General Info

The Philippines is named after King Philip II of Spain (1556 -1598) and it was a Spanish colony for over 300 years.

Today the Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands. There are about 100M people living the Philippines, making us the 12th most population dense country in the world.

Our national language is called Filipino, though we have more than 175 dialects. We are a tropical country, which means that our rainy season last from June to December and the warm season is from February to May. Our national anthem is Lupang Hinirang, which means "Chosen Land".

the first people in the Philippines were hunter-gatherers. Between 3,000 BC and 2,000 BC people learn to farm. They grew rice and domesticated animals. From the 10th AD century Filipinos traded with China and by the 12th Century AD Arab merchants reached the Philippines and they introduced Islam.

In 1521 a Portuguese explorer named Ferdinand Magellan sailed across the Pacific. He landed the Philippines and claimed them for Spain. Magellan reached an island called Homonhon and eventually befriended the natives. Magellan baptized a chief called Humabon and his wife and hope to make Humabon a puppet ruler on behalf of the Spanish crown. Magellan demanded that other chiefs submit to Humabon but one chief named Lapu Lapu refused. Magelland led a force to crush him. However the Spanish soldiers were scattered and Magelland was killed. The Spaniards did not gain a foothold in the Philippines untirl 1565 when Miguel Lopez de Legazpi led an expedition, which built a fort in Cebu which is now called Fort Sand Pedro.

Later, in 1571 the Spaniards landed in Luzon. Here they built the city of Intramuros (later called Manila), which became the capital of the Philippines. Spaniards owned vast estates worked by Filipinos. Along with conquistadors went friars who converted the Filipinos to Catholicism. The friars also built schools and universities.

The 19th Century

In 1872 there was a rebellion in Cavite but it was quickly crushed. However nationalist feeling continued to grow helped by a writer name Jose Rizal (1861-1896). He wrote two novels Noli Me tangere (Touch me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Filibusterer) which stoked the fires of nationalism.

Then in 1898 came war between the USA and Spain. On 30 April 1898 the Americans defeated the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay. A revolutionary leader, Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippines independent on 12 June. However as part of the peace treaty Spain ceded the Philippines to the USA. The Americans planned to take over.

War between American forces in Manila and the Filippinos began on 4 February 1899. The Filipino-American War lasted untirl 1902 when Aguinaldo was captured.

The 20th Century

In 1935 the Philippines were made a commonwealth and were semi-independent. Manuel L Quezon became president. The USA promised that the Philippines would become completely independent in 1945.

On 10 December 1941 Japanese troops invaded the Philippines. They captured Manila on 2 January 1941. By 6 may 1942 all of the Philippines were in Japanese hands. However American troops returned to the Philippines in October 1944. They recaptured Manila in February 1945. The Philippines became independent on 4 July 1946. Manuel Roxas was the first president of the newly independent nation.

The 21st Century

We are currently divided into three regions in the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Cebu City is the main city in the Visayas. It is also known as the oldest settlement established by the Spaniards in the country. Found in the island are rich traces of the Philippine history left by mostly the Spaniards.

Colon Street

This is the oldest and the shortest national road in the Philippines. This is a very popular and unique shopping spot for tourists. Through the years, Cebu became more and more industrialized, becoming synonymous with luxury and trendy lifestyles.Cebu is now the home for many BPOs and small to very large companies that contribute to the progression of the whole island especially Cebu City.The rise of big companies, the trend of technology and the innovation by the people make Cebu very progressive.