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Edited by: Edrose S. Pangilinan, &
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|Republika ng Pilipinas
Republic of the Philippines
|Motto: Maka-Diyos, Makatao, Makakalikasan, at Makabansa
(English: "For God, People, Nature, and Country")
|Anthem: Lupang Hinirang
000) 14°35′N, 121°0′E
||Filipino (Tagalog), English1
|Recognised regional languages
||Bikol, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Waray-Waray.
||Unitary presidential constitutional republic
||Noli de Castro
||Manuel Villar, Jr.
||José de Venecia, Jr.
from United States
||June 12, 1898
||March 24, 1934
||February 2, 1987
||300 000 km² (72nd)
115,831 sq mi
||$508 billion (25th)
||$146.05 billion (33rd)
||0.780 (2007) (medium) (74th)
||Peso (International )
Piso (Filipino ) (
||Spanish and Arabic are promoted on an optional and voluntary basis.
||Philippine Census 2007 Population Projection (medium assumption)
The Philippines (Filipino: Pilipinas), officially the Republic of the Philippines (Republika ng Pilipinas; RP), is an archipelagic nation located in Southeast Asia, with Manila as its capital city. The Philippine Archipelago comprises 7,107 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country, with a population of 88 million. Its national economy is the 39th in the world with a 2007 gross domestic product (GDP) of over US$145 billion.
Filipinos are mostly of Austronesian descent, but there are significant American, Arab, Chinese, Hispanic and Indian minorities. There are more than 11 million overseas Filipinos worldwide, about 11% of the total population of the Philippines.
The Philippines became a Spanish colony in the 16th century, and then a U.S. colony after the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War. The Philippines has many affinities with the Western world, derived mainly from the cultures of Spain, Latin America, and the United States. Roman Catholicism became the predominant religion, although the pre-Hispanic indigenous religious practices and Islam continue to flourish. The two official languages of the Philippines are Filipino, which is based on Tagalog, and English.
Archeological and paleontological discoveries show that Homo sapiens existed in Palawan circa 50,000 BC. The Negritos, an Australo-Melanesian people, arrived in the Philippines at least 30,000 years ago. The Malayo-Polynesian-speaking peoples, the ancestors of most Filipinos, settled in the Philippines about 2,500 BC.
The Philippines had cultural and trade relations with India, China, and Islamic merchants as early as the 9th century before the arrival of the Europeans in the 16th century.
At the service of Spain, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew were the first Europeans to arrive in the archipelago in March 1521. Magellan was later killed in battle by indigenous warriors in Mactan Island on account of political conflicts with Lapu-Lapu. The beginnings of colonization started to take form when King Philip II of Spain (after whom the Philippines was named) ordered a successive expedition. The conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi arrived from Mexico in 1565 and formed the first Spanish settlements in Cebu. In 1571 he established Manila as the capital of the new Spanish colony.
Spanish rule brought political unification to an archipelago of previously independent islands and communities that later became the Philippines, and introduced elements of western civilization such as the code of law, printing and the calendar. The Philippines was ruled as a territory of New Spain from 1565 to 1821, before it was administered directly from Madrid. During that time new crops and livestock were introduced, and trade flourished. The Manila Galleon which linked Manila to Acapulco travelled once or twice a year, beginning in the late 16th century. The Spanish military fought off various indigenous revolts and several external colonial challenges, specially from the British, Chinese pirates, Dutch, and Portuguese. Roman Catholic missionaries converted most of the inhabitants to Christianity, and founded the first schools, universities and hospitals. In 1863 a Spanish decree introduced public education, creating free public schooling in Spanish .
A propaganda movement, which included Philippine nationalist José Rizal, then a student studying in Spain, soon developed on the Spanish mainland. This was done in order to inform the government of the injustices of the administration in the Philippines as well as the abuses of the friars. In the 1880s and the 1890s, the propagandists clamored for political and social reforms, which included demands for greater representation in Spain. Unable to gain the reforms, Rizal returned to the country, and pushed for the reforms locally. Rizal was subsequently arrested, tried, and executed for treason on December 30, 1896. Earlier that year, the Katipunan, led by Andrés Bonifacio, had already started a revolution, which was eventually continued by Emilio Aguinaldo, who established a revolutionary government, although the Spanish governor general Fernando Primo de Rivera proclaimed the revolution over in May 17, 1897.
The Spanish-American War began in Cuba in 1898 and soon reached the Philippines when Commodore George Dewey defeated the Spanish squadron at Manila Bay. Aguinaldo declared the independence of the Philippines on June 12, 1898, and was proclaimed head of state. As a result of its defeat in the War, Spain ceded the Philippines, together with Cuba (made an independent country, the US in charge of foreign affairs), Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States. In 1899 the First Philippine Republic was proclaimed in Malolos, Bulacan but was later dissolved by the US forces, leading to the Philippine-American War between the United States and the Philippine revolutionaries, which continued the violence of the previous years. The US proclaimed the war ended when Aguinaldo was captured by American troops on March 23, 1901, but the struggle continued until 1913 claiming the lives of over a million Filipinos . The country's status as a territory changed when it became the Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1935, which provided for more self-governance. Plans for increasing independence over the next decade were interrupted during World War II when Japan invaded and occupied the islands. After the Japanese were defeated in 1945, the Philippines was granted independence from the United States on July 4, 1946.
Since 1946, the newly independent Philippine state has faced political instability with various rebel groups. The late 1960s and early 1970s saw economic development that was second in Asia, next to Japan. Ferdinand Marcos was, then, the elected president. Barred from seeking a third term, Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972 and ruled the country by decree. Marcos extended both his power and tenure by force. His authoritarian rule became marred with unmitigated, pervasive corruption, cronyism and despotism.
Upon returning from exile, opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr. was assassinated on August 21, 1983. In January 1986, Marcos allowed for a "snap" election, after large protests. The election was believed to be fraudulent, and resulted in a standoff between military mutineers and the military loyalists. Protesters supported the mutineers, and were accompanied by resignations of prominent cabinet officials. Corazon Aquino, the widow of Benigno Aquino, Jr., was the recognized winner of the snap election. She took over government, and called for a constitutional convention to draft a new constitution, after the 1986 EDSA Revolution. Marcos, his family and some of his allies fled to Hawaii.
The return of democracy and government reforms after the events of 1986 were hampered by massive national debt, government corruption, coup attempts, a communist insurgency, and a Muslim separatist movement. The economy improved during the administration of Fidel V. Ramos, who was elected in 1992. However, the economic improvements were negated at the onset of the East Asian financial crisis in 1997. The 2001 EDSA Revolution led to the downfall of the following president, Joseph Estrada. The current administration of president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has been hounded by allegations of corruption and election rigging. Due to these allegations the current administration has had to suppress several attempted coups, the most recent taking place in Manila during March of 2006.
Politics and government
The Philippines has a presidential, unitary (with some modification; there is one autonomous region largely free from the national government) form of 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 six-year term, during which time she or he appoints and presides over the cabinet.
The bicameral Congress is composed of a Senate, serving as the upper house whose members are elected nationally to a six-year term, and a House of Representatives serving as the lower house whose members are elected to a three-year term and are elected from legislative districts and through sectoral representation.
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 President from nominations submitted by the Judicial and Bar Council.
Attempts to amend the constitution to either a federal, unicameral or parliamentary form of government have repeatedly failed since the Ramos administration.
The Philippines is a founding and active member of the United Nations since its inception on October 24, 1945 and is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Philippines is also a member of the East Asia Summit (EAS), an active player in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Latin Union, and a member of the Group of 24. The country is a major non-NATO ally of the U.S. but also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Philippines is involved in complex dispute over the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal. It also claims the Malaysian state of Sabah, as it was once part of the Sultanate of Sulu.
- See also: Foreign relations of the Philippines, President of the Philippines, and Constitution of the Philippines
- Further information: Armed Forces of the Philippines
Provinces and regions of the Philippines.
The Philippines is divided into three island groups : Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. These are divided into seventeen regions, eighty-one provinces, 131 cities, 1,497 municipalities, and 41,994 barangays.
On July 24, 2006, the State of the Nation Address of President Arroyo announced the proposal to create five economic super regions to concentrate on the economic strengths in a specific area.
¹ Names are capitalized because they are acronyms, containing the names of the constituent provinces or cities (see Acronyms in the Philippines).
² These regions formed the former Southern Tagalog region, or Region IV.
³ Palawan was moved from Region IV-B as known as MIMAROPA to Region VI. From November 2005, Region IV-B would be called MIMARO, decreased from five to four provinces and Region VI increased from six to seven provinces.
, Philippines' tallest mountain. It is called 'The Grandfather of the Philippine Mountains'.
Geography of the Philippines
The Philippines constitutes an archipelago of 7,107 islands with a total land area of approximately 300,000 square kilometers (116,000 sq mi). It lies between 116° 40' and 126° 34' E. longitude, and 4° 40' and 21° 10' N. latitude, and borders the Philippine Sea on the east, on the South China Sea the west, and the Celebes Sea on the south. The island of Borneo lies a few hundred kilometers southwest and Taiwan directly north. The Moluccas and Sulawesi are to the south, and Palau is to the east beyond the Philippine Sea.
The islands are commonly 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 busy port of Manila, on Luzon, is the national capital and second largest city after its suburb Quezon City. 
The local climate is hot, humid, and tropical. 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 Taglamig (the cold season from December to February). The southwest monsoon (May-October) is known as the "habagat" and the dry winds of the northeast monsoon (November-April) as the "amihan". The country itself is undergoing desertification in place like Sorsogon, Baguio, Davao and the Sierra Madre mountain range.
Most of the mountainous islands used to be covered in tropical rainforest and are volcanic in origin. The highest point is Mount Apo on Mindanao at 2,954 metres (9,692 ft). There are many active volcanos such as Mayon Volcano, Mount Pinatubo, and Taal Volcano. The country also lies within the typhoon belt of the Western Pacific and about 19 typhoons strike per year.
Lying on the northwestern fringes of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activities. Some 20 earthquakes are registered daily in the Philippines, though most are too weak to be felt. The last great earthquake was the 1990 Luzon earthquake.
The longest river is the Cagayan River of northern Luzon. Manila Bay is connected to the 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.
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The Ayala Triangle in the Makati City
central business district.
The Philippines is a newly industrialized country with an agricultural base, light industry, and service-sector economy. It has been listed in "Next Eleven" economies. The Philippines has one of the most vibrant business process outsourcing (BPO) industries in Asia, including Fortune 500 companies.
The Asian Financial Crisis affected the Philippine economy tremendously, making the Philippine peso fall significantly from 26 pesos to a dollar prior to the crisis, then 40 pesos to a dollar at the end of it. Low foreign fund inflows and its agriculture-based economy catapulted the country to grow 3% in 1999 and 4% in 2000. Hampered by political uncertainties in 2000, the peso weakened even further, trading at 55 pesos to a dollar at the lowest.
By 2004, the Philippine economy experienced a 6% growth after the East Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pledged to turn the country into a First World state by 2020. In 2005, the Philippine peso was dubbed as Asia's best-performing currency.In 2006, the Philippine economy expanded at a rate of 5.4%, higher than of the previous year. The government plans to accelerate the country's GDP growth by 7% in 2007, 8% in 2008 and 9% by 2009, also known as the 7, 8, 9 project.
Strategies for streamlining the economy include improvements of infrastructure, more efficient tax systems to bolster government revenues, furthering deregulation and privatization of the economy, and increasing trade integration within the region and across the world.
On November 1, 2005, a newly expanded value added tax (E-VAT) law was instituted as a measure to bridle the rising foreign debt and to improve government services such as education, health care, social security, and transportation. The Philippines' economic prosperity also depends in large part on how well its two biggest trading partners' economies perform: the U.S. and Japan.
The Philippines still remains highly reliant on remittances by Overseas Filipinos. In 2006, the country received $12.8 billion, a 20% increase from the previous year. The government estimated that $14 billion would be remitted to the Philippines in 2007. Remittances remain as the largest source of foreign income, surpassing the annual average of $2.5 billion foreign direct investment to the country..
Despite the growing economy, the Philippines will have to address several chronic problems in the future. Income inequality remains persistent; about 30 million people lived on less than $2 per day in 2005. China and India have emerged as major economic competitors, siphoning away investors who would otherwise have invested in the Philippines, particularly telecommunication companies. Regional development is also somewhat uneven, with the main island Luzon and Metro Manila gaining most of the new economic growth at the expense of the other regions.
The Philippines is a member of the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Colombo Plan, and the G-77, among others
In the second quarter of 2007, the Philippine economy grew as much as 7.5% and was the fastest for more than 2 decades. So far, the economy has grown 7.3% this year.
The primary local stock market index, operated by the Philippine Stock Exchange, also hit a record high in June 1, 2007 while the Philippine peso is trading at around the PHP42 level to a US dollar, and is currently PHP42.79 as of November 09, 2007 making it Asia's best performing currency so far by appreciating by 14%, edging out the Indian Rupee . However, the strong peso does have disadvantages like "hurting OFW families, small businesses and new jobs". 
Population growth of the Philippines.
The Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country, with a population of over 85 million as of 2005. Roughly half reside on the island of Luzon. Manila, the capital, is the eleventh most populous metropolitan area in the world. The literacy rate was 92.5% in 2003, and about equal for males and females. Life expectancy is 69.91 years, with 72.28 years for females and 66.44 years for males. Population growth per year is about 1.92%, with 26.3 births per 1,000 people. In the 100 years since the 1903 Census, the population has grown by a factor of eleven. This represents a much faster rate of growth than other countries in the region (Indonesia has grown fivefold over the same period).
Filipinos are descended from the various Austronesian-speaking migrants who arrived in successive waves over a thousand years ago from Taiwan, genetically most closely related to the Ami tribe. The Malayo-Polynesian-speaking peoples, a branch of Austronesian, migrated to the Philippines and brought their knowledge of rice agriculture and ocean-sailing technology. Filipinos to this day are composed of various Malayo-Polynesian-speaking ethnic groups, including but not limited to the Visayans, the Tagalog, the Ilocano, the Moro, the Kapampangan, the Bicolano, the Pangasinense, the Igorot, the Lumad, the Mangyan, the Ibanag, the Chabacano, the Badjao, the Ivatan, and the Palawan tribes. The Negritos, including the Aetas and the Ati, are considered as the aboriginal inhabitants of the Philippines though they are estimated to be fewer than 30,000 people (0.03%).
Filipinos of Chinese descent, who had been settling in the Philippines since pre-colonization, currently forms the largest non-Austronesian ethnic group, claiming about 2% of the population. Other significant minorities, ranked according to population, include Spanish, British, Americans, Japanese, Asian Indians, Koreans, Arabs and Indonesians.
Throughout the country's history, various ethnic groups as well as immigrants and colonizers have intermarried, producing Filipino mestizos. These mestizos, apart from being of mixed indigenous Austronesian and European ancestry, can be descended from any ethnic foreign forebearers. The Philippines has the world's largest Eurasian population.
More than 180 languages and dialects are spoken in the archipelago, almost all of them belonging to the Borneo-Philippines group of the Malayo-Polynesian language branch of the Austronesian language family.
According to the 1987 Constitution, Filipino and English are both the official languages. Many Filipinos understand, write and speak English, Filipino and their respective regional languages.
Filipino is the de facto standardized version of Tagalog and one of the nation's official languages. English, the other official language, is widely used as a lingua franca throughout the country.
Twelve major regional languages are the auxiliary official languages of their respective regions, each with over one million speakers: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Waray-Waray, Kapampangan, Bikol, Pangasinan. Kinaray-a, Maranao, Maguindanao and Tausug.
English was imposed by Americans during the U.S. intervention and colonization of the archipelago. English is used in education, churches, religious affairs, print and broadcast media, and business, though the number of people who use it as a second language far outnumber those who speak it as a first language. Still, English is the preferred medium for textbooks and instruction for secondary and tertiary levels. Movies and TV programs in English are not subtitled but many films and TV programs are produced in Tagalog. English is the sole language of the law courts. Written and spoken competence in English among the majority of poor Filipinos has been decreasing in recent years due to the abandonment of English for primary education.
The Lan-nang-oe variant of Min Nan Chinese dialect is widely spoken by the country's Chinese minority.
Due to its close proximity as a neighboring Southeast Asian nation, Indonesian (and some other Malay variants) is also spoken in the Philippines, particularly southern regions. As with Filipino, the Indonesian and Malay languages are also members of the Malayo-Polynesian language branch of the Austronesian language family and represent major languages of Southeast Asia.
Spanish was the original official language of the country for more than three centuries, but was used mainly by the educated ilustrados (or self taught natives, including José Rizal) and the Spanish colonial authorities. Spanish was the language of the Philippine Revolution, and the 1899 Malolos Constitution proclaimed it as the official language. Following the American occupation of the Philippines, its use declined after 1940. Currently, only a few Mestizos of Spanish or Hispanic origin speak it as their first language, although a few others use it together with Tagalog and English.
Both Spanish and Arabic are used as auxiliary languages in the Philippines. The use of Arabic is prevalent among Filipino Muslims and taught in madrasah (Muslim) schools.
The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, commonly known as the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Manila.
The Philippines is one of only two majority Roman Catholic countries in Asia (the other being East Timor). About 94% of Filipinos are Christians, where 81% belong to the Roman Catholic Church, 2% composed of Protestant denominations and 11% either to the Philippine Independent Church (Aglipayan), Iglesia ni Cristo and others. While Christianity is a major force in the culture of the Filipinos, indigenous traditions and rituals still influence religious practice.
Approximately 5% of Filipinos are Muslims, and are locally known as "Moros", having been dubbed this by the Spanish due to their sharing Islam with the Moors of North Africa. They primarily settle in parts of Mindanao, Palawan and the Sulu archipelago, but are now found in most urban areas of the country. Most lowland Muslim Filipinos practice normative Islam, although the practices of some Mindanao's hill tribe Muslims reflect a fusion with animism. There are also small populations of Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and animists, which, along with other non-Christians and non-Muslims, collectively comprise 5% of the population .
Filipino culture is a fusion of pre-Hispanic indigenous Austronesian civilizations of the Philippines mixed with Hispanic and American cultures. It has also been influenced by Chinese and Islamic cultures.
The Hispanic influences in Filipino culture are largely derived from the culture of Spain and Mexico as a result of over three centuries of Spanish colonial rule through Mexico City. These Hispanic influences are most evident in literature, folk music, folk dance, language, food, art and religion, such as Roman Catholic Church religious festivals. Filipinos hold major festivities known as barrio fiestas to commemorate their patron saints. One of the most visible Hispanic legacy, is the prevalence of Spanish surnames among Filipinos. This peculiarity, unique among the people of Asia, came as a result of a colonial decree for the systematic distribution of family names and implementation of the Spanish naming system on the inhabitants of the Philippines. A Spanish name and surname among the majority of Filipinos does not always denote of Spanish ancestry. Only about 1% to 2% of the population (mostly Filipinos of Spanish and Mexican origin) would qualify as Hispanic by ancestry.
There are also significant amounts of Spanish influence in the country, such as names of countless streets, towns and provinces, which are named in Spanish. Spanish architecture also made a major imprint in the Philippines. This can be seen especially in the country's churches, government buildings and universities. Many Hispanic style houses and buildings are being preserved, like the Spanish colonial town in Vigan City, for protection and conservation. Kalesa is a horse-driven carriage introduced by the Spaniards and was a major mode of transportation during the colonial times. It is still being used today. Filipino cuisine is also heavily influenced by Mexican and Spanish cuisine.
The Chinese influences in Filipino culture are most evident in Filipino cuisine. The prevalence of noodles, known locally as mami, is a testament to Chinese cuisine. Other Chinese influences include linguistic borrowings and the occasional Chinese derived surnames.
The use of English language in the Philippines is contemporaneous and is America's visible legacy. The most commonly played sports in the Philippines are basketball and billiards. There is also a wide influence of American Pop cultural trends, such as the love of fast-food and movies; many street corners boast fast-food outlets. Aside from the American commercial giants such as McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Burger King, KFC, and Shakey's Pizza, local fast-food chains have also sprung up, including Goldilocks, Jollibee, Greenwich Pizza (acquired by Jolibee in 1994), and Chowking (acquired by Jolibee in 2000). Modern day Filipinos also listen to contemporary American music and watch American movies. However, Original Pilipino Music (also known as OPM) and Philippine movies are also widely appreciated.
Filipinos honor national heroes whose works and deeds contributed to the shaping of the Filipino nation. José Rizal is the most celebrated ilustrado, a Spanish-speaking reformist visionary whose writings contributed greatly in nurturing a sense of national identity and awareness. His novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo originally written in Spanish, are required readings for Filipino students, and provide vignettes of colonial life under the Spanish rule.
As with many cultures, music (which includes traditional music) and leisure activities are an important aspect of the Filipino society. Various sports are also enjoyed, including boxing, basketball, badminton, billiards, football (soccer) and ten-pin bowling being popular games in the country.
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Official Website. Government of the Philippines. Retrieved on 2007-10-01.
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- ^ Philippines' Claim to Sabah 
- ^ Climate of the Philippines . Accessed September 30, 2006
- ^ The 1990 Baguio City Earthquake . Accessed October 3,2006
- ^ Leyte is Famous For... . Accessed September 30,2006
- ^ As India gets too costly, BPOs turn to Philippines . Accessed October 2, 2006
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- ^ International Organization Participation 
- ^ Philippine Census 2005 Population Projection
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- ^ CIA World Factbook - Updated July 20 2006
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Countries and other territories in Southeast Asia
Islands in the Naf River (Bangladesh, Myanmar) · Macclesfield Bank (PRC, ROC, Vietnam) · Paracel Islands (PRC, ROC, Vietnam) · Pratas Islands (PRC, ROC) · Sabah (Malaysia, Philippines) · Scarborough Shoal (Philippines, PRC, ROC) · Spratly Islands (Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, PRC, ROC, Vietnam) · Active separatist or autonomist movements
Aceh · Maluku Islands · West Papua · Chinland · Sulawesi · Nagaland · Wa State · Zogam · Bangsamoro · Patani · Sabah