|Republic of the Philippines
"Maka-Diyos, Maka-Tao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa"
"For God, People, Nature, and Country"
|Anthem: Lupang Hinirang
Dakilang Sagisag ng Pilipinas (Tagalog)
Great Seal of the Philippines
|Largest city||Quezon City
|Recognised regional languages|
|Ethnic groups (2010)|
|Government||Unitary presidential constitutional republic|
|-||President||Benigno S. Aquino III|
|-||Vice President||Jejomar Binay|
|-||Senate President||Franklin Drilon|
|-||House Speaker||Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.|
|-||Chief Justice||Maria Lourdes Sereno|
|-||Lower house||House of Representatives|
|Independence from Spainc and the United States d|
|-||Spanish conquest||27 April 1565|
|-||British occupation||30 October 1762|
|-||Independence from Spain declared||12 June 1898|
|-||Organic Act||1 July 1902|
|-||Self-government||24 March 1934|
|-||Independence from the United States||4 July 1946|
|-||Current constitution||2 February 1987|
|-||Total||300,000 km2 (73rd)
120,000 sq mi
|-||Water (%)||0.61 (inland waters)|
115,120 sq mi
|-||2015 estimate||101,677,400 (12th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2015 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
|Gini (2009)|| 43.0
medium · 44th
|HDI (2013)|| 0.660
medium · 117th
|Currency||Peso (Filipino: piso) (₱) (PHP)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+8)|
|-||Summer (DST)||not observed (UTC+8)|
|Drives on the||right|
|ISO 3166 code||PH|
|a.||^a While Manila proper is designated as capital, the whole of Metro Manila is designated as seat of government.|
|b.||^b The 1987 Philippine constitution specifies, "Spanish and Arabic shall be promoted on a voluntary and optional basis."|
|c.||^c Philippine revolutionaries declared independence from Spain on June 12, 1898, but the Spanish claim of sovereignty was passed from Spain to the United States in the Treaty of Paris. This led to the Philippine–American War.|
|d.||^d The United States of America granted independence to the Philippines on July 4, 1946 through the Treaty of Manila. July 4 was chosen as the date by the United States because it corresponds to the United States' Independence Day, and that day was observed in the Philippines as Independence Day until 1962. On May 12, 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal issued Presidential Proclamation No. 28, which declared June 12 a special public holiday throughout the Philippines|
To the north of the Philippines across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan; Vietnam sits west across the South China Sea; southwest is the island of Borneo across the Sulu Sea, and to the south the Celebes Sea separates it from other islands of Indonesia; while to the east it is bounded by the Philippine Sea and the island-nation of Palau. Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world's greatest biodiversity. At approximately 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 sq mi), the Philippines is the 64th-largest country in the world.
With a population of about 100 million people, the Philippines is the seventh-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. An additional 12 million Filipinos live overseas, comprising one of the world's largest diasporas. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. In prehistoric times, Negritos were some of the archipelago's earliest inhabitants. They were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples. Exchanges with Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Islamic states occurred. Then, various nations were established under the rule of Datus, Rajahs, Sultans or Lakans.
The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in Homonhon, Eastern Samar in 1521 marked the beginning of Spanish colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. With the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi from Mexico City, in 1565, the first Spanish settlement in the archipelago was established. The Philippines became part of the Spanish Empire for more than 300 years. This resulted in the predominant religion in the country being Roman Catholicism. During this time, Manila became the western hub of the trans-Pacific Manila–Acapulco galleon trade connecting Asia with the Americas.
As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, there followed in quick succession the Philippine Revolution, which spawned the short-lived First Philippine Republic, and the Philippine–American War. Aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the United States retained sovereignty over the islands until 1945. After World War II, the Philippines was recognized as an independent nation. Since then, the Philippines often has a tumultuous experience with democracy, which includes the overthrow of a dictatorship by a nonviolent revolution.
The nation's large population size and economic potential have led it to be classified as a middle power. It is a founding member of the United Nations, World Trade Organization, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and East Asia Summit. It also hosts the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank. The Philippines is considered to be an emerging market and a newly industrialized country, which has been transitioning from being one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing.
Main article: Name of the Philippines
The official name of the Philippines has changed several times in the course of the country's history. During the Philippine Revolution, the Malolos Congress proclaimed the establishment of the República Filipina or the Philippine Republic. From the period of the Spanish–American War (1898) and the Philippine–American War (1899–1902) until the Commonwealth period (1935–46), American colonial authorities referred to the country as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the Spanish name. From the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the name Philippines began to appear and it has since become the country's common name. Since the end of World War II, the official name of the country has been the Republic of the Philippines.
DemonymsThe correct usage of the terms Filipino/a as demonyms is as follows:
- Filipino (masculine noun)
- Filipina (feminine noun)
- Filipino (adjective, m. or f; Explanation: The English language does not require gender agreement for noun-adjective combinations.)
- Imelda is a Filipina.
- Imelda is a Filipino citizen.
Main article: History of the Philippines
Further information: Prehistory of the PhilippinesThe metatarsal of the Callao Man, reliably dated by uranium-series dating to 67,000 years ago is the oldest human remains found in the archipelago to date. This distinction previously belong to the Tabon Man of Palawan, carbon-dated to around 24,000 years ago,. Negritos were also among the archipelago's earliest inhabitants, but their first settlement in the Philippines has not been reliably dated.
There are several opposing theories regarding the origins of ancient Filipinos. The most widely accepted based on linguistic and archeological evidence, is the "Out-of-Taiwan" model, which hypothesizes that Austronesians from Taiwan began migrating to the Philippines around 4000 BCE, displacing earlier arrivals. By 1000 BCE the inhabitants of the archipelago had developed into four kinds of social groups: hunter-gatherer tribes, warrior societies, highland plutocracies, and maritime harbor principalities.
Further information: History of the Philippines (900–1521)
Islam spread out of Mindanao in the south into Luzon in the north. Manila was Islamized through the reign of Sultan Bolkiah in 1485 to 1521. This was accomplished because the Bruneian Empire subjugated the Kingdom of Tondo by converting Rajah Salalila to Islam.
States like the Animist Igorot, Malay Madja-as, Sinified Ma-i, and Indianized Butuan still maintained their cultures. The rivalries between the datus, rajahs, huangs, sultans, and lakans eventually eased Spanish colonization. Furthermore, the islands were sparsely populated due to consistent natural disasters and inter-kingdom conflicts. Therefore, colonization was made easy and the small states of the archipelago quickly became incorporated into the Spanish Empire and were Hispanicized and Christianized.
Further information: History of the Philippines (1521–1898)
In the 19th century, Philippine ports opened to world trade and shifts started occurring within Philippine society. Many Spaniards born in the Philippines (criollos) and those of mixed ancestry (mestizos) became wealthy and an influx of Latin American settlers opened up government positions traditionally held by Spaniards born in the Iberian Peninsula (peninsulares). The ideals of revolution also began to spread through the islands. Criollo dissatisfaction resulted in the 1872 Cavite Mutiny that was a precursor to the Philippine Revolution.
Revolutionary sentiments were stoked in 1872 after three priests—Mariano Gómez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora (collectively known as Gomburza)—were accused of sedition by colonial authorities and executed. This would inspire a propaganda movement in Spain, organized by Marcelo H. del Pilar, José Rizal, and Mariano Ponce, lobbying for political reforms in the Philippines. Rizal was eventually executed on December 30, 1896, on charges of rebellion. As attempts at reform met with resistance, Andrés Bonifacio in 1892 established the secret society called the Katipunan, who sought independence from Spain through armed revolt.
Bonifacio and the Katipunan started the Philippine Revolution in 1896. A faction of the Katipunan, the Magdalo of Cavite province, eventually came to challenge Bonifacio's position as the leader of the revolution and Emilio Aguinaldo took over. In 1898, the Spanish–American War began in Cuba and reached the Philippines. Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence from Spain in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898, and the First Philippine Republic was established in the Barasoain Church in the following year.
Further information: History of the Philippines (1898–1946)
The Americans then suppressed the sub-states the First Republic had fractured into: mainly, the waning Sultanate of Sulu, as well as the insurgent Tagalog Republic, the Cantonal Republic of Negros, in the Visayas, and the Republic of Zamboanga, in Mindanao. During this era, a renaissance in Philippine culture occurred, with the expansion of Philippine cinema and literature. Daniel Burnham built an architectural plan for Manila which would have transformed it into a modern city.
In 1935, the Philippines was granted Commonwealth status with Manuel Quezon as president. He designated a national language and introduced women's suffrage and land reform. Plans for independence over the next decade were interrupted by World War II when the Japanese Empire invaded and the Second Philippine Republic of José P. Laurel was established as a collaborator state. Many atrocities and war crimes were committed during the war such as the Bataan Death March and the Manila massacre that culminated during the Battle of Manila. In 1944, Quezon died in exile in the United States and Sergio Osmeña succeeded him. The largest naval battle in history (According to gross tonnage), the Battle of Leyte Gulf, occurred when the Allied Forces started the liberation of the Philippines from the Empire of Japan. Eventually, Allied troops defeated the Japanese in 1945. By the end of the war it is estimated that over a million Filipinos had died.
Cold War era
In 1965, Macapagal lost to Ferdinand Marcos, who was elected president. Early in his presidency he initiated numerous public projects but was accused of massive corruption, such as the embezzlement of billions of dollars in public funds. Amidst great social turmoil and nearing the end of his term, Marcos declared Martial Law on September 21, 1972. This period of his rule was characterized by political repression, censorship, and human rights violations. His wife Imelda continued to live a lavish lifestyle as the majority of Filipinos remained in poverty.
On August 21, 1983, Marcos' chief rival, opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr., was assassinated at Manila International Airport. Marcos eventually called for snap presidential elections in 1986 against Aquino's widow, Corazón. Marcos was proclaimed the winner, but the results were widely regarded as fraudulent, leading to the People Power Revolution. Marcos and his allies fled to Hawaii and Corazón Aquino was recognized as president.
Further information: History of the Philippines (1986–present)
Aquino was succeeded by Fidel V. Ramos, who won the Philippine presidential election held in May 1992. During this period, the economy was known as the "Tiger Economy in Asia", with an average of 6% GDP growth rate. However, the political stability and economic improvements, such as the peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front in 1996, were overlooked by the onset of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
Ramos' successor, Joseph Estrada assumed office in June 1998 and managed to regain the economy from −0.6% growth to 3.4% by 1999 amidst the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The government had announced a war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in March 2000 and neutralized the camps including the headquarters of the insurgents. In the middle of ongoing conflict with the Abu Sayyaf, accusations of alleged corruption, and a stalled impeachment process, Estrada's administration was overthrown by the 2001 EDSA Revolution and succeeded by his Vice President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on January 20, 2001.
In Arroyo's 9-year administration, The economy experienced GDP growth from 4% in 2002 to 7% growth in 2007 with the completion of infrastructure projects like the LRT Line 2 in 2004 and managed to avoid the Great Recession. Nevertheless, it was tied with graft and political scandals like the Hello Garci scandal pertaining to the alleged manipulation of votes in the 2004 presidential elections. On November 23, 2009, the Maguindanao massacre led to the murder of 34 journalists.
Benigno Aquino III won the 2010 national elections and served as the 15th President of the Philippines. He was the third youngest person to be elected president and the first to be a bachelor. During the previous years, The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro was signed on October 15, 2012, as the first step of the creation of an autonomous political entity named Bangsamoro. However, territorial disputes in eastern Sabah and the South China Sea have escalated. The economy in the country performed well especially in 2013 at 7.2% GDP growth which is 2nd fastest in Asia Aquino signed the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, commonly known as K–12 program in May 15, 2013 aiming to enhance the educational system in the country. On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) struck the country and heavily devastated the country especially in the Visayas. On April 28, 2014, when United States President Barack Obama visited the Philippines, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, was signed. From January 15 to 19, 2015, Pope Francis stayed in the Philippines for a series of publicity tours and paid visits to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). On January 25, 2015, 44 members of the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force were killed after a clash took place in Mamasapano, Maguindanao putting efforts to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law into law in an impasse.
Main articles: Politics of the Philippines, President of the Philippines and Constitution of the Philippines
The President functions as both head of state and head of government and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The president is elected by popular vote for a single six-year term, during which he or she appoints and presides over the cabinet. The bicameral Congress is composed of the Senate, serving as the upper house, with members elected to a six-year term, and the House of Representatives, serving as the lower house, with members elected to a three-year term. The senators are elected at large while the representatives are elected from both legislative districts and through sectoral representation. The judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court, composed of a Chief Justice as its presiding officer and fourteen associate justices, all of whom are appointed by the President from nominations submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council.
Main article: Foreign relations of the Philippines
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 and is an active contributor to the direction and policies of the bloc.
The Philippines values its relations with the United States. It supported the United States during the Cold War and the War on Terror and is a major non-NATO ally. Despite this history of goodwill, controversies related to the presence of the now former U.S. military bases in Subic Bay and Clark and the current Visiting Forces Agreement have flared up from time to time. Japan, the biggest contributor of official development assistance to the country, is thought of as a friend. Although historical tensions still exist on issues such as the plight of comfort women, 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. Despite issues such as domestic abuse and war affecting overseas Filipino workers, relations with Middle Eastern countries 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 China have improved greatly. Issues involving Taiwan, the Spratly Islands, and concerns of expanding Chinese influence, however, still encourage a degree of caution. Recent foreign policy has been mostly about economic relations with its Southeast Asian and Asia-Pacific neighbors.
The Philippines is an active member of the East Asia Summit (EAS), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Latin Union, the Group of 24, and the Non-Aligned Movement. It is also seeking to strengthen relations with Islamic countries by campaigning for observer status in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.