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The Philippines is an archipelagic nation in Southeast Asia consisting of 7,107 islands. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean, south of Taiwan, east of Vietnam and northeast of Malaysia. In 1542, Spanish conquistador Ruy Lopez de Villalobos named the islands after King Philip of Spain. Following WWII, the country was officially named the Republic of the Philippines.
See the fact file below for more information on the Philippines or alternatively, you can download our 27-page Philippines worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
The Philippines’ Geography and Culture
- The Philippines is the world’s second-largest archipelagic nation. Its 7,107 islands are divided into three main geographical areas: Luzon is the large island in the north on which Manila, the capital city, is located. The Visayas are a small group of islands in the middle. Mindanao is the large island in the south.
- The islands of the Philippines are surrounded by the West Philippine Sea, Celebes Sea, Sulu Sea and the Pacific Ocean.
- Given its geography, the Philippines is the fifth-largest coastline in the world at 22,540 miles. It is also the home of some of the most beautiful white sand beaches and marine diversity.
- It is located on the western edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire, making it a place of hundreds of volcanoes. Mt. Pinatubo, Mt. Mayon and Mt. Taal are three of the most active.
- Today, Filipino culture is characterized as a mixture of both East and West, with Western influence coming from Spain and the United States and eastern influence from its earliest trading partners like the Chinese, Javanese, Arab and Indian.
- There are 184 spoken dialects or regional languages in the Philippines, but all are bound to Filipino (Tagalog), and English as the official language.
- With its Malay and Austronesian heritage, Filipinos in general value camaraderie, hospitality, kinship and close family ties.
- Over 80% of the population is Christian while most of the Muslim population is concentrated in Mindanao.
- There are also several groups of indigenous people in the country who were not influenced during Spanish colonization. These groups are protected by law and are free to practice their own culture and traditions.
- Much of Filipino cuisine is a fusion of all the cultures brought by long centuries of colonization.
- According to archeological evidence, the history of the Philippines dates back around 50,000 years. Fossils of homo sapiens in Palawan proved that the islands were inhabited for a long time. As early as 5,000 B.C., Austronesian people began to settle the islands and established maritime trading with neighboring civilizations in Southeast Asia.
- During the 14th century, settlers of the islands did intensive trading with Indians, Japanese, Indonesians and Chinese, using a barter system.
- Early Filipinos had their own system of government. A small community composed of nearly 50 families was called a barangay, named after a wooden canoe that the aboriginals used. Each barangay was headed by a datu. Other important figures in their early society included a babaylan, or priestess, who practiced medicine and spirituality, and a panday, or swordsmith, who made weapons and protected the barangay.
- Early Filipinos had a system of writing called baybayin. Trial by ordeal and laws governed the people. Moreover, animism was a traditional practice in the northern region of the islands, while Islam became a prevalent religion in the south.
Colonial History: Spanish, American and Japanese Periods
- In 1521, a Spanish expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer, visited the island in search of spice, gold and glory. That time was at the height of European exploration. Magellan’s expedition proved that the Earth was not flat.
- Unfortunately, Magellan was killed by a datu in the southern islands. It was Sebastian Elcano who went back to Spain to speak of the discovery. Magellan’s voyage was followed by several unsuccessful expeditions. In 1542, Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos named the islands in the southern region Filipinas, after the King of Spain, Philip II.
- In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi formed settlements in the southern islands, now called the Visayas, which started Spanish colonization up to Luzon (northern region).
- For over 300 years, Las Islas Filipinas remained a Spanish colony. It was during this time that Filipino intellectuals who studied abroad, called illustrado, started to organise groups in Spain and publish their thoughts in newspapers condemning Spanish tyranny. Works of Dr. Jose Rizal (today a national hero of the Philippines) inspired revolutionaries to take arms against the Spanish government.
- After the execution of Rizal by firing squad in 1896, the Philippine Revolution broke out. On June 12, 1898, the Philippines declared its independence from Spain with General Emilio Aguinaldo as its first president.
- That same year, the islands ceded to the United States as part of the settlement of the Spanish-American War.
- The following year, the Philippine-American War broke out, which lasted for three years. In 1902, both sides agreed to an armistice. Americans employed military and civilian governments. They also began to introduce formal education and sanitation across the islands after bloody battles.
- After the gradual introduction of Filipino politicians, the Philippines established a self-governing commonwealth. In 1935, Manuel L. Quezon, a former soldier and statesman, was elected as president.
- In 1941, Quezon’s administration was interrupted by World War II. Japanese troops invaded the Philippines for four years. Local historians characterized the Japanese era by millions of deaths and women abuse. Driven out by war, Gen. Douglas MacArthur retook the Philippines in 1945.
- On July 4, 1946, the Republic of the Philippines was established. Succeeding administrations focused on war rehabilitation.
- In 1965, Ferdinand Marcos was elected as president and he extended his term and ruled the country under martial law until he was ousted during the 1986 People Power.
- In 1986, Corazon C. Aquino, a widow of Marcos’ political rival, Benigno Aquino, Jr. (who was assassinated), became the first female president of the Republic.
- Today, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte serves as the 16th president of the Republic of the Philippines.
- The government has three main branches including the executive, legislative and judiciary. The president, vice-president and members of the lower and upper house are all elected by the people. Local positions from barangay to provincial levels are also elected every three years.
- After the Constitutional Convention initiated by Cory Aquino, presidential terms are limited to six years.
- It was built in 1750 by Don Luis Rocha as a summer vacation house. It was purchased by the state in 1825 to serve as the Spanish Governor-General’s summer residence and became the official residence after the earthquake, which hit the main Governor’s Palace in 1863.
- During the American period, American Governors lived there.
- Since 1863, the palace was occupied by 18 Spanish Governor-Generals, 14 American Governors and all Philippine Presidents.
It’s More Fun in the Philippines
- In the Philippines, the Christmas season starts in September and ends with the Feast of the Three Kings early in January. All Filipinos gather with their family during Noche Buena on Christmas eve.
- Filipinos celebrate Christian, Muslim and Chinese holidays to respect each religion.
- There are two old universities in the Philippines namely the University of Santo Tomas, founded in 1611, and the University of San Carlos, established in 1595, making them older than Harvard University, which opened in 1636. According to statistics, universities in the Philippines are dominated by female students.
- It is the only country in the world whose flag is flown upside down when the country is at war.
- The Philippine national flag was sewn by Marcela Agoncillo and Delfina Herbosa de Natividad and was first displayed in 1898 during a battle.
- The white equilateral triangle represents liberty, equality and fraternity. The blue stripe symbolizes peace, truth and justice (the upward position when the country is at peace), while the red stripe represents patriotism and valor (the upward position when the country is at war). The golden sun represents unity, freedom and sovereignty. In addition, all rays of the sun stand for the provinces who had significant roles during the 1896 Philippine Revolution. Lastly, three five-pointed stars stand for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Philippines across 27 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Philippines worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Philippines which is an archipelagic nation in Southeast Asia consisting of 7,107 islands. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean, south of Taiwan, east of Vietnam and northeast of Malaysia. In 1542, Spanish conquistador Ruy Lopez de Villalobos named the islands after King Philip of Spain. Following WWII, the country was officially named the Republic of the Philippines.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Philippines Facts
- Southeast Asian Geography
- History of Las Islas Filipinas
- The Philippine Flag
- Colonial Philippines
- Filipino Cuisine
- In the Philippines
- Philippines Wildlife
- Wonders of the Philippines
- World Class Filipinos
- It’s More Fun in Ph
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Link will appear as Philippines Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 15, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.