The Philippines, officially known as Republic of the Philippines, are an archipelago in South East Asia. These islands are located east of the China Sea, south of Japan, and north-east of Indonesia. The capital is Manila.
The first inhabitants were either Austronesian peoples who came from the Malay peninsula and surrounding regions, or even Negritos, an ethnic group of probable African origin who are similar to the Aboriginals of Australia.
The native people of the islands started having contacts, mostly of a commercial nature, with the Chinese, the Arabs (who also introduced Islam as a religion) and other people from South Asia starting well before 1000 AC.
The first Europeans who reached the islands were Ferdinand Magellan and his crew in 1521, who claimed the islands for the crown of Spain as part of the Empire. This was possible because of the Treaty of Tordesillas, which divided the world in half between Spain and Portugal. The Philippines were legally under the Portuguese sphere of influence, but an agreement was arranged, as the Moluccas islands would go to Portugal while the Philippines would go to Spain. The islands were incorporated in the Viceroyalty of New Spain.
The islands remained under Spanish rule for more than three centuries, and a great effort was made to convert the population to Christianity. In 1898 the Spanish-American War broke out, with Spain losing its last colonial possessions, and the United States taking control of the islands.
During World War II, the Philippines was occupied by the Japanese. Manila was devastated, with great loss of civilian life.
Following the war the Philippines separated peacefully from the United States. The two countries have remained friendly since then, with close economic and military cooperation.
Cities and provinces
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National Capital Region
The National Capital Region is abbreviated as NCR.
- Las Piñas
- Quezon City
Region IV-A (CALABARZON)
The name "CALABARZON" comes from the provinces it comprises: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.
- Molino I
- Molino II
- Molino III
- Molino IV
- Molino V
- Molino VI
- Molino VII
- Queens Row Central
- Queens Row East
- Cavite City
- General Trias
- Trece Martines City
The letter ñ is used in some of the cities in the Philippines. This is due to the Spanish era. The names Dasmariñas and Las Piñas are still used nowadays as they are the original spelling and official ñame.