The Filipino is basically of Malay stock with a sprinkling of Chinese, American, Spanish, and Arab blood. The Philippines has a population of 76.5
million as of May 2000, and it is hard to distinguish accurately the lines between stocks. From a long history of Western colonial rule,
interspersed with the visits of merchants and traders, evolved a people of a unique blend of east and west, both in appearance and culture.
The Filipino character is actually a little bit of all the cultures put together. The bayanihan or spirit of kinship and camaraderie that Filipinos are
famous for is said to be taken from Malay forefathers. The close family relations are said to have been inherited from the Chinese. The
piousness comes from the Spaniards who introduced Christianity in the 16th century. Hospitality is a common denominator in the Filipino
character and this is what distinguishes the Filipino. Filipinos are probably one of the few, if not the only, English-proficient Oriental people
today. Pilipino is the official national language, with English considered as the country's unofficial one.
Catholics - 82.9%
Protestants - 5.4%
Islam - 4.6%
Philippine Independent Church - 2.6%
Iglesia ni Cristo - 2.3%
Historically, the Filipinos have embraced two of the great religions of the world - Islam and Christianity. Islam was introduced during the 14th
century shortly after the expansion of Arab commercial ventures in Southeast Asia. Today, it is limited to the southern region of the country.
Christianity was introduced as early as the 16th century with the coming of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.
Protestantism was introduced by the first Presbyterian and Methodist missionaries who arrived with the American soldiers in 1899.
Two Filipino independent churches were organized at the turn of the century and are prominent today. These are the Aglipay (Philippine
Independent Church) and the Iglesia Ni Kristo (Church of Christ) founded in 1902 and 1914, respectively. Recently the Aglipay signed a
covenant with the Anglican Church. The Iglesia ni Kristo has expanded its membership considerably. Its churches, with their unique towering
architecture, are landmarks in almost all important towns, provincial capitals, and major cities.
About The Philippines
The Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world. It has a rich history combining Asian, European, and American
influences. Prior to Spanish colonization in 1521, The Filipinos had a rich culture and were trading with the Chinese and the Japanese. Spain's
colonization brought about the construction of Intramuros in 1571, a "Walled City" comprised of European buildings and churches, replicated
in different parts of the archipelago. In 1898, after 350 years and 300 rebellions, the Filipinos, with leaders like Jose Rizal and Emilio Aguinaldo,
succeeded in winning their independence. In 1898, the Philippines became the first and only colony of the United States. Following the
Philippine-American War, the United States brought widespread education to the islands. Filipinos fought alongside Americans during World
War II, particularly at the famous battle of Bataan and Corregidor which delayed Japanese advance and saved Australia.
Tourism is a major contributor to the economy of the Philippines, contributing 5.9% to the Philippine GDP in 2011. The Philippines is an
archipelagic country composed of 7,107 islands. The country's rich biodiversity is the main tourist attraction of the Philippines. Its beaches,
mountains, rainforests, islands and diving spots are among the country's most popular tourist destinations. The country's rich historical and
cultural heritage is also one of the attractions of the Philippines.
March to May is hot and dry. June to October is rainy, November to February is cool. Average temperatures: 78°F / 25°C to 90°F / 32°C;
humidity is 77%. POPULATION There are a total of 76.5 million Filipinos as of the latest national census in May, 2000. Population growth is
estimated at 2.36 percent annually. Luzon, the largest island group, accounts for more than half of the entire population. LANGUAGES Two
official languages --- Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog, is the national language. English is also widely used and is the
medium of instruction in higher education. Eight (8) major dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon
or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense.
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