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The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. In the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of 7,641 islands, with a total area of 300,000 square kilometers, which are broadly categorized in three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The Philippines is bounded by the South China Sea to the west, the Philippine Sea to the east, and the Celebes Sea to the south. It shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Palau to the east and southeast, Indonesia to the south, Malaysia to the southwest, Vietnam to the west, and China to the northwest. It is the world's twelfth-most-populous country, with diverse ethnicities and cultures. Manila is the country's capital, and its most populated city is Quezon City. Both are within Metro Manila.

Negritos, the archipelago's earliest inhabitants, were followed by waves of Austronesian peoples. The adoption of Animism, Hinduism with Buddhist influence, and Islam established island-kingdoms ruled by datus, rajas, and sultans. Extensive overseas trade with neighbors such as the late Tang or Song empire brought Chinese people to the archipelago as well, which would also gradually settle in and intermix over the centuries. The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer leading a fleet for Castile, marked the beginning of Spanish colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of King Philip II of Castile. Spanish colonization via New Spain, beginning in 1565, led to the Philippines becoming ruled by the Crown of Castile, as part of the Spanish Empire, for more than 300 years. Catholic Christianity became the dominant religion, and Manila became the western hub of trans-Pacific trade. Hispanic immigrants from Latin America and Iberia would also selectively colonize. The Philippine Revolution began in 1896, and became entwined with the 1898 Spanish–American War. Spain ceded the territory to the United States, and Filipino revolutionaries declared the First Philippine Republic. The ensuing Philippine–American War ended with the United States controlling the territory until the Japanese invasion of the islands during World War II. After the United States retook the Philippines from the Japanese, the Philippines became independent in 1946. The country has had a tumultuous experience with democracy, which included the overthrow of a decades-long dictatorship in a nonviolent revolution.

The Philippines is an emerging market and a newly industrialized country, whose economy is transitioning from being agricultural to service- and manufacturing-centered. It is a founding member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and the East Asia Summit; it is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and a major non-NATO ally of the United States. Its location as an island country on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes it prone to earthquakes and typhoons. The Philippines has a variety of natural resources and a globally-significant level of biodiversity. (Full article...)

Philippines

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT) in the Philippines face legal challenges not faced by non-LGBT people, with numerous anti-discrimination legislations, bills and laws that are struggling to be passed on a national level to protect LGBT rights nationwide, with some parts of the country only existing on a local government level. LGBT individuals in the Philippines are often faced with disadvantages and difficulties in acquiring equal rights within the country. They also have a higher rate of suicide and suicide ideation compared to their heterosexual counterparts.

Many bills for LGBT rights have been proposed since, including an anti-discrimination bill, which has been debated since 2000. Despite failing to pass in the national government, many anti-discrimination ordinances exist at a local government level in eight provinces and various cities in the Philippines, including the capital Manila, and major cities such as Iloilo City, Cebu City, and Davao City. (Full article...)
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Official portrait, 2022

Victor Ma. Regis "Vico" Nubla Sotto (Tagalog pronunciation: [ˈbiko ˈsɔtɔ]; born June 17, 1989) is a Filipino politician serving as the incumbent mayor of Pasig. A member of the Sotto family, he first entered politics when he ran for a seat on the Pasig City Council in 2016. He won the election as an independent and served a term in the city council. He joined the Aksyon Demokratiko party and was elected mayor of Pasig in 2019 with a platform focused on public consultation, data-driven governance, and universal health care in the city, which prioritizes housing programs, easier access to education, and cracking down on corruption. Sotto was re-elected in 2022; shortly afterwards, he resigned from Aksyon Demokratiko.

In 2021, the United States Department of State recognized Sotto as one of 12 recipients of the International Anticorruption Champions Award for his efforts toward anti-corruption. (Full article...)

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In the news

30 April 2024 – China–Philippines relations
China's coast guard expels a Philippine Coast Guard ship and another vessel from the waters near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. (Reuters)
29 April 2024 – ISIL insurgency in the Philippines
Five Dawla Islamiya militants are killed and three soldiers are wounded during two shootouts in Munai, Lanao del Norte, Philippines. The military were hunting the group's leader, Nasser Daud, who however escaped from the scene. (MindaNews)
28 April 2024 –
The Philippines announces that it will close all schools on Monday and Tuesday, due to an extreme heat wave currently affecting the country. (The Straits Times)
26 April 2024 – Moro conflict
The Philippine Army announces that it has killed Nawapi Abdulsaid, an Abu Sayyaf militant, during a shootout two days ago in Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Basilan, Philippines. Abdulsaid was involved in fifteen beheadings as well as in attacks against security forces. (AP)
22 April 2024 – Moro conflict
Twelve Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters militants are killed and seven soldiers are wounded during a shootout in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur, Philippines. (AP)

More did you know - show different entries

  • ...that the Philippines average cellphone user sent 2,300 text messages in 2003, making it the world's most avid texting nation?
  • ...that the closing mass for the World Youth Day 1995, held at the Luneta Park, was estimated to be attended by 5 million people and was considered to be the largest papal gathering in the Roman Catholic history but it would be the last time for Pope John Paul II to visit the Philippines?
  • ...that Darna garnered 50.3% overnight ratings from AGB during its second episode and it became the highest rated show ever in Philippine television?

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