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Philippines is named after King Phillip II of Spain, who reigned from 1554-1598.
The country was named in 1542 (when King Philip was still a prince) to reference
only a couple islands, but later the name included the entire archipelago.
WARNING: Terrorist threats
continue in the Philippines, please read this
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The Filipinos were never a united people as each
island made up a different ethnicity, culture, and society. In fact the people were
often times fighting each other or simply ignored each other. For much of their
early history the people were isolated from the world, and each other, and this
is how their culture began.
Isolated from the world, the people became very defensive fighters, needing to be
able to defend their islands for survival as they clung close to the coasts and
lived off the seas. This defense and isolation left technology and progress behind
as outside contact was viewed as a threat and much of the world moved forward as
the islands that now make up the Philippines were left behind. Trust was limited
to those on their island as families and communities became closer while isolation
with outsiders grew.
The flag of the Philippines includes
the color blue for peace and justice, red for courage, and a white triangle to represent
equality. The sun's rays represent the eight provinces that initially sought
independence from Spain and the three stars are for the three major geographic divisions
in the country: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Name: Republic of the Philippines
Independence: June 12, 1898 (from Spain) &
July 4, 1946 (from the U.S.A.)
Currency: Philippine Peso
Population: 105,720,644 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, & others
Language: Filipino (Tagalog) & English
Religion: Roman Catholic
As the Age of Exploration began and foreigners started to arrive, their arrival
was fiercely resisted. Numerous explorers arrived and soon after left as the world
continued to move forward without the Filipinos. This changed when the
Spanish finally settled the region.
The Spanish introduced Catholicism and this became a new
base for the quickly changing Filipino culture. Catholicism changed the people as
they united under this new religion and turned from their violent ways in the past
to a more peaceful path forward. The Spanish also opened the doors of the country
as outside influences entered the country, altering the food, ethnicity, and culture.
In about 1900 the United States took control over the Philippines
and they began to focus on economic growth on the islands, something that was poorly
received as the people demanded independence, tapping back into the past roots clinging
to independence and self-rule. From this time until the end of World War II the
islands were occupied by the Americans and Japanese. This
foreign occupation provoked greater desire for self-rule as their identity was also
solidified; the people identified as one people instead of as members of their island.
This growth in pride also divided the people of the south, who are primarily Muslim.
The people continue to gain a stronger identity as the Muslim population continues
to argue the definition or seek independence. In addition to this, the country has
struggled to grow economically. Urbanization is also increasing as cities seem to
be the only place where jobs are available. As this is occurring, there is a growing
divide among the rich and poor. Despite the many differences, the people tend to
be generous and kind, opportunistic and hard-working, and generous and giving. Despite
these great characteristics, poverty rules the lives of most of the people and desperation
can overcome the positives. In many ways, the people are still seeking a uniform
culture and identity as those moving to the cities arrive without jobs, housing,
or enough money to survive in many cases.
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