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Geography, population, and people
The Philippines is the 73rd-largest country in the world with an approximate 300,000 square kilometers by 7,107 islands, in spite of the population of about 100 million people that had made it the 7th-most populated country of Asia and the 12th-most populated country on Earth.
The Philippines consists of a number of indigenous ethnolingusitic groups, the dominant one being Tagalog. There are also several non-indigenous ethnolinguistic groups.
Although already inhabited, the islands were first *ahem* "discovered" (or so they like to brag) by Europeans in 1521 when Ferdinand Magellan made a stop there. Unfortunately, this cost Magellan his life: he was killed by Lapu-Lapu who probably intuitively realized that being "discovered" by the Spanish might not be a good thing. The archipelago was subsequently named for King Philip II of Spain, who began colonizing the region, firstly by converting the Filipino community to Catholicism with the act of "Sword and Shield", and secondly by threatening them with firearms.
In 1898, while the Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng̃ mg̃á Anak ng̃ Bayan (unfortunate acronym: KKK) were fighting the Spanish, the Americans defeated the local Spanish navy. Also the Germans were somehow involved. At the close of the Spanish American War the Phillipines were sold to the US at a fire(arm in your face) sale of $20m. Also included in this deal was Cuba, Puerto Rico, and
I think maybe Guam? surely Guam. The US, seeing fellow people fighting for their independence from brutal European oppression, allied with the rebels and... wait, no, the US basically occupied the place and fought a bloody war in which 20 thousand Filipino soldiers and ten times as many civilians died. (Although it must be said they gave the Philippines an autonomous government — with their own President, Manuel Luís Quezon, yay! - in 1935 and promised full independence in 1946 — which they did, absolutely.)
If you think the history was bad up till then, do we have a surprise for you! During WWII, Japan invaded the place, while the US
bravely fought on withdrew most of their military and abandoned the rest to the Bataan Death march. It was only marginally better for the average Filipino; you know how the Chinese had it pretty rough? Kind of like that.
Remember the Maine! Many do.
Remember Bud Dajo? Huh??  In 1942 the Empire of Japan, wanting to liberate Asia and co-prosper with the Asians, seized control of the Philippines, and this occupation lasted until nearly the end of World War II. About a million Filipinos died. As president (no quotation marks!!!), they installed this guy, José P. Laurel. Now the fuuuuuuuuuuuny story is that the guy who was the exiled president, Quezon, and some American named Douglas MacArthur, ordered this guy to, well, be the president under the Japanese. Joke's on you, Nippon! (Of course the people didn't know, they didn't like it at least in the beginning, i.e. during the war, and someone tried to murder him four times... :() When he went to Japan, just before they gave the Philippines official independence, Tojo was all like "You declare war on the Americans and the British!" and Laurel was all "No, no, no we don't!"; Laurel won, although not for long (in the end of 1944, he had to, but the beauty of it was that the Philippines never nad no army under Laurel!). Eventually, people started to like him, and he became considered a legitimate president of the Philippines in the 1960s.
The post-colonial years
On July 4, 1946 (because America loves the Fourth of July), the Philippines became independent at last. However, there was a large American military presence at Subic Bay near Olongapo City and Clark Airbase near Angeles City making it only four-fifths independent (but the Americans didn't tamper with the independent government, so it was really independent).
The Philippines was first ruled by anti-conservatives called the Liberal Party of the Philippines which was headed by Manuel Roxas. He concentrated on the reconstruction of infrastructure due to war damage, and the rebuilding of farms and factories. The first years were harsh and criminals were everywhere, especially when the Hukbalahaps renamed themselves as the Huks and became communists. There was also a rise in popularity of a church organization called Inglesia ni Kristo, or in English, Church of Christ or INC which influenced the people to vote for the candidate they preferred. He was then succeeded by Elpidio Quirino who continued his liberal work and reconstruction. (Too bad he didn't his only presidential election fair and square, the true winner was a former not-so-puppet of Nippon, José P. Laurel.) By then, there were signs that the Philippines was on the road to prosperity and that the army was being able to hold back the insurgent Huks.
The end of Elpidio Quirino's presidency also meant the end of liberal government when Ramon Magsaysay kicked his ass. During the reign of Mr.Magsaysay, the Philippines became richer through agricultural modernization and the fact that the Huks were finally suppressed by the military. Magsaysay's reign ended when his presidential plane somehow became angry at him and crashed on a mountain resulting in his death and a national mourning. His vice president, Carlos P. Garcia, succeeded him and continued his work, which made him win in the elections and extended his term as president.
After Mr. Garcia's reign, liberal rule returned when Diosdado Macapagal won the presidency. He tried to pass a law where there would be a limit on lifetime savings and after that limit, the excess would then be given to other people who "need it" more. Alas, that bill was vetoed and became one of the reasons the liberals lost again.
The Philippine Dark Age
Diosdado Macapagal wanted to run again for president but, was defeated by a young newcomer, Ferdinand Marcos. (Some say Marcos was an apprentice of José P. Laurel; some say it was Marcos's biggest opposer, Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino; some say it was both; any way, really weird.)
Mr. Ferdinand wanted The Philippines to go "into greatness". So he created many infrastructure projects believing that roads are the keys to prosperity and provided education. But thanks to the climax of the Cold War, the Communist Party of The Philippines formed a new rebel group called The New Peoples Army or NPA which would challenge Marcos during his second term. When he was reelected, the Philippines was in turmoil. The NPA, supported by China were attacking in all fronts. Students were protesting and a terrorist bombing at the Liberal Party convention forced Marcos to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. There was also widespread corruption.
This forced Marcos to declare martial law. Every single opposition member was arrested and tried. Protesters were either killed, arrested or forced into exile. (Except one: Salvador Laurel, the son of his, eh, master… and his group, UNIDO.) His cronies stole every single business and there was widespread corruption. His wife used the national budget to buy shoes for some weird reason and let the people get angry. He also borrowed a large sum of money from the International Monetary Fund making The Philippines have a large billion dollar deficit. Everything was in authoritarian rule
because his wife and cronies were actually controlling the government and not the president and is the reason why The Philippines became bankrupt and the people were in fear. His wife Marcos then changed the constitution making him the Eternal Leader of The Philippines. Martial law was then lifted thanks to Pope John Paul II's visit, yet Marcos still was pretty much the boss because his wife was the true Empress and not him of the country.
The opposition leader Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino went back to the Philippines to challenge Marcos's reign but he was assassinated and sparked an outcry and mourning. When Mr. Enrile and Fidel Ramos convinced a brigade of military men to form a coup d'état, the Archbishop of Manila convinced the people to join them and form The People Power Revolution, one of the reasons was the assassination. Marcos ordered
not to shoot but the media wanted it to appear that he ordered a shoot to kill on every single person but since the soldiers were paid had a heart, they also joined the party. The Air Force was also ordered but they were paid too they also had a heart (or at least they didn't want the UN to get angry at them).
Due to The People Power Revolution, Marcos and his last loyal soldiers were forced to retreat to the presidential palace and ordered them to resist all incoming forces. Gladly, his Best Friend
Emperor Palpatine Ronald Reagan convinced him to come with him and live in exile in Hawaii facing the International Monetary Fund's charges of not paying back what he borrowed. And the Philippines was under a new theocratic, semi-democratic, Christian-Republic, democratic rule first led by Corazon Aquino(Benigno's wife). (Salvador Laurel was her vice-president.)
The modern Philippines
In 1992, Mt. Pinatubo erupted and covered the US airfield at Clark with a deep layer of volcanic ash, forcing the US to remove all their jet planes. Then the Senate kicked their ass out of the country once and for all.
The Philippines also had a power shortage resulting in daily brownouts, so the senate gave some emergency powers to then-current president Fidel Ramos, who fixed the problems and the darkness was no more.
During the War on Terror, the Philippines contributed fifty soldiers to the worthy cause of calling Operation Iraqi Freedom a "joint international effort" (the word "joint" referring, it would seem, to what the people who make up these terms were likely smoking at the time as much as anything else). A Filipino contractor was kidnapped by al-Qaeda in Iraq, who demanded the Philippines pay six million dollars and withdraw all its forces from the country. President Gloria Arroyo immediately complied, and the Philippines was demoted from the Coalition of the Willing (which included Georgia and Tuvalu) to the Axis of Weasels (which included France, Germany, and Spain). Today the government is busy fighting both Marxist and Islamist terrorists, with the New People's Army (an offshoot of the Communist Party of the Philippines) using guerilla tactics, assassinations, and levying "revolutionary taxes" (extortion); the Moro insurgency in Mindanao is the main Islamist movement.
In a victory for
common sense reproductive health, the Supreme Court of the Philippines upheld a law named the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, which mandates government to provide reproductive health services, including optional avenues of artificial birth control, to anyone, including the poor.
The Philippines is actually one of the most westernized countries in Southeast Asia. This means that whatever is famous in America is also famous in the Philippines. The same applies to whatever is famous in Korea, and whichever anime is big in Japan. Trade with China also led to some degree of Chinese culture integrating with Filipino society. However, tensions are arising between China and the Philippines because of China doing some military "development".There are many malls in the country and many tourist destinations which attract foreigners to come and visit the Philippines. There are many political parties in the government right now, including The Liberal Party of the Philippines, which for some reason still exists when it shouldn't. The Philippines boasts diverse marine life that also attracts tourism. The national income largely comes from business, Filipinos overseas sending money home, call centers and tourism. It's also a hazard-prone zone because it can be both hit by climatic- and geologic-related disasters. The Philippines is considered the "Texting Capital of the World". Internet cafes are very popular, where poor people who do not have computers can access the internet at a decent price.
Many Philippines laws are based on American laws. However, they are inconsistently enforced and corruption is rampant. There is also no jury system, and the distinctions between criminal and civil cases are often blurred. Often criminal cases can be dismissed if there is a monetary settlement between the perpetrator of the crime and the victim.
In the Philippines, anyone can accuse anyone else of a crime by going to the Fiscals office, filling out a complaint, and paying a small filing fee. The fiscal then gives the accused an opportunity to answer the complaint. If the case is contested, the fiscal is supposed to review the evidence and conduct interviews to see if the complaint has merit, and either dismisses it or forwards it on to the courts. In practice, the fiscals are low-paid junior attorneys who in many cases can be bribed. An arrest can occur immediately if it was the police who initiated the case; otherwise, it can only occur after the fiscal has forwarded the case to the courts.
In Filipino elections, the people are required to memorize a dozen or so names, and write them on a blank ballot sheet which makes actors, actresses, boxers and other famous celebrities with no political experience into senators and presidents. It's the church who decides who will the Filipinos vote with the power of brainwashing and the fear of going to Hell. But that was before the law was ratified when The Philippines decided to try automated elections. Yet sadly it's still the Church who decides what the people would vote for and famous celebrities with no experiences could still be included in the elections.
Priests and religious people could also run for elections by saying the magic password of "I'm not a priest so that means I could run". The current constitution of The Philippines is
Overall Philippine politics is mostly bullshit.
Ninety Eighty percent of Filipinos are Roman Catholics. About 5% are Muslim, 12% are Protestant and stuff like that, 3% other religions and about 1% aren't religious. Before the Spanish invasion, most Filipinos were pagans, who believed in animistic beliefs. [please explain] There was already an influence of Islam due to trade and some influences of Buddhism. The Philippines is a poor nation with one of the highest rates of population growth in Asia. The poorest Filipinos need to limit their families but cannot afford contraception. The Roman Catholic Church campaigned against free contraception and delayed this much needed measure till 2014. Divorce is still illegal in the Philippines and nowhere else except Vatican City. Roughly 1,000 Filipino women die annually from illegal abortions.
While Christians in the U.S. are calling the separation between church and state "discrimination," the non-religious Philippine people face actual extensive discrimination. Such is to be expected in an actual Christian nation. As such, Philippine skeptics typically keep their beliefs under wraps, or are so outspoken that they just appear to be arrogant douchebags.
A Philippine peso is worth about two cents. Jobs tend to be low-paying and hard to come by, compared to what is available in western countries. An expatriate in the Philippines can typically hire a maid to live and work in his house for about US$60-100 in salary and expenses, since there are many uneducated young Filipinas whose alternative would be to sit around in their bamboo homes without electricity or running water, being a financial burden to their family.
Filipina women are praised by many members of the red pill movement for allegedly being (usually) slim, affectionate, feminine, family-oriented, and willing to marry older American men. Stereotypically, they speak English well and are attractive, wildly sexual, well-educated, religious, fiercely loyal, traditional, fun, and kind caregivers. The Philippines is one of the major source countries of mail-order brides, and Filipinas are sometimes referred to as "the Philippines most valuable export." Some reasons cited for Filipina's migration by marriage are that they believe a westerner will be more romantic and open-minded than a Filipino; they are unhappy with the querida system (in which many Filipino men have mistresses who compete with the wife for resources); to meet the cultural norm of "depths of gratitude" (utang na loob) and of gendered responsibilities towards their primary families by supporting the older generation (their parents); to enable the social mobility of younger siblings through remittances; and to overcome the obstacle of being considered less marriageable by local standards, because of being unwed single mothers or known to have had previous "romantic" involvements (affairs) or common-law marriages, or because of being less desirable on the local marriage scene due to age or status as a widow. Large numbers of Filipinas work as nurses.
Prostitution is de facto legal in the Philippines, although the availability of prostitutes is more obvious in certain places (e.g. Sabang, Angeles, or parts of Makati) than others. Most famously, there are karaoke bars with girls and VIP rooms, massage parlors that offer "extra", and college students seeking to pay their educational expenses with the help of a few steady clients.
Phillipines has had the highest rate of HIV growth in recent years. It would be unwise to pick a random Filipino woman from the streets.
Notas de rodapé
- Magnusson, Magnus, general editor, Cambridge Biographical Dictionary. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1990.
- Zinn, Konopacki and Buhle, A People's History of American Empire: A Graphic Adaptation, Metropolitan Books, NY, 2008
- Communist Party of the Philippines–New People's Army, Mapping Militant Organizations, Stanford University
- Is Catholic Church's influence in Philippines fading?
- Lauser, Andrea (October 2008). "Philippine Women on the Move: Marriage across Borders". International Migration 46 (4): 85–110.