Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Philippines 101: A Basic Primer

Some quick facts to get you started:

1) The capital is Manila.

2) The country comprises 7,107 islands called the Philippine Archipelago, with a total land area of approximately 116,000 square miles.

3) The Philippines is divided into three geographical areas: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

4) The country gets its name from Spain which colonized it from 1565 until the Philippine Revolution of 1896.

5) The United States gained possession of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War in 1898 and the Philippine-American War in 1899. The U.S. ruled the country for about five decades.

6) Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion, and Filipino and English are the official languages.

7) The president is elected by popular vote to a 6-year term. The current president is Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

8) The Philippines is a founding and active member of the United Nations since its inception on October 24, 1945.

9) The Philippines, along with the nation of Malta, is one of only two nations in the world where all civil marriages are for life, because civil divorce (for violations coming after the marriage) is banned.

10) The Philippines is a developing country with an agricultural base, light industry, and service-sector economy. Its economic prosperity depends on large part on how well its two biggest trading partners' economies perform: the U.S. and Japan.

11) The Philippines is a significant source of migrant workers; as of 2004, the Philippine government has estimated that there are over 8 million Overseas Filipinos while independent estimates by various Philippine civic organizations estimate the number at 11 million. Overseas Filipinos sent home a record $10.7 billion in 2005.

12) Income inequality remains persistent; about 30 million people, or over one third of the population, lived on less than $2 per day in 2005.

More information on the Philippines

No comments:

Post a Comment