|About Philippines :
The Philippines (Filipino: Pilipinas), officially the Republic of the Philippines (Republika ng
Pilipinas; RP), is an archipelagic nation located in Southeast Asia, with Manila as its
capital city. The Philippine archipelago comprises 7,107 islands in the western Pacific
Ocean, bordering countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Palau and the Republic of
China, although it is the only Southeast Asian country to share no land borders with its
The Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country with a population approaching
87 million people.
Its national economy is the 47th largest in the world with a 2006 gross domestic product
(GDP) of over US$117.562 billion. There are more than 11 million overseas Filipinos
worldwide, about 11% of the total population of the Philippines.
The Philippines was formerly a Spanish then an American colony. The Philippine
Revolution was an attempt to gain independence from Spain, and later from the U.S. in the
Philippine-American War. The Philippines ultimately gained its independence from the
United States on July 4, 1946 after the Pacific War via the Treaty of Manila.
Today, the Philippines has many affinities with the Western world, derived mainly from the
cultures of Spain, Latin America, and the United States. Roman Catholicism became the
predominant religion, although pre-Hispanic indigenous religious practices and Islam still
exist. The two official languages of the Philippines are Filipino and English.
The Philippines had trade relations with China and Japan and strong cultural ties with
India through neighboring present-day Malaysia and Indonesia as early as the ninth to
Spanish rule brought political unification to an archipelago of previously independent
islands and communities that later became the Philippines, and introduced elements of
western civilization such as the code of law, printing and the calendar. The Philippines
was ruled as a territory of New Spain from 1565 to 1821, but after Mexican independence it
was administered directly from Madrid. During that time numerous towns were founded,
infrastructures built, new crops and livestock introduced, and trade flourished.
The Propaganda Movement, which included Philippine nationalist José Rizal, then a
student studying in Spain, soon developed on the Spanish mainland. This was done in
order to inform the government of the injustices of the administration in the Philippines as
well as the abuses of the friars. In the 1880s and the 1890s, the propagandists clamored
for political and social reforms, which included demands for greater representation in
Spain. Unable to gain the reforms, Rizal returned to the country, and pushed for the
The Spanish-American War began in Cuba in 1898 and soon reached the Philippines
when Commodore George Dewey defeated the Spanish squadron at Manila Bay.
Aguinaldo declared the independence of the Philippines on June 12, 1898, and was
proclaimed head of state. As a result of its defeat, Spain was forced to officially cede the
Philippines, together with Cuba (made an independent country, the US in charge of foreign
affairs), Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States. In 1899 the First Philippine Republic
was proclaimed in Malolos, Bulacan but was later dissolved by the US forces, leading to
the Philippine-American War between the United States and the Philippine revolutionaries,
which continued the violence of the previous years. The US proclaimed the war ended
when Aguinaldo was captured by American troops on March 23, 1901, but the struggle
continued until 1913 claiming the lives of over a million Filipinos . The country's
status as a territory changed when it became the Commonwealth of the Philippines in
1935, which provided for more self-governance. Plans for increasing independence over
the next decade were interrupted during World War II when Japan invaded and occupied
the islands. After the Japanese were defeated in 1945, returned to the Filipino and
American forces in the Liberation of the Philippines from 1944 to 1945, the Philippines
was granted independence from the United States on July 4, 1946.
The Philippines is a newly industrialized country with an economy anchored on agriculture
but with substantial contributions from manufacturing, mining, remittances from overseas
Filipinos and service industries such as tourism and, increasingly, business process
outsourcing, to which it is known for having one of most vibrant BPO industries in
Asia. The Philippines is listed in the roster of "Next Eleven" economies.
The Philippines is a founding member of the Asian Development Bank, playing home to
its headquarters. It is also a member of the World Bank, the IMF, the Asia Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Colombo Plan,
and the G-77, among others.
Filipino culture is a fusion of pre-Hispanic indigenous Austronesian civilizations of the
Philippines mixed with Hispanic and American. It has also been influenced by Arab,
Chinese and Indianized cultures.
The indigenous Austronesian civilizations of the Philippines are similar with those of its
southern neighbors, Malaysia and Indonesia. As the early Filipinos carried on trade with
other countries of Southeast Asia, many pre-Hispanic Filipino beliefs have profound
influences from Hinduism and, to a lesser extent, Buddhism
The Hispanic influences in Filipino culture are largely derived from the culture of Spain and
Mexico as a result of over three centuries of Spanish colonial rule through Mexico. These
Hispanic influences are most evident in literature, folk music, folk dance, language, food,
art and religion, such as Roman Catholic Church religious festivals. Filipinos hold
major festivities known as barrio fiestas to commemorate their patron saints
Names of countless streets, towns and provinces are in Spanish. Spanish architecture
also made a major imprint in the Philippines. This can be seen especially in the country's
churches, government buildings and universities. Many Hispanic style houses and
buildings are being preserved, like the Spanish colonial town in Vigan City, for protection
The Chinese influences in Filipino culture are most evident in Filipino cuisine. The
prevalence of noodles, known locally as mami, is a testament to Chinese cuisine. Many
Filipino superstitions are also Chinese in origin. Other Chinese influences include
linguistic borrowings and the occasional Chinese derived surnames.