Nation in the SW Pacific Ocean, off SE Asia, occupying the Philippine Archipelago and the smaller Sulu Archipelago to the SE. It consists of over 7,000 island s in all, of which 11 account for 95 percent of the land and most of the population. Called Filipinos, the inhabitants are mostly of the Malay group. The first inhabitants were Negritos, Negroid pygmies who are thought to have migrated from Borneo, Sumatra, and Malaya approximately 30,000 years ago; they were followed later by Malayans. In the 14th century Arab traders introduced Islam. Europeans first reached the island s in 1521 in the course of the roundthe- world voyage of Ferdinand Magellan for Spain. Spanish conquest began in 1564; and Manila, now the capital, was founded in 1571.
Between 1600 and 1663 there were wars with the Dutch; the Moros of the island s continued to resist Spain; and Manila was captured and held by the British in 1762–63. Spain kept control until 1896 when Spanish oppression sparked a revolt. In 1898 the Spanish-American War began, stemming from American concern over Spanish rule of Cuba, and on May 1 George Dewey’s U.S. fleet defeated the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. Meanwhile, the Filipinos were successful on land . In December a treaty ending the war ceded the Philippines to the United States. Filipinos who had fought for freedom refused their new rulers and carried on a ferocious guerrilla war against the United States until 1901, when their leader, Emilio Aguinaldo, was captured.
A U.S. act of 1916 provided some self-rule, while a further law in 1934 promised independence in 1946 and established the Commonwealth of the Philippines on November 15, 1935. On December 8, 1941, Japan invaded the Philippines and held sway over the island s until U.S. forces land ed on Leyte on October 20, 1944. By July 5, 1945, the island s were free; and independence came, as promised, on July 4, 1946. However, communist-dominated guerrillas, the Hukalahap, known as Huks, fought the government until 1954. They rose again in 1969; and there has also been fighting with the Moros, Muslim separatists, which continued into 1982. Although presumably a democracy, the Philippine nation had, in effect, one-man rule from 1972 through 1986 under dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, who was first elected president in 1965. In 1983, opposition leader Benigno Aquino was assassinated at the Manila Airport leading to widespread unrest against the government. In 1986, his widow, Corazon Aquino, ran against Marcos, and after a fraud-filled election, took office as president after a “People Power” revolution forced Marcos to flee the country.
Aquino’s government suffered under a poor economy and high expectations from the people. There were attempts at coups by the military, and political pressure from some factions to close the American military bases. The bases including Clark Air Force Base and Subic Bay Naval Base were closed by 1992. The Mt. Pinatubo volcanic eruption (which was a major factor in the base closings) and the base closings themselves, along with a number of major typhoons, had a major negative impact on Filipino economic growth in the 1990s. Guerrilla warfare by the Moro National Liberation Front led to a series of peace accords that created an autonomous region in the southern island of Mindanao. In 1992, Aquino did not run for reelection and was succeeded by her former army chief of staff Fidel Ramos. In 1998, Joseph Marcelo Estrada, a former movie actor, was elected president. In 2001 Estrada was stripped of the presidency on charges of corruption. Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was sworn in as president, and was reelected in 2004, but the election was marred by violence and voter fraud. The Moro rebels in the Muslin south continue to fight against the government, with the United States providing assistance to the government after the 9-11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
The Republic of the Philippines is a beautiful island country found in Southeast Asia and it lies in the Pacific Ocean. The Philippines are prone to earthquakes and typhoons because of its location being near to the Pacific Ring of Fire, the equator. The Philippines are composed of about 7,500 islands. This country ranks having the 5th largest coastline in the world. The country attracts visitors from all across the world to its natural beauty. Here are a few interesting places you may not want to miss while traveling to the Philippines:
- Department of Tourism
- The historic town of Vigan
- Tubbataha Reef in Visayas
- White sand beaches of Boracay
- Banaue Rice Terraces
- The Chocolate Hills in Bohol
- Magellan's Cross in Cebu
- Ambuklao Dam in Bokod, Benguet
- Philippine Independent Church
- University of the Philippines
- Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company
- San Agustín Church in Manila
- Emilio Jacinto Monument in Quezon City, Metro Manila
- Sabong or Cock Derby in Davao City
Sculptures, art, paintings, and statues can be seen all across the country. There are also UNESCO World Heritage Sites, theaters, music centers, museums, historical sites, places and buildings. The beaches are home to both locals and visitors offering numerous water sports, sunbathing, beach combing, fishing, boating, and more.
There are many fast-food dining places located throughout the country that serve international cuisines like Goldilocks and Jollibee. Popular sports visitors may enjoy throughout the country include basketball, boxing, cockfighting, volleyball, Soccer, American football, Rugby, badminton, karate, and taekwondo. There is something for people of all ages to enjoy while exploring the Philippines. Hotels, motels, camps, always cater to travelers. Getting around is easy by boat, bike, private car, bus, trains, public transit, rental car and more.