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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 / 14.583; 121
Largest city Quezon City
Official language(s) Filipino (based on Tagalog) , English
Recognised regional languages Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilokano, Kapampangan, Kinaray-a, Maguindanao, Maranao, Pangasinan, Tagalog, Tausug, Waray-Waray[2]
Optional languages Spanish and Arabic[3]
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 Spain1
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 
 -  Land 299,764 km2 [4](72nd)
115,831 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 0.61%[5]
 -  2009 estimate 91,983,000[6] (12th)
 -  2007 census 88,574,614[7] 
 -  Density 306.6/km2 (44th)
794.1/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $317.964 billion[8] (36th)
 -  Per capita $3,515[8] (123rd)
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $166.909 billion[8] (47th)
 -  Per capita $1,845[8] (121st)
Gini (2006) 45.8[5] (medium) 
HDI (2007) 0.751[9] (medium) (105th)
Currency Peso (Filipino: piso PhilippinePeso.svg) (PHP)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+8)
Drives on the right[10]
Internet TLD .ph
Calling code +63
1 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.
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.

The Philippines (Filipino: Pilipinas [pɪlɪˈpinɐs]), officially known as the Republic of the Philippines (Filipino: Republika ng Pilipinas), is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. Taiwan lies north across the Luzon Strait. West across the South China Sea sits 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 is categorized broadly into three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city is Manila.

With an estimated population of about 92 million people, the Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country. It is estimated that there are an additional 11 million overseas Filipinos worldwide. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. Its tropical climate sustains one of the richest areas in terms of biodiversity in the world.

In prehistoric times, Negritos became some of the archipelago's earliest inhabitants. They were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples who brought with them influences from Malay, Hindu, and Islamic cultures. 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. 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 an affinity for Western culture. 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 is derived from that of King Philip II of Spain. Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos during his expedition in 1542 named the islands of Leyte and Samar Felipinas after the then Prince of Asturias (Spain). Eventually the name Las Islas Filipinas would be used to cover all the islands of the archipelago. before it became commonplace, however, other names such as Islas del Poniente (Islands of the West) and Magellan's name for the islands San Lázaro were also used by the Spanish to refer to the islands.[11][12][13][14]

The official name of the Philippines has changed several times in the course of the country's history. During the Philippine Revolution, the country 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 Spanish name. It was during the American period that the name Philippines began to appear and has since become the country's common name.[15] The official name of the country is now Republic of the Philippines.


An Ifugao (Malayo-Polynesian) sculpture.

The earliest known human remains found in the Philippines are those of the pre-Mongoloid Tabon Man of Palawan, carbon dated to around 24,000 years ago.[16][17] Negritos were another group of early inhabitants but their appearance in the Philippines has not been reliably dated.[18] They were followed by speakers of Malayo-Polynesian languages who began to arrive beginning around 4000 BCE, displacing the earlier arrivals.[19] By 1000 BCE the inhabitants of the archipelago had developed into four kinds of social groups: hunter-gathering tribes, warrior societies, petty plutocracies, and maritime centered harbor principalities.[20]

The maritime oriented peoples traded with other Asian countries during the subsequent period bringing influences from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. There was no unifying political state encompassing the entire Philippine Archipelago. Instead, the islands were divided among competing thalassocracies ruled by various datus, rajahs, or sultans. Among these were the kingdoms of Maynila, Namayan, and Tondo, the rajahnates of Butuan and Cebu, and the sultanates of Maguindanao and Sulu.[21][22][23][24] Some of these societies were part of the Malayan empires of Srivijaya, Majapahit, and Brunei.[25][26] Islam was brought to the Philippines by traders and proselytizers from Malaysia and Indonesia.[27] By the 15th century, Islam was established in the Sulu Archipelago and by 1565 had reached Mindanao, the Visayas, and Luzon.[28]

An elaborate border frames a full length illustration one would associate with a manuscript of a man and woman. The dark-skinned man dressed in red tunic, breeches, and bandanna and wearing a gold chain is looking pleasantly over his shoulder in the direction of the fair woman who, garbed in a dark gold-fringed dress that covers the length of her body except her bare feet, has the faintest hints of a smile.
A page from the Boxer Codex showing Classical Philippine nobility. Left, is a general from the Rajahnate of Butuan and to the right is a princess of Tondo.

In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines and claimed the islands for Spain.[29] Colonization began when Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi arrived from Mexico in 1565 and formed the first European settlements in Cebu. In 1571, after dealing with the local royal families in the wake of the Tondo Conspiracy and defeating the Chinese pirate warlord Limahong, the Spanish established Manila as the capital of the Spanish East Indies.[30][31]

Spanish rule contributed significantly to bringing political unity to the archipelago. From 1565 to 1821, the Philippines was governed as a territory of the Viceroyalty of New Spain and then was administered directly from Madrid after the Mexican War of Independence. The Manila galleons linking Manila to Acapulco traveled once or twice a year between the 16th and 19th century. Trade introduced foods such as corn, tomatoes, potatoes, chili peppers, and pineapples from the Americas.[31] Roman Catholic missionaries converted most of the lowland inhabitants to Christianity and founded schools, a university, and hospitals. While a Spanish decree introduced free public schooling in 1863, efforts in mass public education mainly came to fruition during the American period.[32]

During its rule, the Spanish fought off various indigenous revolts and several external colonial challenges from Chinese pirates, the Dutch, and the Portuguese. In an extension of the fighting of the Seven Years' War, British forces under the command of Brigadier General William Draper and Rear-Admiral Samuel Cornish briefly occupied the Philippines. They found local allies like Diego and Gabriela Silang who took the opportunity to lead a revolt against the Mexican-born acting Governor-General and Archbishop of Manila Manuel Rojo del Rio y Vieyra, but Spanish rule was eventually restored following the 1763 Treaty of Paris.[27][33][34]

A black and white sketched map of Philippine islands and nearby locations identified in Spanish in long hand script and dots depicting 10 degrees north latitude and a route from Manila towards Guam.
A map found on board the Na SA de Covadonga in 1743, showing the route of the Manila-Acapulco galleon sailing through the Philippine Islands.

In the 1800s, Philippine ports were opened to world trade. Many criollos and mestizos became wealthy. The influx of Spanish and Latino settlers secularized churches and government positions traditionally held by the peninsulares. The ideals of the French Revolution also began to spread through the islands. Criollo dissatisfaction resulted in the revolt in Cavite El Viejo in 1872 that was a precursor to the Philippine Revolution.[27][35][36][37][38]

Revolutionary sentiments were stoked after colonial authorities executed the three priests, Mariano Gómez, José Burgos and Jacinto Zamora (collectively known as Gomburza), who were accused of sedition, in 1872.[35][36] This would inspire a propaganda movement in Spain, organized by Marcelo H. del Pilar, José Rizal, and Mariano Ponce, lobbying for political reforms in the Philippines. Rizal was eventually executed on December 30, 1896 on charges of rebellion.[39] As attempts at reform were meeting with resistance, Andrés Bonifacio in 1892 established the secret society called the Katipunan, a society along the lines of the freemasons, which sought independence from Spain through armed revolt.[37] 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 and Emilio Aguinaldo took over. In 1898, the Spanish-American War began in Cuba and reached the Philippines. Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence from Spain in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898 and the First Philippine Republic was established the following year. Meanwhile, the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States for $20 million dollars in the 1898 Treaty of Paris.[40] As it became increasingly clear the United States would not recognize the First Philippine Republic, the Philippine-American War broke out. It ended with American control over the islands.[41]

A sepia photo of a dignified debonair man on a decorated balcony who with the many microphones in front of him is about to make an address. Large columns of a building are in the background and a wizened official stands at a distance behind.
Manuel L. Quezon in his inauguration as President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines during the American period.

In 1935, the Philippines was granted Commonwealth status. Plans for independence over the next decade were interrupted by World War II when the Japanese Empire invaded and established a puppet government. Many atrocities and war crimes were committed during the war such as the Bataan Death March and the Manila massacre that culminated during the Battle of Manila.[42] Allied troops defeated the Japanese in 1945. By the end of the war it is estimated over a million Filipinos had died. On July 4, 1946, the Philippines attained its independence.[5]

Immediately after World War II, the Philippines faced a number of challenges. The country had to be rebuilt from the ravages of war. It also had to come to terms with Japanese collaborators. Meanwhile, disgruntled remnants of the Hukbalahap communist rebel army that had previously fought against and resisted the Japanese continued to roam the rural regions. Eventually this threat was dealt with by Secretary of National Defense and later President Ramon Magsaysay but sporadic cases of communist insurgency continued to flare up long afterward.[43][44]

A metal statute of a woman wearing a hooded cloak with a kindly expression whose shoulder and outstretched hand are perched on by stylized birds
A statue of the Virgin Mary was built on the EDSA Shrine, after the People Power Revolution.

In 1965, Ferdinand Marcos was elected president, his wife Imelda Marcos at his side. Nearing the end of his second term and constitutionally barred from seeking a third, he declared martial law on September 21, 1972. By using political divisions, the tension of the Cold War, and the specter of communist rebellion and Islamic insurgency as justifications, he was able to govern by decree.[45] On August 21, 1983, Marcos' chief rival opposition leader Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. ignored warnings and returned from exile in the United States. He was assassinated as he was taken off the plane at the Manila International Airport (now called the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in his memory). With political pressure building Marcos eventually called for snap presidential elections in 1986.[43] Corazon Aquino, Benigno's widow, was convinced into becoming the presidential candidate and standard bearer of the opposition. The elections were widely thought of as rigged when Marcos was proclaimed the winner. This led to the People Power Revolution, instigated when two long-time Marcos allies—Armed Forces of the Philippines Vice Chief-of-Staff Fidel V. Ramos and Secretary of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrile—resigned and barricaded themselves in Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame. Exhorted on by the Archbishop of Manila Jaime Cardinal Sin, people gathered in support of the rebel leaders and protested on EDSA. In the face of mass protests and military defections, Marcos and his allies fled to Hawaii and into exile. Corazon Aquino was recognized as president.[44][46]

The return of democracy and government reforms after the events of 1986 were hampered by national debt, government corruption, coup attempts, a persistent communist insurgency, and Islamic separatists. The economy improved during the administration of Fidel V. Ramos, who was elected in 1992.[47] However, the economic improvements were negated with the onset of the East Asian financial crisis in 1997. In 2001, amid charges of corruption and a stalled impeachment process, Ramos' successor Joseph Ejercito Estrada was ousted from the presidency by the 2001 EDSA Revolution and replaced by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Politics and government

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. The senators are elected at large while the representatives 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.[48][49]


Security and defense

The BRP Rajah Humabon (PF-11) is the current flagship of the Philippine Navy

Philippine defense is handled by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which is modeled after the United States armed forces[citation needed] 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 Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the largest separatist organization, the Moro National Liberation Front, is now engaging the government politically. Other more militant groups like the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the communist New People's Army, and the Abu Sayyaf still roam the provinces, but their presence has decreased in recent years due to successful security provided by the Philippine government.[50][51]

The Philippines has been an ally of the United States since World War II. It supported American policies during the Cold War and participated in the Korean and Vietnam wars. It was a member of the now dissolved SEATO, a group that was intended to serve a role similar to NATO and that included Australia, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.[52] After the start of the War on Terror, the Philippines was part of the coalition that gave support to the United States in Iraq.[53] The Philippines is currently working with the United States with the intention of ending its domestic insurgency.

International relations

The Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C., United States.

The Philippines' international relations are based 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.[54]

As a founding and active member of the United Nations, the Philippines has been elected several times into the Security Council. Carlos P. Romulo was a former President of the United Nations General Assembly. The country is an active participant in the Human Rights Council as well as in peacekeeping missions, particularly in East Timor.[55][56][57][58][59] Aside from the United Nations, the country is also a founding and active member of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) an organization designed to strengthen relations and promote economic and cultural growth among states in the Southeast Asian region.[60] It has hosted several summits and is an active contributor to the direction and policies of the bloc.[61] 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.[62]

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

The Philippines values its relations with the United States.[54] It supported the United States during the Cold War and the War on Terror and is a major non-NATO ally. Despite this history of goodwill, controversies related to the presence of the now former U.S. military bases in Subic Bay and Clark and the current Visiting Forces Agreement have flared up from time to time.[54] Japan, the biggest contributor of official development assistance to the country,[63] is thought of as a friend. Although historical tensions still exist on issues such as the plight of comfort women much of the animosity inspired by memories of World War II have faded.[64]

Relations with other nations are generally positive. Shared democratic values ease relations with Western and European countries while similar economic concerns help in relations with other developing countries. Historical ties and cultural similarities also serve as a bridge in relations with Spain and Latin America. Despite issues such as domestic abuse and war affecting overseas Filipino workers and obstacles posed by Islamic insurgency in Mindanao, relations with Middle Eastern countries (including Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) are friendly as seen in the continuous employment of more than two million overseas Filipinos living there. With communism no longer the threat it once was, once hostile relations in the 1950s between the Philippines and the People's Republic of China have improved greatly. Issues involving Taiwan, the Spratly Islands, and concerns of expanding Chinese influence, however, still encourage a degree of carefulness.[64] Recent foreign policy has been mostly about economic relations with its Southeast Asian and Asia-Pacific neighbors.[54]

International groups the Philippines is a member of include 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.[65][66]

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.[67] In addition, Section 2 of Republic Act No. 5446 asserts that the country has acquired islands from Sabah (formerly North Borneo).[68]

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 is an archipelago of 7,107 islands[2] with a total land area of approximately 300,000 square kilometers (116,000 square miles). Its 36,289 kilometers of coastline makes it the country with the 5th longest coastline in the world.[2][69] 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]

Most of the mountainous islands are covered in tropical rainforest and volcanic in origin. The highest mountain is Mount Apo. It measures up to 2,954 metres (9,692 ft) above sea level and is located on the island of Mindanao. The longest river is the Cagayan River in northern Luzon. Manila Bay, upon the shore of which the capital city of Manila lies, is connected to Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the Philippines, by the Pasig River. Subic Bay, the Davao Gulf, and the Moro Gulf are other important bays. The San Juanico Strait separates the islands of Samar and Leyte but it is traversed by the San Juanico Bridge.[70]

Ancient Filipinos utilized terrace farming to grow crops in the steep mountainous regions of northern Philippines.

Situated on the northwestern fringes of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activity. The Benham Plateau to the east in the Philippine Sea is an undersea region active in tectonic subduction.[71] Around 20 earthquakes are registered daily, though most are too weak to be felt. The last major earthquake was the 1990 Luzon earthquake.[72] There are many active volcanoes such as the Mayon Volcano, Mount Pinatubo, and Taal Volcano. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in June 1991 produced the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century.[73] Not all notable geographic features are so violent or destructive. A more serene legacy of the geological disturbances is the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River.

Due to the volcanic nature of the islands, mineral deposits are abundant. The country is estimated to have the second-largest gold deposits after South Africa and one of the largest copper deposits in the world.[74] It is also rich in nickel, chromite, and zinc.[74] Despite this, poor management, high population density, and environmental consciousness have resulted in these mineral resources remaining largely untapped. Geothermal energy, however, is another product of volcanic activity that the country has harnessed more successfully. The Philippines is the world's second-biggest geothermal producer behind the United States, with 18% of the country's electricity needs being met by geothermal power.[75]

Flora and fauna

The Philippine Eagle is a bird of prey found in the rainforests of the islands.

The Philippines' rainforests and its extensive coastlines make it home to a diverse range of birds, plants, animals, and sea creatures.[76] It is one of the ten most biologically mega-diverse countries and is at or near the top in terms of biodiversity per unit area.[77][78][79] Around 1,100 land vertebrate species can be found in the Philippines including over 100 mammal species and 170 bird species not thought to exist elsewhere.[80] Endemic species include the tamaraw of Mindoro and the Philippine tarsier associated with 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.[81] Other native animals include the palm civet cat,[82] the mouse deer, the Visayan warty pig, and several species of bats. With an estimated 13,500 plant species in the country, 3,200 of which are unique to the islands,[80] Philippine rainforests boast an array of flora, including many rare types of orchids and rafflesia.[83][84] The narra is considered as the most important type of hardwood.[85] Philippine territorial waters encompass as much as 1.67 million square kilometers producing unique and diverse marine life and is an important part of the Coral Triangle. There are 2,400 fish species and over 500 species of coral.[76][80] Philippine waters also sustain the cultivation of pearls, crabs, and seaweeds.[76][86]

Deforestation, often the result of illegal logging, is an acute problem in the Philippines. Forest cover declined from 70% of the country's total land area in 1900 to about 18.3% in 1999.[87][88] Many species are endangered and scientists say that South East Asia, which the Philippines is part of, faces a catastrophic extinction rate of 20% by the end of the century.[89] According to Conservation International, "the country is one of the few nations that is, in its entirety, both a hotspot and a megadiversity country, placing it among the top priority hotspots for global conservation."[83]


The Philippines has a tropical climate and is usually hot and humid. The average yearly temperature is around 26.6°C (79.88°F).[90] 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.[90] 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.[91] Even during 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,[92] with on average approximately 19 typhoons per year entering the Philippine area of responsibility and 8 to 9 making landfall.[93][94]


The Makati City skyline

The national economy of the Philippines is the 47th largest in the world, with an estimated 2008 gross domestic product (GDP nominal) of over US$166.9 billion (nominal).[95] Primary exports include semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, and fruits.[5] Major trading partners include China, Japan, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia.[5] Its unit of currency is the Philippine peso (PHP).

A newly industrialized country, the Philippine economy has been transitioning from one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. Of the country's total labor force of around 38.1 million,[5] the agricultural sector employs close to 32% but contributes to only about 13.8% of GDP. The industrial sector employs around 13.7% of the workforce and accounts for 30% of GDP. Meanwhile the 46.5% of workers involved in the services sector are responsible for 56.2% of GDP.[96][97]

The unemployment rate as of July 2009 stands at around 7.6% and due to the global economic slowdown inflation as of September 2009 reads 0.70%.[97] Foreign currency reserves as of October 2009 are US$36.13 billion.[98] In 2004, public debt as a percentage of GDP was estimated to be 74.2%; in 2008, 56.9%.[5] Gross external debt has risen to US$66.27 billion.[5] The country is a net importer.[97]

The Philippine Stock Exchange with the statue of martyred Filipino opposition leader during the Marcos dictatorship, Benigno S. Aquino, Jr.

In the 1960s, the country was regarded as the second wealthiest in Asia, next to Japan.[54][99][100] However, the leadership of Ferdinand Marcos proved disastrous by gradually transforming the market economy into one with aspects of a centrally planned economy.[54][100] The country suffered from slow economic growth and bouts of economic recession. Only in the 1990s with a program of economic liberalization did the economy begin to recover.[54][100]

The Asian Financial Crisis affected the economy, resulting in a lingering decline of the value of the peso and falls in the stock market. The extent to which it was affected initially, however, was not as severe as that of some of its Asian neighbors. This was 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.[47] There have been signs of progress since. In 2004, the economy experienced 6% GDP growth and 7.3% in 2007, its fastest pace of growth in three decades.[5][101] Yet average annual GDP growth per capita for the period 1966-2007 still stands at 1.45% in comparison to an average of 5.96% for the East Asia and the Pacific region as a whole and the daily income for 45% of the population of the Philippines remains less than US$2.[9][102]

Other incongruities and challenges exist. The economy is heavily reliant on remittances which surpass foreign direct investment as a source of foreign currency. Regional development is uneven with Luzon—Metro Manila in particular—gaining most of the new economic growth at the expense of the other regions,[103] although the government has taken steps to distribute economic growth by promoting investment in other areas of the country. Despite constraints, service industries such as tourism and business process outsourcing have been identified as areas with some of the best opportunities for growth for the country.[97][104] Goldman Sachs includes the country in its list of the "Next Eleven" economies.[105] However, China and India have emerged as major economic competitors.[106]

The Philippines is a member of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Asian Development Bank which is headquartered in Mandaluyong City, the Colombo Plan, and the G-77 among other groups and institutions.[5]


Population growth of the Philippines.

The first official census in the Philippines was carried out in 1877 and recorded a population of 5,567,685.[107] By 2009, the Philippines has become the world's 12th most populous nation, with a population of over 92 million.[8][108] It is estimated that 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 the Greater Manila Area is around 20 million.[109][110] Life expectancy is 71.09 years, with 74.15 years for females and 68.17 years for males.[111] Population growth rate between 1995 to 2000 was 3.21% but has decreased to an estimated 1.95% for the 2005 to 2010 period.[7]

Map of the dominant ethnicities of the Philippines by province.

There are about 11 million Filipinos outside the Philippines.[112] Since the liberalization of United States immigration laws in 1965,[113] the number of people in the United States having Filipino ancestry had grown substantially to 3.1 million according to the 2007 estimates by the United States Census Bureau.[114] According to the US Census Bureau, immigrants from the Philippines made up the second largest group after Mexico that sought family reunification.[115] Some 2 million Filipinos work in the Middle East, with nearly a million in Saudi Arabia alone.[116]


According to the 2000 census 28.1% of Filipinos are Tagalog, 13.1% Cebuano, 9% Ilocano, 7.6% Bisaya/Binisaya, 7.5% Hiligaynon Ilonggo, 6% Bikol, 3.4% Waray, and 25.3% are classified as other.[5][117] These general headings can be broken down further to yield more distinct non-tribal groups like the Moro, the Kapampangan, the Pangasinense, the Ibanag, and the Ivatan.[118] There are also indigenous peoples like the Igorot, the Lumad, the Mangyan, the Badjao, and the tribes of Palawan.[119] Negritos, such as the Aeta and the Ati, are considered the original aboriginal inhabitants of the islands.

Filipinos generally belong to several Asian ethnic groups classified linguistically as part of the Austronesian or Malayo-Polynesian speaking people.[119] It's believed that thousands of years ago Taiwanese aborigines migrated to the Philippines from Taiwan, bringing with them knowledge of agriculture and ocean-sailing, and displacing the earlier Negrito groups of the islands. Eventually Chinese, Spanish, and American arrivals intermarried with the various indigenous ethnic groups that had evolved.[120] Their descendants are known as mestizos.[121] Chinese Filipinos number about 2 million.[122] Other migrant ethnic groups who have settled in the country from elsewhere include Arabs, Britons, other Europeans, Indonesians, Japanese, Koreans, and South Asians.


The figure below shows the top twenty largest cities in the Philippines.[123]

Largest cities in the Philippines


Rank City Region Population Rank City Region Population


1 Quezon City National Capital 2,679,450 11 Dasmariñas Region IV-A 556,330
2 Manila National Capital 1,660,714 12 Cagayan de Oro Region X 553,966
3 Caloocan National Capital 1,378,856 13 Parañaque National Capital 552,660
4 Davao City Region XI 1,363,337 14 Las Piñas National Capital 532,330
5 Cebu City Region VII 798,809 15 General Santos Region XII 529,542
6 Zamboanga City Region IX 774,407 16 Makati National Capital 510,383
7 Antipolo Region IV-A 633,971 17 Bacolod Region VI 499,497
8 Pasig National Capital 617,301 18 Muntinlupa National Capital 452,493
9 Taguig National Capital 613,343 19 San Jose del Monte Region III 439,090
10 Valenzuela National Capital 568,928 20 Marikina National Capital 424,610
Philippines 2007 Census


Native Languages (2000)[124]
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

Ethnologue lists 175 individual languages in the Philippines, 171 of which are living languages while 4 have no known speakers. They are part of the Borneo-Philippines group of the Malayo-Polynesian languages, which is itself a branch of the Austronesian language family.[119]

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 recognized as voluntary and optional languages.[3]

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 prevalent in their respective provinces.


The Philippines is one of two predominantly 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 Church, United Church of Christ and the Orthodox Church.[125]

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.[126][127] 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 some tribal groups such as the Bajau practice a form mixed with animism.[125]

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.[125] Meanwhile, Buddhism, Taoism, and Chinese folk religion, are dominant in Chinese communities.[127]


The University of Santo Tomas, founded in 1611 is one of the Philippines' oldest universities.

The National Statistics Office reports a simple literacy rate of 93.4% and a functional literacy rate of 84.1% for 2003.[5][9][97] Literacy is about equal for males and females.[5] Spending for education is around 2.5% of GDP.[5] According to the Department of Education, or DepEd, there were 42,152 elementary schools and 8,455 high schools registered for the school year 2006–2007[128] while the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) lists 2,060 higher education institutions, 537 of which are public and 1,523 private.[129] 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] Republic Act No. 9155 gives the framework of basic education in the Philippines and provides for compulsory elementary education and free high school education.[130]

The Department of Education covers elementary, secondary, and nonformal 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 and graduate academic programs and degrees as well as regulates standards in higher education.[131]


Most of the national burden of health care is taken up by private health providers. In 2006, total expenditures on health represented 3.8% of GDP. 67.1% of that came from private expenditures while 32.9% was from government. External resources accounted for 2.9% of the total. Health expenditures represented about 6.1% of total government spending. Per capita total expenditure at average exchange rate was US$ 52.[132] The proposed National Health Budget for 2010 is P28 billion, about US$597 million, or about 310 pesos (US$7) per person in the Philippines.[133] The government share of total spending on health has declined steadily, and with more people, there has been less to spend per person.

There are an estimated 90,370 physicians or 1 per every 833 people, 480,910 nurses, 43,220 dentists, and 1 hospital bed per every 769 people.[132] Retention of skilled practitioners is a problem. 70% of nursing graduates go abroad to work overseas. The country is the biggest supplier of nurses.[134]

In 2001 there were about 1,700 hospitals, of which about 40 percent were government run and 60 percent private. Cardiovascular diseases account for more than 25 percent of all deaths. According to official estimates, 1,965 cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were reported in 2003, of which 636 had developed acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Other estimates state that there may have been as many as 9,400 people living with HIV/AIDS in 2001.[92]



Jeepneys were originally made from U.S. military jeeps left over from World War II.

The transportation infrastructure in the country is relatively underdeveloped. Partly this is due to the mountainous terrain and the scattered geography of the islands, but it is also the result of the government's persistent underinvestment in infrastructure. In 2003, only 3.6% of GDP went to infrastructure development which was significantly lower than that of some of its neighbors.[92] Consequently, while there are 203,025 kilometers (126,154 miles) of roads in the country, only around 20 percent of the total is paved.[135]

Nevertheless there are many ways to get around, especially in urban areas. Buses, jeepneys, taxis, and motorized tricycles are commonly available in major cities and towns. In 2007, there were about 5.53 million registered motor vehicles with registration increasing at an average annual rate of 4.55%.[136] Train services are provided by three main railway networks that serve different areas of Metro Manila and parts of Luzon: 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.

As an archipelago, inter-island travel via watercraft is often necessary. The busiest seaports are Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga.[137] Passenger ships and other sea vessels such as those operated by Superferry, Negros Navigation, and Sulpicio Lines serve Manila, with links to various cities and towns. In 2003, the 919-kilometer Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH), an integrated set of highway segments and ferry routes covering 17 cities was established.[138]

Some rivers that pass through metropolitan areas, such as the Pasig River and Marikina River, have air-conditioned commuter ferries. The Pasig River Ferry Service has numerous stops in Manila, Makati City, Mandaluyong City, Pasig City, and Marikina City.[139] There are 3,219 kilometers of navigable inland waterways.[5]

There are 85 public airports in the country, and around 111 more that are private.[135] The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is the main international 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 low-cost airline, are the major airlines serving most domestic and international destinations.[140][141][142]


The Philippines has a sophisticated cellular phone industry and a high concentration of users.[143] It is estimated that there are over 57 million cellular phone subscribers[117] and the ownership rate is increasing.[143] Text messaging has fostered a culture of quick greetings and forwarded jokes among Filipinos. In 2007, the nation sent an average of 1 billion SMS messages per day a reason that the Philippines has been called the "Texting Capital of the World".[144] Out of this growing number of avid text message senders, over 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.[145]

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company commonly known as PLDT is the leading telecommunications provider. It is also the largest company in the country.[143][146] Its wholly owned subsidiaries Smart Communications and Piltel, along with Globe Telecom of the Ayala Group, BayanTel, and Sun Cellular are the major cellular service providers in the country.

There are approximately 383 AM and 659 FM radio stations and 297 television and 873 cable television stations.[147] Estimates for internet penetration in the Philippines vary widely ranging from a low of 2.5 million to a high of 24 million people.[148][149] Social networking and MMORPGs are among the most frequent internet activities.[150][151]

Culture and society

Islamic instruments of gongs and a drum that make up the Philippine kulintang ensemble, an example of pre-Hispanic musical tradition.

Philippine culture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. The Philippines shares many aspects with other Asian countries, with a traditional Malay[152] heritage, yet its culture also displays a significant amount of Spanish and American influences. These influences are evident in literature, folk music, folk dance, language, food, art, and religion.

Traditional festivities known as barrio fiestas (district festivals) to commemorate the feast days of patron saints are common. The Moriones Festival and Sinulog Festival are a couple of the most well-known. These community celebrations are times for feasting, music, and dancing. Some traditions, however, are changing or gradually being forgotten due to modernization. The Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company has been lauded for preserving many of the various traditional folk dances found throughout the Philippines. They are famed for their iconic performances of Philippine dances such as the tinikling and singkil that both feature the use of clashing bamboo poles.[153]

One of the most visible Hispanic legacies is the prevalence of Spanish surnames and names among Filipinos. A Spanish name and surname among the majority of Filipinos does not always denote Spanish ancestry. 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.[154] The names of many streets, towns, and provinces are also in Spanish. Spanish architecture has left an imprint in the Philippines in the way many towns were designed around a central square or plaza mayor, but many of the buildings bearing its influence were demolished during World War II.[21] Some examples remain, however, mainly among the country's churches, government buildings, and universities. Four Philippine baroque churches are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the San Agustín Church in Manila, the Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte, the Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Santa María) Church in Ilocos Sur, and the Santo Tomás de Villanueva Church in Iloilo.[155] Vigan in Ilocos Sur is also known for the many Hispanic-styled houses and buildings preserved there.[156]

The common use of the English language is an example of the American impact on Philippine society. It has contributed to the ready acceptance and influence of American pop cultural trends. This affinity 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, but local fast food chains like Goldilocks and most notably Jollibee, the leading fast food chain in the country, have emerged and compete successfully against their foreign rivals.[157][158] Modern day Filipinos also listen and watch contemporary American and European music and film. However, Original Pilipino Music (also known as OPM) and local films are also enjoyed.


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 that 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 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. Some common local ingredients used in cooking are calamondins, coconuts, saba (a kind of short wide plantain), mangoes, milkfish, and fish sauce. Filipino taste buds tend to favor robust flavors but the cuisine is not as spicy as those of its neighbors.[158][159]

Furthermore, 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.[160] The traditional way of eating with the hands known as kamayan is seen more often in less urbanized areas.[161]

Mythology and literature

Philippine mythology has been handed down primarily through the traditional oral folk literature of the Filipino people. While each unique ethnic group has its own stories and myths to tell Hindu and Spanish influence can nonetheless 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. Some popular figures from Philippine mythologies are Maria Makiling, Lam-Ang, and the sarimanok.[162]

Philippine literature comprises works usually written in Filipino, Spanish, or English. Some of the most widely known were created in the 19th century. Francisco Balagtas the poet and playwright who wrote Florante at Laura is recognized as a preeminent writer in the Filipino language. José Rizal wrote the novels Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not), and El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed) and is considered a national hero. His depiction of the injustices of Spanish rule and death by firing squad inspired other Philippine revolutionaries to seek independence. In the 20th century, among those officially recognized as National Artists of the Philippines in literature are N.V.M. Gonzalez, Nick Joaquin, F. Sionil Jose, and Alejandro Roces.[163]


The GMA Network broadcasting center

Philippine media uses mainly Filipino and English. Other Philippine languages, including various Visayan languages are also used, especially in radio due to its ability to reach remote rural locations that might otherwise not be serviced by other kinds of media. The dominant television networks ABS-CBN and GMA also have extensive radio presence.[164]

The entertainment industry is vibrant and feeds broadsheets and tabloids with an unending supply of details about celebrities and sensationalist scandals du jour. Drama and fantasy shows are anticipated as 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 has a long history and is widely appreciated, but has faced increasing competition from American and European films. Critically acclaimed directors and actors include Lino Brocka and Nora Aunor for films like Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Manila: In the Claws of Light) and Himala (Miracle). In recent years it has become common to see celebrities flitting between television and movies and then moving into politics provoking concerns.[165]

Sports and recreation

A professional basketball game being played between the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants and Barako Bull Energy Boosters.

Various sports and pastimes are popular in the Philippines including basketball, boxing, volleyball, football, badminton, taekwondo, billiards, ten-pin bowling, chess, and sipa. Motocross, cycling, and mountaineering are also becoming popular.[166] Basketball is played at both amateur and professional levels and is considered to be the most popular sport in the Philippines.[167][168] In almost every corner of the cities, there is a basketball court.[153][166]

Some Filipinos widely recognized for their achievements include Francisco Guilledo, Flash Elorde, and Manny Pacquiao in boxing,[166] Paulino Alcántara in football (soccer), Carlos Loyzaga, Robert Jaworski and Ramon Fernandez in basketball, Efren Reyes in billiards,[169] Eugene Torre in chess, and Rafael Nepomuceno in bowling.[170]

Traditional Filipino games such as luksung baka, patintero, piko, and tumbang preso are still played primarily as children's games among the youth.[171][172] Sungka is a traditional native Filipino board game. 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 in the Philippines, was introduced in its modern form by Pedro Flores with its name from the Ilokano language.[173][174] Arnis is the national martial art and sport.[175]

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External links

General information

Redirecting to Philippines

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, or THE Philippines, an archipelago belonging to the United States of America, situated about Soo m. off the S.E. coast of Asia between 4° 40' and 21° io' N. and between 516° 40' and 126° 34' E. It is bounded W. and N. by the China Sea, E. by the Pacific Ocean, and S. by the Celebes Sea and the coastal waters of Borneo. Of the large islands, Luzon (40,969 sq. m.) is the most northerly, and Mindanao (36,292 sq. m.), the most southerly. Between Luzon and Mindanao are Samar (5031 sq. m.), Negros (4881 sq. m.), Panay (4611 sq. m.), Mindoro (3851 sq. m.), Leyte (2722 sq. m.), Cebu (1762 sq. m.), Bohol (1441 sq. m.) and Masbate (1236 sq. m.). Farther west and separated from the southern portion of this chain is the long narrow island of Palawan or Paragua (4027 sq. m.). The total land area of the Philippines is about 115,026 sq. m., and 92% of this is included in the eleven islands named above. There are twenty others, which have an area ranging from 106 sq. m. to 682 sq. m., and the total number of islands enumerated within the archipelago is 3141; of these 2775 contain less than i sq. m. each.

Table of contents

Physical Features

The islands are mainly of volcanic origin, and their surface is much broken by hills, isolated volcanoes and mountain ranges, trending north and south, north-west and southeast, or north-east and south-west. Extending for 350 m. along the east coast of central and northern Luzon is the Sierra Madre range, rising in occasional peaks to more than 4500 ft. and seldom less than 3500 ft. On the west coast are the Caraballos Occidentales north from the Gulf of Lingayen and the Zambales southward from that gulf to Manila Bay. The Caraballos Occidentales range is very complex; the central ridge is in some parts a rolling plateau, but it rises in Mt Data to 7364 ft., and numerous lofty spurs project from it. Much of the Zambales range has an average height of 4000 ft. or more, and several peaks are more than 5000 ft. high, Between the Sierra Madre and Caraballos Occidentales is the valley of the Cagayan river, about 50 m. wide, and east of the Zambales range is a lowland basin, about 150 m. long and 50 m. wide, and not more than too ft. above the sea except near its centre, where the extinct volcano of Arayat rises to 3564 ft. The greater part of southern Luzon is occupied by isolated volcanoes and irregular masses of hills and mountains. Mt Mayon (7916 ft.), near the south-eastern extremity, is an active volcano with an almost perfect cone. Of less prominence are Mt Banajao (7382 ft.), Mt Isarog (6634 ft.) and Mt Masaraga (5244 ft.). The island of Mindanao is traversed north to south by mountain ranges, which rise in their summits to heights exceeding 4000 ft. That along the east coast is longest and least broken, and between it and the next range inland is the level valley of the Agusan river, from 40 to 50 m. wide. Farther west and south-west is the valley of the Rio Grande Mindanao, the largest river on the island, and between the lower course of this river and the south coast is a mountain range with a north-west and south-east trend. On the east border of the south portion of the basin of the Rio Grande Mindanao is Mt Apo (10,312 ft.), an extinct volcano and the highest elevation in the archipelago.

Each of the larger islands between Luzon and Mindanao, except Samar and Bohol, is traversed longitudinally by a single mountain range with occasional spurs. In Leyte there are several isolated volcanic cones, two of which, in the north part, exceed 4000 ft. In Mindoro the range is broad, extending from coast to coast, and it culminates in Mt Halcon (about 8800 ft.). In Negros is Mt Canlaon (8192 ft.), a volcano, and several summits exceeding 6000 ft. In Panay is Mt Madiaas (7264 ft.) and several other peaks exceeding 4000 ft. The highest peaks in Masbate are about 2500 ft. high, and in Cebu not much more than 2000 ft. In Samar there are irregular masses of hills. The southern portion of Bohol is very hilly, but the northern portion is more level. Palawan, 275 m. long and about 15 m. wide, is traversed throughout its length by a range of mountains with an average height of 4000 to 5000 ft. and a few summits about 6000 ft. high. Submarine mountain ranges connect not only the islands within the archipelago, but also the archipelago itself with Borneo and Celebes, so that only shallow channels connect the interior waters with the Pacific Ocean and the China Sea. The coast-line of the Philippines, more than II,000 m. in length, is fringed with coral reefs and broken by numerous gulfs and bays.

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The Cagayan river, in north Luzon, is the largest in the archipelago. It is about 220 m. long and drains to the northward about 10,000 sq. m., or nearly one-fourth of the island. The Rio Grande de Mindanao (known in its upper course as the Rio Pulangua) drains to the south and west a larger area in central and southern Mindanao and is second in size. It and the Agusan, which drains to the northward the mountain valley in east Mindanao, are each over 200 m. in length. The principal rivers of the lowland basin of central Luzon are the Pampanga and the Agno. The Pampanga rises in the highlands on the north-east border, flows south by west, and discharges through several channels into Manila Bay. The Islands Calamignes, manga, Ousl2vda uin/ 'lb ' Vig an ant* .0 S p 14;,f,13‘1 Apo d Pand r,, Tsa. lapin :Bciak e ."Purias MASgATE is? .........

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LI Ngayen Scale, Environs of 1 Puerto P rincesa Balintang Channel Babuyanes L,,==. Vearnig /islands Continuation North Same Scale k, Ningayen_ CD tie Leyte Dinagat Siargao 6 14 0 u / ........................

.....: strait BalabaC.biaioa„ .Bangtrey IS. Scale, I:6,500,000 English Miles o 21, 80 Boundaries of Provinces Capitals of Provinces Railways pat Basilan 6 N47WVANE**,,X .

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D a r Illana Ba S Sea e a Is Palmas Agno rises in the mountains on the north border, flows south, south-west and north-west, and discharges through several channels into the Gulf of Lingayen. Each of these has a great number of small tributaries, and along the coast of this lowland basin are many small tide water streams. The Pasig is a short but commercially important stream connecting Laguna de Bay with Manila Bay. The Rio Bicol, which rises in Lake Bato and flows N.N.W. into San Miguel Bay, is the principal river of south Luzon. Samar, Panay, Negros, Leyte, Bohol and Cebu are drained by many streams, and a few of those in Samar, Panay and Negros are of considerable size.

In the lowland basin of central Luzon, 6 m. inland from Manila Bay, is Laguna de Bay, the largest body of fresh water in the Philippines. It is 32 m. long from north-west to south-east and its coast-line, broken on the north by two hilly peninsulas, is 108 m. long. Lake Taal, a few miles south-west of Laguna de Bay, occupies the crater of a great volcano. It is 172 m. long and 12 m. wide. The country rises gently to it on all sides, and on an island near its centre is the active volcano of Taal, 1050 ft. high. In north Luzon is Lake Cagayan. In Mindanao there are lakes Lanao, Liguasan and Buluan in the west-central portion and lakes Mainit, Pinaya, Dagun, Sadocum and Linao in the valley of the Agusan. There are small lakes in some of the other islands.


The Philippines appear to be the remnants of a somewhat complex system of mountain arcs, which from their similarity of form and direction seem to be in some way connected with the mountain ranges of Annam. The oldest rocks exposed are gneiss, talc-schist and serpentine, with intrusive masses of gabbro and diabase. These are overlaid by a limestone, upon which rests conformably a series of sandstones with coal seams. The age of these beds is unknown. In some of the islands nummulitic limestone (Eocene) occurs. Coral limestones, probably of Middle Tertiary age, are also found, sometimes 4000 ft. above the sea, and marine deposits of a very late geological period occur near the coast and in the low-lying depressions. Volcanic rocks of modern date cover extensive areas, especially in the southern part of Luzon and in Mindanao. In Luzon trachytic tuffs are sometimes interstratified with nummulitic limestone, thus showing that the eruptions had already begun in the Eocene period.

Volcanoes and Earthquakes

There are twelve active volcanoes in the archipelago. They are Babuyan Claro, Camiguin de Babuyanes and Didicas in the Babuyanes Islands off the north coast of Luzon; Cagua or Caua in north Luzon; Taal, Mayon and Bulusan in south Luzon; Canlaon and Magaso in Negros; Camiguin de Mindanao in the island of Camiguin, off the north coast of Mindanao; and Apo and Calayo in Mindanao. Only a few eruptions have been recorded of any of these, however, except Taal and Mayon, and there has been no great eruption of Taal since 1754. But there were 26 eruptions of Mayon in the 19th century, and those of 1814 and 1897 were of great violence. That of 1897 began practically without warning on the 23rd of June, became alarming on the 24th and destructive on the 25th, and ceased on the 30th. Streams of lava completely destroyed several villages and injured others, as well as the town of San Fernando. The lava flow extended more than 7 m. eastward, and a rain of ashes extended too m. to the east and 75 m. to the west. There are eight other volcanoes, which although extinct or dormant have well-preserved cones. They are Arayat, Banajao, San Cristobal, Isarog and Malinao in south Luzon, and Macaturin and Matutum in Mindanao.

Earthquakes are frequent and occasionally violent. In the seven years1902-1908the microseismograph at Manila recorded 796 local earthquakes. In the 47 years ending March 1909 the various regions of the archipelago were visited by about 60 strong earthquakes; 16 of these, in ten different regions, occurred in the decade from 1890 to 1900. There were 8 in the year 1897 alone, and one of these ruined the town of Zamboanga in west Mindanao and caused considerable loss of life by falling buildings and immense sea waves. A new island appeared at this time off the coast of Borneo, near Labuan. The principal centres of disturbance are in the valley of the Agusan, in the region of Mayon volcano, in the region of Taal volcano, on Masbate Island, and along the north shore of Luzon. The islands of Cebu, Bohol, Negros and Palawan are rarely shaken.


The Philippines, politically speaking, and the Philippines, zoologically speaking, are not identical areas; Balabac, Palawan and the Calamianes being characterized by the occurrence of numerous Bornean forms which are conspicuously absect from the remaining islands. Although the Philippines are commonly held to form an eastern extension of the Indo-Malayan sub-region, there is a large amount of specialization in the fauna of the islands eastward of the Palawan group. Mammals are scarce. No marsupials occur. The edentates are represented by the pangolin (Manis sp.?) of the Palawan group. In the seas are found the dolphin, cachalot and dugong. Wild hogs of at least two species occur. The beautiful axis deer of Sulu has apparently been brought there by man. Red or brown deer occur in Basilan, Mindanao, Leyte, Samar and the Calamianes Islands. The number of species and their respective ranges have not been satisfactorily determined. In Masbate, Panay, Guimaras and Negros there is a dark-coloured species marked with buff spots. Deer are absent in Palawan, Tawi Tawi, Tablas, Romblon, Sibuyan and Siquijor. Humped cattle are raised on most of the islands. They are killed for their flesh, hides and horns, and little attention is paid to their milkgiving properties. The water-buffalo, or caraboa, occurs in a wild state in Luzon, Mindoro, the Calamianes group, Masbate, Negros and Mindanao, but the wild herds are believed to have originated from domesticated animals. The domesticated waterbuffalo is sluggish in its movements, and will not work through the heat of the day; but it is a wonderful swimmer, and makes its way through the worst quagmire with ease. It is universally used as a draught animal and beast of burden. The most interesting of the ruminants is the timarau (Bubalus mindorensis, Heude), peculiar to Mindoro. Unlike the water-buffalo, it does not bathe in water or wallow in mud. It is extremely wild, feeding by night and sleeping by day in the densest jungle. It sometimes charges the hunter without provocation, and is very dangerous when wounded. It attacks and kills the much larger wild buffalo. All attempts to domesticate it have failed. A chevrotain is found in Balabac. The house rat, introduced by man, is a common nuisance, and mice occasionally seriously damage sugar-cane and rice. Squirrels are confined to the eastern chain of islands from Basilan to Samar and to the Palawan-Calamianes group. In the southern islands there is a tiny species, the size of a mouse. Very large flying-squirrels are found in Palawan and Mindanao. Squirrelshrews occur in the Palawan-Calamianes group, and true shrews at various points in the archipelago. Among the Carnivores are the binturong and an otter, both found in the PalawanCalamianes group; two civet cats, which range throughout the archipelago, and a wild cat of small size, which has been found in Palawan, Panay, Negros and Luzon. Bats are very numerous, and a number of the species are peculiar to the Philippines. Galeopithecus and Tarsius range from Basilan to Samar; the former occurs also in Bohol. In spite of all; that has been said to the contrary, but one species of monkey (Macacus philippinensis, Geoff.) has been discovered in the Philippines. It occurs on every island of any importance. Its flesh is occasionally eaten by the natives. Albino specimens of this monkey are not uncommon, but the pure white monkeys, not albinos, said to inhabit Mindanao, are mythical. The large fruit bats (Pteropus) occur in immense colonies, and are sometimes eaten by the natives.

Especial importance attaches to the unexpected discovery by Whitehead of a new and peculiar mammalian fauna, inhabiting a small plateau on the top of Mt Data, in north Luzon, at an altitude of more than 7000 ft. Specimens of 15 species were obtained, embracing 5 new genera (Calaemomys, Chrotomys, Rhynchomys, Batomys and Carpomys). Eight of the species were new and strikingly peculiar. Their zoological relationships are probably with Celebes and with Australia. Other discoveries include a few new squirrels and bats, and the occurrence of a lemur (Nycticebus tardigradus) in Tawi Tawi.

The islands are as rich in birds as they are poor in mammals, the total number of species recorded up to 1906 being 693, of which about one-half are peculiar to the Philippines. A study of their geographical distribution has demonstrated that the islands may be divided into fairly well-marked groups, in each of which the birds show a degree of specialization closely correlated with diversity of environment and completeness and probable duration of separation from adjacent groups. Balabac, Palawan and the Calamianes show a very strong Bornean element. Mindoro stands by itself. Luzon and the small neighbouring islands have 51 peculiar forms. A close relationship exists between the birds of the entire eastern chain of islands. Numerous genera and some families which are absent from the central islands range from Luzon to Basilan. These genera usually have distinct representative species in Luzon, Samar and Leyte, Mindanao, and in some cases in Basilan also. The greatest differences occur between Luzon and Samar and Leyte. The latter islands have 22 peculiar species.

Sulu and Tawi Tawi belong zoologically to the Philippines, but have 12 well-marked peculiar species, and many of the characteristic Mindanao-Basilan forms are lacking. Panay, Guimaras, Negros and Masbate constitute a sharply defined area, characterized not only by the occurrence of 30 peculiar species, but by the absence of important genera, and even whole families represented in the eastern islands. Most of the mammals characteristic of the latter region are lacking. It is a curious fact that Cebu stands quite by itself, although the deep channel separating it from Negros narrows at one point to about 4 m. Cebu possesses 9 striking species of birds not known to exist elsewhere, and lacks many of the characteristic forms of the central and eastern islands. The zoological position of Bohol has not been satisfactorily determined, but all existing evidence indicates that it must be grouped with Samar and Leyte.

Among the more interesting birds may be mentioned the " mound builder " (Megapodius cumingi, Dillwyn), which buries its large eggs in the soft sand along the sea beach, or under great mounds of earth and dead leaves, often at a depth of three or more feet below the surface. The young are forced to dig their way out and shift for themselves. The eggs are highly prized by the natives. The jungle fowl abounds. There are 35 species of pigeons and doves, many of them most beautifully coloured and all edible. Snipe, plover, turnstones and other shore birds are abundant during xri. 13 a the cool season, and herons, bitterns and ducks at all times. The birds of prey, 45 species, of which 22 are peculiar to the group, vary in size from a tiny falcon not larger than a sparrow (Microhierax), to an immense monkey-catching eagle (Pithecophaga gefferyi, Grant), which is strong enough to seize monkeys as they leap from tree to tree. There are 21 species of kingfishers, 15 being peculiar. Of the 12 species of hornbills not one occurs outside of the Philippines. Frog-mouths, bee-birds, night-hawks and swifts are found in considerable variety. One of the last (Collocalia troglodytes, Gray) constructs the edible nests so highly prized by the Chinese. The best nests are obtained on the precipitous sides of the Penon de Coron, between Culion and Busuanga.

There may also be mentioned 21 cuckoos, I cockatoo, 20 parrots and parakeets, 20 woodpeckers, barbets, broadbills, starlings, orioles, weaver-finches, larks, nuthatches, 28 beautifully coloured sun-birds, and 23 flower-peckers, titmice, shrikes, swallow-shrikes, tailor-birds, thrushes, fruit-thrushes, fairy blue-birds, fire-birds, 42 fly-catchers, 4 swallows, and 5 species of most beautifully coloured ant-thrushes, as well as a large number of birds for which English names cannot be readily supplied.

Reptiles and batrachians are abundant, but have been little studied. Pythons occur throughout the group, and sometimes attain enormous size. There are numerous venomous serpents, but the mortality from snake-bite is low. Geckoes may be seen on the walls and ceilings of any house. Flying lizards abound in the forests. Large iguanas are numerous. Their eggs are prized by the natives, and the flesh of one species, known as ibit or pelubid, is highly esteemed. Crocodiles are extremely numerous in many of the streams, and are occasionally found in the sea along the coasts. Specimens have been obtained measuring 18 ft. in length. Land turtles of small size are common. Very large sea turtles are often captured by the fishermen, and their flesh is highly appreciated as an article of food. A considerable business is done in tortoise-shell. Frogs occur in great variety. One small species appears in immense numbers with the oncoming of the rainy season, and at night the noise of its outcry almost deadens other sounds.

Fishes, especially marine fishes, are numerous and varied. About 500 species of food fishes have been found, and common among them are the bangos or milkfish, the banak or mullet, mackerel, herring, anchovies, groupers, snappers, pompano, tarpon and bonito. The " dalag," which is found in the paddy-fields during the wet season, is a favourite with the natives.

The Philippines are famous for the variety, beauty and abundance of their land molluscs. Fresh-water and marine molluscs are also very numerous. While most of the species are of interest chiefly to the conchologist, there are a number of edible forms. The shells of Placuna placenta, L., split into thin flat plates and, cut into small squares, are almost universally used in place of window glass. The valves of the giant clam (Tridachna) sometimes attain a length of 5 ft. and weigh hundreds of pounds. Pearloysters are abundant in the southern waters of the archipelago. Pearl-fishing is an important industry in the Sulu Islands. The shells of the pearly nautilus are commonly used by the Visayans for drinking cups. From the great opercula of certain marine forms bracelets and other ornaments are carved, while the hard serrated edges of other species are sometimes employed in place of knives for harvesting rice. The land molluscs have been thoroughly classified, but much still remains to be done with the marine species.

Arthropoda are very abundant and as yet little known. Shrimps, crabs and lobsters form an important source of food supply. Mosquitoes are numerous in the wet lowlands. Bees are abundant, and wild honey and wax are gathered in considerable quantities. The number of species of ants is.very large. Some of them infest dwelling-houses and swarm over the food. The termites, or socalled " white ants," inflict great damage on wooden buildings. Plagues of locusts occasionally, during a drought, ruin growing crops; in damp wet weather these insects are destroyed by a fungus growth (Empusa gryllae) within their bodies.

Land-leeches swarm in the damp lowland forests. The coral beds of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago are of unsurpassed beauty, and Guimaras, Cebu and Siquijor are completely covered with a thick cap of coral limestone.


The rich and varied flora of the Philippines is essentially Malayan, intermixed with Chinese and Australian elements, but with sufficient individuality to constitute a sub-region, there being at least 769 species peculiar to the archipelago. More than twothirds of the land surface is covered with forests. In the lowlands and on the lower mountain slopes the forests are composed chiefly of broad-leaved trees, common among which are the bamboo, the coco and other palms, and the banyan tree; but on the higher mountain slopes pines are most abundant. About 750 species of wood are of commercial or local value, among them are woods well suited for structural purposes, inside finishing, cabinet work and carriage making. Plants valuable for their fibre number about 300, and among them is the abaca (Musa texilis), from the leaves of which Manila hemp is made. There are gutta-percha, india-rubber and other trees and plants yielding gums, the banana, mango, and many other trees and plants yielding fruits; and various trees and plants yielding nuts, spices, oils and medicines.


A uniformly high temperature, excessive humidity, heavy rainfalls and violent tropical storms, known as typhoons or baguios, are characteristic of the Philippine climate. At Manila the mean annual temperature is about 80° F., the range of mean monthly temperature 6.48°, from 77° in January to 83.48° in May; and the range of extremes (during the period from 1881 to 1902) 39.96° from 60.08° in January 1881 to Ioo 04° in May 1889. In accordance with the monthly variations in temperature at Manila the year is divided into three seasons: temperate (November, December, January and February), hot (April, May and June) and intermediate (March, July, September and October). Throughout the archipelago the mean annual temperature varies much more with the altitude than with the latitude, but the range in mean monthly temperatures increases from 3.96° F. at Davao, Mindanao, in 7° I' N. to 12.6° at Santo Domingo, Batan Islands, in 20° 28' N. The equability of the temperature also decreases appreciably from the sea-coast to the interior. The maximum daily range of temperature at Manila varies from 13.8° in June to 17.7° in December. At Manila the monthly average of relative humidity ranges from 70.7° in April to 85.5° in September, and the annual average is 79.4°. The mean annual rainfall in this city is about 76 in., and nearly three-fourths of it is from the middle of June to the middle of October, when the winds blow from the south-west. During the period from 1865 to 1902 the annual rainfall varied from 35.6 in. in 1885 to 117.3 in. in 1867 when in the month of September alone there was a fall of 57.8 in. In July, August and September two-thirds of the days are rainy, but in February, March and April only one-tenth of them are rainy. On the Pacific coast of Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao the rainy season is from November to May, when the winds blow from the east or the north-east. In the year ending August 1903 the amounts of rainfall at 41 observation stations widely distributed throughout the archipelago varied from 16.2 in. at Zamboanga in west Mindanao to 152 in. at Masinloc, on the west coast of central Luzon. The Philippines are visited on the average by twenty or more typhoons annually. About one-fifth of them occur in September. During January, February, March and April they are rare; in May, June and July they become increasingly common, and in August there is a falling off in the number, which reaches its maximum in September, gradually decreasing in October, November and December. In the famous typhoon of the 10th of October 1882, the vortex of which passed over Manila, an immense amount of damage was done in the city. Two thousand persons lost their lives in Samar and Leyte during the great storm of 1897. The typhoon warnings sent out from the Manila observatory annually save heavy loss of life and property.


The soil, usually of a reddish-brown colour, is for the most part disintegrated lava mixed with decayed vegetation; occasionally there is also a mixture of disintegrated coral limestone.


Agriculture is the principal industry. In 1903 about 40% of the working population were engaged in agricultural pursuits. The industry is, however, in a primitive condition. The native farmers are lazy and slow to appreciate the advantages of the methods recommended by the Americans. Only 9.5% of all the land in the archipelago was included in " farms " in 1903, and less than one-half of the farm land was under cultivation. La Laguna, Luzon, was the only province in which more than 50% of the land was included in " farms," and Cebu the only island in which more than 25% of the land was included in farms; in the large island of Mindanao only 1.4%, in Masbate only 1.6%, and in Mindoro only 3.9%. There were 81 5,453 " farms " or individual holdings, but more than one-fifth of these were small parcels or gardens containing less than an acre each; about one-half contained less than 21 acres each, and the average size was 8.57 acres. More than four-fifths of them were worked by owners, and the remainder chiefly by share tenants. The principal crops are hemp (abaca), sugar, tobacco, coco-nuts and rice. Most of the hemp (538,200 acres in 1902) is grown in south Luzon and in Samar and Leyte, but smaller crops are produced in Cebu, Mindoro, Marinduque, north Mindanao and south Negros; the crop became of commercial importance about 1855, and in 1907 the yield for export amounted to 112,895 tons. About two-thirds of the sugar is produced in Negros, but it is an important crop in the provinces of Pampanga and Tarlac, within the lowland basin of Luzon, also in the province of Batangas on the south coast of Luzon, in the south and east of Panay, and in Cebu. The production increased from about 6000 tons in 1855 to 300,000 tons in 1893, and for many years prior to 1887 it was a more important crop than hemp, but since the American occupation the crop has been smaller. The total acreage in 1902 was 177,620 acres, and in 1907 the yield for export was 118,395 tons. Approximately one-half of the tobacco, 77,632 acres yielding 37,485 lb in 1902, is grown in the valley of the Cagayan river, and most of the remainder, which is of inferior quality, in the neighbouring provinces of Union, Ilocos Norte and Abra, and in Panay, Cebu, Masbate and Negros. The natives chew betel nuts instead of tobacco, and to the production of these nuts they devote more than 60,000 acres. The rich soil of the lowlands of the province of Laguna is especially well adapted to the culture of the coco-nut palm, and since the American occupation considerable land in this province that had formerly been devoted to sugar has been planted with these trees. They thrive well also in most low districts along the coasts; in 1902 about 375,000 acres were devoted to the culture of them.

Rice is the staple food of the natives. When the Philippines were discovered by the Spaniards it was the only cultivated crop of importance, and until the 19th century it was the chief article of export, but as the culture of the more profitable crops of hemp, sugar and coco-nuts was extended it became an article of import. As late as 1902, however, about one-half of the land under cultivation was sown to rice. It is grown most extensively in the lowlands of the south half of Luzon, in north Panay and in Negros, but the culture of either the lowland or the upland varieties for local consumption is very general. In some districts Indian corn is the staple food instead of rice, and the production of this cereal in small quantities for livestock is general. It is grown most extensively in the valley of the Cagayan river, in 1902 the total acreage in the archipelago was about 254,470. For several years prior to 1891, coffee, grown principally in the provinces of Cavite, Batangas and Lepanto-Bontoc, Luzon, was nearly as important a crop as tobacco, but between 1891 and 1898 most of the coffee plantations were destroyed by insects and disease. A small quantity of coffee is grown in the province of Benguet, Luzon, and is of superior quality. Cotton, the cultivation of which was discouraged by the Spanish government as a means of increasing the cultivation of tobacco, is a very small crop, except in the provinces of Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur on the west coast of north Luzon; in 1902 there were in these provinces about 5525 acres of cotton. Many tropical fruits grow wild but their quality is often inferior; those cultivated most extensively are mangoes and bananas. Grapes, blackberries, figs and strawberries have been introduced from the United States and are grown successfully in the province of Benguet. The natives care little for the garden vegetables common to Europe and America, but in the vicinity of Manila and other large centres of population the Chinese grow many of these for consumption by European and American inhabitants.

With the exception of the water-buffalo, which is indispensable for agricultural purposes, the domestic animals are very inferior in quality and few in numbers. The horses, which are of Mexican, Spanish and Chinese origin, are small and poorly cared for; some American horses have been introduced for the purpose of improving the breed. The neat cattle, which are of Australian and Indian origin, are raised chiefly for beef, their hides and their horns; about nine-tenths of them were destroyed by the rinderpest and the war at the close of the 19th century. Swine are numerous but they are of a kind known in the United States as " razorbacks." There are many goats but only a few sheep. In one district near Manila duck-raising is of considerable importance, but the principal branch of the poultry industry consists in the raising of game-cocks for cock-fighting, which is the national sport.

Mineral Resources

Numerous mineral deposits have been discovered, but little has been determined with respect to their value. Sub-bituminous coal is widely distributed. That near the surface is generally poor in quality and the difficulties of deep mining may be great because of folds and faults in the rocks. There are, however, promising fields near Danao, in Cebu; on the island of Polillo, off the east coast of Luzon; in the south part of Mindoro; on Batan Island, off the south-east coast of Luzon; on Dinagat Island, off the north coast of Mindanao; and in the north-east corner of Negros. Gold has been found in small quantities in nearly all the provinces. There is some rude gold mining by the natives. As the result of favourable indications extensive gold-mining operations have been instituted in the provinces of Benguet and Ambos Camarines in Luzon, and on the island of Masbate. Copper is scarcely less widely distributed than gold, but the production of it awaits smelters and better facilities for transportation. There are extensive deposits of iron ore (magnetite and hematite) in the province of Bulacan, Luzon. Iron ore has been found in other provinces of Luzon and in the islands of Cebu, Panay and Marinduque. There are outcrops of lead in Marinduque and Cebu, and in Marinduque considerable silver is associated with the lead. Among other minerals are sulphur, lime, gypsum and phosphate.


The manufacturing industry consists mainly in preparing agricultural products for market, and in the production by the natives of wearing apparel, furniture, household utensils, and other articles required to supply their primitive wants. The most important factories are those for the manufacture of cigars and cigarettes, but most cigars and some of the cigarettes are made by hand. In the manufacture of sugar most of the mills in use extract only about three-fourths of the juice from the cane; in 1902 about 73% of it was manufactured by 528 mills operated by steam; 17% by 470 mills operated by hand or by a carabao; and to % by 77 mills operated by water-power. In the principal rice-producing districts the rice is threshed and cleaned by machines, but in other districts more primitive methods are employed. Most of the cloth which the natives wear the women weave in their own homes. There are three principal varieties: sinamay, which is made from selected hemp fibres and is worn by both men and women; jusi, which is made from a mixture of hemp and pineapple-plant fibres with or without the addition of some cotton and silk and is used for making women's dresses and men's shirts; pina, which is made from the fibres in the leaf of the pineapple-plant and is used for making women's garments, handkerchiefs and scarfs. Nipa, made from the fibre of the agave or maguey plant and worn by women, is less common. Hats are made of palm leaves, alaca leaves, banana leaves, split bamboo and various grasses. Mats, rugs and carpets are made principally of split bamboo; chairs and beds of balinag and other woods and of rattan. Alcohol is distilled from nipa, coco-nuts, burs (Corypha umbraculifera), cauong (Caryota onusta), pugahan (Caryota urens) and Indian corn. Other manufactures of the natives include vehicles of various kinds, harnesses, indigo, coco-nut oil, soap, salt and lime.

Communications and Commerce

The first railway in the Philippines was the line from Manila to Dagupan (120 m.) which was built by an English corporation under a guaranty of the Spanish government and was opened in 1892. There was no further construction for ten years. But in 1902 and 1903 the Philippine government, as established in 1902 by an act of the Congress of the United States, granted franchises for the extension of the Manila-Dagupan railway to Cabanatuan (55 m.) and to Antipolo (24 m.). The first of these branches was completed in 1905, the second in 1906. In February 1905 Congress authorized the Philippine government to aid and encourage the construction of railways by guaranteeing 4% interest on bonds; the duty on imported materials used in the construction of railways and the internal revenue on Philippine forest products used for that purpose have also been removed. With this assistance the Manila Railroad Company, organized under the laws of the state of New Jersey, agreed to construct about 600 m. of railway in Luzon; and the Philippine Railroad Company, organized under the laws of the state of Connecticut, agreed to construct about 300 m. in Panay, Cebu and Negros. In 1909 there were in operation more than 300 m. in Luzon, 60 m. in Cebu and 50 m. in Panay. At the beginning of the American occupation the roads were very bad and in many of the islands there were none; but in 1909 there were at least 400 m. of good roads. The Cagayan river, which is navigable for native boats 160 m. from its mouth, and for rafts 40 m. farther up, is an important highway of commerce in north Luzon. Many miles of inland water communication with small boats or bamboo rafts are afforded by the Pampanga, Agno, Abra, Pasig and Bicol rivers in Luzon, and by the Agusan and Rio Grande de Mindanao in Mindanao. There are few harbours which admit vessels drawing more than 15 ft. of water, but many which admit smaller vessels, and at the close of 1909 there were 151 steamboats and 424 sailboats engaged in the coasting trade. Manila is the principal port of entry, and since the American occupation Manila harbour has been made accessible to vessels drawing 30 ft. of water. Cebu in Cebu and Iloilo in Panay are ports of entry second and third in rank, although small in comparison with Manila; there are others of minor importance.

The foreign commerce of the Philippines consists chiefly in the exportation of Manila hemp, dried coco-nut meat (copra), sugar and tobacco, both in the leaf and in cigars and cigarettes; and in the importation of cotton goods, rice, wheat-flour, fresh beef, boots and shoes, iron and steel, illuminating oil, liquors, paper and paper goods. The value of the exports increased from $19,751,068 in the year ending the 30th of June 1900 to $32,816,567 in the year ending the 30th of June 1908, and the value of the imports increased during the same period from $20,601,436 to $30,918,357. A very large part of the trade is with the United States and Great Britain. The imports from Great Britain exceed those from the United States, but the exports to the United States are much greater than those to Great Britain, and the total trade with the United States is greater than that with any other country. In 1909 8.05 io of the imports were from the United States and 17.8% of the exports were to the United States; in 1908 16.4% of the imports were from the United States and 31.4% of the exports were to the United States. In 1909 free trade was established between the United States and the Philippines in all goods which are the growth, product or manufacture of these countries, with the exception of rice, except that a limit to the free importation from the Philippines to the United States in any one year is fixed on cigars at 15,000,000; on wrapper tobacco and on filler tobacco, when mixed with more than 15% of wrapper tobacco, at 300,000 th; on filler tobacco at 1,000,000 lb and on sugar at 300,000 gross tons. In the case of manufactures the law provides that only those articles which do not contain more than 20% in value of foreign materials shall be admitted free.


The total population of the archipelago as enumerated in the census of 1903 was 7,635,426. Of this number 6,987,868 were classed as civilized and 647,740 as wild; 7,579, 288 or 99.2% were native-born and 56,138 were foreignborn; 7,539,632 were of the Malayan or brown race, 42,097 were of the yellow race, 2 4 ,016 were of the black race, 14,271 were of the white race, and 15,419 were of mixed races. Of the black race 23,511, or 97.8%, were Negritos, who are believed to be the aborigines of the Philippines. Nearly all of them live in a primitive state in the interior of Luzon, Panay, Mindanao and Negros. They are very short of stature, 4 ft. 10 in. being about the average height of a full-grown man, and the women are shorter. Their colour is black, their skull decidedly round, their hair thick and frizzly, their legs thin and almost without calves, and their toes so prehensile that they can use them nearly as well as their fingers. They tattoo themselves and wear very little clothing, usually only a geestring. They have no fixed abodes but roam about in groups of a few families. They are skilful with the bow and in throwing stones, and they can easily kindle a fire, even in the wet season, by rubbing together two pieces of dry bamboo. Their food consists principally of game, roots and wild fruits. The women, who do all the work, `collect wax and honey, which are their principal staples in trade. Few Negritos live to be fifty years of age. The brown race, which came from the south in successive waves of immigration beginning in prehistoric times, is composed of twenty-three distinct tribes varying widely in culture, language and appearance; their languages however belong to one common stock and there is a general resemblance in physical features and in quality of mind. The great bulk of the population, approximately 90%, is included in seven Christian tribes as follows: Visayan, 3,219,030; Tagalog, 1,460,695; Ilocano, 803,942; Bicol, 566,365; Pangasinan, 343,686; Pampangan, 280,984; and Cagayan, 159,648. The Visayans are the principal inhabitants of the islands in the central part of the archipelago (Panay, Cebu, Negros, Leyte, Bohol, Samar, Masbate and Paragua) and on the north and east coasts of Mindanao; they were perhaps the most civilized people in the archipelago when discovered by the Spaniards, by whom they were originally called Pintados because they were in the habit of painting their bodies; but since then their progress has been less rapid than that of the Tagalogs - who constitute the bulk of the population of Manila and central Luzon and the majority of the population of Mindanao - who are now the most cultured of the brown races in the Philippines. Most of the Ilocanos are in the western half of north Luzon; most of the Bicols in south Luzon; most of the Pangasinans in the province of Pangasinan, which borders on the Gulf of Lingayen; most of the Pampangans in the province of Pampanga, which borders the north shore of Manila Bay; and most of the Cagayans in the valley of the Cagayan river. More than three-fourths of the wild population is included in the Moro, Igorot and Negrito tribes. The Igorots (197,938 wild and 13,582 civilized) are the chief representatives of the early Malay immigration to the archipelago. They are the principal inhabitants of the provinces of Lepanto-Bontoc and Benguet in north Luzon and are numerous in the mountain districts of neighbouring provinces. Among the wildest of them head-hunting is still a common practice; but the majority are industrious farmers laying out their fields on artificial terraces and constructing irrigation canals with remarkable skill. The Moros (275,224 wild and 2323 civilized) were the last of the Malays to migrate to the islands; they came after their conversion to the Mahommedan religion, and their migration continued until the Spanish conquest. More than one-half of them are in Mindanao and they are the principal inhabitants of the small islands of Jolo, Basilan, Siassi and Tawi Tawi south-west of Mindanao. Slavery is common among them. They are generally miserably poor, cruel and haughty. Nearly three-fourths of the foreign-born and 97.5% of the representatives of the yellow race come from China. The mixture of the races is principally that of the Chinese with the Malays or the Spaniards with the Malays. More than half the representatives of the white race (1903) were Americans. Most of the inhabitants live in groups of villages. In 1903 there were 13,400 villages and nearly three-fourths of them contained fewer than 600 inhabitants each. Laoag in north Luzon with a population of 19,699, Iloilo in Panay with a population of 19,054, Cebu with a population of 18,330, and Nueva Caceres in south Luzon (r0,201), were the only towns with a population exceeding ro,000; and Manila (219,928) was the only city. After the 1903 census many towns were enlarged by annexation of suburbs.


At the beginning of the American occupation, in August 1898, a purely military government was established; but in May 1899 the military authorities began the re-establish Tent of civil courts, and in July of the same year they began the organization of civil municipal governments. To continue the work of organizing and establishing civil government the president of the United States appointed in February 1900 a Philippine Commission of five members, with William H. Taft as chairman. On the 1st of September 1900 this body assumed the legislative functions of the central government at Manila; on the 4th of July 1901 the executive authority was, by order of the president, transferred from the military governor to Judge Taft, whom he had appointed civil governor; on the 6th of September 1901 the Philippine Commission, by authority of the president, established the four executive departments, of interior, commerce -and police, finance and justice, and public instruction; and on the 29th of October 1901 the president appointed a vice-governor. The Congress of the United States, in an act approved on the 1st of July 1902, ratified and confirmed the government as thus established, but required that future appointments by the president of the governor, vice-governor, members of the commission and heads of the executive departments should be made with the consent of the Senate. The organic act contained a bill of rights, provided for the establishment of a popular assembly two years after the completion of a census of the Philippines, and more definitely provided for the organization of the judiciary. The first popular assembly, of 80 members, was opened at Manila on the 16th of October 1907, and since then the legislature has been composed of two branches, the Philippine Commission (five Americans and four, formerly three, Filipinos), and the Philippine Assembly. The members of the Assembly are elected by districts (the population of which is approximately equal) for a term of two years. A voter must be twenty-three years of age, must have been a resident of the municipality for six months, must not be a citizen or subject of any foreign country, and must possess at least one of the following qualifications: have been an office-holder under Spanish rule, own real estate worth Soo pesos, pay taxes amounting annually to 30 pesos, or be able to speak, read and write either Spanish or English. The legislature meets annually; a regular session is limited to 90 days, and a special session to 30 days.

Justice is administered principally by a supreme court, courts of first instance, and courts of justices of the peace. The supreme court consists of seven members, four Americans and three Filipinos; and the chief justice and associate justices of the supreme court are appointed by the president of the United States with the consent of the Senate. The judges of the courts of first instance are appointed by the governor with the consent of the Philippine Commission. A judgment of the supreme court of the Philippines which affects any statute, treaty, title, right or privilege of the United States may be reversed, modified or affirmed by the Supreme Court of the United States; an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States may also be had in any cause in which the value in controversy exceeds $25,000.

The most common form of provincial government is that by a governor, who is elected biennially by the municipal councillors in convention, and a secretary, a treasurer, a supervisor, and a fiscal or prosecuting attorney, who are appointed by the Philippine Commission. Each municipality is governed by a president, a vice-president, and a municipal council, all of whom are elected biennially by the qualified electors of the municipality. The Philippine " municipality " is an administrative area, often sparsely settled, is often called a town, and may be compared to a New England township; the municipalities are the units into which the provinces are divided. Each municipality is made up of barrios or small villages (about 13,400 in the entire archipelago) and of one, or more, more thickly peopled areas, each called a poblacion, and resembling the township " centre " of New England.

Education. - The establishment of an efficient system of elementary schools has been an important part of the work of the American administration. Under Spanish rule the Church established colleges and seminaries for training priests, but the Spanish system of secular schools for elementary instruction, established in 1863, accomplished little; the schools were taught by unqualified native teachers and the supervision of them was very lax. The American system, established by the Philippine Commission in 1901, provides a course of instruction (in the English language) for 11 years: 4 primary, 3 intermediate and 4 secondary. In the intermediate and secondary departments there is a choice of six courses; general, teaching, farming, toolwork, housekeeping and household arts and business. The administrative head of the system fs the director of education, who is appointed by the commission, and who arranges the course of study, approves the plans for school houses, determines in what towns secondary schools shall be established and in what towns American teachers shall teach, divides the archipelago into school divisions and appoints a division superintendent in each, and supervises the examination of teachers and the application of insular school funds. Associated with him is an advisory board also appointed by the commission. In each school division, of which there were 35 in 1908, the division superintendent appoints the native teachers, prepares for the municipal councils estimates of school expenses, and approves all expenditures from municipal school funds. In each municipality there is a school board consisting of the president of the municipality and from four to six other members as the division superintendent shall determine; one-half of them are elected by the municipal council and one-half are appointed by the division superintendent. In 1902 there were 928 American teachers employed in the Philippine schools; the employment of American teachers is only a temporary policy, however, and by 1908 the number has been reduced to 795. In 1910 there were more than 6000 Filipino teachers who were teaching English to more than 500,000 pupils. The total number of children of school age in the islands probably reaches 2,000,000. The insular government also makes annual appropriations for the maintenance of Filipino students at educational institutions in the United States; in 1908 the number so provided for was 130. Besides the elementary schools there are at Manila the Philippine Normal School, the Philippine School of Arts and Trades, the Philippine School of Commerce and the school for the instruction of the deaf and blind, and in 1908 the Philippine legislature passed an act for the establishment of a university of the Philippines.


Revenue is derived largely from customs duties and internal revenue taxes. In 1909 the receipts were $22,739,000, the expenditure $23,337,000, and the total bonded indebtedness $16,000,000. (N. D. M.) History. - The Philippine Islands were discovered by Magellan in March 1521. The first island on which he landed was Malhou, between Samar and Dinagat. Then sailing south he touched at Mindanao, from which he sailed north-west, past Bohol to Cebu. Here he found a good harbour in the bay on which the city of Cebu now stands. He made an alliance with the natives, who undertook to supply him with provisions. With his new allies he crossed to the little island of Mactan, where he was killed in a skirmish. A Portuguese by birth, he had been sailing in the employ of King Charles I. of Spain (the emperor Charles V.), with the object of proving that the Moluccas lay within that part of the world which Pope Alexander VI. and the treaty of Tordesillas (June 7, 1494) had given to Spain and not to Portugal. Magellan named his discovery the Archipelago of San Lazarus. The Spaniards, however, called the group the Islas de Poniente (Western Islands). The Portuguese called them the Islas de Oriente. The distinction was not accidental. To the Portuguese they constituted the eastern boundary of their world. From the Spanish point of view the islands were on the extreme western verge of the national domain. In 1529, by the treaty of Zaragosa, Spain relinquished to Portugal all claims to the Moluccas and agreed that no Spaniard should trade or sail west of a meridian drawn 297 leagues east of the Moluccas. This was a plain renunciation of any rights over the Philippines, which lie several degrees west of the Moluccas. This fact, however, was ignored and in 1542 an attempt to conquer the Philippines was made by Ruy Lopez de Villabos (c. 1500-1544). Villabos chose to honour the heir-apparent of the Spanish throne by naming some of the islands which he discovered, west and north of Magellan's discovery, the Islas Filipinas. After the accession of Philip II. (1555-1598) a much more important expedition was fitted out on the Mexican coast, under the direction of the distinguished conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi (1524-1572). In the sailing directions, issued in 1561, for the use of this expedition the phrase " las Islas Filipinas " was used as applying to the entire archipelago. Starting on the 2nd of November 1564, from Navidad, with four ships built and equipped on the spot, Legaspi began an enterprise which entitles him to a place among the greatest of colonial pioneers. He was accompanied by five Augustinian friars and four hundred men. In 1565 he founded, on the island of Cebu, San Miguel, the first permanent Spanish settlement in the islands, destined to become the Villa de Santisimo Nombre de Jesus, later the city of Cebu. In 1571 the city of Manila was founded and became the insular capital. Legaspi's conquest of the islands was facilitated by the fact that there were no established native states, but rather a congeries of small clan-like groups, the headship of which was hereditary. Legaspi was reinforced from time to time by small contingents of troops and friars. Although he encountered enormous obstacles, including famine and mutiny, the hostility and treachery of the natives and of foreigners, and the neglect of the home government, he laid a sure foundation for permanent Spanish occupation. By a combination of tact, courage and resourcefulness he won the hearts of the natives, repelled the Portuguese and, notwithstanding the great distance from Spain, established the new colony on a practical basis. Before his death in 1572 he had explored and pacified a large part of the island territory, had established trade, and had arrested the progress of Mahommedanism.

The conquest of the Philippines was essentially a missionary conquest. Inspired by apostolic zeal the friars braved the terrors of life in the remote villages, raised the natives The Friars from barbarianism and taught them the forms of Christianity. As a result of their labours the Chris- Officials. tian Filipinos stand unique as the only large mass of Asiatics converted to Christianity in modern times. The friars promoted the social and economic advancement of the islands, cultivated the native taste for music, introduced improvements in agriculture and imported Indian corn and cacao from America. Tobacco was introduced by the government.

The colonial government was patterned on that of Spanish America. The powers of the governor-general were limited only by the audiencia or supreme court, of which he was president, and by the residencia or official investigation at the expiration of his term. The islands were subdivided into provinces under alcaldes majores who exercised both executive and judicial functions. The favouritism and corruption that honeycombed the civil service of Spain frequently resulted in placing in responsible positions persons who were entirely unfit. Hairdressers were made into alcaldes, and sailors were transformed into gobernadors by the miraculous grace of royal decrees. The provinces were subdivided into pueblos, each under a native gobernadorcillo, elected annually. The permanent offices could be bought, sold and inherited. The mistake was made of paying very low salaries to the officials, who took this as a justification for illegal exactions. The difficulty of securing proper officials gradually resulted in the more important civil functions being handed over to the friars, who frequently exercised a benevolent despotism. In more than half of the twelve hundred villages there was no other Spaniard beside the priest. The Spanish language was practically unknown. It was far easier for the monks to learn the native dialects than to teach their parishioners Spanish. For two centuries and a half after the conquest there is little narrative history worth recording. There were border wars with rebellious savage tribes, attacks made by Chinese pirates seeking plunder or refuge, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tornadoes and the periodical visits of marauders from the southern islands.

In 1762, however, as an incident of the war between Spain and England, a British fleet of thirteen ships, under the command of Admiral Samuel Cornish (d. 1770) and BrigadierGeneral William Draper (1721-1787), was sent to the Philippines. The available Spanish army consisted of about 600 men, while the attacking force numbered 6830. After a bombardment, Manila fell and on the 5th of October the British entered the city. By the terms of the capitulation the whole of the archipelago was surrendered to the British and an indemnity of 4,000,000 pesos was to be paid. As there was no governor-general at the time, the British were obliged to treat with the acting-governor, the Archbishop Manuel Antonio Rojo; but his authority was set aside by a war-party who rallied around Simon Anda y Salazer, a member of the audiencia. Anda proclaimed himself governor-general and practically succeeded in confining the British to Manila. At the close of the war the Philippines were returned to Spain. Manila was evacuated in March 1764.

For the first quarter of a century after the Spanish conquest the islands were allowed free trade. Then came the familiar restrictions, limiting commerce to a fixed amount annually, and effectively checking economic develop- ment. ment. In 1591 direct trade between the Philippines and South America was prohibited. In 1593 trade between the Philippines and Mexico, the only route open between the colony and Spain, was limited to two ships annually, the ships not to exceed 300 tons burden. The result was that the command of the Acapulco galleon was rarely worth less than $50,000. The passenger fare from Manila to Acapulco, at the end of the 18th century, was $1 000. This monopoly lasted until the Mexican War of Independence forced the Spanish government to regard the Philippines as being in the East instead of the West. Spain's colonial policy was not based on an exaltation of the commercial ideal. However much the administrators may have fallen short in actual practice, the Spanish ideal was to preserve and civilize the native races, rather than to establish lucrative trading posts where the natives might be easily exploited. In, America the laws which provided elaborate safeguards for the protection of the Indians were, to a large degree, nullified by the lust for gold and silver and the consequent demand for labourers in the mines. In the Philippines the humane policy of the home government had no such powerful obstacles to contend with. Business was not developed. The natives were allowed to live the indolent life of the tropics. Compared with the results of English or Dutch colonization the conversion and civilization of the Filipinos is a most remarkable achievement s Notwithstanding the undeniable vices, follies and absurd illiberalities of the Spanish colonial regime, the Philippines were the only group in the East Indies that improved in civilization in the three centuries following their discovery. The chief defect in the Spanish Philippine policy was that while it made converts it did not make citizens. Self-reliance, free-thought and mental growth were not encouraged. Progress in scientific knowledge was effectively blocked by the friars. Their presses confined their activities to the production of catechisms, martyrologies and handbooks in the native languages after the fashion of the presses of Mexico. Five hundred such works were printed and distributed in Manila alone before 1800. To reach the masses, unfamiliar with Spanish, manuals of devotion and outlines of Christian doctrine were translated into the various native languages. Of the Bible itself, no part was translated or published. A knowledge of reading and writing was generally diffused throughout the group.

The era of discontent may be said to have begun in 1825 when the loss of her colonies on the mainland of America caused Spain Era of to take a more immediate interest in the Philippines, missionary era and brought about the definite entry of the islands into the world of commerce and progress.

The friars, by perpetuating medieval conditions in a country that was now being opened to contact with the civilized world, increased the feeling of discontent. The natural result was a violent conflict. The more advanced Filipinos desired the fulfilment of the decrees of the Council of Trent whereby the incumbencies in Christianized towns and villages should be held by regular clergy and not by friars. Filipinos had for generations been ordained into priesthood although not received into monastic orders. This measure was really aimed at the political and economic supremacy of the Spanish-born friars, who had by this time acquired 400,000 acres of agricultural land, more than half of it in the vicinity of Manila. The agrarian question added to the growing discontent. All the revolutions began in the province of Cavite, where the friars owned 125,000 acres. In 1872 the secret agents of the friars induced the native garrison at Cavite to mutiny and thus give the friars an excuse to press for vigorous action. The mutiny was not successful, but Father Burgos, the leader of the reform party, was publicly garrotted with three other native priests; and the native clergy were declared to be incompetent to have the cure of souls. Several of the richest and best educated Filipinos were convicted of treason and banished.

With the increased facilities for European travel Filipinos began to visit Europe and return with new and broader notions of life. The most distinguished of the travellers was Jose Rizal (1861-1896). Born in Calainha, in the province of Luzon, of pure Tagalog parentage, he attended the newly reopened Jesuit university in Manila. He was then sent to Europe to complete his studies, first in Madrid, where he became a doctor of medicine, and later in Germany, where he received the degree of Ph.D. He came into touch with advanced methods of scientific research, acquired great ability as a writer, keen perception of truth and an unflinching realization of the defects of his own people, and the unpleasant but essential fact that to have better government they must first deserve it. His propaganda, aimed at the small body of Filipinos who had sufficient education to appreciate political satire, was very effective. His most famous novel, Noli me tangere, was published in 1886. In this he drew a masterly picture, not only of the life and immorality of the friars but also of the insolent Filipino chiefs or caciques, subservient to the powers above, tyrannical to those below, superstitious, unprogressive and grasping. Caciquism or " bossism," government by local aristocrats, was the prime feature of village life in the islands during the entire period of Spanish rule and existed long before their arrival.

The campaign of Rizal, Marcelo del Pilar, Graciano Lopez Jaena and Apolinario Mabini, the leaders in the " Young Filipino Party," was a protest against both the domination of the friars and economic and administrative caciquism. To escape the vengeance of the friars, Rizal was obliged to flee to Europe. In 1892 he returned to the islands on the assurance of the governor, Eulogio Despujols y Dusay, that he might live there in peace. His enemies, however, succeeded in having him arrested on a charge of treason. Meanwhile he had organized a reform party under the title of Liga Filipina. Its object had been to procure, by pacific means, several reforms in the government of the islands, the chief of which were the expulsion of the friars, and the withdrawal of the governor-general's arbitrary power to deport Filipinos. The friars importuned Despujols for Rizal's life but he persistently refused their demand, and met the case half-way by banishing Rizal to Mindanao. Incensed by the failure of their plot, the friars obtained the recall of Despujols.

The new governor, Ramon Blanco, was like Despujols and many of his predecessors, humane at heart, but he could do little more than hold in check the tyrannical schemes of The the clergy. The banishment of Rizal convinced the reform party that peaceful endeavour was futile.

A secret organization, the Katipunan, was therefore started to secure reforms by force of arms. It was founded by Andres and increased emigration to the islands. Between 1840 and 1872 thirty newspapers were founded. The introduction of secular books and papers, more or less surreptitiously, helped to spread the seeds of sedition. In 1852 the Spanish Filipino Bank was established. In 1856 foreign trade, hitherto confined to Manila, was permitted to enter the port of Iloilo, and foreign traders were allowed to open branch houses outside of the capital. The change in Spain's economic policy, including an attempt to exploit the coalfields and to encourage both agriculture and commerce, helped to awaken hitherto dormant elements. In 1601 the Jesuits had opened a college in Manila for the education of Spanish youth. In 1768 they had been expelled. In 1859 they were permitted to return on the understanding that they were to devote themselves to education.

The Spanish Revolution of 1868 caused a further influx of Spaniards and also the introduction of the pernicious " spoils system." With every change of ministry in Madrid came a new lot of hungry politicians anxious to fill even the more humble colonial offices. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, followed by the establishment of direct steam communication between Spain and the Philippines, sounded the death knell of the peaceful outside the city, but were unsuccessful. A week later some hundreds of insurgents attacked the powder magazine at San Juan del Monte, but were completely routed. Four of their chiefs were taken prisoners and executed in Manila. Ten days after the plot was discovered Manila and five other provinces were officially proclaimed in a state of siege. The insurrectos concentrated all their energies upon Cavite province. Several villages fell into their hands. The insurgent commander-in-chief was Emilio Aguinaldo. He was born in 1869 in Cavite, son of a native farmer of considerable ability, and of a half-caste mother whose father was a Chinaman. After attending the Tagalog school at Cavite he entered the Jesuit College in Manila but did not graduate. In 1893 he became municipal alcalde of Cavite, and later joined the Katipunan.

The government was in a difficult position. General Blanco had extremely few European troops at his disposal, and it was doubtful how far native troops could be trusted. Reinforcements were on the way from Spain, but the demands of Cuba had already depleted the Peninsula of the best fighting material. Blanco, blamed for not acting at once, was recalled. In December 1896 General Camilo Garcia de Polavieja (b. 1838) arrived as his successor, with General Jose Lachambre (b. 1846) as chief of staff. Before Blanco left he had released Rizal and allowed him to go to Spain, but the friars caused his arrest and he was sent back to Manila, where he was executed by Polavieja's orders in December 1896.

Lachambre took the field in Cavite with energy and succeeded in quelling the rebellion in that province. He was then despatched north. Numerous small battles were fought with Aguinaldo and the insurgents, who were repeatedly defeated only to reappear in other places. Polavieja's demand for more troops having been refused, he resigned, and was succeeded in the spring of 1891 by General Fernando Primo de Rivera. Hostilities continued, but the wet season set in, making operations extremely difficult. Before Primo de Rivera could make much headway against the insurgents affairs in Cuba became so serious that the Spanish government cabled him that pacification was most urgently desired. As a result he suspended operations and signed the treaty of Biacabato (Dec. 12, 1897), by which Aguinaldo and thirty-five of his chief followers were allowed to retire to Hongkong with a cash indemnity of 400,000 pesos. The Madrid government refused to confirm the terms of peace, and the peace rejoicings in Manila were followed by the persecution of all those who were known to have sympathized with the movement.

On the r5th of February 1898 in Havana harbour, the U.S.S. " Maine " was blown up. On the 15th of March Primo de Spanish- Rivera, learning that theAmerican Commodore George American Dewey was mobilizing his fleet in the harbour of War. Hongkong, called a council at which the Spanish Admiral Patricio Montojo (b. 1839) stated that, in the event of a conflict, his own fleet would be inevitably destroyed. Primo de Rivera was no w recalled and General Basilio Augusti (b. 1840) took his place. With a new governor-general all plans had to be reconsidered. Before suitable defences could be made, word came from Hongkong that Dewey had started for Manila and Montojo hurriedly sailed from Subig Bay to Cavite, barely in time to anchor before Dewey arrived. Few among his crew understood handling a gun properly, and owing to the poor care which his vessels had received they were actually inferior to the individual vessels of the American squadron. Commodore Dewey arrived in the Bay of Manila on the 1st of May, and totally destroyed or disabled the Spanish fleet. The surrender of the city was refused. The Americans occupied Cavite. The battle of Manila Bay and the defeat of the Spanish fleet destroyed the prestige of Spain throughout the islands. Insurrections began in nearly every province. Aguinaldo and his friends were allowed to come to Cavite in an American transport. With the approval of Commodore Dewey, who allowed arms to be supplied him, Aguinaldo successfully renewed his campaign against the Spaniards until practically all Luzon, except the city of Manila and suburbs, was in his control. Reinforcements arrived, and on the 13th of August Manila was taken by the Americans, under General Wesley Merritt (b. 1836).

The refusal of General Merritt to permit Aguinaldo's troops to enter Manila created resentment on the part of the Filipinos. A so-called constitutional convention was held at Malolos, and a constitution was adopted. At the same time the Visayan Republic was organized, and it professed allegiance to Aguinaldo's government. Neither Aguinaldo's government nor the Visayan government was able to maintain order, and the whole country was subject to the looting of robber bands. The treaty of peace between the United States and Spain, by which the Philippine Islands passed into the hands of the former, was signed in Paris on the 10th of December 1898, but it was not confirmed by the Senate until the 6th of February 1899. During this period the Filipino army remained under arms. On the 4th of February hostilities broke out between the Americans and the Filipinos. The latter were defeated on the 5th, at Paco, with heavy loss. The American troops, now under General E. S. Otis (b. 1838), following up the enemy, drove Revolt them out of Malolos and then withdrew to against the Manila to await reinforcements, which brought Americans. the total American force up to about 60,000 men. It is unnecessary to trace in detail the gradual conquest of the islands, or the hundreds of engagements, often small, between the rebels and the Americans. Owing to the nature of the country, and the hope of securing independence from a possible overthrow of the Republican party in the United States, the war was prolonged for two or three years. With the capture of Aguinaldo on the 23rd of March 1901, the resistance became little more than that of guerrillas.

Civil government was introduced as fast as possible. During 1899 the Schurman commission, headed by Dr Jacob G. Schurman of Cornell University, was sent by The Taft President McKinley report on the state of affairs. commis= In February 1900 a second and more powerful Sion. commission was appointed, consisting of Judge W. H. Taft, Professor D. C. Worcester (b. 1866), General L. E. Wright (b. 1846), Mr H. C. Ide (b. 1844), and Professor Bernard Moses (b. 1846). Under the presidency of Mr Taft it began to exercise a legislative jurisdiction in September 1900. Its first act was to appropriate $1,000,000 for the construction and improvement of roads. It next provided for the improvement of Manila harbour, which involved an expenditure of $3,000,000. The fifth act extended to the islands the benefits of a civil service based on merit. In 1901 a general school law was passed under which r000 American school teachers were introduced. They were scattered among Soo towns, to teach 2500 Filipino teachers English and modern methods of school teaching. Other legislation provided for the organization of a judiciary, a supreme court, the enactment of a code of civil procedure, the establishment of a bureau of forestry, a health department, and an agricultural bureau and a bureau of constabulary, made up of native soldiers officered by white men. Ladronism was very widely distributed under Spanish rule, and the old guardia civil committed outrages almost equal to those of the brigands themselves. The new constabulary has been eminently successful in maintaining law and order. Great progress has been made in the scientific mapping of the islands.

On the 4th of July toot the office of military governor was abolished, the military forces being largely recalled, and the part remaining being made henceforth subordinate civil to the civil authorities. Mr Taft became governor- Govern- general. A general amnesty was granted to all meat. rebels and political prisoners who would take the oath of allegiance to the United States. On the 1st of July 1902 President Bonifacio, a schoolmaster of Cavite. In1895-1896the friars acting as spies for the government, obtained the banishment of many hundreds of natives.

On the day after the Katipunan conspiracy had been brought prematurely to light by a traitor, three hundred prominent Filipinos were lodged in prison. This precipitated Revolt of the revolt. The insurrectos attacked the civil guard 1896. Roosevelt signed an act establishing the civil government of the Philippines and providing for a new legislative body. A census was authorized and was taken in 1903. The act of 1 9 02 also authorized the purchase of land belonging to the friars. Although among such an ignorant and diversified body as that of the Filipinos public opinion can hardly be said to exist, there is no doubt that the hatred of the friars was practically universal. When the revolution came the members of the four orders had to flee for their lives, although the people who killed or imprisoned those they could catch were generally good Catholics. As the insular government could not safely allow the friars to return to their parishes the friars' lands were bought for $7,000,000. Mr Taft managed the delicate task of conducting negotiations with the Vatican without arousing the hostility of either Catholics or Protestants. On the 1st of February 1904 General L. E. Wright became governor. He was succeeded in 1905 by Mr H. C. Ide, who was succeeded by General James T. Smith in 1906. The elections for the first Philippine Assembly were held on the 30th of July 1907, and 31 Nationalists, 16 Progressists, 33 Independents and others were elected. The total vote cast was about ioo,000. In many districts the Nationalists' candidates promised that if they were returned immediate independence would follow. When the Assembly met it became apparent that the great majority were more anxious to act as a dignified branch of the legislature than to maintain consistency with their pre-election declarations. The legislature convened for its second session on the 1st of February 1909. During this session 72 laws were passed, of which 23 had been introduced by the Commission and 49 by the Assembly. Among the acts was one providing for the continuance of Spanish as the official language of the courts until 1913; an act providing for bankruptcy; and an act fixing the age of majority at 21 years.

Governor Smith left the islands in May 1909 and was succeeded by W. Cameron Forbes. On the 6th of August 1909 the Payne and Colton bills became law, greatly promoting trade between the Islands and the United States (see Communications and Commerce). On the 2nd of November 1909 delegates were elected for the second Philippine Assembly. (H. Br.) Bibliography. - See, in general, A. P. C. Griffin, A List of Books on the Philippine Islands in the Library of Congress (Washington, 1903), with references to periodicals; T. H. Pardo de Tavera, Biblioteca filipina (ibid. 1903); W. E. Retana, Aparato bibliogrdfico de la historia general de Filipinas (3 vols., Madrid, 1906); idem. Archivo de bibliofilo filipino (Madrid, 1895); J. A. Robertson, Bibliography of the Philippine Islands (Cleveland, Ohio, 1908).1908). For statistics, general description and material on administration, see Census of the Philippine Islands in 1903 (4 vols., Washington, 1905);; Pronouncing Gazetteer and Geographical Dictionary of the Philippine Islands (Washington, 1902); Ethnological Survey Publications of the. Department of the Interior (Manila, 1904 sqq.); Reports of the Philippine Commission (Washington, 1901 sqq.); Sir John Bowring, A Visit to the Philippine Islands (London, 1859); D. C. Worcester, The Philippine Islands and their People (New York, 1898); F. W. Atkinson, The Philippine Islands (Boston, 1905); C. H. A. F. Lindsay, The Philippines under Spanish and American Rules (Philadelphia, 1906) A. H. S. Landor, The Gems of the East (New York, 1904); M. A. Hamm, Manila and the Philippines (London, 1898); J. A. LeRoy, Philippine Life in Town and Country (ibid. 1905); J. B. Devins, An Observer in the Philippines (Boston, 1905); R. R. Lala, Philippine Islands (New York, 1899); H. C. Potter, The East To-day and To-morrow (ibid. 1902); F. Blumentritt, Die Philippinen (Hamburg, 1900); H. P. Willis, Our Philippine Problem, a Study of American Colonial Policy (New York, 1905); Edith Moses, Unofficial Letters of an Official's Wife (ibid. 1908); W. B. Freer, The Philippine Experiences of an American Teacher (ibid. 1906); J. G. Schurman, Philippine Affairs (ibid. 1902); W. H. Taft, Civil Government in the Philippines (ibid. 1902); and Special Report to the President on the Philippines (Washington, 1908); and R. C. McGregor, Manual of Philippine Birds (New York, 1909). For the history of the islands, see E. H. Blair and J. A. Robertson, The Philippine Islands, 1 4931 898 (55 vols., Cleveland, 1903-1909); J. Montero y Vidal, Historia general de Filipinas (3 vols., Madrid, 1887-1895); Juan de la Concepcion (1724-1787), Historia general de Philipinas (14 vols., Manila, 1788-1792) , Gaspar de San Agustin (1650-1724), Conquistas de las islas Philipinas (2 vols., Valladolid, 1890); Le Gentil, Voyage dans les mers de l'Inde (Paris, 1781); F. Colin Labor evangelica, ministerios apostolicos de los obreros de la compania de Jesus, fundacion, y progressos de su provincia en islas Filipinas (3 vols., Barcelona, 1900-1902); J. Martinez de Zuniga, Historia de las islas Philipinas (Sampaloc, 1803; Eng. trans., London, 1814); J. J. Delgado, Historia general sacro-profana, politica y natural des Islas del Poniente, llamadas Filipinas (Manila, 1892); E. G. Bourne, Discovery, Conquest and Early History of the Philippine Islands (Cleveland, 1907); F. Combes (1620-1665), Historia de Mindanao y Jolo (Madrid, 1897); J. M. Castillo y Jimenez, El Katipunan ó el filibusterismo en Filipinas (Madrid, 1897); E. R. Delmas, La In surreccion de Filipinas en 1896 y 1897 (2 vols., Barcelona, 18 99); F. D. Millet, The Expedition to the Philippines (London, 1899) and J. Pellicena y Lopez, La Verdad sobre Filipinas (Manila, 1900)..

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See also philippines



Proper noun

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the Philippines

  1. The Republic of the Philippines, a Southeast Asian country comprised of over seven thousand islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Usage notes

  • Normally used in the singular since it is the name of a country.


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Proper noun


  1. The Philippines.


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