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The Republic of the Philippines is a democratic state in the Western Pacific. This chain of 7,107 islands (divided into three main island groups - Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) is the third most-populous English speaking country with Malay ang Aeta roots. Many religions are present in the population, a huge number being Catholics, Aglipayans, Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists, Animists, and Hindus. Its independence was announced in 1946, though 1896 is celebrated as the year the country first gained said independence.
The country has had two female presidents: Corazon Aquino and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Currently in the Presidential seat is Benigno S. Aquino III, the son of Corazon Aquino. The Philippines is a developing country plagued by political instability, poverty, and a population growing at an extremely fast rate. On the other hand, it's also one of Southeast Asia's growing economic centers. Both Time and Reader's Digest have also published articles discussing why according to surveys, Filipinos are relatively happy in comparison to people of developed countries.
It is well-known that besides export and corporate businesses, the Philippines' economy also relies on foreign remittances from the 11% of its Overseas Filipino Workers. That's right, one of the country's biggest exports is its people, who make up a major proportion of overseas workers from all over the world. It helps that most of these workers speak good English.
The Philippine Islands had cultural and trading links to East and the rest of Southeast Asia long before European colonization. Ferdinand Magellan discovered them for Spain in 1521 during his voyage of circumnavigation, but he was then killed in battle by one of the local chiefs (see below). Spanish colonization efforts began in earnest decades later, in 1565. The country was named after the Spanish monarch (then prince) Philip II.
The Philippines was ruled as a part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain (which also included Mexico and other parts of Latin America) until the Mexican Revolution. Through the centuries, the Spanish had to contend with Dutch and English designs on the country, and even the odd Chinese pirate warlord or two. The country also saw various revolts through the years, and the heavily Muslim Mindanao region in the south was never completely subjugated. Despite sporadic attempts at reform, decades of unrest culminated in the Philippine Revolution of 1896 that led to independence being declared on June 12, 1898.
The Spanish American War complicated things, as the US joined the fight against Spain in 1898 but then annexed the islands from Spain that same year. The Filipinos now found themselves resisting new masters, but by the second decade of the 20th century things had quieted down (relatively). A Commonwealth was inaugurated in 1935 in order to prepare the country for full independence in 1945. But it was occupied by the Japanese during World War Two, its people fighting the Japanese fiercely with guerrilla warfare (as they had fought the Spanish and Americans). On July 4, 1946, the US granted independence to the country, which today is celebrated as Philippine-American Friendship Day.
1972 saw the nation fall under martial law. Then-current president, Ferdinand Marcos, who'd been in office since 1965, proceeded to rule the country until 1986 when his regime collapsed, marked by nonviolent mass protests dubbed "People Power" (or the "EDSA Revolution", take your pick).
Since then the country has continued to have a colorful history, what with stuff like coup attempts (which invariably fail, unless you count the EDSA revolutions as coup attempts, which generally aren't considered so), religious tensions, secessionist and communist rebellions (the latter has essentially been going on since the end of World War II), natural disasters (though these have been there for time immemorial) and presidential corruption scandals (including an impeachment trial).
The Philippines, like many of the classic Spanish colonies, is a predominantly Catholic country. Filipino Catholics historically have had a love-hate relationship with their Church - while in the 19th century many were dissatisfied with the religious orders who also served as government, and some were into outright anti-clericalism, in the present day despite a good part of the intelligentsia hating it, some of the West's more liberal social legislation won't pass for quite a while; both divorce among non-Muslims and abortion is taboo. Filipino Catholics in general vary considerably in terms of how religious they actually are (in part from Catholic-influenced culture) and have a mix of conservative and liberal views, especially with regards to their openness and tolerance to homosexuality. More recently with the Reproductive Health bill, the love-hate dynamic has once again resurfaced.
About five percent of the population is Muslim, mostly concentrated in the south. Many of their political leaders are involved in an on-again off-again insurgency against the government, where today's insurgents may be tomorrow's government officials, and rebellion is alternately secular nationalist or Islamist. Before the coming of the Spanish, Islam was the main religion in the country.
A somewhat larger minority are the various Protestant groups in the country. Some are homegrown, like the Philippine Independent Church, also known by its Spanish name Iglesia Filipina Independiente and colloquially referred to as "Aglipayans" (after its first Supreme Bishop Gregorio Aglipay), which is a nationalist offshoot of the Roman Catholic Church co-founded by socialist author Isabelo de los Reyes and Aglipay after a schism spurred by mistreatment of the Filipinos by Spanish priests and the execution of José Rizal during Spanish colonial rule (interestingly enough, Aglipay joined the Freemasonry despite his priesthood, something the Vatican would not take kindly to due to their views on said fraternal society) and the Iglesia ni Cristo, a nontrinitarian denomination founded by Felix Manalo in 1914, whose doctrine stresses that there's no salvation outside of the INC and that Manalo is the "last messenger".
Others are the result of American missionaries from the usual complement of denominations (Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and so on). Aside from these, especially in the provinces are the Rizalistas (people who venerate Jose Rizal as a prophet) and the myriad of hybrid Animist-Catholic practices often known as Folk Catholicism.
The country and its inhabitants
The Filipinos are a nation divided along regional lines comprising the Tagalogs, Ilocanos, Bicolanos, Cebuanos and many others, including hundreds of indigenous peoples. There is a large population of Chinese Filipinos and Eurasians due to their colonial past; compared to other Asian countries, the Philippines has a large population of mixed ethnic heritages.
Being one of the largest English-speaking Asian countries, Koreans and mainland Chinese often go to the Philippines to learn English. Factors for this is that compared to learning English elsewhere, it's much less expensive and there is less racism to be faced. It is worth mentioning that Henry Sy and Lucio Tan, two of most successful business tycoons of the Philippines, are of Chinese heritage. Not to mention that the country is home to the oldest surviving Friendly Neighborhood Chinatown in the world, which is located in Manila.
Due to pre-colonial trade links and settlers, and the colonization of the Spanish, the Philippines' various dialects borrow words from Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese and Arabic. The modern-day Filipino language has the 'syllable-by-syllable' pronunciation of Japanese, uses the Spanish alphabet, and has elements of the English sentence structure.
Most Catholic Filipinos have Spanish surnames. Often this goes with Spanish first names as well, and during Spanish rule, Catholic baptism made this mandatory. Chinese Filipinos have surnames of Chinese origin ("Cojuangco"). American rule introduced English names. Of course, names with indigenous roots still exist. Today, Filipino names are often composed of a personal name, the mother's maiden surname (becoming the middle initial) and the father's surname; people may have two or even more personal names so this all makes for Overly Long Names.
As a result of being at the crossroads of globalization for centuries up to present, there is a reasonably large population of Filipinos having mixed ancestries.
A large number of Filipinos work and settle abroad. Many Filipinos, owing to lack of job opportunities, underpayment, or both, work in practically any place where money is to be made - the Diaspora encompasses everyone from attorneys and nurses in Los Angeles, to domestic servants in Dubai, to doctors in London. Most Overseas Filipinos go to either North America, where on average they make even more than US-born citizens do, or the Gulf States, where many take menial labor that pays more than a professional career back home.
Whether as immigrants or as seasonal workers, much of the Diaspora's money goes back home - Balikbayan ("returning home") boxes filled with goods from the First World, are common and even among many first-generation immigrants, there is often a desire to retire in the Old Country after the kids have "left the nest."
Domestically, the country is also home to large and prominent Chinese communities, both legally and illegally, the oldest being Binondo and Tondo in Manila proper. Many of which are from Fukien Province. There are smaller communities of Indians, Japanese, and Koreans in the major cities, the last one having grown in recent years.
Perhaps one of the most well-known genres of Philippine media are noon-time variety shows, a little similar to other Asian variety shows, and Soap Operas, similar toTelenovelas. In the early 2000s, fantasy-themed television series were on a upsurge, though their popularity faltered as the decade went on. Recently there has been a rise in popularity of Taiwanese and Korean dramas (dubbed in Filipino).
The Philippines' comic book scene, largely influenced by American comic books, is one of the oldest book industries in South East Asia. During the '70s, it was one of the best-organized comic book industries in the world. However, by 1985, about a third of upcoming artists were being imported by both Marvel and DC to the US that naturally weakened the Philippines' local comic book industry.
One of the well known komiks characters is Darna created by Mars Ravelo. Darna has been nicknamed The Filipino Wonder Woman. One of the most popular comic books recently is Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah (The Amazing Adventures of Zsazsa Zaturnnah) by Carlo Vergara.
In the early 2000's, Japanese manga style became popular in the Philippines as expected since anime was already popular, but this too gradually waned. In the mid-2000's, both Japanese manga and old-school US comics-influenced comic books found newfound popularity, the latter was thanks to local television adaptations.
Since the 1960s and 70s, Anime has grown in popularity across the country. Despite the unpleasantries, Filipinos have always been fond of both the traditional and pop culture of Japan. After Martial Law, anime had a regular schedule in local TV channels. The 2000s saw the appearance of two main anime stations: the local Hero TV and South East Asia Animax.
During the peak of the Philippine film industry during the '60s to '80s, the Philippines mass-produced English-language B-Movie films primarily for export, led by those of international film legends Eddie Romero and Bobby Suarez, and these have a classic cult following in various countries such as the United States, Finland, Germany, and Japan. The Philippines's most popular film genres are love stories, action, and horror. Films with a more serious tone and had socially relevant subjects used to be created by directors like Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal. Currently, the local film industry is in a slump regarding its overall quality with formulaic and stale romcoms and lowest-common denominator comedies from the likes of Vic Sotto and Vice Ganda, but independent films are gaining more and more notice, especially among the youth. As a way to celebrate and promote the local film industry, the Metro Manila Film Festival was established in 1975 during the Marcos regime. In its early years it attracted the likes of Lino Brocka and was host to a number of notable productions, but it too, like Philippine media in general, has degenerated into a dumping ground for mass-market titles existing solely to rake in audiences during the Christmas season with little to no regard to artistic merit.
Among the dominant media companies in the country are ABS-CBN and GMA, both of which control most of local TV and radio stations, as well as publications and overseas outlets. The rivalry between the two goes back from their humble beginnings, With the recent entry of TV5 as a major competitor, the situation has slightly changed, though TV5's bid as a third pillar largely died down as their efforts to offer programming similar to ABS and GMA paled in comparison. They still however thrive through sports programming especially as they hold the broadcast rights to the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), (something ABS-CBN sought to acquire but unable to do so; they established their own league called the Metropolitan Basketball Association in 1998 but it only lasted a good few years as high operating costs forced the league to disband in 2002. ABS-CBN through its S+A channel now currently airs games by the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, a more "patriotic" alternative to the PBA founded by boxer-politician Manny Pacquiao in 2017.) reruns of previous TV5 shows and movie blocks, which were initially dubbed in Tagalog but later reverted to English in 2020.
Animation Studios in the Philippines:
- Fil Cartoons
- Kennedy Cartoons (While based in Canada, they have a Filipino base.)
- Philippine Animation Studio Inc
- Toon City
- Top Draw
Many of Filipino cuisine is a mix of indigenous recipes and ingredients dating back to the pre-colonial area, Spanish, Chinese, and Indian cuisine.
The locally most popular fast food chain Jollibee has managed to dominate the fast food market in the Philippines, possibly making it the only country where McDonald's is not the top fast food franchise. It has a couple of restaurants in other countries, mainly where large Filipino populations are present. For Westerners, it is also home to some of the most "disgusting" delicacies known to Man - e.g. Balut, or under-fertilized duck egg, and in some regions, dog meat. This reputation is something the Philippines shares with other Asian countries, since "exotic" dishes are often subjective. 
Another well known company is San Miguel Brewery, Inc. It's one of Southeast Asia's most well known beer brands.
The Philippine political system is modeled after the United States (due to the American colonialism). Unlike in the US though, the vice president is elected separately, and the President is elected for a single six-year term.
Also, unlike the US, the Philippines had a unitary rather than a federal system of local government. The country is divided into 70+ provinces with governors elected by the populace.
The country has a long history of political dynasties in all levels of government (the last two Presidents alone are children of previous Presidents). Many view the government as corrupt. However, remember that not all Filipino government officials are Obstructive Bureaucrats or corrupt. It's just many of them are too Ax Crazy or plain Smug Snake to hold office. Many however, blame the Martial Law period under Ferdinand Marcos.
Also, politics tends to have a capital-rest of country cleavage, or "masa (read: poor people, stereotypically from the provinces) vs. Manila (read: the middle and upper class of Manila)". The former tends to be more or less traditional, while the latter is seen as more progressive, and a source of the intelligentsia previously mentioned in the Religion section. This has led to a culture war of sorts, though usually not as intense as the one in the United States. The cleavage isn't just a social-issue one - oddly (or not, if you're not American), the masa are more skeptical of free market and other neoliberal policies than their opposites, and tend to be in favor of vigorous land reform (naturally opposed by the upper classes, who own the greatest estates, but are oftentimes absentee landlords residing in Manila). This is probably due to the Communist Rebellion that strongly advocates land distribution and reform in a strongly agricultural country where one family literally owns tracts of land larger than cities. (The Escudero Political Family own Hacienda Yulo, which is larger than Metro Manila)
A running joke is that Filipinos prefer sports starting with the letter B: Boxing, Bowling, Billiards, and of course, Basketball. A well known Asian sport is cock-fighting .
Those into boxing may remember the 1975 contest between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in the country's capital, dubbed the "Thrilla in Manila". And boxer Manny Pacquiao, of course -- who dominates the Sports sections before, during and after bouts.
As of 2010-2011, soccer suddenly rose in popularity after the Philippine Football Team, nicknamed the Azkals scored unprecedented victories. They had a respectable finish at the Suzuki Cup, losing to Indonesia at the semifinals. The Azkals were furnished with a Home Stadium (Rizal Memorial Stadium), but they only got past the first round of the World Cup qualifier, losing to Kuwait in the second round.
One of the two official languages is Filipino, a derivative of Tagalog. A Filipino could be bilingual, with English being the second language; the other language depends highly on where he's from. For instance, someone from Manila will generally speak both Filipino and English, while a person from Baguio may be trilingual, speaking English, Filipino, and Ilokano. There are instances when a Filipino is fluent in multiple dialects. Philippine English meanwhile, though derived from American English, is a sprinkling of local and Spanish-derived influences; while the language has historically been associated with the upper classes, most Filipinos can nonetheless understand it.
It's also relatively common for a Filipino to code-switch languages, resulting in hybrid speech like "Taglish" (a mix of Filipino and English). Thus it's not unheard of for a Filipino to switch between multiple languages in a single sentence.
Despite being under Spain for over 300 years however, Spanish has largely fallen out of use in contemporary life, though the language has seen renewed interest by younger generations. Spanish also endures not just in loanwords among the local dialects, but also in the form of a creole language called Chavacano, the majority of whose speakers live in the Zamboanga peninsula in Mindanao.
Just like many other Asian countries, the line between 'dialect' and 'language' in the Philippines gets really stretched; each regional dialect could be considered a regional accent taken Up to Eleven.
While based on modified variants of the American system, the state of education in the country varies considerably, ranging from fairly up-to-date academies to more prevalent shoddily maintained and funded public schools. Nonetheless, there are a number of highly respected local universities.
With notable exceptions like the secular, government-funded University of the Philippines (which has gained a notorious reputation for harboring activists of all stripes, including the technically-illegal Communists) and the Protestant Far Eastern University, the majority of these are private schools predominantly under Catholic religious orders. Examples include the Dominican-run University of Santo Tomas (the oldest running university in Asia, dating back about 400 years), the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University and their old rivals, the La Salle schools.
The trope Filipinos With Firearms goes here. The Philippine Military is officially called the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Famous Filipinos [citizen of the Philippines or otherwise]
- Jose Rizal, officially the national hero of the Philippines, whose execution by Spanish authorities for his criticism of corruption within church and state through his satirical novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo which sparked a revolution.
- Andres Bonifacio, founder, clerk and leader of the biggest Philippine La Resistance movement the Katipunan, also known as the KKK (no, not the other one). Several Filipino historians continuously debate with each other about considering him the true first President of the Philippines.
- Emilio Aguinaldo, another La Résistance leader, was officially the first President of the Philippines.
- Apolinario Mabini, political philosopher whose crippling polio did not stop him from serving as Prime Minister of the First Republic. Viewed by many as the Man Behind the Man to Pres. Aguinaldo before their falling-out, and later strongly criticized the latter in his writings.
- Manuel Quezon, first president of the Philippine Commonwealth, under whose administration the Philippines would have been granted independence were it not for World War II.
- Manuel Roxas, first president of the fully-independent Republic after America legally granted the nation independence on 4 July 1946. His grandson Mar is currently serving as Transportation and Communication secretary.
- Ferdinand Marcos, World War Two veteran and later President, notorious for imposing martial law during The Seventies, ostensibly as a preemptive method to root out the nation's persistent problem with communist rebels. Kicked out of office after twenty years through a nonviolent revolution.
- Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., former provincial governor, senator, and Marcos's Arch Enemy during the martial law period, whose assassination at the tarmac of the Manila International Airport (which now bears his name) on 21 August 1983 uncorked public resentment towards Marcos and triggered the "People Power Revolution" which kicked him out.
- Corazon "Cory" Aquino, scion of a family of landlords, Benigno Jr.'s widow who was swept into power after the "People Power Revolution" which sparked a host of other "color" revolutions throughout the next decade.
- Lapu-Lapu, Datu of Mactan Island in modern-day Cebu province, who led to allegedly the first documented Philippine La Résistance that defeated (and killed) Ferdinand Magellan. 40 years after this event, the Spanish came back to colonize what would become the Philippine Islands.
- Diego Silang, leader of an anti-Spanish rebellion in the Ilocos area in the 1760s, who once collaborated with the British during their brief invasion of the Philippines. After his assassination by a close friend, his widow Gabriela continued the desperate struggle (and in recognition of her deeds, a Filipino feminist organization is named after her).
- Ramon Magsaysay, third President of the fully-independent Republic who backed America during the Cold War. A popular president known for his humility, he met a tragic end in a plane crash.
- Sultan Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat, Muslim chief who successfully fended off Spanish incursions into Mindanao throughout his reign.
- The Luna brothers, Juan and Antonio. The former was a painter, the latter a military man.
- Brigadier Gen. Gregorio del Pilar, fought the Americans and died at his Last Stand at Tirad Pass, which got the Fan Nickname "Philippine Thermopylae".
- Mariano Gómez, José Burgos and Jacinto Zamora, collectively known as the GomBurZa, three Filipino priests whose execution by strangulation in 17 February 1872, on false charges of instigating a failed mutiny in Fort San Felipe (modern-day Cavite City, Cavite) 28 days earlier, slowly uncorked resentment against Spanish authorities. The mutiny was used by friars to get rid of the liberal Burgos (as well as his associates Gómez and Zamora), who has infuriated them with his advocacy of reforms benefiting native clergymen and attacks against corrupt friars.
- Lorenzo Ruiz, Filipino-Chinese altar boy from Manila and member of a Spanish missionary fleet to Japan, executed in Nagasaki for refusing to recant his beliefs. He was also proclaimed the first Filipino saint on 18 October 1987.
- Pedro Calungsod, another Filipino missionary, this time from Cebu, martyred in Guam. Calungsod was formally beatified on March 5, 2000, by Pope John Paul II and later canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012.
- Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, current President and son of Benigno Jr. and Corazon, themselves noted political figures.
- Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Aquino III's predecessor who endured a tumultuous, often unpopular, nine-year presidency ever since taking over from Joseph Estrada after a nonviolent revolution in 2001. She, like her successor, is herself a former presidential daughter, this time of Diosdado.
- Joseph Ejercito "Erap" Estrada, former film actor and Macapagal-Arroyo's predecessor. While popular amongst the lower classes, revelations of his gambling habits booted him out of office in 2001, but has since recovered his popularity. Two of his sons also hold political power -- Jose "Jinggoy" as a senator, and Joseph Victor "JV" as congressman representing their native San Juan City suburb in Metro Manila.
- Fidel Valdez Ramos, Corazon Aquino's successor and the first Protestant President of the mostly Catholic Philippines.
- Manuel "Manny" Villar, self-proclaimed Self-Made Man, tycoon and senator who boasts of a Rags to Riches background.
- Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Hot-Blooded long-running senator and Harvard graduate famous for being quite the Insufferable Genius (though not without some sense of humor).
- Jejomar Binay, former Vice-President famous for his years serving his native Makati City suburb in Metro Manila as mayor and developing it into the national economic center. His family has since made a name for themselves within the city, with his son Jejomar Erwin as current mayor.
- Ramon Revilla, former movie star (of such films as The Killing of Satan) and former senator, who followed his close friend Estrada into politics at the height of his popularity. He is also known for having fathered 72 children from 16 women. His son, Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr., is also an actor and a senator.
- Rodrigo Roa Duterte, former mayor of Davao City whose tough stance against crime earned him the nickname "The Punisher" by Time Magazine. Also known for his brutish demeanour which has made him a polarising figure in the country, with leagues of Filipinos who either praise him for his actions or condemn him for the numerous abuses ascribed to him.
- Edward Hagedorn, former logger and long-serving mayor of Puerto Princesa City, capital of the island-province of Palawan, under whose reign the city turned from backwater town to a booming tourist destination.
- Juan Ponce Enrile, current Senate President and a long-running octogenarian politician. Once part of Marcos' inner circle, he became one of the principle figures behind the EDSA Revolution, alongside Aquino and Ramos.
- Noli De Castro, broadcaster (known for being a Large Ham and his Catch Phrase "Magandang gabi, bayan!" ("Good evening, nation!")) who had a brief stint as senator and then Vice President.
- Renato Corona, Chief Justice from 2010-2012, infamous for being the first head magistrate to be impeached by a congressional court for charges of falsification of his property statements.
- Rodolfo "Dolphy" Quizon, comedian-actor known for his 60-plus-years career and siring many children from several partners.
- Lea Salonga, theater actress, singing voice of both Princess Jasmine and Mulan in Disney's Aladdin and Mulan respectively, and first Filipina to win a Tony Award for her leading role in Miss Saigon. Turns out she is One of Us.
- Fernando Poe Jr., action star and Estrada's best friend. Died of a stroke after narrowly losing the 2004 Presidential elections to Macapagal-Arroyo. Famous for his film starring him as a champion of the downtrodden.
- Eddie Garcia, Poe Jr.'s friend and fellow action star and a versatile actor who can play protagonist or antagonist roles, but is well known either way as a Deadpan Snarker extraordinaire.
- Kris Aquino, actress, TV show host, and younger sister of Benigno III, known for her flamboyant speech and sticky romances.
- Sandara Park, South Korean singer and member of popular K-Pop group 2NE1 started her career in the Philippines.
- Charice Pempengco, Idol Singer so popular in America even Oprah Winfrey claims to be her fan. Later came out as a transgender man and went by the name Jake Zyrus.
- Dante Basco, actor known for playing Rufio in Hook and voicing Prince Zuko and Jake Long.
- The Dancing Prisoners of Cebu
- Arnel Pineda, singer-songwriter and current vocalist of American rock band Journey, discovered by Neal Schon in a series of YouTube videos.
- Megumi Nakajima, Filipina-Japanese seiyuu best known for voicing Ranka Lee.
- Allan Pineda Lindo Jr., better known as "apl.de.ap" of the Black Eyed Peas, whose two songs featured Tagalog lyrics (Bebot and The APL Song), as well as a philanthropist.
- Jasmine Trias, third-place winner of the third season of American Idol.
- Jasmine Villegas is of Mexican-Filipino descent.
- Peter Gene Hernandez, better known as "Bruno Mars", American pop singer, has a Filipino mother.
- A large number of American porn actresses and import models have Filipino ancestry, most (in)famously, Mimi Miyagi, who actually ran for governor of Nevada in 2006, under the Republican party.
- Darren Criss is half Filipino many people don't realize at first.
- Martial artist Mark Dacascos, mainly known in the Double Dragon film and the host of Iron Chef America.
- Lou Diamond Phillips, the star of the film La Bamba, is an actor, director, writer, and cook, has a Filipino mother.
- Comedian Rob Schneider is a quarter Filipino.
- Enrique Iglesias, son of Spanish singer Julio Iglesias has a Filipino mother.
- Hervé Villechaize, one of the villains of the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (and yes, he played the sidekick on Fantasy Island), is part-Filipino in ancestry.
- Rex Navarrete, Filipino-American comedian whose jokes focus on the Filipino culture.
- Moymoy Palaboy, a Filipino comedy duo comprising of brothers Roadfill and Moymoy.
- "The Mexicutioner" Manny Pacquiao, lightweight boxer that has defeated many of the sport's best-known fighters (as in the likes of Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton and even Oscar de la Hoya) and the first boxer to hold eight championship belts at once, as well as a congressman.
- Nonito Donaire, Pacquiao's fellow boxer and his likeliest successor as the Philippines' main prizefighter.
- David Bautista, American professional wrestler who formerly worked for WWE, six-time world champion, a three-time tag-team champion, and 2005 Royal Rumble winner, has a Filipino father.
- Eskrima, also known as Arnis and Kali (collectively known as Filipino Martial Arts), a form of martial arts that utilizes sticks and knifeplay. Was the same martial arts used in the Bourne trilogy.
- The upcoming Bourne Legacy is slated to include scenes set in the Philippines, notably around Manila and Palawan.
- Efren "Bata" Reyes, Jr., billiards champion known for his toothy smile.
- Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno, six-time World Bowling Champion and hailed by the government as the "Athlete of the Century".
- Brandon "The Truth" Vera, Filipino-American MMA wrestler currently fighting at the UFC.
The Philippines in Fiction:
- The Philippines is the setting of one mission in Black Lagoon.
- A Filipina bar hostess named Eileen is one of Hei's apartment neighbors in Darker than Black. Surprisingly, she is voiced by Mitsuki Saiga.
- In Gundam Wing, Quatre's mercenary group is called The Maganac Corps, which is based on the Filipino word for 'family'.
- Actually, it is the Filipino word, written in the old Spanish form.
- This Filipino thought it meant your child...
- Actually child is anak.
- "Maganac" is most probably based on "kamag-anak". The nearest direct translation would be "relative", in terms of the idea of a large family or clan. Hence, the Maganac Corps is probably composed of pilots who are all related to each other by blood or marriage, a cross between Badass Family and Badass Army.
- This Filipino thought it meant your child...
- Actually, it is the Filipino word, written in the old Spanish form.
- There was a passing reference to a battleship named [dead link] "Magsaysay" in Episode 48 of Gundam Seed.
- Sven Cal Bayan, The Hero of the ONA Gundam Seed Destiny Stargazer is suspected to be Filipino; his surname is based on the Filipino word for 'town' or 'country'.
- Kiki Rosita of Gundam: Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team is also probably Filipina as well, given the setting is South East Asia. Well that and her alleged unfortunate name.
- In Gundam Wing, Quatre's mercenary group is called The Maganac Corps, which is based on the Filipino word for 'family'.
- Weiss Kreuz. Kritiker agents are trained in central Luzon. Seriously.
- MPD Psycho. Two chapters in volume 7 are set in real-life locations in the Philippines - and the characters even speak in (very polite) correct Tagalog!
- The Philippines is a part of the Chinese Federation in Code Geass.
- Malcolm Gedoh and Eleki Battery from Hajime no Ippo are the Philippines Featherweight National Champion and Junior Lightweight Champion respectively. Miyata's rival, the former OPBF Interim Featherweight Champion Randy Boy Junior and his father, Randy Boy Senior, are also from the Philippines.
- Maria Taro Sekiutsu from Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei is implied to be from the Philippines.
- While not (technically) canon, the Philippines is a popular Original Character in Axis Powers Hetalia fandom. Sadly, this has brought loads of wank, as explained here.
- Interestingly enough, it turns out that Himaruya's recently decided to make the Philippines canon.
- The anime version of Blade has the Philippines as a backdrop in two episodes and featured the local versions of vampires from Filipino folklore.
- Grail of Wildstorm comics.
- Matt Fraction attempted to make a Philippines-based superhero team, the Triumph Division, in Iron Man. Most would contest that he Did Not Do the Research.
- The international indy cult-favorites Elmer and Trese.
- An issue of Power Girl had the titular hero save an area of the Philippines from a massive tidal wave. It was even revealed that she knows how to speak Tagalog.
- Sentry visited the Philippines during Marvel's Dark Reign to save people when Mt. Pinatubo (which caused the 2nd largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century) became active again.
- Filipino-American artist Whilce Portacio intended X-Men character Bishop to be Filipino, but the higher ups decided that his lineage be of Aboriginal-Australian origin.
- And when Whilce got to do his own book, Wetworks, he took the opportunity to put in a number of Filipino shout-outs, like at least one character exclaiming "Susmaryosep!" (a Filipino shortening of the classic Western exclamation "Jesus Mary Joseph") and having Filipina celebrity Regine Velasquez portrayed as a reporter. The Vampire Nation is said to be inspired by the Philippine mythological creature, the aswang.
- Leinel Francis Yu had also taken some opportunities to put in some Filipino shoutouts, like in his work with writer Mark Waid, Superman: Birthright, where the popular Philipine fast-food chain Chowking can be seen on one scene and where Superman mentions the Filipinos as one of his inspirations for his costume.
- And speaking of Mark Waid, at one or two points in his career he had a curious frequency of Filipino shoutouts, like the ones in Superman: Birthright. In his Flash story The Return of Barry Allen Linda was wearing a World War II jacket with a Philippine flag on it, and another popular Philippine fastfood chain, Jollibee, could be seen in one panel. And in Kingdom Come, at the part where Superman starts to bring the whole United Nations building down on the people inside it, one of his would-be victims seems to be Filipino; spelling and grammar issues aside, he calls Superman a "sira (broken) ulo (head)," a Filipino term for crazy, who is about to kill (papatayin).
- In the Twilight graphic novel, Bella does a web search on vampires; one of the search results is for "danag", a vampire from Filipino folklore.
- If you slow down some of the alien languages in Star Wars, some bits are actually Filipino.
- Specifically, the language of the Ewoks, "Ewokese".
- In the Bourne Trilogy, Eskrima was chosen to be the protagonist's choice of martial arts.
- The latest one, Bourne Legacy was shot in the Philippines, most notably along Taft Avenue and along Escolta.
- Constantine. The possessed girl and her family are Filipinos. This is evident when the possessed screams "Papatayin natin silang lahat!" (We will kill them all!) at Keanu Reeve's face.
- Platoon is shot in Laguna.
- Ditto Apocalypse Now.
- They Call Her Cleopatra Wong much of the movie takes place in Manila and was in fact directed by a legendary Filipino English-language b-movie director. The movie and it's director, international film legend Bobby Suarez, are said to be have been a major influences/inspirations on Quentin Tarantino (specifically his own Kill Bill was inspired by Cleopatra Wong).
- A Filipino chef is seen cursing at Mason as he is escaping the hotel in The Rock.
- In Big Fish, the "Vietnamese" ventriloquist was speaking in Tagalog.
- The Filipina maid in the movie Her Alibi.
- In Problem Child 3, Big Ben can be seen trying to call a Filipina girl long distance.
- In The Hunt for Eagle One where it was set in Mindanao, a group of US Marines are sent to rescue captured a US Marine and a Filipino Captain while stopping a group of Al-Qaeda-backed local rebels from launching biological weapons.
- The historical film Heneral Luna is set during the Philippine–American War, from the Filipino perspective.
- In Mitch Albom's "The Five People You Meet In Heaven", one scene in Eddie's past takes place in the Philippines. The little girl that died in the fire when Eddie and his team burned down the village went on to become his fifth and final person.
- Alex Garland's "The Tesseract" is set in the Philippines.
- The hero of the novel Starship Troopers is Filipino (Juan "Johnnie" Rico), but he gets a Race Lift in adaptations (where he's just Johnny Rico). Starships named after Presidents Aguinaldo and Magsaysay are also mentioned.
- Ilustrado is a novel set in a fictional version of the Philippines.
- In Paolo Coelho's "Eleven Minutes" (Onze Minutos) the protagonist, Maria, meets a Filipina named Nyah, who teaches her the tricks of Maria's new-found trade. Specifically this: Nyah, a veteran prostitute, teaches neophyte Maria that faking an orgasm is the best way to ensure loyalty from Maria's clients.
- Dale Brown's "Sky Masters" is set in the Philippines where the Chinese are planning to invade the country, and the Americans have to stop them by limited means. It should be noted the Dale's portrayal of the Philippine government and that of the Chinese are quite inaccurate.
Live Action TV
- It is mentioned in Doctor Who that the Philippines becomes a major superpower... in the fifth millennium.
- The Green Hornet's sidekick Kato was originally supposed to be a Filipino, but got a Race Lift in the other incarnations.
- The second to the last episode of Season 4 of Burn Notice had a plot to blame killings on a Filipino separatist group. Michael Weston objects to building a bomb from the separatist group's plans, since he did not speak Tagalog.
- The two-part season-ender of Season 3 of NCIS featured a Filipino Islamic terrorist and suicide bomber.
- In the NCIS LA episode "LD50", the NCIS LA unit under G. Callen arrest an Abu Sayyaf terrorist who entered America under a fake name. During the interrogation, NCIS psychologist Nate Getz questioned the alleged terrorist with his participation in SupperFerry 14 bombing attack.
- That infamous incident involving Desperate Housewives.
- The Philippines was mentioned as a place to earn money by gambling on drinking games on Heroes Season 3 Episode 21.
- The original Hawaii Five-O occasionally had scenes set in the Philippines...which were more often than not shot in Hawaii.
- Tony Soprano once extorted (violently) a Filipino-owned laundromat.
- Dr. Raymond Langston of CSI describes an aswang.
- One episode of Without a Trace features a Filipino nanny who went missing along with the child whom she's taking care of.
- Enya's song, Orinoco Flow mentions Cebu in one line.
- Britney Spears would sneak away to this country, taking pictures of her rear, and other pieces of her.
- The Philippines is a setting in Front Mission 3. Many characters from this series include a La Resistance leader [whose name is a Shout-Out to former President Joseph Estrada], and Pham Luis, a Rich Bitch mecha pilot who is clearly an Asuka Langley Soryu Expy.
- Jose Rizal is an unlockable character (with a rocket launcher) in the first Medal of Honor.
- Talim in Soul Calibur.
- Simlish actually contains elements of Tagalog.
- A trailer for Halo 3, as well as the novel Halo:Landfall point to a Filipino colony on Mars called Katagalugan, with settlements like "New Manila" and "New Legaspi."
- And Dead or Alive's canon foreigner from Halo, Nicole-458, was allegedly a Filipina, because she was born at New Legaspi and likes the Filipino dessert called Halo-Halo, according to canon.
- The Covenant name of the Grunts is Unggoy which in Tagalog literally means monkey.
- The PS 1 game Nuclear Strike has a bonus mission set in the Philippines.
- In Daiteikoku, the Philippines is obviously a territory under Republic of Gamerica, named as Manila 2000. There is also one admiral whose name is Lala Manie, who left to defend the territory after the same man left with the same words.
- Sampaguita, the 3rd game of the Yarudora series, has the Phillipines as a crucial theme. A good number of characters of this game are Filipinos, including the main heroine, Maria Santos; part of the storyline, both in flashbacks and in the present, takes place in the Philippines; and the game's title itself is the name of the national flower of the Philippines, which meaning is "a promise of eternal love between two people", and as such is the symbol of Maria and the Main Protagonist's love.
- This map from Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars shows the Philippines is a yellow zone. Oh well, it could have been worse.
- MAG-ISA -- This comic has a Filipino main character as well as other characters who are Filipino. In one chapter, there is a scene that talks about the communist and islamic insurgency in the Philippines. And don't forget that the name of this comic is Tagalog for "to be alone".
- Jason from Multiplex is part-Filipino and so is the webcomic's author Gordon McAlpin.
- Vinson Ngo, a.k.a Bleedman, creator of Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi and Grim Tales from Down Below, plus his original work Sugar Bits.
The Filipino Flag
- ↑ At one point during the Seven Years' War, British forces even occupied Manila.
- ↑ Among the most notorious being Limahong, who raided the Philippines in the late 16th century].
- ↑ Commonly known as "mestizos," much like mixed-race Latin America, they're an enduring legacy of centuries of colonization.
- ↑ The Chinatown in question, comprising Tondo and Binondo, traces its origins back to the 16th century in the "Parian" granted by the Spanish to Chinese merchants.
- ↑ Particularly the West Coast of the United States and historically, Hawaii where a sizable portion of the population is of Filipino descent.
- ↑ Not all Filipinos enjoy these local delicacies. Some of the younger generations are just as squicked about it as non-Filipinos.
- ↑ Birdbattling?