The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel Quezon was elected President and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during WWII, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Philippines attained their independence. The 21-year rule of Ferdinand Marcos ended in 1986, when a widespread popular rebellion forced him into exile and installed Corazon Aquino as president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts, which prevented a return to full political stability and economic development. Fidel Ramos was elected president in 1992 and his administration was marked by greater stability and progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph Estrada was elected president in 1998, but was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in January 2001 after Estrada's stormy impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down and widespread demonstrations led to his ouster. Macapagal Arroyo was elected to a six-year term in May 2004. The Philippine Government faces threats from armed communist insurgencies and from Muslim separtists in the south.
The climate is tropical marine, the northeast monsoon occurs from November to April and the southwest monsoon is from May to October. The geographical situation of Philippines is mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands. The Philippine archipelago is made up of 7,107 islands, favorably located in relation to many of Southeast Asia's main water bodies, the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, and Luzon Strait. Natural resources are timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, and copper.
The population is about 87,857,473. The nationality of the Philippine Islands is Filipino. Most of the people in this country are Christian Malay, Muslim Malay, Chinese and others. The main religions are Roman Catholic 83%, Protestant 9%, Muslim 5%, Buddhist and others 3%.
There are two official languages - Filipino, which is based on Tagalog and English. There are other eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocan, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense.
The main currency is Philippine peso (PHP). The capital of Philippines is Manila. The country is divided into 79 provinces and 116 chartered cities. 12 June 1898 was the date of declaration of independence from Spain and 4 July 1946 was date of independence from US.
Philippines has many white-sand beaches like Boracay Island, Siargao Island, Samal Island, Bohol's Springs and Beaches, The Beaches of Palawan, The Beaches of Glan, Sarangani and many more.