Philippines

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History

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Prehistory

File:Traditional Ifugao House.png
A pre-Hispanic indigenous village.

Archeological, and paleontological discoveries show that humans existed in Palawan around 30,000 to 50,000 BC. An aboriginal people of the Philippine Islands known as the Negritos, are a Melanesian ethnic group who arrived in the Philippines at least 30,000 years ago. Another ethnic group, known as the Austronesian or Malayo-Polynesian people, originated from the populations of Taiwanese aborigines who migrated from mainland Asia approximately 6,000 years ago. This ethnic group settled in the Philippines, and soon after, migrated to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Polynesian Islands, and Madagascar.<ref>Origins of the Filipinos and their Languages</ref>

The indigenous people of the Philippines traded with other Asian countries during the Prehistoric period. Before the arrival of Islam; Animism syncretized with Hinduism, and Vajrayna Buddhism.<ref>The Philippines and India - Dhirendra Nath Roy, Manila 1929 and India and The World - By Buddha Prakash p. 119-120.</ref><ref>Artifacts of Hindu-Buddhist origin in the Philippines</ref> Those were the religions practiced by various Philippine indigenous kingdoms.

Islam was brought to the Philippines by traders and proselytizers from Malaysia, and Indonesia.<ref>Template:Harvnb</ref> By the 13th century, Islam were established in the Sulu Archipelago, and spread to Mindanao, the Visayas, and Luzon by 1565. Muslims established Islamic communities. By the early 16th century there were native villages (Barangays) ruled by Datus, Rajahs, or Sultans.

There was no unifying political state encompassing the entire Philippine archipelago. Instead, the region were ruled by competing thalassocracies such as the Kingdom of Maynila, Namayan, Dynasty of Tondo, Madya-as Confederacy, the Rajahnates of Butuan, the Visayas, and sultanates of Maguindanao, and Sulu.<ref>The Kingdom of Namayan and Maytime Fiesta in Sta. Ana of new Manila, Traveler On Foot self-published l journal.</ref><ref>Volume 5 of A study of the Eastern and Western Oceans (Template:Lang-ja) mentions that Luzon first sent tribute to Yongle Emperor in 1406.</ref><ref>http://akeanon.com/index.php?Itemid=2&id=14&option=com_content&task=view</ref><ref>The Unconquered Kingdom in The official website of the Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sulu and the Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sabah</ref> Some of these indigenous tribes were part of the Malayan empires of Srivijaya, Majapahit, and Brunei.<ref name="end">{{

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Colonial period

In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines, and claimed the islands for Spain.<ref name="etymology">{{

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Colonization began when Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi arrived from Mexico in 1565, and formed the first European settlements in Cebu. In 1571, the Spaniards established Manila as the capital of the Spanish East Indies.<ref>Kurlansky, Mark. 1999. The Basque History of the World. Walker & Company, New York. ISBN 0-8027-1349-1, p. 64</ref>

Spanish rule brought political unification to a group of islands and communities that later became the Philippines, and introduced elements of western civilisation.<ref>Joaquin, Nick. 1988. Culture and History: Occasional Notes on the Process of Philippine Becoming. Solar Publishing, Metro Manila</ref> The Philippines was governed as a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1565 to 1821, and administered directly from Spain from 1821 to 1898. During that period, towns, cities, and provinces were founded, and trade flourished. The Manila Galleon which linked Manila to Acapulco carried spices, porcelain and silk to the Americas, and silver from Mexico on the return voyage to the Philippines. Spain fought indigenous rebels, pirates, and invasions from European powers such as Portugal, Britain, and Netherlands. Roman Catholic missionaries converted most of the inhabitants to Christianity and founded schools, hospitals and universities. European immigration to the Philippines created a new class of Criollo (Spaniard born in the Philippines), and Mestizo (mixed Spaniard, and Malayan). In 1863 the colonial government established free public education in Spanish.<ref>US Country Studies: Education in the Philippines</ref> The first official census in the Philippines was carried out in 1878. The country's population as of December 31, 1877 was recorded at 5,567,685 persons.<ref>Population of the Philippines Census Years 1799 to 2007. National Statistical Coordination Board.</ref>

In the 1700s, the Philippines opened its forts to world trade. The economy increased, and many criollos, and mestizos in the Philippines became wealthy. In the 1800s, the Suez Canal was opened, dramatically reducing travel time between Spain and the Philippines. The influx of Spaniards secularized churches, and government positions traditionally held by the criollos. The ideals of revolution began to spread to the Philippines in the second half of the century. Criollo insurgency resulted in the Novales, and the revolt in Cavite El Viejo in 1872. Colonial authorities suppressed these uprisings which were led by three priests: Mariano Gómez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora who would be remembered in Philippine history as the Gomburza. The execution of these priests laid the foundation for the Philippine Revolution.<ref>Joaquin, Nick. A Question of Heroes.</ref>

File:Mapa de Filippinas Formosa y costa de China para el Galeon de Manila .JPG
Facsimile of the map found aboard the "Na SA de Covadonga" after it was taken by Commodore Anson in 1743, showing the route of the Manila-Acapulco galleon through the maze of the Philippines Islands.

The migration of Filipinos to Europe created a community of expatriates. The propaganda movement, which included Filipino patriot José Rizal, was founded in Spain. The propagandists clamored for political reforms, which included representation in the Spanish Cortes for Filipinos. The propagandists lobbied for their causes through the paper La Solidaridad (The Solidarity). They were able to gain some support from Spanish liberals. Unable to gain complete reforms, Rizal returned to the Philippines, and established La Liga Filipina (The Philippine League) to organize patriots in Manila and produce funds for La Solidaridad. Rizal was soon arrested and deported to Dapitan. Radical members of La Liga Filipina, under the leadership of Andrés Bonifacio, established the Katipunan in 1896. The objective was Philippine independence from Spain.

Rizal was executed for inspiring the Philippine revolution on December 30, 1896.<ref>Ocampo, Ambeth. Rizal without the Undercoat.</ref> The revolution in Cavite El Viejo was a success, and the leadership of the revolution eventually passed from Bonifacio to Emilio Aguinaldo. A ceasefire was agreed at the Treaty of Biak-na-Bato, and Filipino leaders agreed to exile in Hong Kong. Governor General Fernando Primo de Rivera proclaimed the revolution over in May 17, 1897.<ref>{{

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The Spanish-American War began in Cuba in 1898, and soon spread to the Philippines when Commodore George Dewey and Emilio Aguinaldo defeated the Spanish squadron at the Battle of Manila Bay. The Philippines declared independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. In 1899, the Primera República Filipina or the First Philippine Republic was proclaimed in Malolos, Bulacan. In the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded the Philippines, together with Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam to the United States. As a result of the treaty, and a manifesto by the United States declaring American intentions to colonize the Philippines, a conflict began between the Filipinos, and the Americans. Aguinaldo tried to ease the tensions, but the Americans were determined to make the Philippines a United States colony.

The Philippine-American War began when an American soldier killed a Filipino soldier at the bridge of San Juan. The United States proclaimed the war ended when Aguinaldo was captured by American soldiers on March 23, 1901. However, the struggle continued until 1913 claiming almost a million lives. The United States suppressed Philippine independence by establishing an American government. The Philippines' status as a colony changed when it became the Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935. Plans for independence over the next decade were interrupted by World War II when Japan invaded the Philippines. United States, and Philippine troops defeated Japan in 1944. On July 4, 1946, the Philippines gained independence from the United States. <ref name=CIAfactbook>{{

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Contemporary era

File:Manuel Quezon inauguration.JPG
Former President of the Philippines, Manuel L. Quezon, during his inauguration in the American period.

The Philippines faced political instability that plagued the country. Since 1946, remnants of the Hukbalahap rebel army continued to roam the rural regions of the Philippines, disgruntled after the Philippine government had rejected their contribution during World War II.

Attempts of reconciliation were formed by former Philippine president, Ramón Magsaysay. In the 1960s, the Philippine national policies were initiated by Diosdado Macapagal, that included recognition of the Philippine Declaration of Independence, and the President legacy of Emilio Aguinaldo, and José P. Laurel.

The 1960s were a period of economic growth for the Philippines which developed to be one of the wealthiest in Asia. Ferdinand Marcos was elected president. Barred from seeking a third term, he declared Martial law on September 21, 1972, under the guise of political conflict, and resurgent Communist, and Islamic insurgencies, and governed the Philippines by decree, along with his wife Imelda Marcos.

Returning from exile in the United States, Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr., was assassinated at the Manila International Airport (also called the Ninoy Aquino International Airport) on August 21, 1983. In 1986, the People Power Revolution occurred. The people gathered, and protested in EDSA, upon the organization of the Archbishop of Manila founded by Priest Jaime Cardinal Sin. It was to oppose the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. After losing the election to Corazón Aquino, who became the first female President of the Philippines (and the first in Asia), Marcos, and his allies departed to Hawaii in exile.

The return of democracy, and government reforms after the events of 1986 were hampered by national debt, government corruption, coup attempts, a Communist insurgency, and an Islamic separatist organization. The Philippine economy improved during the administration of Fidel V. Ramos, who was elected in 1992.<ref name="lastlaugh">{{

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Politics and government

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Further information: Armed Forces of the Philippines
Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, the current President of the Philippines.
Malacañang Palace, the official residence for the President of the Philippines.

The Philippines has a presidential, unitary form of government (with some modification; there is one autonomous region largely free from the national government), where the President functions as both head of state, and head of government, and is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The president is elected by popular vote to a single six year term, during which time she or he appoints, and presides over the cabinet.<ref name="About"/>

The bicameral Congress is composed of a Senate, serving as the upper house whose members are elected to a six year term, and a House of Representatives serving as the lower house whose members are elected to a three year term, and are elected from both legislative districts, and through sectoral representation.<ref name="About"/>

The judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court, composed of a Chief Justice as its presiding officer, and fourteen associate justices, all appointed by the Philippine President from nominations submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council.<ref name="About"/> Attempts to amend the constitution to either a federal, unicameral or parliamentary form of government have been satisfactory since the Ramos administration. <ref>Civil service reform: Whose service?, inwent.org, Retrieved on 2008-11-30.</ref>

The Philippines is a founding, and active member of the United Nations since its inception on October 24, 1945, and is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Philippines is also a member of the East Asia Summit (EAS), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Latin Union, and a member of the Group of 24. The Philippines is a major non-NATO ally of the United States, but also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement.<ref name="About"/>

Administrative divisions

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