Regional Background

The Philippines is composed of 7,100 Islands. It was the first Republic in Asia (1898), the first to be decolonized partially by Western colonial country (1935) and the first in Southeast Asia to be granted full independence after the Second World War (1946). Named after King Philip of Spain, the Philippines is a beautiful country and has been called “PEARL OF THE ORIENT.” The Philippines was under the colonization of Spain for 333 years (1565-1898) and American for nearly 50 years, and  Japanese from 1941 to 1945.

The Philippines is a unique Nation with four cultural heritages – Asian, European, Mexican, and American. No other Nation in this world can claim to have such varied and extensive experience with all four cultures. Thus it is not unusual for Filipinos to look oriental, have a Spanish sounding name, speak English with American accent, and have a Latin temperament. Filipinos are famous for their warm hospitality, friendliness to foreigners, musical and artistic talents, romanticism, deep religiosity and bravery. They have the resiliency of the bamboo and the durability of Narra, the National tree; when wars and calamities come; they bend but do not break!