Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese navigator and explorer who sailed for Spain landed in Cebu in 1521 is considered to be the person who discovered the Philippines. The name Philippines is a truncated name for The Philippine Islands, from King Philip II of Spain in the 16th century.
The Philippines has a rich history combining that of American, European, and Asian cultures. Countries within these continents have in one way or another affected and influenced the Filipino’s way of living and even altered the Philippines’ physique itself through centuries of accomplished and attempted colonization. Before the Spanish Colonization in the early 16th century, Filipinos originally have a rich culture and have then begun trading with its neighboring Asian countries as Japan and China.
It was in 1898 after 350 years of being under the administration of foreign countries (a large fraction of which occupied by the Spaniards) and 300 rebellions, when Filipinos, together with its heroes such as Emilio Aguinaldo and the national hero himself, Dr. Jose Rizal, finally succeeded in defending and fighting for their independence. It was also in this year when The Philippines became the first and only colony of the United States. The country was allied with the America for 48 years and during that span, the United States brought widespread education to the island. They then waged a guerilla war against the Japanese from 1941 to 1945, and the Filipinos fought with the United States during the World War II. The Philippines regained its independence in 1946.
For two decades, the country was under the Martial Law superimposed by the late Ferdinand Marcos. In 1986 however, the Philippines regained once again freedom through the popular uprising in Manila, dubbed as the “people power”. Today, the country is under a democratic state with the President of the Philippines being both the head of state and the head of government.
Having gone through two successful People Power Movements in 1986 and 2001, waging bloodless revolution against what was presumed as corrupt regimes, the Filipinos are generally peace and fun loving people. Known worldwide for their hospitable manners, foreign guests are even welcome in their respective homes.
Religion in the Philippines was largely affected by the coming of the Spanish colonizers. Christianity in one hand was brought as soon as Ferdinand Magellan’s landing in 1521. The country has a significant Spanish Catholic tradition and is the largest Christian denomination. In general, Religion holds a central place in the life of the majority of Filipinos including Catholics, Aglipayans, Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists, animists, and Hindus. From among here, Christianity and Islam have been superimposed in some ancient traditions. As a result, there have been numerous and diverse revivalist movements.
Filipino Catholics celebrate fiestas and festivals in showing gratitude directed towards the saints. As of October of 2012, The Philippines have two saints anointed by the Pope namely, Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Saint Pedro Calungsod.
Contributing to the unforgettable experience of touring around this country are fragments of pleasures the country originally prides of. Each item listed below is a significant part of the best the Philippine has to offer with regards to world class tourism.