Sabado, Oktubre 1, 2011

Home town Santa Cruz Laguna Philippines

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

About my birth place the town of Santa Cruz, Laguna

Santa Cruz,

Municipality of Santa Cruz
Official seal of Municipality of Santa Cruz
Map of Laguna showing the location of Santa Cruz
Map of Laguna showing the location of Santa Cruz
Region CALABARZON (Region IV-A)
Province Laguna
District 4th District of Laguna
Barangays 26
Income class 1st
Founded 1602
Mayor Ariel T. Magcalas
ZIP Code 4009
Physical characteristics
Area 38.59 km²
Population      Total
Population Census of Santa Cruz
Census Pop.
1995 86,978

2000 92,694
2007 101,914
Santa Cruz is a 1st class urban municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. It is also the capital town of the province of Laguna. According to the latest census, it has a population of 101,914 people in 19,627 households and with a growth rate of 1.37%). Projected population for 2009 is 104,615.
Santa Cruz is situated on the banks of the Santa Cruz River which course its way along the eastern part of the famous Laguna de Bay. The town is bounded by the Bay on the north, by Lumban and Pagsanjan towns in the east, Pagsanjan and Magdalena towns in the south, and Pila and Liliw towns in the west. It is approximately 87 kilometers from Manila via Calamba and 105 km via Pililla, in the province of Rizal. It is accessible by land from the nearby 28 municipalities and by water through Laguna de Bay from Manila and some Rizal towns.
Santa Cruz is considered as the service and commercial center on the eastern part of the province. The town is composed of five barangays in the Poblacion area and 21 classified urban barangays. Although relatively far from the immediate urbanizing influence of Metropolitan Manila, Santa Cruz continues to progress. It is now classified as first class municipality. The present administration is headed by the Honorable Mayor Ariel Magcalas. Santa Cruz is also the seat of the provincial government since 1885, giving the municipality an additional administrative function over the entire province. It also functions as the service center for transportation, commerce, health, education, and other social services for the predominantly rural northeastern municipalities of the province. Boosting the economy of the municipality are the incipient and fast growing agribusiness industries such as livestock raising, horticulture and aquaculture. The town is composed of twenty-six (26) urban barangays. All barangays are being classified as urban.
The development of Santa Cruz as the administrative, commercial, and service center of Laguna makes it accessible for all private/public vehicles going to nearby places particularly Pagsanjan, Lake Caliraya, Liliw, Paete and Nagcarlan.


History of Santa Cruz, Laguna

During the last decade of the 16th century, Santa Cruz, the premier town of Laguna was once a well populated barrio of the present municipality of Lumban, as well as other contemporary towns like Pagsanjan, Cavinti, Paete and Pangil. In 1602, Santa Cruz separated from Lumban and became a pueblo with its church and local government.
It is a town which since its foundation in 1602, had been ravaged by calamitous forces such as fires, typhoons, floods and human vandalism during the Philippine Revolution of 1896-1899, the war of the Philippine Independence (1899-1902), Battle of Santa Cruz the assault of the Tulisanes (bandits) during the Spanish times, and the beginning to the Filipino troops and recognized guerrillas from the Second Battle of Santa Cruz in January 26, 1945. Santa Cruz survived all these disastrous calamities , for it is patiently resilient as the durable bamboos and as indestructive as the Rock of all Ages.
Characterized by fertile flat lands situated along the coastal plains of Laguna de Bay, the economic base of the town had been traditionally anchored on two primary industries, namely agriculture and fishing which still remain up to the present. In view of the strategic location of Santa Cruz relative to the other coastal settlements about the lake, trading activities have likewise rooted on the town during those early settlement days. The town proper which has always been the focal point of activities used to be accessible to the other lakeshore areas due to the navigable Santa Cruz River aside from the Laguna de Bay itself. Since those early days, water is the principal mode of transportation.
Today, Santa Cruz serves as the capital of Laguna and is considered as the business and commercial center on the eastern part of the province.[1]

 Natural and Physical Characteristics

Geographic Location and Land Area

Situated at the central portion of Laguna province along the southeastern coast of Laguna de Bay, the Municipality of Santa Cruz lies approximately 87 kilometers southeast of Metro Manila via Calamba and is geographically located at approximately 14 degrees 17' latitude and 121 degrees 25' longitude. The municipality is bounded on the north and northwest by Laguna de Bay, on the northeast by Lumban, on the east by Pagsanjan, on the southeast by Magdalena , on the south by Liliw,, and on the southwest by Pila. It has 26 barangays and covers approximate land area of 3860 hectares which comprises about 2% of the total land area of Laguna Province.
  • Land Area: 3,860 Hect.
  • Residential: 381.97
  • Commercial: 35.96
  • Institutional: 92.17
  • Functional Open Space: 31.27
  • Roads: 157.73
  • Total Built-up: 696.10
  • Agricultural: 3,048.57
  • Special Use: 115.33Climate
Like most areas in the province of Laguna, the climate of Santa Cruz is characterized by two pronounced seasons: dry from January to April and wet during the rest of the year. The municipality has annual temperature of 27.2 degree Celsius and annual rainfall of 1962.7mm. Northeasterly winds with an average wind speed of 9 knots per hour prevail in the municipality.


The two types of rocks found in Santa Cruz are clastic and alluvium rocks. Clasti rocks are located at the eastern portion of the municipality specifically in Barangay Alipit , San Jose, Oogong, Jasaan, San Juan, Palasan, and portions of Barangays Pagsawitan, Patimbao, Bubukal, Labuin and Malinao. These rocks consist of interbedded shale and sandstone with occasional thin lenses of limestone, tuff, and reworked sandy tuffs, calcareous sandstone and partly tufficeous shale.


Annual Income

  • 2008 — 160,196,679.38
  • 2007 — 135,792,097.46
  • 2006 — 128,812,429.41
  • 2005 — 117,351,293.14


Being the provincial capital of Laguna, Santa Cruz serves as service center of the province particularly for the municipalities on its northeastern part. As such, the town is expected to continue to fulfill this established role in the years to come.
Trade and commerce shall remain to be one of the primary economic activities in the locality. The presence of jeepney services plying Lumban, Paete, Siniloan, Pila, Victoria, Cavinti-Caliraya, Luisiana, Majayjay, Calumpang, Nagcarlan, Liliw, Magdalena, Pagsanjan, and Calamba has further enhanced the municipality's role as a commerce and trade center.
The center of business activities is in the poblacion specifically at Barangay V where the four (4) buildings of Public Market is situated. Within this vicinity are the MOTORWORLD Sales Center, Joy Supermarket, Centro Department Store, and Goodwill Supermarket. Development in this vicinity has been a quasi-residential commercial type as manifested by the proliferation of structures which are used both for business and residential purposes by the proprietors/owners. There is also concentration of business establishments at the section of the national highway/expressway especially Barangay Gatid where the Sunstar Mall is located, and the abandoned PNR Railway (road) while a strip pattern of commercial development is noticeable along the Quezon Avenue and along the old highway and Pedro Guevarra Avenue.
Santa Cruz has many establishment that contribute to its development.
Sterling Paper Group of Companies, which started as maker of photo albums and stationeries is now a conglomerate of a successful business ranging from greeting cards, school and office supplies, toys to real estate and agri-business.

Commercial Centers

  • Sunstar Mall — First Mall of the town
  • CENTRO Department Store — located near the old public market
  • Ever Gotesco Mall — soon to rise
  • Goodwill Grocery — with a branch in Pagsanjan, Laguna
  • Joy Shopping Center — a commercial center located near the public market, very accessible
  • Joy Supermarket — a supermarket that caters wholesalers and retailers from all over Laguna
  • M&W Townstore — soon to rise
  • Metrostar Department Store — 2nd floor, Sunstar Mall
  • MOTORWORLD Sales Center— located at N. Tobias St.,a hardware shop with complete line in bicycle, motorcycle parts, agricultural and industrial engines, construction equipment, generators, water pumps, powertools, handtools, plumbing, electrical, pet accessories, lightings, cellphone/internet/game cards, complete line of eloads, dream satellite, electronics, computers, surveillance cameras, sound system, office supplies, household hardware, construction materials, sports equipment/accessories/gear, fishing supplies, praise music and many more
  • Robinsons Place Santa Cruz — soon to rise
  • Total: Super Value Department Store — Along A. Regidor St.
  • Tourism Center — soon to rise
  • TSALELAS (Retail/Wholesale) — a footwear store located at Joy Shopping Center, Lobby of Joy Supermarket
  • 7-Eleven
  • Chowking — 2 stores
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Goldilocks Bakeshop
  • Greenwich Pizza
  • Jollibee — 2 stores
  • Max's Restaurant — Sunstar Mall
  • McDonald's
  • Mercury Drug — 2 branches in the town
  • Ministop — soon to open
  • Mister Donut
  • Shakey's — Sunstar Mall (soon to open)

 Educational Establishments

Elementary (Primary & Intermediate): Public: 16 - Private: 10

High School: Public: 2 - Private: 5
College: Public: 2 - Private: 8
Vocational: Public: 1 - Private: 2
Kindergarten School: Public: 35 - Private: 10
Elementary — 15,291
High School — 8,155
Tertiary — 10,914

Hotel, Bar & Restaurant

  • Pleasant View Hotel — Barangay Patimbao HI-Way, Santa Cruz, Laguna
  • Festival Gardens — Santa Cruz, Laguna
  • Traveler's Hotel — Barangay Pagsawitan, Santa Cruz, Laguna
  • Tres Palmas Bar & Restaurant — National Highway Barangay Bubukal, Santa Cruz, Laguna
  • CPBS Lifestyle Bar/Cafe — Barangay Pagsawitan, Santa Cruz, Laguna

 SPA and Beauty

  • Kami no ishi, Facial, Massage and Spa Salon —the first professional spa in town, Taleon St, Santa Cruz, Laguna
  • Lynderm Facial & Derm Clinic — P. Guevara Avenue, Santa Cruz, Laguna
  • Asian Derm Clinic — Regidor St., Santa Cruz, Laguna


Private Hospitals: 5 Rural Health Units: 2 Government Hospital: 1 Health Centers: 26
  • Laguna Doctors Hospital
  • Laguna Provincial Hospital


Santa Cruz may not have natural tourist spots and no wide areas to develop but one thing the townsmen of Santa Cruz are proud of are the local foods available in the town. Santa Cruz boasts of the infamous white cheese or kesong puti, freshly made from carabao's milk.
  • Kesong Puti Festival — December 1-5, 2009
  • Ginoo at Binibining Santa Cruz 2009 — April 23, 2009
  • Anilag Festival
  • Sampaguita Arch Festival


Santa Cruz is politically subdivided into 26 barangays.
  • Alipit
  • Bagumbayan
  • Bubukal
  • Calios
  • Duhat
  • Gatid
  • Jasaan
  • Labuin
  • Malinao
  • Oogong
  • Pagsawitan
  • Palasan
  • Patimbao
  • Barangay I (Pob.)
  • Barangay II (Pob.)
  • Barangay III (Pob.)
  • Barangay IV (Pob.)
  • Barangay V (Pob.)
  • San Jose
  • San Juan
  • San Pablo Norte
  • San Pablo Sur
  • Santisima Cruz
  • Santo Angel Central
  • Santo Angel Norte
  • Santo Angel Sur

 Sister Cities



External links

Coordinates: 14°16′43″N 121°24′56″E / 14.27861°N 121.41556°E
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Saturday, November 7, 2009

About our home country, Philippines


Republic of the Philippines
Republika ng Pilipinas
Flag Coat of arms
MottoMaka-Diyos, Maka-Tao, Makakalikasan, at Makabansa[1]
("For God, People, Nature, and Country")
AnthemLupang Hinirang
("Chosen Land")
Location of  Philippines  (green)
in ASEAN  (dark grey)  —  [Legend]
Capital Manila
14°35′N 121°0′E / 14.583°N 121°E
Largest city Quezon City
Official languages Filipino (Tagalog) , English
Recognised regional languages Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilokano, Kapampangan, Kinaray-a, Maguindanao, Maranao, Pangasinan, Tausug, Waray-Waray [2]
Voluntary and optional languages Spanish and Arabic
National language Filipino
Demonym Filipino or Pinoy
Government Unitary presidential constitutional republic
 -  President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
 -  Vice President Noli de Castro
 -  Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile
 -  House Speaker Prospero C. Nograles
 -  Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno
Independence from Spain3
from United States 
 -  Established April 27, 1565 
 -  Declared June 12, 1898 
 -  Self-government March 24, 1934 
 -  Recognized July 4, 1946 
 -  Current constitution February 2, 1987 
 -  Total 300,000 km2 [3](72nd)
115,831 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 0.61%[3]
 -  2009 estimate 91,983,000[4] (12th)
 -  2007 census 88,574,614 [5] 
 -  Density 306.6/km2 (44th)
794.1/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $317.964 billion[6] (36th)
 -  Per capita $3,515[6] (123rd)
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $166.909 billion[6] (47th)
 -  Per capita $1,845[6] (121st)
Gini (2006) 45.8[3] (medium) 
HDI (2007) 0.751[7] (medium) (105th)
Currency Peso (Filipino: piso PhilippinePeso.svg) (PHP)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+0)
Drives on the right[8]
Internet TLD .ph
Calling code 63
1 Spanish and Arabic are recognized as auxiliary languages in the Philippine Constitution.
2 Rankings above were taken from associated Wikipedia pages as of December, 2007, and may be based on data or data sources other than those appearing here.
3 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.
The Philippines (Filipino: Pilipinas [pɪlɪˈpinɐs]) officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. To its west across the South China Sea is Vietnam. The Sulu Sea to the southwest separates it from the island of Borneo and to the south the Celebes Sea from other islands of Indonesia. It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea. An archipelago comprising 7,107 islands, the Philippines has the 5th longest coastline in the world.[9][10] The islands are categorized broadly into three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.[3] The capital city is Manila.
With an estimated population of about 92 million people, the Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country.[11][12] It is estimated that there are about 11 million overseas Filipinos worldwide, equivalent to about 11% of the total population of the Philippines.[13] Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. Ecologically, the Philippines with its tropical climate is one of the most diverse countries in the world.[14]
Its national economy is the 47th largest in the world, with an estimated 2008 gross domestic product (GDP nominal) of over US$ 166.9 billion (nominal).[15] Primary exports include semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, and fruits.[3] Major trading partners include China, Japan, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia.[3] Its unit of currency is the Philippine peso (PHP).
In ancient times the archipelago was populated by successive waves of Austronesian peoples who established rival Malay, Hindu, and Islamic maritime states. Trade introduced Chinese cultural influences. The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 marked the beginning of an era of Spanish interest and eventually dominance. The Philippines became the Asian hub of the Manila-Acapulco galleon treasure fleet. Christianity became widespread and there was a brief British Invasion. Imperialism enforced the unification of subjugated peoples and as the 19th century gave way to the 20th, there followed in quick succession the short-lived Philippine Revolution, the Spanish-American War, and the Philippine-American War. In the aftermath, the United States replaced Spain as the dominant power. Aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the United States retained sovereignty over the islands until the end of World War II when the Philippines gained independence. The United States bequeathed to the Philippines the English language and its democratic presidential system of government. Since independence the Philippines has had an often tumultuous experience with democracy, with popular "People Power" movements overthrowing a dictatorship in one instance but also underlining the institutional weaknesses of its constitutional republic in others.




The name Philippines was derived from King Philip II of Spain in the 16th century. Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos used the name Las Islas Filipinas, in honor of the Prince of Asturias (Spain) during his expedition to the islands, originally referring to the islands of Leyte and Samar.[16][17] Despite the presence of other names, the name Filipinas was chosen as the name of the archipelago.
The official name of the Philippines changed throughout the course of its history. During the Philippine Revolution, it was officially called República Filipina or the Philippine Republic. From the period of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War, until the Commonwealth period, American colonial authorities referred to the country as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the original Spanish name. It was during the American period that the name Philippines began to appear, a name that has become its common name. The official name of the country is now Republic of the Philippines.


Early History

Panoramic view of the Banaue Rice Terraces.
The earliest evidence of human inhabitants on the islands include the 40,000-year-old Tabon Man of Palawan and the Angono Petroglyphs in Rizal, both of whom appear to suggest the presence of human settlement prior to the arrival of the Negritos and Austronesians.[18] The Negritos began to settle on the islands 30,000 years ago, before the end of the last Ice Age.

A Pre-Classical indigenous Ifugao village.
Speakers of the Malayo-Polynesian languages, a branch of Austronesian languages, began to arrive in successive waves beginning about 6,000 years ago, displacing the early settlers.[19]

A Bontoc warrior (circa 1908). This Igorot group formerly practiced headhunting.[20]
During 2205 to 2106 B.C.E., the Ifugao fled their ancestral homeland in mainland Asia and migrated to the Cordilleras. Thereafter, they established a plutocratic society[21] and built the Banaue Rice Terraces on the highland regions of central Luzon.[22]
By 1000 B.C.E. the inhabitants of the Philippine archipelago had developed into four distinct kinds of peoples: tribal groups, such as the Aetas, Hanunoo, Ilongots & the Mangyan who depended on hunter-gathering and are concentrated in forests; warrior societies, such as the Isneg & Kalingas who practiced social ranking and ritualized warfare and roamed the plains; the petty plutocracy of the Ifugao Cordillera Highlanders, who occupy the mountain ranges of Luzon; and the harbor principalities of the estuarine civilizations that grew along rivers and seashores while participating in trans-island maritime trade.[23]
Around 300–700 C.E. the seafaring peoples of the islands traveling in balangays began to trade with the Indianized kingdoms in the Malay Archipelago and the nearby East Asian principalities, adopting influences from both Buddhism and Hinduism.[24][25]

Classical Epoch

The Laguna Copperplate Inscription: The oldest known legal document from the Dynasty of Tondo.
In the years leading up to 1000 C.E., there were already several maritime societies existing in the islands but there was no unifying political state encompassing the entire Philippine archipelago. Instead, the region was dotted by numerous semi-autonomous barangays (settlements ranging is size from villages to city-states) under the sovereignty of competing thalassocracies ruled by datus, rajahs or sultans[26] or by upland agricultural societies ruled by "petty plutocrats". States such as the Kingdom of Maynila and Namayan, the Dynasty of Tondo, the Confederation of Madyaas, the rajahnates of Butuan and Cebu and the sultanates of Maguindanao and Sulu existed alongside the highland societies of the Ifugao and Mangyan.[27][28][29][30] Some of these regions were part of the Malayan empires of Srivijaya, Majapahit and Brunei.[31][32][33]

A golden statuette of the Hindu-Buddhist goddess "Kinari" found in an archeological dig in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.
In the year 900 the Dynasty of Tondo centered in Manila Bay flourished via an active trade with Chinese sea-traders in the area. Later serving as a smuggling nexus after the Chinese imposed restrictions on their foreign trade.[34] During this time, the lord-minister Jayadewa presented a document of debt forgiveness to Lady Angkatan and her brother Bukah, the children of Namwaran. This is described in the Philippine's oldest known document the Laguna Copperplate Inscription.[35]

A page from the Boxer Codex showing prehispanic Philippine royalty. Left, is a general from the Rajahnate of Butuan & to the right is a princess of the Tondo dynasty; both are wearing clothes woven in pure gold.
By year 1011 Rajah Sri Bata Shaja, the monarch of the Indianized Rajahnate of Butuan, a maritime-state famous for its goldwork[36] sent a trade envoy under ambassador Likan-shieh to the Chinese Imperial Court demanding equal diplomatic status with other states.[37] The request being approved, it opened up direct commercial links with the Rajahnate of Butuan and the Chinese Empire thereby diminishing the monopoly on Chinese trade previously enjoyed by their rivals the Dynasty of Tondo and the Champa civilization.[38] Evidence of the existence of this rajahnate is given by the Butuan Silver Paleograph.[39]
By the 11th century several exiled datus of the collapsing empire of the Srivijaya[40] led by Datu Puti led a mass migration to the central islands of the Philippines, fleeing from Rajah Makatunao of the island of Borneo. Upon reaching the island of Panay and purchasing the island from Negrito chieftain Marikudo, they established a confederation of polities and named it the Confederation of Madyaas centered in Aklan and they settled the surrounding islands of the Visayas. This confederation reached its peak under Datu Padojinog. During his reign the confederations' hegemony extended over most of the islands of Visayas. Its people consistently made piratical attacks against Chinese imperial shipping.[41]
During 1225, the Country of Mai, a Sinified prehispanic Philippine island-state centered in Mindoro, had a flourished as an entrepot, this attracted traders & shipping from the Kingdom of Ryukyu to the Yamato Empire. This made Chao Ju-kua, a superintendent of Maritime Trade in Fukien province, China write a book entitled Chu Fan Chih (An account of the various barbarians) which described trade with this classical Philippine state.[42]

The flag of the Sulu sultanate.
In 1380, Karim ul' Makdum and Shari'ful Hashem Syed Abu Bakr, an Arab trader born in Johore, arrived in Sulu from Malacca and established the Sultanate of Sulu and this Sultanate eventually gained great wealth due to its manufacture of fine pearls.[43] Also, at the end of the 15th Century Shariff Mohammed Kabungsuwan of Johor introduced Islam in the island of Mindanao and he subsequently married princess Parmisuli from Mindanao and established the Sultanate of Maguindanao.[44] By the 16th century, Islam had spread to other parts of the Visayas and Luzon.
However, during the reign of Sultan Bolkiah in 1485 to 1521, the Sultanate of Brunei decided to break the Dynasty of Tondo's monopoly in the China trade by attacking Tondo and establishing the state of Selurong (now Manila) as a Bruneian satellite-state.[45][46] A new dynasty under the Islamized Rajah Salalila[47] was also established to challenge the House of Lakandula in Tondo.[48] Islam was further strengthened by the arrival to the Philippines of traders and proselytizers from Malaysia and Indonesia.[49] Consequently, the multiplicity of nations competing over limited territory and people in the islands produced a state of Précarité (Precariousness). This made the colonization of the islands from stronger foreign Imperial powers, easy when conquistadors can employ the classic divide and conquer strategy for rapid conquest.

Colonial Era

In 1521, Portuguese-born Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Samar and Leyte and claimed the islands for Spain[50] but was killed by a militia from Mactan island ruled by the datu Lapu-Lapu. The survivors of the expedition, however, returned to Spain and served as the impetus for the further discovery and conquest of the Philippine Islands.[50]

A statue of Lapu-Lapu, the Mactan datu who led the group of warriors that killed Ferdinand Magellan on April 27, 1521. He is now regarded as the first Filipino hero.[51]
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 Spanish occupied the kingdoms of Maynila and Tondo and established Manila as the capital of the Spanish East Indies.[52][53] Spanish power was further consolidated after Miguel López de Legazpi's conquest of the Confederation of Madya-as, his subjugation of Rajah Tupas the King of Cebu and Juan de Salcedo's ransacking of the Chinese warlord Limahong's pirate kingdom in Pangasinan. This grab for power eventually culminated with the mass murder and exile of the royal families of the Dynasty of Tondo & the Kingdom of Maynila when the Tondo Conspiracy of 1587-1588 failed[54] in which a planned grand alliance with the Japanese Empire's admiral Gayo, Butuan's last rajah and Brunei's Sultan Bolkieh, would have restored the old aristocracy. Its failure resulted in the hanging of Agustín de Legazpi (great grandson of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and the initiator of the plot) and the execution of Magat Salamat (the crown-prince of Tondo).[55]
In the following years, the colony was governed as a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, centered in Mexico, from 1565 to 1821 and administered directly from Spain from 1821 to 1898. Subsequently, the Aztec and Mayan mercenaries Legaspi brought with him eventually settled in Mexico, Pampanga where traces of Aztec and Mayan influence can still be proven by the many chico plantations in the area (chico is a fruit indigenous only to Mexico) and also by the name of the province itself.[56]

The "Chico" (Sapodilla) is a popular fruit eaten in the Philippines. Originally, indigenous only to Aztec America; it has been introduced to the country by Mexican immigrants and is now part of popular culture.
The fragmented nature of the islands made it easy for Spanish colonization. The Spanish then attempted to bring political unification to the Philippine archipelago via the conquest of the various states but they were unable to subjugate the sultanates of Mindanao and the tribes and highland plutocracy of the Ifugao of Northern Luzon. The Spanish introduced elements of western civilization such as the code of law, western printing and the Gregorian calendar alongside new food resources such as maize, pineapple and chocolate from Latin America.[57] From 1565 to 1821, the Philippines was governed from Mexico City via the Royal Audiencia of Manila, before it was administered directly from Madrid after the Mexican revolution.[58] The Manila Galleons which linked Manila to Acapulco traveled once or twice a year between the 16th and 19th centuries. The Spanish military fought off various indigenous revolts and several external colonial challenges, especially from the British, Chinese pirates, Dutch, and Portuguese. Roman Catholic missionaries converted most of the lowland inhabitants to Christianity and founded schools, universities, and hospitals. In 1863 a Spanish decree introduced education, establishing public schooling in Spanish.[59]
During the British occupation of 1762–1764, General William Draper lead an army of British soldiers and Indian sepoy mercenaries against the forces of then, Governor-General and Archbishop Manuel Rojo del Rio y Vieyra. The British liberated Sultan Azim ud-Din I of Sulu from imprisonment in Manila and supported the Vigan revolt of Gabriela Silang while simultaneously burning the city of Manila to the ground. Nevertheless, Spanish sovereignty in the islands was restored by the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1763).[60]
The Spanish eventually opened Philippine ports to world trade. Wealth increased and many filipinos, criollos and mestizos became rich. The numbers of Spanish and Latino settlers swelled, this secularized churches and government positions traditionally held by the peninsulares. The ideals of revolution also began to spread through the islands. Criollo insurgency resulted in the Novales mutiny, and the revolt in Cavite El Viejo in 1872 that would lead to the Philippine Revolution.[61]

A map found on board the Na SA de Covadonga, after it was taken by Commodore Anson in 1743, showing the route of the Manila-Acapulco galleon sailing through the Philippine Islands.
An ideology of a revolution grew after colonial authorities executed three progressive secular priests, Mariano Gómez, José Burgos and Jacinto Zamora (known as Gomburza), who were accused of rebellion, in 1872.[62] This would inspire a propaganda movement in Spain, organized by José Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar and Mariano Ponce, lobbying for political reforms in the Philippines. The movement produced a newspaper, La Solidaridad. Rizal, who wrote the novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, returned to the Philippines and established the organization La Liga Filipina which also called for reforms. He was exiled to Dapitan, where he met Josephine Bracken.[63] He was executed on December 30, 1896, on charges of rebellion.[63]
Andrés Bonifacio, meanwhile, established the secret society called the Katipunan in 1892, which sought independence from Spain through armed revolt.[64] 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. Emilio Aguinaldo took over from Bonifacio (who was executed afterwards in one of the most infamous, tragic, and contentious incidents in Philippine history) and formed the Republic of Biak-na-Bato in 1897.[65] A ceasefire was agreed at the Treaty of Biak-na-Bato, which led to the revolutionary leaders to depart for Hong Kong, in exile, officially ending the revolution on May 17, 1897, though rebel activities continued regardless of the treaty.[66]
The Spanish-American War began in Cuba in 1898 and reached the Philippines after the United States invaded the islands and fought Spain in the Battle of Manila Bay. Aguinaldo collaborated with the United States, returned from exile and declared Philippine independence from Spain in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898, and established the República Filipina or the Philippine Republic in Malolos, Bulacan the following year after Spain's defeat. Meanwhile, Spain ceded the islands together with Cuba, Puerto Rico and Guam, to the United States for $20 million during the Treaty of Paris. This led to the Philippine-American War, during which, Aguinaldo was captured on March 23, 1901. The war (along with the Moro Rebellion), continued until 1913. At least 34,000 Filipinos lost their lives as a direct result of the war and at least 200,000 may have died as a result of the cholera epidemic at the war's end.[67][68][69] After two interim governing commissions, the Philippine Insular Government was established in the July, 1902 by the Philippine Organic Act, restoring civilian government after the Philippine-American War.[70]

Former politician, Manuel L. Quezon in his inauguration as President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines during the American period.
As a result of the 1916 Jones Law and the subsequent 1934 Tydings-McDuffie Act, the Philippines became a Commonwealth.[71][72][73][74] The Commonwealth was officially inaugurated in November 15, 1935. Manuel L. Quezon was elected as president in 1935, with the task of preparing the country for sovereignty. During his term numerous tasks regarding agrarian reform were initiated, including the colonization of Mindanao, an area considered as part of the hinterlands at the time. He also faced several challenges from leftist groups, such as the Sakdalista. Apart from this, his projects also included the establishments of a new capital and the formation of a unifying National Language.
Efforts to prepare the country for independence were hampered by the Japanese invasion during World War II. Despite an effort to defend the country in Bataan and Corregidor, the country was occupied and was turned into a controlled government by various foreign and local political dictators run by José P. Laurel. Numerous war crimes were committed during the years of the occupation, such as the plight of comfort women and the Bataan Death March. In exile, Quezon continued representing the Commonwealth in forums such as the Pacific War Council and the United Nations until his death in 1943. The islands were liberated in 1944–1945, beginning in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, where General Douglas MacArthur led the Allied Forces and the United States Military (U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps) and escorted Sergio Osmeña, Quezon's successor, back to the country. The liberation ended after the Battle of Manila, killing almost 100,000 people, bringing the death toll for the country to at least a million dead.[75] On July 4, 1946: in the ruined Philippine capital; the United States granted the Philippines its independence from colonial rule due to domestic conservative interests[76] and an aggressive campaign by the Nacionalista Party[77] but it was still maintaining the Clark Air Base[78] and the Subic Naval Base and even enforcing unequal economic treaties such as the Bell Trade Act.[79]

Contemporary Period

After the World War II, the Philippines faced the plague of political instability. Since 1946, remnants of the Hukbalahap communist rebel army continued to roam the rural regions, disgruntled after the government had rejected their contribution during World War II. Attempts at reconciliation were established by former President Ramón Magsaysay.

A statue of the Virgin Mary was built on the EDSA Shrine, after the People Power Revolution.
In 1962 Carlos P. Garcia was elected president. He was followed by Diosdado Macapagal, the 9th president of the Philippines & the 1st Philippine president with royal lineage tracing back to Rajah Lakandula. The 1960s was a period of economic growth for the Philippines, which developed into one of the wealthiest in Asia. Ferdinand Marcos then became president and barred from seeking a third term, he declared martial law on September 23, 1972. Using the crises of political conflicts, the tension of the

A merit medal from the Order of Lakandula. The highest honor awarded by the Philippine Republic. The order was initiated by the Macapagal Presidential Family, descendants of the Tondo Dyansty's last king, Rajah Lakandula. The only branch of Seludung's Royal Family that has triumphed against the massacres of Majapahit, Bruneian, Spanish, British, American and Japanese Imperialists while shaping the course of Philippine History.
Cold War, a rising Communist rebellion, an Islamic insurgency and with military support from the USA as justifications; he governed by decree (Oppression), along with his wife Imelda Marcos. After being exiled, opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr. (Marcos' chief rival) was assassinated at the Manila International Airport (also called the Ninoy Aquino International Airport) on August 21, 1983.
After the assasination, the People Power Revolution occurred. The people gathered and protested in EDSA, instigated by the Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin, who was opposed to the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The People Power Revolution shocked the whole world by being the first non-violent revolution caught on camera.[80] The video footage of Nuns and children stopping war tanks using only their bodies in fervent prayer sent a powerful political message of transcendence which reverberated across the globe.[81] Consequently, this served as an inspiration for the spread of more non-violent revolutions across the world[80] and freeing it from the grip of the Soviet Communists and American Imperialists when the peoples oppressed by the puppet-regimes supported by the two Cold War Superpowers followed suit and threw off their own dictators in similar non-violent revolutions. Eventually this caused the end of Communist rule in Eastern Europe[82] and the removal of US supported autocrats in Latin-America[83]. The democratic movement eventually culminating with the fall of the Berlin Wall.[84]
After losing the subsequent election to Corazón Aquino, the widow of Benigno Aquino and the symbol of the People Power Revolution, who became the first female president of the Philippines and the first female president in Asia; Ferdinand Marcos, a CIA supported dictator [85] and his allies departed to Hawaii in exile aboard American military helicopters.[86]
The return of democracy and government reforms after the events of 1986 were hampered by an IMF induced national debt, government corruption, coup attempts, a Communist insurgency and an Islamic separatist organization. Nevertheless, US Military Bases in the Philippines (The largest ever built) were shutdown and converted to Freeport Zones. Furthermore, the economy improved during the administration of Fidel V. Ramos, who was elected in 1992.[87] However, the economic improvements were negated at the onset of the East Asian financial crisis in 1997.
Due to his popularity among the poor and uneducated by being a movie actor, Joseph Ejercito Estrada was elected president. The 2001 EDSA Revolution however, led to his downfall when he was found guilty of fraud and plunder.[88]
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took leadership in 2001 following the controversial EDSA 2 revolution and the impeachment of the Estrada government. She is contextually; a democratically elected Queen by being a daughter of a former Head of State, Diosdado Macapagal and by being a long lost descendant of Rajah Lakandula the last reigning King of the Tondo Dynasty through Don Juan Macapagal, an ancestor.[89] Her legitimacy is furthermore cemented by having gained power by orchestrating a revolution.[90] The Macapagal branch of the Tondo Royal family, survived the persecution of the ages by changing their surname from "Lakandula" to "Macapagal". This makes the EDSA 2 revolution the only revolution in modern history, to have resurrected an ancient but lost royal dynasty.[91]
The presidency of Arroyo was marred by a handful of political difficulties. Terrorism in the south began to fester and move up north while an unruly military began plotting coup attempts in the capital, Manila. Several natural disasters also posed a challenge along with political controversies popping-up here and there. Yet, despite the bleak situation, positive instances did occur. The economy continued to grow and stabilize, the strongest in over twenty years, despite a financial crisis,[92] [92][93] while relations with neighboring countries continued to prosper. Two democratic elections were also held at this time.
In 2007, the World Bank has declared the Philippines a "Newly industrialized country"[94] while the prestigious Goldman Sachs Group has predicted that the Philippines will be one of the Next Eleven economies which will shape world trade.[95] Their prophesies proved true during the onset of the Late-2000s recession when the whole world fell victim to the economic devastation wrought by Subprime Banking mess resulting in every industrialized country having a negative growth rate. Something which the Philippines defied by predicting a positive GDP growth rate during the 2009 fiscal year.[96] However, Corazon C. Aquino, heroine of people power, died on August 2009. Immediately, plans are underway to declare her a saint.[97]

Politics and government

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the current President of the Philippines.

The Malacañang Palace is the official residence of 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.[2]
The bicameral Congress is composed of a Senate, serving as the upper house, with members elected to a six-year term, and a House of Representatives, serving as the lower house, with members elected to a three-year term. They are elected from both legislative districts and through sectoral representation.[2]
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.[2]
There have been attempts to change the government to a federal, unicameral or parliamentary government beginning in the term of Ramos up to the present administration.[98][99]

Security and defense

The BRP Rajah Humabon (PF-11) is the current flagship, and largest warship of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
Philippine defense is handled by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which is modeled after the United States armed forces and is composed of three branches: the Air Force, the Army, and the Navy (including the Marine Corps). Civilian security is handled by Philippine National Police under the DILG. In metropolitan areas, groups like the MMDA are in charge local issues, such as traffic.
In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the largest separatist organizations, the Moro National Liberation Front and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, are actively engaging the government, seeking more rights and better autonomy for their people. Militant organizations, such as the New People's Army and the Abu Sayyaf Group, have been roaming the provinces, however their presence has decreased in recent years due to successful security provided by the Philippine government.[100][101]
The Philippines has been an ally of the United States since World War II.[102] It has supported American policies during the Cold War, and has participated in the Korean and Vietnam wars as a result of the country's involvement with SEATO, a group that includes Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.[103] After the start of the War on Terror, there has been additional support from the United States military.[104] The country is currently working with the United States, through a visiting forces agreement, with the intention of ending the insurgency in the country.[105][106] The Philippines also has a military agreement with Australia.[107] Other important military allies include Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

International relations

The Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C., United States.
The Philippines' international relations is focused on its ideals of democracy, peace and trade with other nations, as well as the well-being of the 11 million Overseas Filipinos living outside the country. It has aligned itself with several nations around the world including its Southeast Asian and Asia-Pacific neighbors, the United States, the Middle East, the Vatican and other countries.[108]
As a founding and active member of the United Nations, it has been elected several times into the Security Council and is an active participant in the Human Rights Council as well as in peacekeeping missions, particularly in East Timor.[109][110][111][112][113] Aside from the United Nations, the country is also a founding and active member of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) with the intention of strengthening relations with its Southeast Asian neighbors and promoting economic and cultural growth between member states.[114] It has hosted several summits and is an active contributor on the direction, and policies of the bloc.[115] The current relations it enjoys with other Southeast Asian states is in contrast with its relations with them before the 1970s when it was at war with Vietnam and was heavily disputing Sabah with Malaysia, although misunderstandings between these states continue to exist due to the Spratly Islands.[116]
The Philippines values its relations with the United States, and has actively supported most of the other's policies with regards to foreign affairs[108] As a Major non-NATO ally, the country supported the United States during the Cold War and the War on Terror. It has also committed itself to promote the American ideals of democracy. Despite this history of goodwill, controversy continues to exist between the relations of the two nations, with varying issues such as the Philippine-American War, the Bell Trade Act, the presence of U.S. military bases in Subic Bay and Clark, and the Visiting Forces Agreement.[108] Japan is also treated as an ally due to the Official Development Assistance given to the people, although historical tensions exist due to the plight of comfort women.[117]
Relations with Spain, Europe and Latin America remained positive due to shared interests. Despite the threat of violence (such as domestic abuse and war) on Overseas Filipino Workers, particularly on domestic workers, relations with Middle Eastern countries (including Egypt, Iran, Iraq,[118] Libya, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) continue to be friendly as proven by the continuous employment of more than two million Overseas Filipinos living there. Recent foreign policy has been mostly about economic relations with its Southeast Asian and Asia-Pacific neighbors.[108]
The Philippines is a 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.[2] It is also seeking to strengthen relations with Islamic countries by campaigning for observer status in the Organization of Islamic Conference.[119][120]

Administrative divisions

Provinces and regions of the Philippines.
The Philippines is divided into three island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. These are divided into 17 regions, 80 provinces, 120 cities, 1,511 municipalities and 42,008 barangays.[121] In addition, the Section 2 of Republic Act No. 5446 asserts that the country has acquired islands from Sabah formerly (North Borneo).[122]
Region Designation Regional center
Ilocos Region Region I San Fernando, La Union
Cagayan Valley Region II Tuguegarao, Cagayan
Central Luzon Region III San Fernando, Pampanga
CALABARZON Region IV-A Calamba City, Laguna
MIMAROPA Region IV-B Calapan, Oriental Mindoro
Bicol Region Region V Legazpi, Albay
Western Visayas Region VI Iloilo City
Central Visayas Region VII Cebu City
Eastern Visayas Region VIII Tacloban
Zamboanga Peninsula Region IX Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur
Northern Mindanao Region X Cagayan de Oro City
Davao Region Region XI Davao City
SOCCSKSARGEN Region XII Koronadal, South Cotabato
Caraga Region XIII Butuan
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ARMM Cotabato City
Cordillera Administrative Region CAR Baguio
National Capital Region NCR Manila


The Philippines constitutes an archipelago of 7,107 islands[9] with a total land area of approximately 300,000 square kilometres (116,000 square miles). It is located between 116° 40', and 126° 34' E. longitude and 4° 40' and 21° 10' N. latitude and borders the Philippine Sea on the east, the South China Sea on the west, and the Celebes Sea on the south. The island of Borneo is located a few hundred kilometres southwest and Taiwan is located directly to the north. The Moluccas and Sulawesi are located to the south-southwest and Palau is located to the east of the islands.[2]
The Philippines is divided into three island groups: Luzon (Regions I to V, NCR and CAR), Visayas (VI to VIII), and Mindanao (IX to XIII and ARMM). The port of Manila, on Luzon, is the capital city and the second largest city after Quezon City.[2]
Most of the mountainous islands were covered in tropical rainforest and are volcanic in origin. The highest mountain is Mount Apo, located in Mindanao measuring at 2,954 metres (9,692 ft) above sea level. There are many active volcanos such as the Mayon Volcano, Mount Pinatubo and Taal Volcano. The islands are also located within the typhoon belt of the Western Pacific, and approximately 19 typhoons strike per year.[123]
Located on the northwestern fringes of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines have experienced frequent seismic and volcanic activities. Around 20 earthquakes are registered daily, though most are too weak to be felt. The last major earthquake was the 1990 Luzon earthquake.[124]
The longest river is the Cagayan River in northern Luzon. Manila Bay is connected to Laguna de Bay by means of the Pasig River. Subic Bay, the Davao Gulf and the Moro Gulf are some of the important bays. Transversing the San Juanico Strait is the San Juanico Bridge that connects the islands of Samar, and Leyte.[125]

Natural resources

The Philippine Eagle is a bird of prey found in the rainforests of the islands.
The Philippines has abundant natural resources in areas such as agriculture, natural beauty and minerals. It has fertile lands, diverse flora and fauna, extensive coastlines and rich mineral deposits.[126]
Endemic species include the tamaraw of Mindoro and the tarsier of Bohol. The Philippines lacks predators, with the exception of snakes, such as pythons and cobras, and birds of prey, such as the national bird, known as the Philippine eagle.[127] Other native animals include the palm civet cat,[128] the Mouse deer, the Visayan warty pig,[129] and several species of bats.
Rainforests boast an array of flora, including several types of orchids and rafflesia.[130] The narra is considered as the most important type of hardwood while banyan trees or the balete.[131] The islands' major crops include rice, corn, sugarcane, coconut, abaca, and tobacco. Rice is the most important source of food along with corn. The coconut, mango, watermelon and other native fruits are important contributors to the nation's income.
Due to the volcanic nature of the islands, mineral deposits are abundant. This also allows the Philippines to become a powerhouse with regards to geothermal energy.[132][133] A notable example of the volcanic features of the islands include the Benham Plateau to the east, a region active in tectonic subduction.[134]
The Philippine territorial waters encompass as much as 1.67 million square kilometres, producing a unique and diverse marine life, an important part of the Coral Triangle. There are 2,400 fish species. Other marine products include corals, pearls, crabs and seaweeds.[126][135] The rain forests offer prime habitat for more than 530 species of birds, some 800 species of orchids, and some 8,500 species of flowering plants.[136]
Deforestation is acute in Southeast Asia,[137] the second of the world's great biodiversity hot spots.[138] The forest cover of the Philippines declined from 70% of the country's total land area in 1900 to about 18.3% in 1999.[139][140]


The Philippines has a tropical climate and is usually hot and humid. The average yearly temperature is around 26.5°C (79.7°F). There are three recognized seasons: "Tag-init" or "Tag-araw" (the hot season or summer from March to May), "Tag-ulan" (the rainy season from June to November), and "Tag-lamig" (the cold season from December to February). The southwest monsoon (from May to October) is known as the "Habagat" and the dry winds of the northeast monsoon (from November to April) as the "Amihan".[141] The coolest month is January, and the warmest is May. Both temperature and humidity levels reach the maximum in April and May.[2] Manila and most of the lowland areas are hot and dusty from March to May.[142] Even at this period, the temperatures rarely rise above 37°C and sea-level temperatures rarely fall below 27°C. Annual rainfall measures as much as 5,000 millimeters in the mountainous east coast section but less than 1,000 millimetres in some of the sheltered valleys. Sitting astride the typhoon belt, most of the islands experience annual torrential rains and thunderstorms from July to October.[143]


The skyline of Ortigas Center in the foreground with Makati City in the background on the left.
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 business process outsourcing.[144][145] Goldman Sachs includes the country in its list of the "Next Eleven" economies.[146]

The Makati City skyline
In the 1960s, the economy was regarded as the second largest in Asia, next to Japan.[citation needed] However, the leadership of Ferdinand Marcos proved disastrous, by transforming the market economy into a centrally planned economy.[citation needed] The country suffered severe economic recession,[when?] only to recover in the 1990s with a program of economic liberalization.[citation needed]

The Philippine Stock Exchange with the statue of martyred Filipino opposition leader during the Marcos dictatorship, Benigno S. Aquino, Jr.
The Asian Financial Crisis affected the economy to an extent, resulting in a lingering decline of the value of the peso and falls in the stock market, although the extent to which it was affected was not as severe as that of its Asian neighbors. This is largely due to the fiscal conservatism of the government partly as a result of decades of monitoring and fiscal supervision from the International Monetary Fund, in comparison to the massive spending of its neighbors on the rapid acceleration of economic growth.[87] By 2004, the economy experienced six percent growth in gross domestic product and 7.3% in 2007.[147]
The Philippine economy is heavily reliant on remittances as a source of foreign currency, surpassing foreign direct investment. China and India have emerged as major economic competitors, siphoning away investors who would otherwise have invested their businesses, particularly telecommunication companies. Regional development is also somewhat uneven, with Luzon, and Metro Manila in particular gaining most of the new economic growth at the expense of the other regions,[148] although the government has taken steps to distribute economic growth by promoting investment in other areas of the country.
The Philippines is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is also a member of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Colombo Plan and the G-77 and other International organization.[149] The daily income for 45% of the population of the Philippines is less than US$ 2.[150]


Population growth of the Philippines.

Map of the dominant ethnicities of the Philippines by province.
The first official census in the Philippines was carried out in 1878. As of December 31, 1877, the country's population was recorded at 5,567,685 persons.[151] By 2009, the Philippines has become the world's 12th most populous nation, with a population of over 92 million.[11][12] In 2009, 11% of Filipinos are living abroad as migrant laborers. An estimated figure of half of the population resides on the island of Luzon. Manila, the capital city, is the eleventh most populous metropolitan area in the world. The population of Greater Manila Area is around 20 million.[152] Life expectancy is 71.09 years, with 74.15 years for females and 68.17 years for males.[153] Population growth rate between 1995 to 2000 was 3.21% but has decreased to an estimated 1.95% for the 2005 to 2010 period.[154]


Filipinos belong to several Asian ethnic groups, grouped within the Malay or Malayo-Polynesian speaking people, who speak Austronesian languages. They originated from a population of Taiwanese aborigines,[155] that migrated to the Philippines thousands of years ago from Taiwan, and brought with them knowledge of agriculture and ocean-sailing technology. Various people of different races and nationalities have intermarried with various indigenous ethnic groups.[156] Their descendants are known as mestizos.[157] The official population of all types of mixed blood individuals living in the country remain unknown. The islands are composed of a multitude of different ethnic groups and cultures. These include non-tribal peoples such as the Visayan, the Tagalog, comprising about one-fifth of the country’s total population, the Ilocano, the Moro, the Kapampangan, the Bicolano, the Pangasinense, the Ibanag and the Ivatan.[158] Indigenous peoples are also present including the Igorot, the Lumad, the Mangyan, the Badjao, and the tribes of Palawan.[155] Negritos, such as the Aeta and the Ati, are considered the aboriginal inhabitants of the islands and are estimated to number around 300,000 people (0.3%).[155] Migrant ethnic groups who have settled in the country from elsewhere include Chinese, Spanish, Americans, Arabs, British, Europeans, Indonesians, Japanese, Koreans, and South Asians. Chinese Filipinos number about 2 million.[159]
There are about 11 million Filipinos outside the Philippines.[13] Since the liberalization of United States immigration laws in 1965,[160] the number of people in the United States having Filipino ancestry had grown substantially to 3.1 million according to the 2007 United States census.[161] According to the US Census Bureau, immigrants from the Philippines made up the second largest group after Mexico.[162] Some 2 million Filipinos work in the Middle East, with nearly a million in Saudi Arabia alone.[163]


The figure below shows the top twenty largest cities in the Philippines.
Largest cities in the Philippines
Rank City Region Population Rank City Region Population Manila
1 Quezon City National Capital 2,679,450 11 Cagayan de Oro Region X 553,966
2 Manila National Capital 1,660,714 12 Parañaque National Capital 552,660
3 Caloocan National Capital 1,378,856 13 Las Piñas National Capital 532,330
4 Davao City Region XI 1,363,337 14 General Santos Region XII 529,542
5 Cebu City Region VII 798,809 15 Makati National Capital 510,383
6 Zamboanga City Region IX 774,407 16 Bacolod Region VI 499,497
7 Antipolo Region IV-A 633,971 17 Muntinlupa National Capital 452,493
8 Pasig National Capital 617,301 18 San Jose del Monte Region III 439,090
9 Taguig National Capital 613,343 19 Marikina National Capital 424,610
10 Valenzuela National Capital 568,928 20 Iloilo City Region VI 418,710
Philippines 2007 Census


Native Languages (2000)[164]
Tagalog 22 million
Cebuano 20 million
Ilokano 7.7 million
Hiligaynon 7 million
Waray-Waray 3.1 million
Kapampangan 2.9 million
Bicol Central 2.5 million
Chavacano creoles 2.5 million
Pangasinan 2.4 million
Bicol Albay 1.2 million
Maranao 1.2 million
Maguindanao 1.1 million
Kinaray-A 1.1 million
Tausug 1 million
Surigaonon 0.6 million
Masbateño 0.5 million
Aklanon 0.5 million
Ibanag 0.3 million
Over 180 native languages and dialects are spoken in the Philippines. They are part of the Borneo-Philippines group of the Malayo-Polynesian languages, which is itself a branch of the Austronesian language family.[155]
According to the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Filipino and English are the official languages. Filipino is a de facto version of Tagalog, spoken mainly in Metro Manila and other urban regions. Both Tagalog and English are used in government, education, print, broadcast media and business. Major languages recognized in the constitution include Bicolano, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Tagalog and Waray-Waray. Spanish and Arabic are both recognized as auxiliary languages.[155]
Other languages such as Aklanon, Boholano, Chavacano, Zamboangueño, Cuyonon, Ifugao, Itbayat, Ivatan, Kalinga, Kamayo, Kankana-ey, Kinaray-a, Maguindanao, Maranao, Masbatenyo, Romblomanon, Surigaonon, Tausug, Yakan and several Visayan languages are dominant in their respective provinces.[155]


The Basilica Minore de San Sebastián is a Catholic church that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Philippines is one of two predominant Roman Catholic countries in Asia, the other being East Timor. It is composed of several diocese and archdiocese. More than 90% of the population are Christians. About 80% belong to the Roman Catholic Church while the remaining 10% belong to other Christian denominations, such as the Philippine Independent Church, Iglesia ni Cristo, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Seventh Day Adventist, United Church of Christ and the Orthodox Church./>[165]

Several Baroque churches are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the San Agustín Church in Manila, the Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte, the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Santa María) Church in Ilocos Sur, the Santo Tomás de Villanueva Church in Iloilo and the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño in Cebu.
Between 5% to 10% of the population are Muslim, most of whom live in parts of Mindanao, Palawan and the Sulu Archipelago, an area known as Bangsamoro or the Moro region.[166][167] Some have migrated into urban and rural areas in different parts of the country. Most Muslim Filipinos practice Shafi'i, a form of Sunni Islam, while other tribal groups such as the Bajau, practice a form mixed with Animism.[165]
Philippine traditional religions are still practiced by many aboriginal and tribal groups, often syncretized with Christianity and Islam. Animism, Folk religion and Shamanism remain present as undercurrents of mainstream religion, through the albularyo, the babaylan and the manghihilot.[165] Meanwhile, Buddhism, Taoism and Chinese folk religion, are dominant in Chinese communities.[167]
Religions such as Bahá'í Faith, Hinduism, Judaism, other spiritual beliefs and those with no religion form the remaining minority.[168]


The University of Santo Tomas, one of the Philippines' oldest universities.
Education in the Philippines is mostly Westernized, based on the American education system. Philippine DepEd reports a functional literacy rate of 84.1% for 2003.[169] Other agencies are much more optimistic.[170][171] Literacy is about equal for males and females.[3][172] Spending for education composes 2.5% of the GDP.[3] There were 42,152 elementary schools and 8,455 high schools registered with DepEd for school year 2006–2007.[173] Classes start in June and end in March. The majority of colleges and universities follow a semester calendar from June to October and November to March. There are a number of foreign schools with study programs.[2] The general pattern of formal education follows six stages:
  • Preschool
  • Elementary school
  • High school
  • Post-secondary education
  • Graduate education
  • Adult education
The Department of Education (DepEd), formerly (DECS), covers elementary, secondary, and non-formal education, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) administers the post-secondary, middle-level education training and development, while the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) supervises the college as well as graduate academic programs and degrees as well as regulate standards in higher education.[174]



Jeepneys were originally made from U.S. military jeeps left over from World War II.
In spite of the mountainous terrain, approximately 14 percent of the 158,810 kilometres (98,110 miles) of roads in the Philippines are paved.[175] Buses, jeepneys, taxis, tricycles and motorcycles are available when getting around the major cities and towns. In 2007, there are about 5.53 million registered motor vehicles and an average annual registration rate of 4.55%.[176]
Train service is provided by the Strong Republic Transit System, which unified the three main railway networks that provide service of different areas of Metro Manila, and parts of Luzon, that includes the Manila Light Rail Transit System (LRT), the Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR).

Philippine Airlines is the first commercial airline in Asia.
Seaports can be found throughout the islands. The busiest seaports are Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga, which are parts of the 3,219 kilometre of waterways and seaports.[3][175] Passenger ships and other sea vessels such as Superferry, Negros Navigation and Sulpicio Lines serves Manila, with links to various cities and towns. In 2003, the 919-kilometres Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) was established and this is an integrated set of highway segments and ferry routes covering 17 cities.[177]
Rivers, such as the Pasig River and Marikina River, have air-conditioned commuter ferries run by the Pasig River Ferry Service, connecting their numerous tributaries in Manila, Makati City, Mandaluyong City, Pasig City and Marikina City.[178]
There are 262 airports in the country, 75 of which have runways.[175] The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is the main airport. Other important airports include the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport and Francisco Bangoy International Airport. Philippine Airlines, Asia's oldest commercial airline still operating under its original name and Cebu Pacific, the leading domestic airline, are the major airlines serving most domestic and international destinations.


The Philippines has one of the most sophisticated cellular phone industries in the world and one of the highest concentrations of users.[179] Telecommunications are dominated by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, which is also the largest company in the country.[179][180] Globe Telecom, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular on the other hand, are three of its largest cellular service providers.
There are an estimated 41 million cellular phone users, the reason that the Philippines has been named as the "Texting Capital of the World",[181] and the ownership rate is increasing.[179] Text messaging has fostered a culture of quick greetings, and forwarded jokes among the Filipinos. Out of this growing number of avid texters, 5.5 million of them use their cellular phones as virtual wallets, making it a leader among developing nations in providing financial transactions over cellular networks.[181] In 2007, The nation sent an average of 1 billion SMS messages per day.[182]
Radio, television and internet are used frequently. There are approximately 381 AM and 628 FM stations and 250 national and 1,501 cable TV stations, as well as 14 million Internet users or 16% of the total population, being served by almost 100 Internet providers.[3][183]

Culture and society

An Ifugao (Malayo-Polynesian) sculpture.
Philippine culture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. The Philippines shares many aspects with other Asian nations (such as Malaysia and China) in its heritage, yet it also displays significant American influence, and Hispanic influences derived from the cultures of Spain and Mexico. These influences are evident in literature, folk music, folk dance, language, food, art and religion.[144]
Traditional festivities known as barrio fiestas (district festivals) to commemorate the feast days of patron saints are common. One of the most visible Hispanic legacies is the prevalence of Spanish surnames and names among Filipinos. This peculiarity, unique among the people of Asia, came as a result of a colonial decree, the Clavería edict, for the systematic distribution of family names and implementation of the Spanish naming system on the population. A Spanish name and surname among the majority of Filipinos does not always denote Spanish ancestry.

Islamic instruments of gongs and a drum that make up the Philippine kulintang ensemble, an example of pre-Hispanic musical tradition.
The majority of street names, towns and provinces are in Spanish. Spanish architecture made somewhat of an imprint in the Philippines, but many buildings bearing that influence were demolished during World War II. The remaining influences can be seen in the country's churches, government buildings, and universities. Many Hispanic-styled houses and buildings are preserved, like the towns in Vigan among others.
The use of the English language in the Philippines is the United States' most visible legacy. It has contributed to the influence of American pop cultural trends. This is seen in Filipinos' love of fast-food, film and music. Fast food outlets are found on many street corners. American global fast food chain stalwarts have entered the market like McDonald's, those of Yum! Brands, Starbucks, and Burger King among others. However, local fast-food chains have emerged, and successfully compete against their foreign rivals including Goldilocks and most notably Jollibee the leading fast food chain in the country.[184] Modern day Filipinos also listen and watch contemporary European and American music and film. However, Original Pilipino Music (also known as OPM) and local films are also appreciated.


The Halo-halo is a dessert made of ice, milk, various fruits and ice cream.
Filipino cuisine has evolved over several centuries from its Malayo-Polynesian origins to become a mixed cuisine with many Hispanic, Chinese, American, and other Asian influences. These influences have been adapted to local ingredients and the Filipino palate to create distinctively Filipino dishes.
Dishes range from the very simple, like a meal of fried salted fish and rice, to the highly elaborate, such as the paellas and cocidos created for fiestas. Popular dishes include lechón, adobo, sinigang, kare-kare, tapa, crispy pata, pancit, lumpia, and halo-halo.
Unlike many of their Asian counterparts, Filipinos do not eat with chopsticks. They use western cutlery. However, possibly due to rice being the primary staple food and the popularity of a large number of stews or broth based main dishes in Filipino cuisine, the main pairing of utensils seen at the Filipino dining table is that of spoon and fork, not knife and fork. The traditional way of eating with the hands known as kamayan is seen more often in less urbanized areas.[citation needed]

Mythology and literature

Philippine mythology has been handed down through Philippine folk literature, which is the traditional oral literature of the Filipino people. This refers to a wide range of material due to the ethnic mix of the Philippines. Each unique ethnic group has its own stories and myths to tell. Nonetheless, Hindu and Spanish influence can be detected in many cases. Many of the myths are creation stories or stories about supernatural creatures, such as the Aswang (Vampire), the Diwata (Fairy), and Nature. The most recognized Philippine mythologies include the Ibong Adarna, Bernardo Carpio, Lam-Ang and Urduja.
In Philippine literature Francisco Balagtas the writer of Florante at Laura is recognized as one of the Philippines' preeminent writers. José Rizal who wrote Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not), and El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed) depicted the abuses of Spanish rule in his work and is considered a national hero for inspiring other Philippine revolutionaries to seek independence. Fernando María Guerrero is known for his book of Hispanic literatures. Modern literature, such as Dekada '70 and Bayan Ko (My Country), have also received national recognition for illustrating the martial law period of the 1970s, and the pre-colonial period. Contemporary literature has mostly been focused on humor and everyday life, such as the works of Bob Ong.


Philippine media uses mainly Filipino (a de facto version of Tagalog) and English. Other Philippine languages, including various Visayan languages are also used in the media. Radio is currently the most accessible type of media due to the remoteness of certain rural locations and most local languages are broadcasted in this format.
The entertainment industry is vibrant with scandals and issues among celebrities, which are written in most broadsheets and tabloids.[185] Drama and fantasy shows are anticipated in major television networks such as ABS-CBN, GMA Network and TV5, so are Latin telenovelas, Asianovelas and anime. Daytime television is dominated by game shows, variety shows, and talk shows such as Eat Bulaga, Game KNB? and Wowowee. Philippine cinema is also appreciated, but has faced competition from American and European films. Despite this, critically praised directors and actors remain active, including Mike de Leon, Lino Brocka, Judy Ann Santos, Vilma Santos and Nora Aunor (known for her role in Himala, the most critically acclaimed film in the nation).[186][187][188][189]
With the Internet gaining popularity in recent years, social networking and MMORPGs, which are the most frequent internet activities and have lead a Philippine-based company known as "Level Up! Games" to emerge in the Philippine industry.[190][191]

Sports and recreation

A sepak takraw ball made out of rattan. Also used for the national sport sipa.

A professional basketball game being played between the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants and Barako Bull Energy Boosters.
Various sports are played in the Philippines including basketball, boxing, volleyball, badminton, billiards, football (soccer), ten-pin bowling and sipa.
Basketball is played at both amateur and professional levels and is considered to be the most popular sport in the Philippines.[192][193] In almost every corner of the cities, there is a basketball court as it is the favorite recreational activity by Filipinos.[194]
Basketball, boxing, billiards, soccer, horse racing, chess and ten-pin bowling are the most watched sports.[195] Philippine sports have produced several sports heroes, such as Francisco Guilledo, Flash Elorde, and Manny Pacquiao in boxing,[194] Paulino Alcántara in football (soccer), Carlos Loyzaga, Robert Jaworski and Ramon Fernandez in basketball, Efren Reyes in billiards,[196] Eugene Torre in chess,[197] and Rafael Nepomuceno in bowling.[198] Motocross, figure skating, cycling and mountaineering have become popular.
Traditional Filipino sports are popular,[199][200] among the youth, primarily as children's games, such as luksung baka, patintero, piko, and tumbang preso. Sungka, while not as popular as it once was, is still viewed as a significant part of the traditional native Filipino games. Card games are popular during festivities, with some, including pusoy and tong-its, being used as a form of illegal gambling. Mahjong is played in some Filipino communities. The yo-yo a popular toy with roots in the Philippines was introduced internationally by Pedro Flores with its name from the Ilokano language.
Arnis and eskrima are Filipino martial arts.

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General information
Categories: Philippines | Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states | Countries bordering the Pacific Ocean | Countries bordering the Philippine Sea | Countries bordering the South China Sea | English-speaking countries and territories | First republics in Asia | Former Spanish colonies | Island countries | Liberal democracies | Republics | Southeast Asian countries | States and territories established in 1565 | States and territories established in 1898 | States and territories established in 1946 | Volcanic arc islands

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