Theme Week Philippines

Monday, 20 January 2020 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Bon voyage, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  9 minutes

Boracay Island © panoramio.com - Alexey Komarov/cc-by-3.0

Boracay Island © panoramio.com – Alexey Komarov/cc-by-3.0

The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it consists of about 7,641 islands that are broadly categorized under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila. 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, Japan to the northeast, 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 is the world’s 5th largest island country with an area of 300,000 km² (120,000 sq mi). As of 2015, it had a population of at least 100 million. As of January 2018, it is 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. In prehistoric times, Negritos were some of the archipelago’s earliest inhabitants. They were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples. Exchanges with Malay, Indian, Arab and Chinese nations occurred. Then, various competing maritime states were established under the rule of datus, rajahs, sultans and lakans.

The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer leading a fleet for the Spanish, in Homonhon, Eastern Samar in 1521 marked the beginning of Hispanic colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. With the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi from Mexico City, in 1565, the first Hispanic settlement in the archipelago was established. The Philippines became part of the Spanish Empire for more than 300 years. This resulted in Catholicism becoming the dominant religion. During this time, Manila became the western hub of the trans-Pacific trade connecting Asia with Acapulco in the Americas using Manila galleons. As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, the Philippine Revolution quickly followed, which then spawned the short-lived First Philippine Republic, followed by the bloody Philippine–American War. The war, as well as the ensuing cholera epidemic, resulted in the deaths of thousands of combatants as well as tens of thousands of civilians. After the war, the United States retained sovereignty over the country until the Japanese invasion and subsequent occupation of the islands during World War II. Later in the war, it was liberated by the combined forces of Americans and Filipinos and by 1946, was recognized as an independent nation. Since then, the unitary sovereign state has often had a tumultuous experience with democracy, which included the overthrow of a dictatorship by a non-violent revolution.

Dinagyang Festival 2009 in Iloilo City © Icqgirl/cc-by-3.0 Banaue Rice Terraces © Magalhães Boracay Island © panoramio.com - Alexey Komarov/cc-by-3.0 Calle Crisologo in Vigan City © Joelaldor/cc-by-sa-4.0 Chocolate Hills © P199/cc-by-sa-3.0 Colonial houses on Calle Crisologo in Vigan © Captaincid/cc-by-sa-3.0 El Nido. Big lagoon entrance. Miniloc Island © panoramio.com - Tuderna/cc-by-3.0 Fort San Pedro in Cebu © Rjruiziii/cc-by-sa-3.0 Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines © Official Gazette of the Philippines Tabon Caves at Lipuun Point © Jimaggro/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines © Official Gazette of the Philippines
Philippines has garnered numerous titles related to tourism (Tourism in the Philippines), namely, the traditional capital of the world’s festivities, the capital of the western Pacific, the centre of Hispanic Asia, the Pearl of the Orient Seas, center of the Coral Triangle, and the capital of fun. The country is also a biodiversity hotspot, having the world’s highest endemism rate for bird species, and one of the highest for mammals and flora. It is also the largest bastion for Roman Catholicism in all of Asia. The country is also home to one of the New7Wonders of Nature, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, and one of the New7Wonders Cities, the Heritage City of Vigan. It is also home to 6 UNESCO world heritage sites scattered in 9 different locations, 3 UNESCO biosphere reserves, 3 UNESCO intangible cultural heritage, 4 UNESCO memory of the world documentary heritage, 1 UNESCO creative city, 2 UNESCO world heritage cities, 7 Ramsar wetland sites, and 8 ASEAN Heritage Parks. More than 90% of all Filipinos can understand and speak English, as many are multilingual.

Filipino culture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. The Philippines exhibits aspects found in other Asian countries with a Malay heritage, yet its culture also displays a significant number of Spanish and American influences. Traditional festivities known as barrio fiestas (district festivals) to commemorate the feast days of patron saints are common, these community celebrations are times for feasting, music, and dancing. The Ati-Atihan, Moriones and Sinulog festivals are a couple of the most well-known. Some traditions, however, are changing or gradually being forgotten due to modernization. The Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company has been lauded for preserving many of the various traditional folk dances found throughout the Philippines. They are famed for their iconic performances of Philippine dances such as the tinikling and singkil that both feature clashing bamboo poles. One of the most visible Hispanic legacies is the prevalence of Spanish names and surnames among Filipinos; a Spanish name and surname, however, does not necessarily denote Spanish ancestry. This peculiarity, unique among the people of Asia, came as a result of a colonial edict by Governor-General Narciso Clavería y Zaldua, which ordered the systematic distribution of family names and implementation of Hispanic nomenclature on the population. The names of many streets, towns, and provinces are also in Spanish. The common use of the English language is an example of the American impact on Philippine society. It has contributed to the ready acceptance and influence of American pop cultural trends. This affinity is seen in Filipinos’ love of fast food and American film and music. Fast food outlets are found on many street corners. American global fast food chain stalwarts have entered the market, but local fast food chains like Goldilocks and most notably Jollibee, the leading fast food chain in the country, have emerged and compete successfully against their foreign rivals.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on Government of the Philippines, Philippines Tourism, LonelyPlanet.com – Philippines, Tourism in the Philippines, Culture of the Philippines, Architecture of the Philippines, Filipino cuisine, List of Philippine dishes, List of lakes of the Philippines, List of national parks of the Philippines, List of mountains in the Philippines, List of islands of the Philippines, Monuments and memorials in the Philippines, List of World Heritage Sites in the Philippines, Territorial disputes in the South China Sea (Foreign Policy, 7 April 2021: Philippines Leaning Toward Allowing U.S. Troops After All), Wikitravel Philippines, Wikivoyage Philippines and Wikipedia Philippines. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.








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