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"The Philippines" Philippines by StefanosS

Philippines Travel Guide: 27,621 reviews and 94,473 photos

A characteristic picture from Philippine countryside. A hut in the wood and an overloaded jeepney on the road. Jeepneys are old US military trucks modified into the most popular passenger transportation means, always colorful and well decorated. The photo was taken on Mindoro island, on the road between Puerto Galera and Tamaraw Falls.

The Philippines are made of 7,107 islands.

Capital : Metro Manila, on Luzon island that is the biggest island of the country.
Language : Tagalog & English


Philippines was named after Spain's King Phillip II. According to the European history, Ferdinand Magellan discovered the country in 1521. However Magellan was killed and the Spaniards were defeated by Lapu-Lapu, one of the chieftains who were protecting the right of their local religion. In 1565, the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and 500 armed soldiers came to Cebu and established the first Spanish settlement on the islands. Later, in 1571, they conquered the settlement Maynilad (Manila, the capital city of today) and burned it to ashes; the missionaries introduced Christianity and attempted to unify the many peoples and islands under a central government.

The prosperity of the Philippines depended on the exchange of New Spain's (now Mexico) silver for silk from China. Chinese entrepreneurs and Spanish officials were lured to Manila for the prospect of wealth. Intermarriages between Spaniards, and Chinese immigrants produced mestizos and helped produce a distinctive new culture.

In the 1700s, the empire of Spain crumbled. Open trade was available and led to the emergence of a local wealthy class.

For its education, the wealthy class went to Europe where liberal philosophies taught them the idea of national identity. In the 1860s, there was discontentment with the Spanish rule. The intellectual poet Jose Rizal (born 19 June 1861, Calamba, Philippines - died 30 December 1896, Manila, Philippines) started a peaceful reform under colonial rule but was arrested and executed by the Spaniards.

His death started a revolution under Andres Bonifacio. In 1898, United States won the war against Spain, and as a result of the Treaty of Paris, the Philippine islands were sold to the United States. Emilio Aguinaldo was the first president of the Republic of the Philippines, under the new colonial masters.

The Japanese occupied the Philippines at the outbreak of World War II. During a hard battle of 1945 with thousands of victims the U.S. forces re-occupied the country. Independence was finally granted on July 4, 1946 and a new era begun for Philippines.


MONDAY, APRIL 21, 900 A.D.

One day in 1989, a man was dredging sand at the mouth of the Lumbang River near Laguna de Bay. He was in the business of selling sand to make concrete. From time to time he augmented his income whenever he happened to dig up an antique which he would sell to collectors.

On this day he uncovered a blackened roll of metal. Usually he would just throw away such junk as it tended to get jammed in his equipment. However, when the man unfurled the roll he saw that it was a sheet of copper, about the size of a magazine, and it had strange writing on it.

He offered the copper sheet to a few collectors but none were interested because it did not seem to be valuable. It was not gold, porcelain or ivory. Finally the man offered the document to the Philippine National Museum and they bought it for the low price of 2000 pesos (about 40 USD). There the strange document remained, now called the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, because nobody could decipher it.

For more details and the deciphering of the copperplate please visit:

  • Last visit to Philippines: Jan 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (17)

Comments (6)

  • Jul 12, 2008 at 2:00 PM

    A great web site about Philippines! and you begin with an excellent picture!

  • Mar 18, 2008 at 12:01 AM

    Security guard at the gantry point demanded to inspect my wallet . He opened the folder and asked if he can have some of my money!!And I flatly told him no-another of my friend had the same treatment, was asked if he could keep some cash as souvenier.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2007 at 11:19 AM

    Hallo, friend! Thanks for your new additions!

  • GenuinelyCurious's Profile Photo
    Oct 18, 2007 at 10:37 AM

    Your "Other Face" series is a very nice capture of a slice of life most tourists don't see.

  • Kay_Lina's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2006 at 7:27 PM

    This is the information that I need. Thanks so much!

  • moonlighting's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2005 at 9:45 PM

    Nice picture of the tricycle. Mabuhay! Greetings from the Philippines. Happy travels forever!

StefanosS Used To Live Here!


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