The Republic of Philippines is an island nation in Southeast Asia, located in the Malay Archipelago. The nation comprises of 7,107 islands, with the total land area of about 116,000 square miles, which makes it the 72nd largest country by area. The modern people of the Philippines are mainly of Austronesian ancestry, along with good many Filipinos with Spanish, Chinese, American, and Arab ancestry. The Spanish started ruling the country in the year 1565, which lasted for three centuries, until the Philippine Revolution of 1896. In the year 1898, after the Spanish-American war, the Unites States gained possession of the Philippines. The Philippines was ruled by the Unites States for five decades.
Filipino culture has many similarities with the western countries. Most of the population in the Philippines is Roman Catholics and Filipino and English are the official languages of the country. The country became self governing in the year 1935, when Manuel QUEZON was elected President. He had the task to get the country ready for independence after a10-year transition. The Japanese took possession of the Philippines in 1942 during World War II, when the United States and the Philippines fought together from 1942 to 1945 to gain back the control. The country ultimately attained its independence on 4 July 1946. After the independence, 20-year rule of Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, after a widespread popular rebellion ousted him and sent him into exile and put Corazon AQUINO as president of the country.
Corazon AQUINO went through quite a lot of coup attempts, which prevented the Philippines to return to normal political stability and economic development. During the time of the country’s consequent President, Fidel RAMOS, who was elected in 1992, political stability was somewhat restored and he made significant progress with the country’s economic reforms. The next President of Philippines, Joseph ESTRADA was elected in 1998 but was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO in January 2001 for a 6-year term. Joseph ESTRADA was impeached on corruption charges.
The history of the Philippines dates back to 2500 BC, when aboriginal inhabitants arrived in the country from the Asian mainland. As from 3000 BC, wave of Indonesian and Malayan settlers came to the Philippines and settled down. Extensive trading activities were started with India, Indonesia, China, and Japan during the 14th century. .
The Philippines was first explored by the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan in the year 1521. The island nation was named after Prince Philip, by a group of Spanish exploration party, some twenty one years later. Later, Buy Barong Tagalog Prince Philip was to become Philip II of Spain. For the next 350 years, Spain retained the possession of the island nation.
The population of the Philippines was 76,498,735, by the census in the year 2000, which is an increase of 26% over the population counted in the year 1990. The Island Nation is the 14th most populous country in the world and is the third most in Southeast Asia. The people of the Philippines are mostly Malaya and the people are collectively called Filipinos. The Filipinos have their ancestral decent from Indonesia, though, through a long historical contact between the country and China, there are many from Chinese decent.
The original people of the Philippines were non-Malays, and they are known as Negritos. Today the Negritos are few in number and form a very small percentage in the population of the country. These people are mostly found in upland areas, such as, Luzon, Mindanao, Panay, and a few other islands. In the year 1971, an existence of few Tasaday people were found. These people are the previously unknown Negrito tribe and about 25 of them were found to be living in caves, like the days of the Stone Age.
Manila is the Capital of the Philippines, located on the eastern shore of Manila Bay in Luzon, and is the country’s largest island. Manila is a thriving metropolis and the population of the city is over 10 million. The metropolitan area of Manila is also known as National Capital Region (NCR), of which the city of Manila is a part. The NCR is a large metropolis and consist of 17 cities and municipalities. The population of the city itself is about 1.5 million, being the second largest populous city in the Philippines.
Manila got its name from the Tagalog word ‘nilad’, which has the name from the flowering mangrove plant that grew in abundance along the marshy shores of the bay. During the 16th century a group of Muslims settled along the banks of the Pasig River and this settlement grew into Manila. The Philippines was then under the Spanish rule, who controlled the group of islands for over three centuries from 1565 to 1898.