Republic of the Philippines
The Philippine flag is the symbol of freedom, sovereignty and unity among the Filipino people.
The flag's design speaks of the Filipinos' spirit and their deep longing for the country.
• A white triangle on the flag stands for equality
• the upper stripe of dark blue for
peace, truth and justice
• the lower stripe of red for patriotism and courage
• the sunburst of eight rays representing the first eight provinces that took up arms against Spain
• and the three stars symbolizing
Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
Simeon C. Aquino III
91,077,287 (July 2007 est.)
The Philippine Islands are an archipelago of 7,107 islands lying about 500 mi (805 km) off the southeast coast of Asia. Only about 7% of the islands are larger than one square mile, and only one-third have names. The largest are Luzon in the north (40,420 sq mi; 104,687 sq km), Mindanao in the south (36,537 sq mi; 94,631 sq km), and Samar (5,124 sq mi; 13,271 sq km). The islands are of volcanic origin, with the larger ones crossed by mountain ranges. The highest peak is Mount Apo (9,690 ft; 2,954 m) on Mindanao.
HISTORY OF THE PHILIPPINES
25000 B.C.: The Philippines' aboriginal inhabitants arrived from the Asian mainland around 25,000 B.C. They were followed by waves of Indonesian and Malayan settlers from 3000 B.C. onward. By the 14th century A.D., extensive trade was being conducted with India, Indonesia, China, and Japan.
1521: Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese navigator in the service of Spain, explored the Philippines in 1521.
1521: On the morning of April 27, 1521, Kaliph Pulaka (better known as Lapu-Lapu) and the men of Mactan, armed with spears and kampilan, faced Spanish soldiers led by Portuguese captain Ferdinand Magellan. In what would later be known as the Battle of Mactan, Magellan and several of his men were killed. Lapu-Lapu was known as the first native of the archipelago to have resisted Spanish colonization. He is now regarded as the first National hero of the Philippines.
1542: A Spanish exploration party named the group of islands in honor of Prince Philip, who was later to become King Philip II of Spain. Spain retained possession of the islands for the next 350 years.
1896: The Philippine Revolution begins, signaling the end of the 350 years of Spanish rule.
1898: Following the Declaration of the Spanish-American War, Commodore George Dewey sailed into Manila Bay in May 1898. Filipinos declare national independence on June 12 and drew up a Constitution.
1901: U.S. Government, with William Howard Taft as governor, is established in the Philippines.
1941: Japan invades the Philippines. Washington allows the enlistment of Asian immigrants into the armed forces, leading to the formation of the all-volunteer First Filipino Infantry Battalion to help fight the Japanese.
1942: Filipino and American soldiers of the US Armed Forces in the Far East suffer heavy casualties in the "Bataan Death March" after the Japanese Victory in the Philippines.
1946: The US having defeated the Japanese grants independence to the Philippines on July 4.
1972: Ferdinand Marcos imposes a dictatorship that would compromise US foreign policy for the next 14 years.
1986: A massive four-day protest known as the Peoples Power Revolution overthrows Marcos, installs President Corazon Aquino and heralds the return of democratic processes and institutions.