The Life and Works of
Dr. Jose P. Rizal
The Philippines is a group of 7,107 islands in the Pacific Ocean south of Vietnam and Japan, and east of Indonesia. There are 3 main groups of islands namely Luzon (the largest single island), the Visayas (a group of middle sized islands to the south of Luzon), and Mindanao (the second largest single island) to the most southern part.
The Philippines has a democratic form of government with 3 distinct bodies namely the Executive (President and Vice-President), the Legislative (Senate and House of Representatives), and the Judiciary (Supreme Court and the lower courts), forming a check and balance system.
Except for the Judiciary, which is nominated, the others are elected by direct popular vote of the people.
With an estimated population of about 92 million people, the Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country. An additional 11 million Filipinos live overseas.
Before 1521 the Philippines was made up of different distinct kingdoms ruled by local chieftains.
Between 1521 and 1913 the Philippines was colonized and ruled by Spain.
There was a brief period between 1762 and 1764 when the Philippines was under British rule.
In 1913 to 1941 the Philippines was under American rule which was interrupted by the second world war from December 8, 1941 to September 2, 1945 when the Japanese defeated the American forces in the Philippines and as a result occupied the nation.
The Philippines finally gained total independence on July 4, 1946 and is now called the Republic of the Philippines.
Statistics from the United State Department of State
Area: 300,000 sq. km. (117,187 sq. mi.).
Major cities (2007 estimate):
Capital--Manila (pop. 11.55 million in metropolitan area);
Davao City (1.36 million);
Cebu City (0.80 million).
Terrain: Islands, 65% mountainous, with narrow coastal lowlands.
Climate: Tropical, astride typhoon belt.
Population (2009 estimate): 92.2 million.
Ethnic groups: Malay, Chinese.
Religions (based on 2000 census):
Roman Catholic 80.9%
Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%
Other Christian 4.5%
Filipino (based on Tagalog)
Official national language; English, language of government and instruction in education.
Work force (2009): 35.06 million.
Services (including commerce and government - 51%;
Natural resources: Copper, nickel, iron, cobalt, silver, gold.
Agriculture: Products -rice, coconut products, sugar, corn, pork, bananas, pineapple products, aquaculture, mangoes, eggs.
Industry: Types - textiles and garments, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, paper and paper products, tobacco products, beverage manufacturing, food processing, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, electronics and semiconductor assembly, mineral products, hydrocarbon products, fishing, business process outsourcing services.
A brief summary of the History of the Philippines as derived from Wikipedia.
A full context is available in Wikipedia
The History of the Philippines is believed to have begun with the arrival of the first humans via land bridges at least 30,000 years ago.
Human fossil records indicate that the Philippines may have been inhabited as early as 50,000 years ago.
The oldest human fossil found in the Philippines thus far is the 22,000-year-old skull cap of a "Stone-Age" Human discovered by Dr. Robert B. Fox, an American anthropologist of the National Museum, inside Tabon Cave, Palawan, on May 28, 1962 and dubbed the "Tabon Man". The Tabon caves of Palawan indicate settlement for at least 30,500 years; these hunter-gatherers used stone flake tools. After these early settlers, the Negrito arrived, whose ancestors include the Ati and the Aeta.
In 2010, however, a metatarsal of Callao Man (possibly Negrito in physical type) discovered in 2007 was reported to have been reliably dated by uranium-series dating to 67,000 years ago.
Negritos were among the archipelago's earliest inhabitants but their appearance in the Philippines has not been reliably dated. They were followed by speakers of Malayo-Polynesian languages who began arriving around 4000 BCE, displacing the earlier arrivals. By 1000 BCE, the inhabitants of the archipelago had developed into four kinds of social groups: hunter-gathering tribes, warrior societies, petty plutocracies, and maritime-centered harbor principalities.
Trade between the maritime-oriented peoples and other Asian countries during the subsequent period brought influences from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. During this time there was no unifying political state encompassing the entire Philippine Archipelago. Instead, the islands were divided among competing thalassocracies ruled by various datus, rajahs, or sultans. Among them were the kingdoms of Maynila, Namayan, and Tondo, the rajahnates of Butuan and Cebu, and the sultanates of Maguindanao and Sulu. Some of these societies were part of the Malayan empires of Srivijaya, Majapahit, and Brunei. Islam was brought to the Philippines by traders and proselytizers from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Arabia.
By the 13th century, Islam was established in the Sulu Archipelago and spread from there to Mindanao; it had reached the Manila area by 1565. Although Islam spread to Luzon, Animism, syncretized with Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism, was still the religion of the majority of the Philippine islands. Muslim immigrants introduced a political concept of territorial states ruled by Rajahs or Sultans who exercised suzerainty over the datu. Neither the political state concept of the Muslim rulers nor the limited territorial concept of the sedentary rice farmers of Luzon, however, spread beyond the areas where they originated.
When the Spaniards arrived in the 16th century, the majority of the estimated 500,000 people in the islands lived in barangay(villages) settlements.
Spanish rule from 1521 to 1913 Treaty of Paris
The first recorded visit from the West is the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan on Homonhon Island, southeast of Samar on March 16, 1521. Prior to Magellan's arrival, there was already established the Sultanate of Sulu in which the administrative center is the present day town of Jolo, the capital of Sulu. The Sultanate was recognized as a sovereign state by China which conducted trade with the sultanate and the Sultanate of Brunei whose rulers were actually cousins of the Sultan of Sulu.
In 1543, Ruy López de Villalobos led an expedition to the islands and gave the name Las Islas Filipinas (after Philip II of Spain) to the islands of Samar and Leyte. The name would later be given to the entire archipelago.
Spanish colonization began with the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi's expedition in 1565 and permanent settlement on the island of Cebu, and more settlements continued northward reaching the bay of Manila on the island of Luzon in 1571. In Manila, they established a new town and thus began an era of Spanish colonization that lasted for more than three centuries.
Spanish rule brought political unification to an archipelago of previously independent islands and communities that later became the Philippines, and introduced elements of western civilization such as the code of law, printing and the calendar. Spanish missionaries converted most of the population to Christianity and founded schools, universities and hospitals across the islands. The University of Santo Tomas located in Manila is the oldest university in Asia.
Church and state were inseparably linked in Spanish policy, with the state assuming responsibility for religious establishments. One of Spain's objectives in colonizing the Philippines was the conversion of the local population to Roman Catholicism. The work of conversion was facilitated by the absence of other organized religions, except for Islam, which predominated in the southwest. The pageantry of the church had a wide appeal, reinforced by the incorporation of Filipino social customs into religious observances. The eventual outcome was a new Roman Catholic majority of the main Austronesian lowland population, from which the Muslims of western Mindanao and the upland tribal peoples of Luzon remained detached and alienated (such as the Ifugaos of the Cordillera region and the Mangyans of Mindoro).
The Philippines was not profitable as a colony, and a long war with the Dutch in the 17th century and intermittent conflict with the Muslims nearly bankrupted the colonial treasury. Colonial income derived mainly from entrepôt trade: The Manila Galleons sailing from the Fort of Manila to the Fort of Acapulco on the west coast of Mexico brought shipments of silver bullion, and minted coin that were exchanged for return cargoes of Asian and Pacific products. There was no direct trade with Spain.
British rule (1762-1764)
In August 1759, Charles III ascended the Spanish throne. At the time, Britain and France were at war, in what was later called the Seven Years War. France successfully negotiated a treaty with Spain known as the Family Compact which was signed on 15 August 1761. By an ancillary secret convention, Spain was committed to making preparations for war against Britain.
War was declared between Spain and Britain on 4 January 1762. On 6 January 1762 the British Cabinet led by the First Lord of the Treasury, Lord Pelham, Duke of Newcastle, approved Colonel William Draper's "Scheme for taking Manila with some Troops, which are already in the East Indies". Draper was commanding officer of the 79th Regiment of Foot, which was currently stationed in Madras, India. On 21 January 1762 King George III signed the instructions to Draper to implement his Scheme, emphasizing that by taking advantage of the 'existing war with Spain' Britain might be able to assure her post-war mercantile expansion. There was also the expectation that the commerce of Spain would suffer a 'crippling blow'. On arrival in India, Draper's brevet rank became brigadier general.
On 24 September 1762, the small but technically proficient force of British Army regulars and British East India Company soldiers, supported by the ships and men of the East Indies Squadron of the British Royal Navy, sailed into Manila Bay from Madras.
The expedition, led by Brigadier General William Draper and Rear-Admiral Samuel Cornish, captured Manila, "the greatest Spanish fortress in the western Pacific", and attempted to establish free trade with China.
The Spanish defeat was not really surprising. The Royal Governor of the Philippines, Don Pedro Manuel de Arandia had died in 1759 and his replacement Brigadier Don Francisco de la Torre had not arrived because of the British attack on Havana, Cuba. Spanish policy was for the Archbishop of Manila to be Lieutenant Governor. Because the garrison was commanded by the Archbishop Don Manuel Antonio Rojo del Rio et Vieria, instead of by a military expert, many mistakes were made by the Spanish forces, some of whom were only armed with bows and arrows.
Under Spanish rule, the Philippines never paid its own way, but survived on an annual subsidy paid by the Spanish Crown. As a cost saving measure, and because the Spanish authorities never really contemplated a serious expedition against Manila by a European power, the 200 year old fortifications at Manila had not been improved much since first built by the Spanish.
Early success by the British in Manila did not enable them to expand their control over all parts of the Spanish Philippines. They were severely undermanned and under armed, and in reality could only control Manila and Cavite. But Manila was the capital, and key, to the Spanish Philippines, and the British accepted the written surrender of the Spanish government in the Philippines from Archbishop Rojo and the Real Audiencia on 30 October 1762.
The Seven Years War was ended by the Peace of Paris signed on 10 February 1763. At the time of signing the treaty, the signatories were not aware that the Philippines had been taken by the British and was being administered as a British colony. Consequently no specific provision was made for the Philippines. Instead they fell under the general provision that all other lands not otherwise provided for be returned to the Spanish Crown.
Spanish rule in the 19th Century
In 1781, Governor-General José Basco y Vargas established the Economic Society of the Friends of the Country. The Philippines was administered from the Viceroyalty of New Spain until the grant of independence to Mexico in 1821 necessitated the direct rule from Spain of the Philippines from that year. Developments in and out of the country helped to bring new ideas to the Philippines including the ideals of the French and American Revolutions. In 1863, Queen Isabella of Spain decreed the establishment of a public school system in Spanish, leading to increasing numbers of educated Filipinos. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 cut travel time to Spain. Both of these events prompted the rise of the ilustrados, an enlightened class of Creoles and Indios, since many young Filipinos were able to study in Europe.
Enlightened by the Propaganda Movement to the injustices of the Spanish colonial government and the "frailocracy", the ilustrados originally clamored for adequate representation to the Spanish Cortes (legislative body) and later for independence. José Rizal, the most celebrated intellectual and radical illustrado of the era, wrote the novels "Noli Me Tangere" or "The Social Cancer" and "El Filibusterismo" or "Reign of Greed", which greatly inspired the movement for independence. The Katipunan, a secret society whose primary purpose was that of overthrowing Spanish rule in the Philippines, was founded by Andrés Bonifacio who became its Supremo (leader).
The Philippine Revolution against Spain began in April 1896, culminating two years later with a proclamation of independence and the establishment of the First Philippine Republic.
Rizal was implicated in the outbreak of the revolution and executed for treason on December 31, 1896. During the war between Spain and the Filipinos, the American fleet defeated the Spanish armada in the battle of Manila Bay and for a brief period the Americans and the Filipinos joined forces against the Spanish in the Philippines.
The Katipunan in Cavite split into two groups, Magdiwang, led by Mariano Álvarez (a relative of Bonifacio's by marriage), and Magdalo, led by Emilio Aguinaldo. Leadership conflicts between Bonifacio and Aguinaldo culminated in the execution or assassination ofBonifacio by the Aguinaldo's soldiers. Aguinaldo agreed to a truce with the Pact of Biak-na-Bato and Aguinaldo and his fellow revolutionaries were exiled to Hong Kong. Not all the revolutionary generals complied with the agreement. One, General Francisco Makabulos, established a Central Executive Committee to serve as the interim government until a more suitable one was created. Armed conflicts resumed, this time coming from almost every province in Spanish-governed Philippines.
The Treaty of Paris, at the end of the Spanish-American War, transferred control of the Philippines to the United States. This agreement was not recognized by the Philippine Government which, on June 2, 1899, proclaimed a Declaration of War against the United States. The Philippine-American War which ensued resulted in massive casualties. Filipino leader Emilio Aguinaldo was captured in 1901 and the U.S. government declared the conflict officially over in 1902. The Filipino leaders, for the most part, accepted that the Americans had won, but hostilities continued until 1913. U.S. colonial rule of the Philippines started in 1905 with very limited local rule. Partial autonomy (commonwealth status) was granted in 1935, preparatory to a planned full independence from the United States in 1946. Preparation for a fully sovereign state was interrupted by the Japanese occupation of the islands during World War II.