The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands located in Southeast Asia. It is a democratic unitary presidential republic with diplomatic relations with most other countries in the world and is a participant in the international scene. The Philippines is classed as a developing country although it was once the second largest economy in Asia. Filipinos are mostly of Malay descent with a little Chinese, Spanish and American. The population is predominantly Roman Catholic although there is a large Muslim population in the south. The Philippines was discovered in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan who was later killed in a battle with local chieftain, Lapu-Lapu. Several decades later, Spain returned and established the Philippines as a colony in 1565. The archipelago remained under Spanish control until 1898 despite brief British occupation of Manila 1762 - 1764. Towards the end of Spanish rule, Filipinos developed a sense of liberalism and nationalism. Individuals such as Dr. Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio sought independence, the former through peaceful negotiation and reform and the latter through outright revolution. Revolution finally came and Filipinos began their struggle for independence which was proclaimed by General Emilio Aguinaldo in 1898. Independence was short lived and 1898 marked the beginning of American colonial rule which lasted until 1946, with three years of occupation from Japan 1943 - 1945. President Ferdinand Marcos proclaimed martial law in 1972 and exercised legislative powers. Martial law was ended in 1981 and the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in 1983 let to the ouster of Marcos in 1986. A number of unsuccessful military coups have been launched against some post-Marcos governments but the largest threats to national security are the communist and Muslim insurgencies. The Philippines is in the UTC +8 time zone and does not observe daylight saving time (DST). The country international telephone calling code is +63 and the country internet TLD is .ph
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