The Philippines (Filipino: Pilipinas), officially the Republic of the Philippines (Republika ng Pilipinas), is an island nation located in the Malay archipelago in Southeast Asia, with Manila as its capital. It comprises 7107 islands called the Philippine Archipelago, with a total land area of approximately 300,000 square kilometers or 116,000 square miles.
The people of the Philippines are called Filipinos. Most Filipinos are descended from the indigenous Austronesian-speaking peoples, but there are also many Filipinos of mixed descent, known as mestizos, through intermarriage with Chinese and Spanish.
The country was named "Islas de Filipinas," after King Philip II of Spain. Spanish colonial rule began in 1565 and lasted for about three centuries until the Philippine Revolution of 1896. The United States gained possession of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War in 1898 and ruled the country for about five decades. Philippine culture has many affinities with the West. Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion, and English is an official language, along with Tagalog.
On July 4, 1946, the Philippines became an independent democratic republic. President Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial law in 1972. The People Power Revolution in 1986 toppled the Marcos regime and restored the Philippines democratic institutions.
The Philippines today is a significant source of migrant workers; there are over 8 million overseas Filipinos and their remittances exceed $12 billion a year, an amount that forms a significant portion of the Philippines' gross national product.
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