I am so proud of my country, The Philippines, because it showcases many wonderful things that not every country has. The Philippines is the only Asian country (or the only country in the world) that boasts of so many natural resources. Here, there were so many navigators that fell in love with the island, abundant fruit bearing trees, natural habitats, natural resources, so many virgin islands, white sands, and countless places to visit.
Philippines has become multi-cultural because different nationalities had invaded the country and shared their other traditions and cultures which the Filipinos from the past eras were able to adapt.
Hundreds of species!
Philippine History During the Spanish Colonial Times
The original people of the Philippines were ancestors of the people known today as Negritos or Aeta. They are short people with a dark skin and curly brown hair.
The Aeta came 13000 - 10000 years ago from the Asian continent. In earlier times, they lived widespread throughout the Philippines. Today, they are living in the remote highland areas of Luzon, Palawan, Panay, Negros, and Mindanao. About 2300 years ago Malayan people arrived from the mainland in the Philippines and brought a more advance culture; dairy, iron melting and production of iron tools, pottery techniques and the system of sawah's (rice fields).
In the tenth century, Muslim traders come from Kalimantan (Indonesia) to the Philippines. A few centuries later, the Islam spread out in the southern part of the Philippines. Until now, the Islam is strong rooted on Mindanao and other (smaller)islands of the southern part of the Philippines.
THE MOUNTAIN TRIBES OF NORTHERN LUZON
Traveling to the northern part of the island Luzon will bring you not only to beautiful landscapes with amazing rice terraces. It will bring you also to the regions with remote villages and colorful and traditional living upland tribal communities. Their ancestors constructed the fascinating rice terraces with the perfect working irrigation systems. These mountain tribes still distinguish themselves by their specific cultural expression and their skills.
They have skills in making bowls, baskets, weapons and clothing. It were the Bontocs and the Ifugao people who built up the rice terraces. Traveling in the provinces of Ifugao or other provinces in Luzon, will make clear to you that the way of living of these people didn't change. They are still living and working as in the past. Many tourists decide to make the long bus-trip from Manila to these provinces especially to meet the Ifugao, the Bontocs, the Kankanays or other tribes.
In the past the Ifugao were feared head-hunters, just as other tribes in the mountainous regions of northern Luzon. The war-dance (the bangibang) is one of the cultural remnants of the time of tribal conflict.
This dance is traditionally held on the walls of the rice terraces by the men, equipped with spears, axes and wooden shields and a headdress made of leaves.
THE MOST INDIGENOUS PEOPLE OF MINDANAO
There are more than 40 different ethnic groups in the Philippines. Each group has a distinct culture and language. Several of these ethnic groups can be distinguished as "tribal groups". They are 'indigenous groups' who still live in a rather traditional way. Each group lives in a specific region on one of the islands. You can meet them in parts of Luzon, on some of the Visayas islands, and on Mindanao.
The T'boli (pronounce "Tiboli") people live in the southern part of the province Cotabata, in the environment around lake Sebu, west of the city General Santos. It is estimated that are between 100000 and 150000 T'boli. In the past the T'boli practiced the primitive way of agriculture "slash and burn". "Slash and burn" means that the people will clear a part of the forest by cutting the big trees and burning the lower and smaller trees and bushes, after which they use the cleared plots as arable land for some years without any fertilization. Rice, cassava and yams were the most important agricultural products. Next to that, the people went hunting or fishing for additional food.
For years slash and burn is no longer possible. The forests are gone by intensive economic activities as foresting. At present The T'boli live in the mountains. Agriculture is the only source of income. Some foreigners, in cooperation with the aid organizationCord Aid, succeeded in developing some hectares of arable land in the last few years. Nevertheless, the T'boli live in poor circumstances; a struggle for live.
In 1521, the Spanish period started with the arrival of a mall fleet in the coastal waters of Mactan island, just east of Cebu island. It was Fernao de Magelhaes (Ferdinand Magellan), a Portuguese in service of the Spanish King. He claimed the country for the Spanish King, King Felipe.
LAPU LAPU, THE FIRST NATIONAL HERO
There was a great resistance of the local people. In the battle that took place that day, the locals with their leader, Lapu Lapu, succeeded in forcing the Spaniards to retreat to their ships, after their leader, Magellan, was killed by the spears of the Lapu Lapu warriors. Lapu Lapu became the first Filipino hero.
THE FILIPINOS' FIRST CLOTHING IN THE NEW CIVILIZATION
The origin of the specific features of the Barong Tagalog
The Tagalog: people that lived on the island of Luzon, already a very long time before the Spaniards arrived on Luzon.
Even at the time that some Filipinos became successful business men or successful in agricultural activies, these lucky and more important middle class men had to wear the Barong Tagalog just as the Spanish rulers demanded.
The Barong Tagalog week
THE SPANISH COLONIAL PERIOD MORE THAN 300 YEARS
After the Spaniards succeeded in 1556 to break the last good organized resistance, a long period of Spanish influence followed. The Spaniards ruled the country, brought the Christian religion to the country and were responsible for a lot of colonial and religious buildings throughout the country. The results can still be seen in places like Manila and Cebu City.
REVOLTS AGAINST THE COLONIZERS
The Spanish colonial period was not without resistance of the Filipinos. On the contrary, there was a succession of revolts against the European colonizers. Emilio Aguinaldo was the great leader of the big revolt of 1896. However, the Filipino rebels did not succeed to defeat the armed Spaniards at that time. A helping hand came a few years later from the Americans.
In 1894, Aguinaldo joined the Katipunan or the K.K.K., a secret organization led by Andrés Bonifacio, dedicated to the expulsion of the Spanish and independence of the Philippines through armed force. Aguinaldo used the nom de guerreMagdalo, in honor of Mary Magdalene. His local chapter of the Katipunan, headed by his cousin Baldomero Aguinaldo, was also called Magdalo.
At the end of the nineteenth century, on April 25, 1898, the United States declared war on Spain. The main reason was that the U.S. battleship, Main, was blown up in the harbor of Havana. The United States thought Spain blew up this ship with a mine. (However, it was proved that the Main blew up due to coal dust.) The American navy decided to attach the Spanish fleet in the Philippine waters. The battle took place in Manila Bay. On May 1, 1898, the Spanish fleet was destroyed. After 327 years under Spanish rule, the Philippine people thought that they won Independence at last. The Americans, however, thought quite different about that at that time.
THE PHILIPPINES, SOLD FOR AN AMOUNT OF $20 MILLION DOLLARS
(He was born in Baler in the district of El Príncipe (which later became Baler, Tayabas, now Baler, Aurora). His Spanish parents were Lucio Quezón and María Dolores Molina. His father was a primary grade school teacher from Paco, Manila, and also a retired Sergeant in the Spanish colonial army, while his mother was a primary grade school teacher in their hometown.
In 1899, Quezón cut short his law studies at the University of Santo Tomás in Manila, to participate in the struggle for independence against the United States, led by Emilio Aguinaldo. During the Philippine-American War he was an ayuda-de-campo to Emilio Aguinaldo.
His body lies in Quezon Memorial Circle and the largest City in Metro Manila was named after him. )
This was the first step in the total liberation of the country. With 700 vessels and 174,000 army and navy servicemen, McArthur arrived in the Philippines In December 1944, the islands of Leyte and Mindoro were cleared of the Japanese army.
FLORES DE MAYO AND THE SANTACRUZAN
- Reyna de las Virgines, carries a rosary ad is surrounded by two angels.
- Reyna Fe (Faith), symbolizes the virtue of faith, she carries a cross.
- Reyna Justicia, the mirror of justice." Se carries a weighting scale and a sword.
- Veronica, the woman who wiped the face of Jesus. She carries a bandana imprinted with the three faces of Jesus.
- Rosa Mystica, she carries a bouquet of roses.
- Reyna Mora, represents the dominant religion before Christianity. (Moro: Filipino Muslims)
- Reyna Esperanza, symbolyzes the virtue of home. She carries an anchor.
The procession of the Black Nazarene is the largest procession in the country. It takes place on January the 9th and on Good Friday through the streets of Quiapo, a small
part of metro Manila.
Mountain terracing with the cultivation of rice varieties is practieced throught the whole region of Pacific Asia. In the Philippines, they have the most unique terraces! The Cordillera terraces in Northern Luzon are said to be the most unique in the world. Some people call these rice terraces the"stairways to Heaven," or "the eight world miracle."
For the shorter distances on all islands (outside and inside towns and cities), people make use of the jeepneys, multicabs and tricycles. In big cities like Manila or Cebu City, the most common mean of transportation is the jeepney. Everywhere in the Philippines, for the more short and local distances, the multicabs and tricycles are used by many Filipinos. The tricycle, a motorcycle with an attached passenger-cabin on a third wheel, is the cheapest. The big advantage of the tricycle is that it will bring you to every desired place. The multicabs, just as the jeepneys, have fixed routes.