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Friday 7th August
Philippines Information - Page 2
The islands of the Philippines were colonized by Spain in the sixteenth century.

Over three centuries later the Spanish ceded the country to the USA. This was a result of conflict between Spain and the US known as the Spanish-American War.

During the Second World War the Japanese occupied the islands. Shortly after, in 1946, the Philippines achieved independence.

In 1965 Ferdinand Marcos began a twenty-one year rule, with martial law from 1972 to 1981. Following widespread revolt, Marcos went into exile in 1986. In the same year, Corazon Aquino, the widow of the assassinated opposition leader, became the first female president of the Philippines.

The economy managed to weather the 2008-09 global recession better than its neighbours due to a minimal exposure to international securities, lower dependence on exports and large remittances from the approximately five million overseas Filipino workers.

Investment in the tourist industry has increased the role of tourism in the economy. The Philippine tourism industry is committed to the development of environmentally friendly tourism.

Agriculture has traditionally been the main employer of the working population but the services sector is becoming increasingly important.

Agriculture provides employment for over a third of the labour force. Products include rice, corn, sugarcane, bananas, coconuts, mangoes, pineapples, eggs, pork and beef.

The main industries of the Philippines are petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, electronics assembly, furniture, garments, footwear, food processing and fishing. (2011)

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts is responsible for the development of the arts in the Philippines.

Concerts and ballets are organised in parks by the National Parks Development Committee.

The Filipino Folk Arts Theatre is another of a number of organisations that aim to preserve Philippine traditions and culture.

Basketball is the most popular team game in the Philippines. Baseball and soccer are also played. Other sports include tennis, jai alai, kali (a martial art), boxing and athletics.

The coastal waters provide plenty of opportunities for water sports such as scuba diving and sailing.

Christmas and other religious holidays are celebrated. Independence Day (from Spain, 1898) is commemorated on 12 June.

People throughout the Philippines also participate in a number of festivals such as the Baguio Flower Festival and the Giant Lantern Festival (San Fernando).

News from the Philippines is available from Newslink.

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