Philippines: Random Facts and Trivia

Some random facts and trivia for the country of the world the Philippines, including the rebellions, Japan and World War II, their doctors and television programming.



Filipinos, led by the worker-peasant Katipunan, rebelled against Spain in 1896 and drove the Spanish from most of the archipelago. They declared independence on June 12, 1898, and laid siege to Manila during the Spanish-American War (1898), U.S. Admiral Dewey, supposedly in alliance with the rebels, destroyed the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay.

However, instead of turning Manila over to the Filipino rebels, the U.S. "bought" the Philippines from Spain for $20 million, as part of the Spanish-American peace treaty. The Americans won the support of the upper classes, as well as some middle-class reformers, and sought to impose control militarily. Thus began America's "1st Vietnam." One hundred and twenty-six thousand American troops, schooled in Indian fighting, defeated the rebels in major encounters, forced Filipinos into "relocation" camps, and killed perhaps as many as 600,000 people. In 1901 American troops captured the Filipino President, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. The following year U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt declared the war over, but it continued for many years.

Japanese troops invaded the Philippines on December 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor; an American-run Army--80% Filipino--unsuccessfully resisted. During the Japanese occupation (1942-1945), the communist-led Hukbalahap (the Huks) guerrillas fought the Japanese. At the end of W. W. II, the U.S. granted the Philippines formal independence (July 4, 1946). The Huks agreed to participate in American-organized elections, but finding neocolonialism no less desirable than colonialism, they took up arms again. At one point the Huks nearly seized power, but, aided by the CIA's Col. Edward Lansdale, pro-American Filipinos destroyed Huk power by 1953.

Rebellion broke out again in the late 1960s. The Maoist New People's Army began guerrilla warfare in remote areas of the north, and Moro secessionists took control of large areas on the southern islands. The Government responded by napalming rebel-held areas. With the imposition of martial law, both struggles intensified, but the Marcos regime does not face imminent collapse.

An estimated 40% of Filipino physicians are practicing abroad, most in the U.S.

Eighty-five percent of Philippine TV is American programming.

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