May 29, 2022

Philippines (Philippine: Pilipinas, pronounced: [ˌpɪlɪˈpinɐs]; English: Philippines, pronounced: [ˈfɪlɨpiːnz]), officially the Republic of the Philippines (Philippine: Repúbliká ng̃ Pilipinas; English: Republic of the Philippines), is a country located on an archipelago in Insulindia, Southeast Asia. The archipelago is bounded by the Philippine Sea to the east, the Celebes Sea and Sulu Sea to the south and the South China Sea to the west. The Luzon Strait to the north separates the Philippines from Taiwan, the Balabac Strait to the southwest is one of the maritime borders with Malaysia, and there is also a maritime border with Indonesia to the south, across the Celebes Sea, and with Vietnam, across the South China Sea. Palau is also located nearby, to the south-east. Its capital is Manila, while its most populous city is Quezon City, both forming part of the Manila Metropolitan Region. The country consists of 7,641 islands, which are broadly categorized into three main geographic divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. With approximately 300,000 square kilometers, the Philippines is the 72nd largest country in the world. With a population of over 100 million, the Philippines is the seventh most populous country in Asia and the 13th most populous in the world. An additional 12 million Filipinos live abroad, representing one of the largest diasporas in the world. Various ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the archipelago. In prehistoric times, the negritos were some of the first inhabitants of the archipelago. They were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples. Various kingdoms and nations were established in the territory, ruled by datus, rajas, sultans or Lakans. Trade with China, with Malay, Indian and Islamic peoples also began to occur. The arrival of Fernão de Magalhães, in 1521, marked the beginning of European colonization. In 1543, the Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas, in honor of Philip II of Spain. With the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi in 1565, the first Spanish settlement on the archipelago was established, and the Philippines became part of the Spanish Empire for over 300 years. This resulted in the spread of Roman Catholicism, which became the predominant religion in the country. During this time, Manila became the Asian center for the Manila Galleon, which departed from there to Acapulco, Mexico, consolidating the silver fleet. At the end of the 19th century, the Philippine Revolution took place, resulting in the country's First Republic. However, Spain did not recognize Philippine independence and ceded the territory to the United States. The Philippine-American War that broke out shortly afterwards ended with the United States establishing control over the territory, which it maintained until the Japanese invasion of the islands during World War II. After liberation, the Philippines had its independence recognized on July 4, 1946, by the United States. Since then, the Philippines has had a brief democratic period, followed by a dictatorship that years later was overthrown by the People's Power Revolution. The Philippines' large population size and economic potential have led to it being ranked as one of Southeast Asia's regional powers. The Philippines is considered an emerging market and a newly industrialized country, which has an economy in transition from being based on agriculture to being more based on services and manufacturing. However, the country still faces notable social problems, in addition to low GDP per capita and high public debt. It is a founding member of the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organization (WTO), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia Summit (CLA). The Philippines' position as an island country on the Ring of Fire of Pa