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The capital is Manila (which is actually a combination of 17 cities and towns, all centered around the eponymous Spanish-era city).
Owing to its position at the crossroads of several foreign trade routes, the country has earned a vast diversity of cultures and religions, of which Christianity predominates, a legacy of over 300 years under the Spanish Empire and 40 under the United States (in fact, the Philippines is the largest Christian-majority country in Asia and, until East Timor's independence, the only one), with Islam a distant second and Buddhists, animists and others filling the gaps.
The Spanish East Indies, however, also saw many a threat from within (local insurgents and Muslim warlords in Mindanao) and without (Chinese pirates and fellow colonists from the Netherlands and Portugal), including a three-year occupation by the British as a Spin-Off of the Seven Years' War (1762-1764).
After Mexico declared independence in 1821, Madrid directly took control of the Spanish East Indies, opening up Manila to international trade, bringing in a wave of immigrants from Latin America and mainland Spain, while wealthy indigenous Filipinos and in Cavite led to the execution of three indigenous priests on false charges of inciting the mutiny, leading to the establishment of the Propaganda Movement, a group of émigrés lobbying for awareness and reform.
Classified as one of the developing nations of the world, the Philippines has been experiencing political instability, poverty, and a population growing at an extremely fast rate.
On the other hand, it is one of the world's most bountiful countries in terms of flora and fauna, has many urbanized cities with progressive socioeconomic growth, has deep, rich cultures of both ancient and contemporary, and both discussed survey results that Filipinos are happier in comparison to people of developed countries.
It helps that most of these workers speak Surprisingly Good English, a mark of the nation's colonized past.
The islands were settled as early as 67,000 years ago, evidenced by the metatarsal of a man found in Cagayan valley in 2007.
Magellan would never live to see his fleet complete the world's first circumnavigation, however — he was killed in Cebu in a skirmish with a defending aligned with Magellan.However, the Spanish government surrendered to the Americans alone and handed over the Philippines to the US with the Treaty of Paris with zero involvement from the Filipinos.The US was in its international expansionist phase, as was happening in Cuba.That, too, met with resistance from Madrid, and by the time one of the movement's leaders, doctor and novelist José Rizal, was executed on December 30, 1896, calls for reform had already given way to those for armed revolt.The Philippine Revolution, led by Andres Bonifacio and the "Katipunan" secret society (whose full acronym was KKK, no relation to the American one) broke out in August 1896.