the Philippines. Headquartered in the Philippine National Bank Financial Center in Pasay City, the airline was founded in 1941 and is the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia operating under its original name...

, Asia's oldest commercial airline still operating under its original name, and Cebu Pacific
Cebu Pacific
Cebu Air, Inc., operating as Cebu Pacific Air, is based on the grounds of Ninoy Aquino International Airport , Pasay City, Metro Manila, the Philippines. It offers scheduled flights to both domestic and international destinations...

, the leading low-cost airline, are the major airlines serving most domestic and international destinations.

Communications


The Philippines has a sophisticated cellular phone industry and a high concentration of users. As of 2008, there are about 67.9 million cellular phone subscribers in the Philippines. Text messaging
Text messaging
Text messaging, or texting, refers to the exchange of brief written text messages between fixed-line phone or mobile phone and fixed or portable devices over a network...

 is a popular form of communication and has fostered a culture of quick greetings and forwarded jokes among Filipinos. In 2007, the nation sent an average of one billion SMS
Short message service
Short Message Service is a text messaging service component of phone, web, or mobile communication systems, using standardized communications protocols that allow the exchange of short text messages between fixed line or mobile phone devices...

 messages per day. Out of this growing number of avid text message senders, over five million of them use their cellular phones as virtual wallets, making it a leader among developing nations in providing financial transactions over cellular networks.

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company
The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company commonly known as PLDT, is the largest telecommunications company in the Philippines. PLDT is also the largest company in the Philippines, ranked 1138th in the April 2009 update, and 1080th in the April 2010 update, of Forbes' Global 2000 list...

 commonly known as PLDT is the leading telecommunications provider. It is also the largest company in the country. Its wholly owned subsidiaries Smart Communications
Smart Communications
Smart Communications is a wholly owned mobile phone and Internet service subsidiary of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company .On June 30, 2010 the company reported that it had over 45 million cellular subscribers.-Brands:...

 and Piltel, along with Globe Telecom
Globe Telecom
Globe Telecom , commonly known as Globe, is a telecommunications company in the Philippines. Globe provides mobile, fixed line, and broadband Internet services.- History :In 1928, Congress passed Act No...

 of the Ayala Group
Ayala Corporation
Ayala Corporation is a holding company for the diversified interests of the Ayala Group. Founded in the Philippines by the Spanish and German Ayala, Roxas, and Zobel families during colonial rule, it is the country's oldest and largest conglomerate...

, BayanTel, and Sun Cellular
Sun Cellular
Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc., is a mobile telecommunication service provider in the Philippines doing business as Sun Cellular. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Digital Telecommunications Philippines, or Digitel. Digitel is in turn owned by the JG Summit Group with a minority stake...

 are the major cellular service providers in the country.

There are approximately 383 AM and 659 FM radio stations and 297 television and 873 cable television stations. Estimates for internet
Internet in the Philippines
Internet in the Philippines has been undergoing development since it was made available in 1994. As of 2010, 29,750,000 people use the internet in the country accounting for 29.7% of the total population. The top-level domain of the country is .ph-History:...

 penetration in the Philippines vary widely ranging from a low of 2.5 million to a high of 24 million people. Social networking
Social networking in the Philippines
Social networking is one of the most active web-based activities in the Philippines, with Filipinos being declared as the most active users on a number of web-based social network sites such as Friendster, Facebook, Multiply, Twitter, , , PinoyKubo , Tayotayolang , Cubeesocial and...

 and watching videos are among the most frequent internet activities.

Culture and society



Philippine culture is a combination of Eastern and Western culture
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

s. The Philippines exhibits aspects found in other Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n countries with a Malay
Malay people
Malays are an ethnic group of Austronesian people predominantly inhabiting the Malay Peninsula, including the southernmost parts of Thailand, the east coast of Sumatra, the coast of Borneo, and the smaller islands which lie between these locations...

 heritage, yet its culture also displays a significant amount of Spanish
Culture of Spain
The culture of Spain is based on a variety of influences.The Visigothic Kingdom left a sense of a united Christian Hispania that was going to be welded in the Reconquista. Muslim influences were strong during the period of 711 AD to the 15th century, especially linguistically...

 and American
Culture of the United States
The Culture of the United States is a Western culture originally influenced by European cultures. It has been developing since long before the United States became a country with its own unique social and cultural characteristics such as dialect, music, arts, social habits, cuisine, and folklore...

 influences. Traditional festivities known as barrio fiestas (district festivals) to commemorate the feast days of patron saints are common. The Moriones Festival
Moriones Festival
The Moriones is an annual festival held on Holy Week on the island of Marinduque, Philippines. The "Moriones" are men and women in costumes and masks replicating the garb of biblical Roman soldiers as interpreted by local folks...

 and Sinulog Festival
Sinulog festival
The Sinulog is an annual festival held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, Philippines. The festival commemorates the Cebuano people's pagan origin, and their acceptance of Roman Catholicism....

 are a couple of the most well-known. These community celebrations are times for feasting, music, and dancing. Some traditions, however, are changing or gradually being forgotten due to modernization. The Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company
Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company
The Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company is the oldest dance company in the Philippines. A multi-awarded company, both nationally and internationally, Guillermo Gomez Rivera has called it the "depository of almost all Filipino dances, dress and songs."The company was founded in 1957 by...

 has been lauded for preserving many of the various traditional folk dances found throughout the Philippines. They are famed for their iconic performances of Philippine dances such as the tinikling
Tinikling
The tinikling is one of the most popular and well-known of traditional Philippine dances. The tinikling is a pre-Spanish dance from the Philippines that involves two people beating, tapping, and sliding bamboo poles on the ground and against each other in coordination with one or more dancers who...

and singkil
Singkil
Singkíl is a famous dance of the Maranao people of Lake Lanao, which was popularised by the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company.-Description:...

that both feature the use of clashing bamboo poles.

One of the most visible Hispanic legacies is the prevalence of Spanish names and surnames
Catálogo alfabético de apellidos
The Alphabetical Catalog of Surnames is a book of surnames published in the Philippines and other islands of Spanish East Indies in the mid-19th century...

 among Filipinos. However, a Spanish name and surname does not necessarily denote Spanish ancestry. This peculiarity, unique among the people of Asia, came as a result of a colonial decree, the Clavería edict, for the systematic distribution of family names and implementation of the Spanish naming system on the population. The names of many streets, towns, and provinces are also in Spanish. Spanish architecture
Spanish architecture
Spanish architecture refers to architecture carried out in any area in what is now modern-day Spain, and by Spanish architects worldwide. The term includes buildings within the current geographical limits of Spain before this name was given to those territories...

 has left an imprint in the Philippines in the way many towns were designed around a central square or plaza mayor, but many of the buildings bearing its influence were demolished during World War II. Some examples remain, mainly among the country's churches, government buildings, and universities. Four Philippine baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 churches are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the San Agustín Church
San Agustin Church, Manila
San Agustin Church is a Roman Catholic church under the auspices of The Order of St. Augustine, located inside the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila. Completed by 1607, it is the oldest church still standing in the Philippines...

 in Manila, the Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte, the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Santa María) Church in Ilocos Sur, and the Santo Tomás de Villanueva Church in Iloilo. Vigan in Ilocos Sur is also known for the many Hispanic-styled houses and buildings preserved there.

The common use of the English language is an example of the American impact on Philippine society. It has contributed to the ready acceptance and influence of American pop cultural trends. This affinity is seen in Filipinos' love of fast food
Fast food
Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a...

, film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

, and music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

. Fast food outlets are found on many street corners. American global fast food chain stalwarts have entered the market, but local fast food chains like Goldilocks
Goldilocks Bakeshop
Goldilocks Bakeshop is a bakeshop industry in the Philippines which produces and distribute Philippine cakes and pastry. The chain was named after Goldilocks, a character from the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears....

 and most notably Jollibee
Jollibee
Jollibee Foods Corporation is the parent company of Jollibee, a fast-food restaurant chain based in the Philippines. Among JFC's popular brands are Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon, Caffe Ti-amo, Mang Inasal and Burger King...

, the leading fast food chain in the country, have emerged and compete successfully against their foreign rivals. Filipinos regularly listen to and watch contemporary American, Asian, and European music and film just as they enjoy Original Pilipino Music (also known as OPM) and local films.

Cuisine



Philippine cuisine has evolved over several centuries from its Malayo-Polynesian origins to become a mixed cuisine with many Hispanic
Hispanic
Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...

, Chinese
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

, American
Cuisine of the United States
American cuisine is a style of food preparation originating from the United States of America. European colonization of the Americas yielded the introduction of a number of ingredients and cooking styles to the latter...

, and other Asian
Asian cuisine
Asian cuisine styles can be broken down into several tiny regional styles that have roots in the peoples and cultures of those regions. The major types can be roughly defined as East Asian with its origins in Imperial China and now encompassing modern Japan and the Korean peninsula; Southeast Asian...

 influences that have been adapted to local ingredients and the Filipino palate to create distinctively Filipino dishes. Dishes range from the very simple, like a meal of fried salted fish and rice, to the elaborate, such as the paella
Paella
Paella is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, a lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish...

s
and cocidos created for fiestas. Popular dishes include lechón
Lechon
Lechón is a pork dish in several regions of the world, most specifically Spain and its former colonial possessions throughout the world. The word lechón originated from the Spanish term leche ; thus lechón refers to a suckling pig that is roasted...

, adobo
Adobo (Filipino cuisine)
Adobo is the name of a popular dish and cooking process in Philippine cuisine that involves meat or seafood marinated in a sauce of vinegar and garlic, browned in oil, and simmered in the marinade....

, sinigang
Sinigang
Sinigang is a Filipino soup or stew characterized by its sour flavor most often associated with tamarind .- Ingredients :Sinigang is traditionally tamarind based. Other versions of the dish derive their sourness from ingredients such as guava, calamansi, bilimbi, or raw mango among others...

, kare-kare
Kare-kare
Kare-kare is a Philippine stew. It is made from peanut sauce with a variety of vegetables, stewed oxtail, beef, and occasionally offal or tripe. Meat variants may include goat meat or chicken. It is often eaten with bagoong , sometimes spiced with chili, and sprinkled with calamansi juice...

, tapa
Tapa (Filipino cuisine)
Tapa is dried or cured beef, mutton or venison, although other meat or even fish may be used. Filipinos prepare thin slices of meat and cure it with salt and spices as a method of preserving it...

, crispy pata, pancit
Pancit
Pancit or pansit is the term for noodles in Filipino cuisine. Noodles were introduced into the Philippines by the Chinese and have since been adopted into local cuisine. The term pancit is derived from the Hokkien pian i sit which means "something conveniently cooked fast." Different kinds of...

, lumpia
Lumpia
Lumpia are pastries of Chinese origin similar to fresh popiah or fried spring rolls popular in Southeast Asia. The term lumpia derives from Hokkien lunpia , which is an alternate term for popiah...

, and halo-halo
Halo-halo
Halo-halo is a popular Filipino dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice and evaporated milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans and fruits, and served in a tall glass or bowl....

. Some common local ingredients used in cooking are calamondin
Calamondin
× Citrofortunella microcarpa, the Calamondin or Calamansi, is a fruit tree in the family Rutaceae, commonly called the calamondin, golden lime, panama orange, chinese orange, acid orange, calamonding, or calamandarin in English. It is believed to originate from China and has spread throughout...

s, coconuts, saba (a kind of short wide plantain
Plantain
Plantain is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa. The fruit they produce is generally used for cooking, in contrast to the soft, sweet banana...

), mangoes, milkfish
Milkfish
The milkfish is the sole living species in the family Chanidae. - Description and biology :...

, and fish sauce
Fish sauce
Fish sauce is a condiment that is derived from fish that have been allowed to ferment. It is an essential ingredient in many curries and sauces. Fish sauce is a staple ingredient in numerous cultures in Southeast Asia and the coastal regions of East Asia, and features heavily in Thai and Vietnamese...

. Filipino taste buds tend to favor robust flavors but the cuisine is not as spicy as those of its neighbors.

Unlike many of their Asian counterparts, Filipinos do not eat with chopsticks; they use western cutlery. However, possibly due to rice being the primary staple food and the popularity of a large number of stews and main dishes with broth in Philippine cuisine, the main pairing of utensils seen at the Filipino dining table is that of spoon and fork, not knife and fork. The traditional way of eating with the hands known as kamayan is seen more often in less urbanized areas.

Mythology and literature


Philippine mythology has been handed down primarily through the traditional oral folk literature of the Filipino people. While each unique ethnic group has its own stories and myths to tell, Hindu and Spanish influence can nonetheless be detected in many cases. Many of the myths are creation stories or stories about supernatural creatures, such as the aswang
Aswang
An Aswang is a mythical creature in Philippine folklore. The aswang is an inherently evil vampire-like creature and is the subject of a wide variety of myths and stories, the details of which vary greatly...

(vampire), the diwata
Diwata
In Philippine mythology, a Diwata , also known as Encantada, is a mythological figure similar to fairies or nymphs. They are nature spirits and live one with mother earth...

(fairy), and Nature. Some popular figures from Philippine mythologies are Maria Makiling
Maria Makiling
Maria Makiling, sometimes spelled Mariang Makiling, in Philippine Mythology, is a diwata or lambana associated with Mount Makiling in Laguna, Philippines...

, Lam-Ang
Biag ni Lam-ang
Biag ni Lam-ang is an epic poem of the Ilokano people from the Ilocos region of the Philippines. Recited and written in its original Iloko, the poem is believed to be a composite work of various poets who passed it on through the generations, and was first transcribed around 1640 by a blind...

, and the Sarimanok
Sarimanok
The Sarimanok is a legendary bird of the Maranao people who originate from Mindanao, a major island in the Philippines. It comes from the words "sari" and "manok." "Sari" means cloth or garment, which is generally of assorted colors...

.

Philippine literature comprises works usually written in Filipino, Spanish, or English. Some of the most known were created in the 19th century. Francisco Balagtas
Francisco Balagtas
Francisco Baltazar y dela Cruz , known much more widely through his nom-de-plume Francisco Balagtas, was a prominent Filipino poet, and is widely considered as the Tagalog equivalent of William Shakespeare for his impact on Filipino literature...

 the poet and playwright who wrote Florante at Laura
Florante at Laura
Florante at Laura by Francisco Baltazar is considered as one of the masterpieces of Philippine literature. Balagtas wrote the epic during his imprisonment. The work itself is dedicated to María Asuncion Rivera, his sweetheart, whom he nicknamed "M. A...

is recognized as a preeminent writer in the Filipino language. José Rizal
José Rizal
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda , was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by...

 wrote the novels Noli Me Tangere
Noli Me Tangere (novel)
Noli Me Tangere is a novel by Filipino polymath José Rizal and first published in 1887 in Berlin, Germany. Early English translations used titles like An Eagle Flight and The Social Cancer, but more recent translations have been published using the original Latin title.Though originally written in...

(Touch Me Not) and El Filibusterismo
El filibusterismo
El filibusterismo , also known by its English alternate title The Reign of Greed, is the second novel written by Philippine national hero José Rizal. It is the sequel to Noli Me Tangere and like the first book, was written in Spanish. It was first published in 1891 in Ghent, Belgium...

(The Filibustering, also known as The Reign of Greed) and is considered a national hero. His depiction of the injustices of Spanish rule, and his death by firing squad, inspired other Philippine revolutionaries to seek independence. In the 20th century, among those officially recognized as National Artists of the Philippines in literature are N.V.M. Gonzalez, Nick Joaquin
Nick Joaquín
Nicomedes Márquez Joaquín was a Filipino writer, historian and journalist, best known for his short stories and novels in the English language. He also wrote using the pen name Quijano de Manila...

, F. Sionil Jose
F. Sionil José
F. Sionil José or in full Francisco Sionil José is one of the most widely-read Filipino writers in the English language. His novels and short stories depict the social underpinnings of class struggles and colonialism in Filipino society...

, and Alejandro Roces
Alejandro Roces
Alejandro Reyes Roces was a Filipino author, essayist, dramatist and a National Artist of the Philippines for literature...

.

Media


Philippine media uses mainly Filipino and English. Other Philippine languages, including various Visayan languages are also used, especially in radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 due to its ability to reach remote rural locations that might otherwise not be serviced by other kinds of media. The dominant television
Television in the Philippines
Television in the Philippines was introduced in 1953. But even before that, a number of academic experiments had been done and replicated by Filipino engineering students.-Origins:...

 networks ABS-CBN
ABS-CBN
ABS–CBN Corporation is a Philippine-based media conglomerate. It is the Philippines' largest media and entertainment conglomerate. The corporation was the merger of Alto Broadcasting System which at that time owned by James Lindenberg and Antonio Quirino, and the Chronicle Broadcasting Network ...

, GMA
GMA Network
GMA Network is a major commercial television & radio network in the Philippines. GMA Network is owned by GMA Network, Inc. a publicly listed company...

 and TV5
Associated Broadcasting Company
The Associated Broadcasting Company, Inc is a television network in the Philippines, with main broadcast facilities and transmitter located at 762 Quirino Highway, San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City. The network was previously known as the , Associated Broadcasting Company remains the legal...

 also have extensive radio presence.

The entertainment industry is vibrant and feeds broadsheets and tabloids with an unending supply of details about celebrities and sensationalist scandals du jour. Drama
Philippine drama
Philippine drama can be classified into different forms and genres, with the most popular being the teleserye and teledrama. The teleserye/teledrama is a television form of melodramatic serialized fiction. It is rooted from two words: "tele", which is short for "television," and "serye", a Tagalog...

 and fantasy shows are anticipated as are Latin telenovelas, Asianovelas, and anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

. Daytime television is dominated by game shows, variety shows, and talk shows such as Eat Bulaga, Showtime
Showtime (TV show)
Showtime is a late morning/noon-time variety show airing on ABS-CBN in the Philippines. The show premiered October 24, 2009. It also currently airs worldwide through The Filipino Channel. The first season's grand finals was aired on July 24, 2010, Saturday at the Ynares Center, Antipolo City....

, and Happy, Yipee, Yehey. Philippine cinema
Cinema of the Philippines
Cinema of the Philippines started with the introduction of the first moving pictures to the country on January 1, 1897 at the Salón de Pertierra in Manila. The following year, local scenes were shot on film for the first time by a Spaniard, Antonio Ramos, using the Lumiere Cinematograph...

 has a long history and is popular domestically, but has faced increasing competition from American
Cinema of the United States
The cinema of the United States, also known as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period...

, Asian and European films
Cinema of Europe
Cinema of Europe refers to the film industries and films produced in the continent of Europe. Some notable European film movements include German Expressionism, French Impressionist Cinema, Poetic realism, Italian neorealism, French New Wave, Polish Film School, New German Cinema, Portuguese Cinema...

. Critically acclaimed directors and actors include Lino Brocka
Lino Brocka
Catalino Ortiz Brocka is known as one of the greatest film directors of the Philippines. Brocka was openly homosexual and many of his films incorporated LGBT themes into their often dramatic storylines....

 and Nora Aunor
Nora Aunor
Nora "Guy" Aunor is a multi-awarded Filipino actress, singer and producer. Aunor has also topbilled several stage plays, television shows, and concerts. She is regarded as the "Superstar in Philippine Entertainment Industry"...

 for films like Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag
Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag
The Claws of Light is a 1975 Filipino drama film directed by Lino Brocka based on the novel by Edgardo M. Reyes...

(Manila: In the Claws of Light) and Himala
Himala
Himalâ is a Filipino film directed by the late National Artist Ishmael Bernal of the Philippines in 1982. The film's script was written by multi-award winner screenwriter Ricky Lee based on a true incident on a teenage girl in Cabra Island in the province of Occidental Mindoro between 1966 and 1967...

(Miracle). In recent years it has become common to see celebrities flitting between television and movies and then moving into politics provoking concerns.

Sports and recreation


Various sports
Sport in the Philippines
Sports in the Philippines are sport activities in the Philippines. Basketball and boxing are the most popular sports in the Philippines. Other sports played in the Philippines include footballIn the Philippines, the term football is always used to refer to the sport of sometimes used to refer to...

 and pastimes are popular in the Philippines including basketball
Basketball in the Philippines
Basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines, played on both the amateur and professional levels.-History:In the 1950s, the Philippine team was among the best basketball teams in the world after winning two consecutive Asian Games basketball gold medals .Despite missing the first FIBA...

, boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

, volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

, football, badminton
Badminton
Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players or two opposing pairs , who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court that is divided by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet so that it passes over the net and lands in their...

, karate
Karate
is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods called and Chinese kenpō. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. Grappling, locks,...

, taekwondo
Taekwondo
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

, billiards
Billiards
Cue sports , also known as billiard sports, are a wide variety of games of skill generally played with a cue stick which is used to strike billiard balls, moving them around a cloth-covered billiards table bounded by rubber .Historically, the umbrella term was billiards...

, ten-pin bowling
Ten-pin bowling
Ten-pin bowling is a competitive sport in which a player rolls a bowling ball down a wooden or synthetic lane with the objective of scoring points by knocking down as many pins as possible.-Summary:The lane is bordered along its length by semicylindrical channels Ten-pin bowling (commonly just...

, chess
Chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...

, and sipa
Sipa
Sipa is the Philippines' traditional native sport which predates Spanish rule. The game is related to Sepak Takraw. Similar games include Footbag net, Footvolley, Bossaball and Jianzi....

. motocross
Motocross
Motocross is a form of motorcycle sport or all-terrain vehicle racing held on enclosed off road circuits. It evolved from trials, and was called scrambles, and later motocross, combining the French moto with cross-country...

, cycling
Cycling
Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, or for sport. Persons engaged in cycling are cyclists or bicyclists...

, and mountaineering
Mountaineering
Mountaineering or mountain climbing is the sport, hobby or profession of hiking, skiing, and climbing mountains. While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists...

 are also becoming popular. Basketball is played at both amateur and professional levels and is considered to be the most popular sport
Sport
A Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree...

 in the Philippines. In almost every corner of the cities, there is a basketball court.

Traditional Filipino games
Traditional games in the Philippines
Traditional Filipino Games or traditional games in the Philippines are games commonly played by children, usually using native materials or instruments. In the Philippines, due to limited resources of toys of Filipino children, they usually come up on inventing games without the need of anything...

 such as luksung baka, patintero, piko, and tumbang preso are still played primarily as children's games among the youth. Sungka is a traditional native Filipino board game. Card games are popular during festivities, with some, including pusoy and tong-its, being used as a form of illegal gambling. Mahjong
Mahjong
Mahjong, sometimes spelled Mah Jongg, is a game that originated in China, commonly played by four players...

 is played in some Filipino communities. The yo-yo
Yo-yo
The yo-yo in its simplest form is an object consisting of an axle connected to two disks, and a length of twine looped around the axle, similar to a slender spool...

, a popular toy in the Philippines, was introduced in its modern form by Pedro Flores
Pedro Flores (Yo-yo manufacture)
Pedro Flores is widely considered as the first yo-yo maker in the US and with his Flores yo-yo created the start of an international craze.-Early history:Pedro Flores was born in Vintar, Ilocos Norte, Philippines and came to the United States in 1915...

 with its name from the Ilokano language
Ilokano language
Ilokano or Ilocano is the third most-spoken language of the Republic of the Philippines....

.

Arnis
Filipino martial arts
Filipino Martial Arts refers to ancient and newer fighting methods devised in the Philippines, the most popular of which are known as Arnis/Eskrima/Kali. The intrinsic need for self-preservation was the genesis of these systems. Throughout the ages, invaders and evolving local conflict imposed new...

 (Eskrima
Eskrima
Eskrima is the umbrella term for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines, which emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives and other bladed weapons, and various improvised weapons...

 or Kali
Kali
' , also known as ' , is the Hindu goddess associated with power, shakti. The name Kali comes from kāla, which means black, time, death, lord of death, Shiva. Kali means "the black one". Since Shiva is called Kāla - the eternal time, Kālī, his consort, also means "Time" or "Death" . Hence, Kāli is...

 in some regions)
is the national martial art and sport. Today there are said to be almost as many Filipino fighting styles as there are islands in the Philippines. In 1972, the Philippine government included Filipino martial arts
Filipino martial arts
Filipino Martial Arts refers to ancient and newer fighting methods devised in the Philippines, the most popular of which are known as Arnis/Eskrima/Kali. The intrinsic need for self-preservation was the genesis of these systems. Throughout the ages, invaders and evolving local conflict imposed new...

 into the national sports arena. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports also incorporated them into the physical education curriculum for high school and college students.

Some Filipinos recognized for their achievements include Francisco Guilledo
Francisco Guilledo
Francisco Guilledo , more commonly known as Pancho Villa, was a Filipino boxer. Villa, who stood only 5 feet and 1 inch tall and never weighed more than 114 pounds , rose from obscurity to win the World Flyweight boxing championship in 1923, earning acclaim in some quarters as "the...

, Flash Elorde, and Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao
Emmanuel "Manny" Dapidran Pacquiao, PLH is a Filipino professional boxer and politician. He is the first eight-division world champion; having won six world titles, as well as the first to win the lineal championship in four different weight classes. He was named "Fighter of the Decade" for the...

 in boxing; Paulino Alcántara
Paulino Alcántara
Paulino Alcántara Riestrá was a Filipino–Spanish footballer and manager. He spent most of his playing career at Barcelona and was the first Filipino and Asian player to play for a European club. He also played for Catalonia, the Philippines and Spain...

 in football (soccer); Carlos Loyzaga
Carlos Loyzaga
Carlos M. Loyzaga is a former Filipino basketball player and coach. He led the Philippine National team to a Bronze Medal finish in the 1954 FIBA World Championship. The Philippines third place finish remains the highest rank of any Asian team in the history of the tournament...

, Robert Jaworski
Robert Jaworski
Robert Salazar Jaworski , also known as Sonny Jaworski, Bobby Jaworski, Robert Jaworski, Sr. or simply Jawo, is a former Philippine senator, basketball coach and Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association and PBA basketball player.Known as The Big J and called The Living Legend...

, and Ramon Fernandez
Ramón Fernández
Ramon S. Fernandez is generally regarded as the greatest basketball player produced by the Philippine Basketball Association. Fernandez won four Most Valuable Player awards and a record of 19 PBA championships bagged...

 in basketball; Efren Reyes
Efren Reyes
Efren Manalang Reyes is a Filipino professional pool player and a two-time world champion. Reyes is considered by many to be the greatest all-around pool player in the history of the game. He is affectionately nicknamed "Bata" and "the Magician".-Early life:Reyes was born in Pampanga in 1954...

 in billiards; Eugene Torre in chess; and Rafael Nepomuceno
Rafael Nepomuceno
Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno is a six-time World Bowling Champion Filipino bowler. He has won the World Cup of Bowling four times...

 in bowling.

See also


  • International rankings of the Philippines
    International rankings of the Philippines
    The following are international rankings of the Philippines.-Demographics:* Population: ranked 12 * Total immigrant population: ranked 71 out of 192 countries-Economics:* Motor Vehicle Production : ranked 41...



External links


Government

General information

Books and articles
  • History of the Philippine Islands in many volumes, from Project Gutenberg
    Project Gutenberg
    Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". Founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, it is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books...

     (indexed under Emma Helen Blair
    Emma Helen Blair
    Emma Helen Blair was a United States historian, journalist and editor, whose most notable work was a monumental documentary history of the Philippines....

    , the general editor)
  • Washington Post – How the Philippines Sees America


Other


Wikimedia
  • Wikimedia Philippines
  • WikiSatellite view of Philippines at WikiMapia
    Wikimapia
    WikiMapia is a privately owned, online map and satellite imaging resource that combines Google Maps with a wiki system, allowing users to add information, in the form of a note, to any location on Earth. Users may currently use this information for free...