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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. In the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of 7,641 islands which are broadly categorized in 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 south. 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. It is the world's thirteenth-most-populous country, with diverse ethnicities and cultures. Manila is the country's capital, and its largest city is Quezon City; both are within Metro Manila.

Negritos, the archipelago's earliest inhabitants, were followed by waves of Austronesian peoples. The adoption of Animism, Hinduism and Islam established island-kingdoms ruled by datus, rajas, and sultans. 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. Catholicism became the dominant religion, and Manila became the western hub of trans-Pacific trade. The Philippine Revolution began in 1896, which became entwined with the 1898 Spanish–American War. Spain ceded the territory to the United States, and Filipino revolutionaries declared the First Philippine Republic. The ensuing Philippine–American War ended with the United States controlling the territory until the Japanese invasion of the islands during World War II. After liberation, the Philippines became independent in 1946. The unitary sovereign state has had a tumultuous experience with democracy, which included the overthrow of a decades-long dictatorship in a nonviolent revolution.

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

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Metropolitan Manila (often shortened as Metro Manila; Filipino: Kalakhang Maynila), officially the National Capital Region (NCR; Filipino: Pambansang Punong Rehiyon), is the seat of government and one of three defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines. It is composed of 16 highly urbanized cities: the city of Manila, Quezon City, Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan, Taguig, and Valenzuela, as well as the municipality of Pateros. The region encompasses an area of 619.57 square kilometers (239.22 sq mi) and a population of 13,484,462 as of 2020. [1] It is the second most populous and the most densely populated region of the Philippines. It is also the 9th most populous metropolitan area in Asia and the 5th most populous urban area in the world.

The region is the center of culture (including arts and entertainment), economy, education and government of the Philippines. Designated as a global power city, the region exerts a significant impact on commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment, both locally and internationally. It is the home to all embassies in the Philippines, thereby making it an important center for international diplomacy in the country. Its economic power makes the region the country's premier center for finance and commerce. The region accounts for 36% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Philippines. (Full article...)
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Doña Marcela Mariño de Agoncillo (née Mariño y Coronel; June 24, 1859 – May 30, 1946) was a Filipina who was the principal seamstress of the first and official flag of the Philippines, gaining her the title of "The Mother of the Philippine Flag."

Marcela Coronel Mariño was the daughter of Don Francisco Diokno Mariño and Doña Eugenia Coronel Mariño, a rich family in her hometown of Taal, Batangas. She finished her studies at Santa Catalina College, Marcela acquired her learning in music and feminine crafts. At the age of 30, Marcela Coronel Mariño married Felipe Encarnacion Agoncillo, a Filipino lawyer, and a jurist, and gave birth to six children. Her marriage led an important role in Philippine history. When her husband was exiled in Hong Kong during the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution, Marcela Mariño Agoncillo and the rest of the family joined him and temporarily resided there to avoid the anti-Filipino hostilities of the occupying Spain. While in Hong Kong, General Emilio Aguinaldo requested her to sew the flag that would represent the Republic of the Philippines. Doña Marcela Mariño de Agoncillo, with her eldest daughter Lorenza and a friend Delfina Herbosa de Natividad, niece of Dr. Jose Rizal, manually sewed the flag in accordance with General Emilio Aguinaldo's design which later became the official flag of the Republic of the Philippines. (Full article...)

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In the news

25 April 2023 –
Philippine President Bongbong Marcos approves a 90-day extension of mandatory registration of SIM cards, whose deadline is originally scheduled for the following day. (The Philippine Star)
23 April 2023 – 2023 Sudan conflict
The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines announces the suspension of all flights to Sudan to ensure the safety of its citizens and raises alerts to level 3 after a Filipino is hit by a stray bullet in Khartoum. (RPN Radio) (ABS-CBN) (GMA Network)
28 March 2023 – Philippine drug war
President Bongbong Marcos announces that the country will suspend relations with the International Criminal Court (ICC) due to the ICC's refusal to suspend its investigation of alleged crimes committed by the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte during the country's war on drugs. (Bloomberg)

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  1. ^ Census of Population (2020). Table B - Population and Annual Growth Rates by Province, City, and Municipality - By Region. PSA. Retrieved 8 July 2021.

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