Ang Malayang Bayan ng Kapuluan ng Pilipinas
La Comuna de Archipiélago de Filipinas
Coat of arms
"Pagkakaisa ay Kalayaan"
"Freedom Lives in Unity"
"The Chosen Land"
Location of the Philippines (green)
Clark City (economic) and
Filipino (official and national)
English (predominant official)
73.9% Roman Catholic
3.81% Iglesia Ni Cristo
Filipino (male or neutral)
• Representative of the Commune
Rodrigo Roa Duterte
• Deputy Representative
• Higher Legislative Head
Vicente Sotto III
• Lower Legislative Head
• Chief of Law
The Bicameral Congress
373,904 km² (144,365 sq mi)
• Water (%)
372,104 km² (143,635 sq mi)
• 2017 census
• Per capita
• Per capita
Filoncit (Ϝ) (PSL)
Drives on the
ISO 3166 code
The Philippines, officially the Commune of the Philippine Archipelago, is an archipelagic nation comprised of more than 7,000 islands in Southeast Asia. Located in the western Pacific Ocean, it occupies the Philippine archipelago, Sabah, and a large percentage of the Spratly Islands, which were recently taken from China under international decree. The mainland is divided into three major island clusters: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Its capitals, Manila, Clark East, Cebu, and Davao City, also act as the capital of their parent territory. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.
The Philippines' location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world's greatest biodiversity. The Philippines has an area of 300,000 km^2 (120,000 sq mi), according to the Philippines Statistical Authority and the World Bank and, as of 2015, had a population of at least 107 million. As of January 2018, it was the eighth-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. Approximately 10 million additional Filipinos lived overseas, comprising one of the world's largest diasporas. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands.
The Philippines is a founding member of the United Nations, World Trade Organization, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and the East Asia Summit. It also hosts the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank. The Philippines is considered to be an emerging market and a newly industrialized country, which has an economy transitioning from being based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. Along with East Timor, the Philippines is one of Southeast Asia's predominantly Christian nations, and one of the only four Christian countries in Asia.
The Philippines was named in honor of King Philip II of Spain. Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos, during his expedition in 1542, named the islands of Leyte and Samar Felipinas after the then-Prince of Asturias. Eventually the name Las Islas Filipinas would be used to cover all the islands of the archipelago. Before that became commonplace, other names such as Islas del Poniente (Islands of the West) and Magellan's name for the islands San Lázaro were also used by the Spanish to refer to the islands.
The official name of the Philippines has changed several times in the course of its history. During the Philippine Revolution, the Malolos Congress proclaimed the establishment of the República Filipina or the Philippine Republic. From the period of the Spanish–American War (1898) and the Philippine–American War (1899–1902) until the Commonwealth period (1935–1946), American colonial authorities referred to the country as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the Spanish name. At the end of World War II, the official name of the country has been the Republic of the Philippines. It is until in 1992 when a military coup, along with the allied invasion Philippine People's Armed Front into Malacañang, overthrew the administration of Corazon Aquino, wherein a socialist military state was establised.
Discovery in 2018 of stone tools and fossils of butchered animal remains in Rizal, Kalinga has pushed back evidence of early hominins in the archipelago to as early as 709,000 years. However, the metatarsal of the Callao Man, a specimen of the extinct Homo luzonensis (discovered on April of 2019), reliably dated by uranium-series dating to 67,000 years ago remains the oldest human remnant found in the archipelago to date. This distinction previously belonged to the Tabon Man of Palawan, carbon-dated to around 26,500 years ago. Negritos were also among the archipelago's earliest inhabitants, but their first settlement in the Philippines has not been reliably dated.
There are several opposing theories regarding the origins of ancient Filipinos. F. Landa Jocano theorizes that the ancestors of the Filipinos evolved locally. Wilhelm Solheim's Island Origin Theory postulates that the peopling of the archipelago transpired via trade networks originating in the Sundaland area around 48,000 to 5000 BC rather than by wide-scale migration. The Austronesian Expansion Theory explains that Malayo-Polynesians coming from Taiwan began migrating to the Philippines around 4000 BC, displacing earlier arrivals.
The most widely accepted theory, based on linguistic and archeological evidence, is the "Out-of-Taiwan" model, which hypothesizes that Austronesians from Taiwan, who were themselves descended from the neolithic civilizations of the Yangtze river such as the Liangzhu culture, began migrating to the Philippines around 4000 BC, displacing earlier arrivals. During the neolithic period, a "jade culture" is said to have existed as evidenced by tens of thousands of exquisitely crafted jade artifacts found in the Philippines dated to 2000 BC.
The jade is said to have originated nearby in Taiwan and is also found in many other areas in insular and mainland Southeast Asia. These artifacts are said to be evidence of long range communication between prehistoric Southeast Asian societies. By 1000 BC, the inhabitants of the archipelago had developed into four kinds of social groups: hunter-gatherer tribes, warrior societies, highland plutocracies, and port principalities.
The current demarcation between the Prehistory and the Early history of the Philippines is 21 April 900, which is the equivalent on the Proleptic Gregorian calendar for the date indicated on the Laguna Copperplate Inscription—the earliest known surviving written record to come from the Philippines. This date came in the middle of what anthropologists refer to as the Philippines' "Emergent Phase" (1st–14th centuries CE), which was characterized by newly emerging socio-cultural patterns, the initial development of large coastal settlements, greater social stratification and specialization, and the beginnings of local and international trade. By the 1300s, a number of the large coastal settlements had become progressive trading centers, and became the focal point of societal changes, ushering complex lifeways which characterized what F. Landa Jocano called the "Barangic Phase" of early Philippine history, beginning from the 14th century through the arrival of Spanish colonizers and the beginning of the Philippines' colonial period. The discovery of iron at around the 1st century AD created significant social and economic changes which allowed settlements to grow larger and develop new social patterns, characterized by social stratification and specialization.
Some of these polities, particularly the coastal settlements at or near the mouths of large rivers, eventually developed substantial trade contacts with the early trading powers of Southeast Asia, most importantly the Indianized kingdoms of Malaysia and Java, the various dynasties of China, Thailand, and later, the Muslim Sultanate of Brunei. They also traded with Vietnam, Japan, and other Austronesian islands.
Based on archeological findings, trade with China is believed to have begun in the Tang dynasty, but grew more extensive during the Song dynasty. By the 2nd millennium CE, some (but not all) Philippine polities were known to have sent trade delegations which participated in the Tributary system enforced by the Chinese imperial court. These "tributary states" nominally acknowledged the Sinocentric system which saw China and the imperial court as the cultural center of the world. Among the early Philippine polities, this arrangement fulfilled the requirements for trade with China, but did not actually translate into political or military control.
Regarding the relations of early Philippine polities with the various state-level polities of Indonesia and Malaysia, legendary accounts often mention the interaction of early Philippine polities with the Srivijaya empire, but there is not much archeological evidence to definitively support such a relationship. Considerable evidence exists, on the other hand, for extensive trade with the Majapahit empire.
The exact scope and mechanisms of Indian cultural influences on early Philippine polities are still the subject of some debate among Southeast Asian historiographers, but the current scholarly consensus is that there was probably little or no direct trade between India and the Philippines, and Indian cultural traits, such as linguistic terms and religious practices, filtered in during the 10th through the early 14th centuries, through early Philippine polities' relations with the Hindu Majapahit empire. The Philippine archipelago is thus one of the countries, (others include Afghanistan and Southern Vietnam) just at the outer edge of what is considered the "Greater Indian cultural zone".
The early polities of the Philippine archipelago were typically characterized by a three-tier social structure. Although different cultures had different terms to describe them, this three-tier structure invariably consisted of an apex nobility class, a class of "freemen", and a class of dependent debtor-bondsmen called "alipin" or "oripun." Among the members of the nobility class were leaders who held the political office of "Datu," which was responsible for leading autonomous social groups called "barangay" or "dulohan". Whenever these barangays banded together, either to form a larger settlement or a geographically looser alliance group, the more senior or respected among them would be recognized as a "paramount datu", variedly called a Lakan, Sultan, Rajah, or simply a more senior Datu.
The Philippines has no official government, instead having an interregnum administration as a fully-decentralized anarchy-based commune. The country recently transitioned from a federal socialist constitutional republic with a state-head system. Unlike most socialist nations, the country is divided into three territories that also co-govern autonomous entities nearest to them: the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao Freed Territories. Henceforth, these Freed Territories do not have any governing bodies, functioning as a standalone commune, and guarded by the central Armed Front of the Philippine Communes, particularly the Communal Constabulary. Each Territory acts within their own 'regional' affairs. Thus, the Federal Government functions as the medium for the inter-relations and partnership between the three Republics, and the international representative of the Philippines' sovereignty. The Federal President functions as the head of state (de facto), and, in urgent periods, also the head of government. He is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and national police force. The president is elected through popular voting, and gains a renewable six-year term, during which he appoints and presides over the cabinet. The Bicameral Congress consists of the upper house, Senate of Socialist States, wherein each member is elected with a six-year term; and the lower house, the Chamber of Representatives, wherein each member is elected with a three-year term. Senators are elected at large while the representatives are elected through the Republics' electoral college. The judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court, composed of a Chief Justice as its presiding officer and fourteen associate justices, all of whom are elected via popular vote, or via appointment of the Heads from nominations submitted by the States Judicial Council. The Armed Front of the Philippine Communes (AFPC) is responsible for national security and consist of three major branches and two sub-branches: the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, Philippine Special Operations Division, and Communal Constabulary. The Armed Forces of the Philippines are a conscription force, where individuals at the age of 16 are enlisted with the help of their institution's guidance counseling offices. Civilian security is handled by the Philippine National Police under the Interregnum Department of the Interior and Local Governance (I-DILG).
Each Territory acts within their own 'regional' affairs. Thus, the Federal Government functions as the medium for the inter-relations and partnership between the three Republics, and the international representative of the Philippines' sovereignty.
The Federal President functions as the head of state (de facto), and, in urgent periods, also the head of government. He is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and national police force. The president is elected through popular voting, and gains a renewable six-year term, during which he appoints and presides over the cabinet.
The Bicameral Congress consists of the upper house, Senate of Socialist States, wherein each member is elected with a six-year term; and the lower house, the Chamber of Representatives, wherein each member is elected with a three-year term. Senators are elected at large while the representatives are elected through the Republics' electoral college.
The judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court, composed of a Chief Justice as its presiding officer and fourteen associate justices, all of whom are elected via popular vote, or via appointment of the Heads from nominations submitted by the States Judicial Council.
The Armed Front of the Philippine Communes (AFPC) is responsible for national security and consist of three major branches and two sub-branches: the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, Philippine Special Operations Division, and Communal Constabulary. The Armed Forces of the Philippines are a conscription force, where individuals at the age of 16 are enlisted with the help of their institution's guidance counseling offices. Civilian security is handled by the Philippine National Police under the Interregnum Department of the Interior and Local Governance (I-DILG).
Rank: 21st (World Bank)
Currency: Salapi (Ϝ, PSL)
Fiscal Year: 2018
GDP (nominal): $353.86 billion
GDP (nominal) per capita: $3,296.93
Labor Force: 99.71%
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