The Republic of the Philippines is the world’s second-largest archipelago made up of over 7,600 islands. The country is located in the western Pacific Ocean. The Philippine islands are surrounded by the Philippine, South China, Celebes, and Sulu Seas as well as the Luzon Straight. This provides them with 36, 289 kilometers of coastline. The capital is Manila. Roughly 100 million people live in the Philippines. The official languages are Filipino and English.
For over 300 years, the Philippines was a Spanish colony. As part of the settlement of the Spanish-American war, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States in 1898. The U.S. began to incorporate the islands’ Muslim areas by force. At the beginning of the Second World War, the Japanese took back the Philippines. In 1944, the U.S. forces retook the islands. Two years later, the islands were granted their full independence. It was the first Southeast Asian country to gain independence after the war and was renamed the Republic of the Philippines.
The Philippines have a democratic government in the form of a constitutional republic with a presidential system. The Armed Forces of the Philippines are responsible for national security and consist of three branches: the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Army, and the Philippine Navy.
The highest award is the title Order of Lankandula, which was instituted on September 19, 2003.
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