Coordinates: 13°N 122°E / 13°N 122°E / 13; 122
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13°N 122°E / 13°N 122°E / 13; 122

Republic of the Philippines
Republika ng Pilipinas (Filipino)
Location Philippines ASEAN.svg
CapitalManila (de jure)
14°35′N 120°58′E / 14.583°N 120.967°E / 14.583; 120.967
Metro Manila[a] (de facto)
Largest cityQuezon City
14°38′N 121°02′E / 14.633°N 121.033°E / 14.633; 121.033
Official languages
Recognized regional languages
Ethnic groups
  • 5.6% Islam
  • 4.3% other / none

(colloquial neutral)
(colloquial feminine)

(used for certain common nouns)
GovernmentUnitary presidential republic
• President
Bongbong Marcos
Sara Duterte
Migz Zubiri
Martin Romualdez
Alexander Gesmundo
House of Representatives
from the United States
June 12, 1898
December 10, 1898
November 15, 1935
July 4, 1946
• Total
300,000 km2 (120,000 sq mi)[7][8]: 15 [c] (72th)
• Water (%)
0.61[9] (inland waters)
298,170 km2 (115,120 sq mi)
• 2020 census
• Density
336/km2 (870.2/sq mi) (37th)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase US$1.289 trillion[10] (29th)
• Per capita
Increase US$11,420[10] (117th)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase US$440 billion[10] (36th)
• Per capita
Increase US$3,905[10] (124th)
Gini (2021)Positive decrease 41.2[11]
HDI (2021)Decrease 0.699[12]
medium · 116th
CurrencyPhilippine peso () (PHP)
Time zoneUTC+08:00 (PhST)
Date formatmm/dd/yyyy
Driving sideright[d]
Calling code+63
ISO 3166 codePH

The Philippines (

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

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

earthquakes and typhoons. The Philippines has a variety of natural resources and a globally-significant level of biodiversity


During his 1542 expedition, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the islands of Leyte and Samar "Felipinas" after Philip II of Spain (then Prince of Asturias). Eventually, the name "Las Islas Filipinas" would be used for the archipelago's Spanish possessions.[16]: 6 Other names, such as "Islas del Poniente" (Western Islands), "Islas del Oriente" (Eastern Islands), Ferdinand Magellan's name, and "San Lázaro" (Islands of St. Lazarus), were used by the Spanish to refer to islands in the region before Spanish rule was established.[17][18][19]

During the Philippine Revolution, the Malolos Congress proclaimed the República Filipina (the Philippine Republic).[20] From the Spanish–American War (1898) and the Philippine–American War (1899–1902)[21] to the Commonwealth period (1935–1946), American colonial authorities referred to the country as the Philippine Islands (a translation of the Spanish name).[22] The United States began changing its nomenclature from "the Philippine Islands" to "the Philippines" in the Philippine Autonomy Act and the Jones Law.[23] The official title "Republic of the Philippines" was included in the 1935 constitution as the name of the future independent state,[24] and in all succeeding constitutional revisions.[25][26]


Prehistory (pre–900)

There is evidence of early

U/Th-dated to 47,000 ± 11–10,000 years ago.[30] Tabon Man is presumably a Negrito, among the archipelago's earliest inhabitants descended from the first human migrations out of Africa via the coastal route along southern Asia to the now-sunken landmasses of Sundaland and Sahul.[31]

The first Austronesians reached the Philippines from Taiwan around 2200 BC, settling the

plutocracies, and port principalities.[39]

Early states (900–1565)

The earliest known surviving written record in the Philippines is the early-10th-century AD

polities had exchanges with other states throughout Asia.[42]: 3 [43] Trade with China is believed to have begun during the Tang dynasty, and expanded during the Song dynasty;[44] by the second millennium AD, some polities were part of the tributary system of China.[16]: 177–178 [42]: 3  Indian cultural traits such as linguistic terms and religious practices began to spread in the Philippines during the 14th century, probably via the Hindu Majapahit Empire.[45][46] By the 15th century, Islam was established in the Sulu Archipelago and spread from there.[41]

Polities founded in the Philippines between the 10th and 16th centuries include

rajah or sultan,[53] and would rule the community.[54] Warfare developed and escalated from the 14th to 16th centuries;[55] population density is thought to have been low during that period[52]: 18 due to the frequency of typhoons and the Philippines' location on the Pacific Ring of Fire.[56] Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in 1521, claimed the islands for Spain, and was killed by Lapulapu's men in the Battle of Mactan.[57]: 21[58]: 261

Spanish and American colonial rule (1565–1946)

Colonization began when Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi arrived from Mexico in 1565.[59][60]: 20–23  Many Filipinos were brought to New Spain as slaves and forced crew.[61] Spanish Manila became the capital of the Spanish East Indies in 1571,[62][63] Spanish territories in Asia and the Pacific.[64] The Spanish invaded local states using the principle of divide and conquer,[58]: 374 bringing most of what is the present-day Philippines under one unified administration.[65][66] Disparate barangays were deliberately consolidated into towns, where Catholic missionaries could more easily convert their inhabitants to Christianity.[67]: 53, 68[68] From 1565 to 1821, the Philippines was governed as a territory of the Mexico City-based Viceroyalty of New Spain; it was then administered from Madrid after the Mexican War of Independence.[69]: 81 Manila became the western hub of trans-Pacific trade[70] by Manila galleons built in Bicol and Cavite.[71][72]

During its rule, Spain quelled indigenous revolts[69]: 111–122 and defended against external military attacks.[73]: 1077[74] War against the Dutch from the west during the 17th century and conflict with Muslims in the south nearly bankrupted the colonial treasury.[75]: 4

Administration of the Philippines was considered a drain on the economy of New Spain,[73]: 1077 and abandoning it or trading it for other territory was debated. This course of action was opposed because of the islands' economic potential, security, and the desire to continue religious conversion in the region.[52]: 7–8[76] The colony survived on an annual subsidy from the Spanish crown[73]: 1077 averaging 250,000 pesos,[52]: 8 usually paid as 75 tons of silver bullion from the Americas.[77] British forces occupied Manila from 1762 to 1764 during the Seven Years' War, and Spanish rule was restored with the 1763 Treaty of Paris.[60]: 81–83  The Spanish considered their war with the Muslims in Southeast Asia an extension of the Reconquista.[78][79] The Spanish–Moro conflict lasted for several hundred years; Spain conquered portions of Mindanao and Jolo during the last quarter of the 19th century,[80] and the Muslim Moro in the Sultanate of Sulu acknowledged Spanish sovereignty.[81][82]

Philippine ports opened to world trade during the 19th century, and Filipino society began to change.[83][84] Social identity changed, with the term Filipino encompassing all residents of the archipelago instead of solely referring to Spaniards born in the Philippines.[85][86]

Revolutionary sentiment grew in 1872 after

Photo of a large group of men on steps. Some are seated, and others are standing; several are wearing top hats.
Ilustrados in Madrid around 1890

The Katipunan Cry of Pugad Lawin began the Philippine Revolution in 1896.[91] Internal disputes led to the Tejeros Convention, at which Bonifacio lost his position and Emilio Aguinaldo was elected the new leader of the revolution.[92]: 145–147 The 1897 Pact of Biak-na-Bato resulted in the Hong Kong Junta government in exile. The Spanish–American War began the following year, and reached the Philippines; Aguinaldo returned, resumed the revolution, and declared independence from Spain on June 12, 1898.[93]: 26 In December 1898, the islands were ceded by Spain to the United States with Puerto Rico and Guam after the Spanish–American War.[94][95]

The First Philippine Republic was established on January 21, 1899.[96]

The United States would not recognize the First Philippine Republic, beginning the

General Douglas MacArthur and Sergio Osmeña (left) coming ashore during the Battle of Leyte on October 20, 1944