The 7,107 islands of the Philippines invite you to explore their rich nature and culture!

History of the Philippines:

From a long history of Western colonial rule, interspersed with visits by merchants and traders, the 7,107 islands of the Philippines today have evolved as a unique blend of East and West, both in appearance and culture. Today considered the third largest English-speaking country in the world, the country has a rich history that combines Asian, European and American influences.

The Filipinos had a rich culture and traded with the Chinese and the Japanese before the historical event, the Spanish colonization in 1521 altered the destiny of the island country. The Spanish colonization, being a strong denominator in the history of the Philippines, brought with it the construction of Intramuros, a “Walled City” made up of European buildings and churches, replicated in different parts of the archipelago. Then a series of political rebellions continued for 350 years, at the end of which, in 1898, the Filipinos managed to gain their independence. It is worth mentioning here that this of the nation was promoted by independence leaders such as José Rizal and Emilio Aguinaldo.

1898 became a landmark year in Philippine history as in this year; The Philippines became the first and only colony of the United States. However, the United States refused to recognize any Filipino right to self-government. As a result, Aguinaldo declared war on the United States for denying them independence on February 4, 1899. After the Philippine-American War, the United States brought widespread education to the islands. Filipinos fought alongside the Americans during World War II, particularly in the famous Battle of Bataan and Corregidor that delayed the Japanese advance and saved Australia. They then waged a guerrilla war against the Japanese from 1941 to 1945. However, the country was able to regain its independence in 1946. In this way, freedom-loving Filipinos have waged two peaceful and bloodless revolutions against perceived regimes. corrupt. , resulting in the vibrant democracy of the Philippines today. Today, there are as many as 12 national English-language newspapers, 7 national TV stations, hundreds of cable TV stations, and 2,000 radio stations in the Philippines, ensuring that democracy is restored to the country.

Philippine Economy:

Based on the agricultural industry, the Philippines has gradually evolved into one of the fastest growing economies in all of Southeast Asia. The service sector in the Philippines is growing steadily, keeping pace with the country’s phenomenal productivity in agriculture and industry.

Primarily an agricultural region producing copra, corn, hemp, rice, sugar, and tobacco, the land of the Philippines was also noted for mining activities, as research has found that the mountains of the islands contain substantial amounts of chromium, copper, gold, iron, lead, manganese and silver. Fishing, centered around Manila Bay and the Sulu Archipelago, has been another important occupation, especially for tribesmen scattered throughout the archipelago. However, the prospects for fishing as an industry like agriculture and mining in the Philippines are quite bleak, due to expensive funds and equipment. Important sectors of the Philippine economy, aside from agriculture, mining, and fishing, include food processing, textiles and apparel, and electronics and auto parts.

While most of the industries in the Philippines are concentrated in the urban areas around Metro Manila, natural gas resources have recently been discovered off the islands of Palawan, which are sure to add to the significant reserves of geothermal, hydroelectric and wind power. country coal.

Basically an agricultural economy with trade, commerce and industry contributing to its growth and development, agriculture with the primary crops “palay” and “maize” and also minor crops such as tubers, vegetables and fruits, as well as raising livestock and pigs are considered among the other important economic activities. In addition, the country’s oranges and mangoes are now important crops exported fresh to Asian countries.

The Philippines was less affected by the 1998 Asian financial crisis than its neighboring Southeast Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, etc. This was possible because there were annual remittances of $7-8 billion from workers abroad. Furthermore, here before the crisis there was no sustained increase in asset prices or external borrowing. Therefore, from a fall of 0.6% in 1998, the GDP expanded by 2.4% in 1999 and 4.4% in 2000. However, at the end of 2001, the country showed an economic depression compared to to a global economic slowdown, but soon picked up in subsequent years, as GDP growth accelerated to 4.3% in 2002, 4.7% in 2003 and around 6% in 2004, reflecting the resilience continued growth of the service sector and much better exports and agricultural production.

Despite all these facts and figures, the Philippines’ high annual population growth rate and unequal distribution of income, higher oil prices, higher interest rates on dollar loans, and higher inflation they turn out to be solid obstacles to their continued economic progress. Bearing this in mind, the government has to take a higher and sustained growth path to achieve appreciable progress in the economy.

Philippines Culture/Religion:

A true mix of cultures where east meets west, the Philippines has taken on a cultural character with a bit of all cultures together. Geographically and culturally divided into regions, each regional group of Filipinos is recognizable by distinct traits and dialects. The rugged and frugal Locanos of the north, the industrious Tagalogs of the central plains, the easygoing Visayans of the central islands, and the colorful tribesmen and religious Muslims of Mindanao all speak their own distinct dialects. In this way, the Philippines has more than 111 spoken dialects, due to the subdivisions of these basic regional and cultural groups. Home to Malay Indonesians as well as some Chinese and Spanish elements, the country has been famous for its “Bayanihan” or spirit of kinship, camaraderie and hospitality that Filipinos are said to acquire from their ancestors. The influence of the Chinese has incorporated in them the concept of close family relationships, while the characteristic piety comes from the Spanish who introduced Christianity in the 16th century. Considered among the English-dominant Orientals, they have Filipino as their official national language, while English is considered the unofficial language of the country. In fact, the Philippines is currently the third largest English-speaking country in the world.

An integral part of the culture of the Filipinos, the “fiesta” is a cultural denominator of the Philippines. The culture of the Filipinos indicates that in good times or bad, whatever happens, the party must continue. Every city and neighborhood has at least one local festival of its own (usually it celebrates the feast of its patron saint), there is always a festival somewhere in the country. The most pompous and elaborate among them all is Christmas, a season that fun-loving Filipinos celebrate with all the pomp and pomp one can imagine.

Speaking of religion, Filipinos have historically embraced two of the world’s great religions: Islam and Christianity. Introduced during the 14th century, shortly after the expansion of Arab trading ventures into Southeast Asia, Islam in the Philippines today is confined to the southern region of the country. On the other hand, Christianity, which was introduced in the 16th century with the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, is still a predominant religion in the country with a large part of Catholics (82.9%) and a small number of Protestants. (5.4%). . Protestantism was introduced into Philippine history much later (1889) by the first Presbyterian and Methodist missionaries who arrived in the country with American soldiers.

The churches of the Philippines, with their unique imposing architecture, are landmarks in almost every major town, provincial capital, and major city. Importantly, two of the most prominent Philippine independent churches were organized at the turn of the century, namely the ‘Aglipay Independent Church’ (founded 1902) and the Iglesia Ni Kristo’ or ‘Church of Christ’ (founded 1914) . Although Aglipay recently signed an agreement with the Anglican Church, Iglesia ni Kristo has considerably expanded its membership.

Philippines Travel/Tourism:

With exotic beach destinations in the Philippines like Boracay, Pagudpud, Mactan Island, Panglao, Camiguin and more, with rare and exotic marine life adorned by flora and fauna, with an exciting variety of water sports ranging from scuba diving and snorkeling to the sea kayak. and whitewater rafting, the Philippines, along with its other neighboring Southeast Asian countries, proves to be a treasure trove for foreign tourists. In fact, the islands of the Philippines are said to be the most sought after wedding destination where traditional meets exotic, modern meets mythical, and most of all, east meets west.

Foreign tourists from all over the world compete with each other to experience the fabulous wedding packages at Shangri-la’s Mactan Island resorts. The Pansukian Tropical Resorts, on the other hand, are sought after every year with their charming honeymoon package deals. And why not, for 7,107 islands, a coastline twice as long as that of the United States, the warm crystal blue waters of both the China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, long white-sand beaches, and a variety of marine life they would be tempting. enough for anyone in the world!

The Philippines can also boast a fascinating wildlife with a wide variety of endangered endemic Philippine animals, including 108 African animals, Philippine man-eating crocodiles and the endangered “dugong” or sea cow. The country can also boast spectacular marine life as the Philippines Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is teeming with coral species, coral genera, seagrass species, great marine life, dolphins, sea turtles; and sea birds. “Central Philippine Bird Island” is a critical stopover for up to 50,000 migratory waterfowl that annually fly the East Asian flyway. Speaking of the distinctive beauty of the flora, there is the Ninoy Aquino Park and Wildlife Nature Center on Quezon Avenue, Philippines, which has about 38 species of trees and shrubs, representing 2443 trees commonly found in the Philippine forests.

Additionally, the idyllic settings of the Philippines make it a notable golf destination for the elite and high-end public. Endowed with unique golf enclaves, from lush valleys to mountaintops, seaside resorts or simply within urban landscapes, the Philippines can proudly host some of the most prestigious local and international tournaments in the world. These include the Johnnie Walker Classic, the World Amateur Golf Championships, the World Cup, the Asian PGA and the Philippine Open. With all these attributes and much more, the country may very well be the beach capital of Asia in the truest sense of the term.

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