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The Philippines (/ˈfɪlɪpnz/ (listen); Filipino: Pilipinas), officially the Republic of the Philippines (Filipino: Republika ng Pilipinas), is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It is situated in the western Pacific Ocean and consists of around 7,641 islands that are broadly categorized under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The Philippines is bounded by the South China Sea to the west, the Philippine Sea to the east, and the Celebes Sea to the southwest. It shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Palau to the east and southeast, Indonesia to the south, Malaysia to the southwest, Vietnam to the west, and China to the northwest. The Philippines covers an area of 300,000 km2 (120,000 sq mi) and, , it had a population of around 109 million people, making it the world's thirteenth-most populous country. The Philippines has diverse ethnicities and cultures throughout its islands. Manila is the country's capital, while the largest city is Quezon City; both lie within the urban area of Metro Manila.

Negritos, some of the archipelago's earliest inhabitants, were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples. Adoption of animism, Hinduism and Islam established island-kingdoms called Kedatuan, Rajahnates, and Sultanates. The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer leading a fleet for Spain, marked the beginning of Spanish colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. Spanish settlement through Mexico, beginning in 1565, led to the Philippines becoming ruled by the Spanish Empire for more than 300 years. During this time, Catholicism became the dominant religion, and Manila became the western hub of trans-Pacific trade. In 1896, the Philippine Revolution began, which then became entwined with the 1898 Spanish–American War. Spain ceded the territory to the United States, while Filipino revolutionaries declared the First Philippine Republic. The ensuing Philippine–American War ended with the United States establishing control over the territory, which they maintained until the Japanese invasion of the islands during World War II. Following liberation, the Philippines became independent in 1946. Since then, the unitary sovereign state has often had a tumultuous experience with democracy, which included the overthrow of a decades-long dictatorship by a nonviolent revolution.

The Philippines is an emerging market and a newly industrialized country whose economy is transitioning from being agriculture centered to services and manufacturing centered. It is a founding member of the United Nations, World Trade Organization, ASEAN, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and the East Asia Summit. The location of the Philippines as an island country on the Pacific Ring of Fire that is close to the equator makes it prone to earthquakes and typhoons. The country has a variety of natural resources and is home to a globally significant level of biodiversity. (Full article...)

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Mt. Apo from Davao City.jpg
Mount Apo as viewed from Davao City. Mt. Apo lies in the background, while the more massive but shorter Mt. Talomo is in the foreground.
Mount Apo, also known locally as Apo Sandawa, is a large solfataric, dormant stratovolcano on the island of Mindanao, Philippines. With an elevation of 2,954 meters (9,692 ft) above sea level, it is the highest-mountain in the Philippine Archipelago, Mindanao and 24th-highest peak of an island on Earth. Located between Davao City and Davao del Sur in the Davao Region, and Cotabato in Soccsksargen, Mount Apo is the most-prominent mountain in the Philippines. The peak overlooks from Davao City 45 kilometers (28 mi) to the northeast, Digos 25 kilometers (16 mi) to the southeast, and Kidapawan 20 kilometers (12 mi) to the west. It is a protected area and a Natural Park of the Philippines. (Full article...)
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Aquino c. 1980s

Benigno "Ninoy" Simeon Aquino Jr., QSC, CLH, KGCR (locally [bɛˈniɡnɔʔ aˈkino]; November 27, 1932 – August 21, 1983) was a Filipino politician who served as a senator of the Philippines (1967–1972) and governor of the province of Tarlac. He was the husband of Corazon Aquino—who, after his death, eventually became the president of the Philippines—and father of a later president, Benigno Aquino III. Aquino, together with Gerardo Roxas and Jovito Salonga, helped form the leadership of the opposition towards then President Ferdinand Marcos. He was the aggressive leader who together with the intellectual leader Sen. Jose W. Diokno led the overall opposition.

Early in his Senate career, Aquino vigorously attempted to investigate the Jabidah massacre in March 1968. Shortly after the imposition of martial law in 1972, Aquino was arrested along with other members of the opposition. He was incarcerated for seven years. He has been described as Marcos' "most famous political prisoner". He founded his own party, Lakas ng Bayan and ran in the 1978 Philippine parliamentary election, but all the party's candidates lost in the election. In 1980, he was permitted by Marcos to travel to the United States for medical treatment following a heart attack. During the early 1980s he became one of the most notable critics of the Marcos regime, and enjoyed popularity across the US due to the numerous rallies he attended at the time. (Full article...)

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In the news

10 November 2022 – Moro conflict
Three soldiers and four Moro Islamic Liberation Front militants are killed in a gunbattle in Basilan, Philippines. (Al Jazeera)
3 November 2022 –
Australian sex offender Peter Scully and three of his accomplices are sentenced to 129 years in prison by a regional court in the Philippines for 60 offences related to child sexual abuse. (AFP via Gulf News)
29 October 2022 – 2022 Pacific typhoon season
The death toll from floods and landslides caused by Tropical Storm Nalgae (Paeng) in the Philippines increases to 45 with at least 14 people reported missing. (The New York Times)
25 October 2022 – Earthquakes of 2022
Sixty-eight people are injured when a magnitude 6.4 earthquake strikes Cordillera Administrative Region and nearby regions in the Philippines. (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

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