The Republic of the Philippines is a democratic state in South East Asia, one of the few that survived Doomsday.
The Philippines was a "minor" blip, owing to the country's alliance with an old colonizer, the United States. The targets (all in the island of Luzon) were the following:
- Clark Air Base, Pampanga Province - RZ 01
- Subic Naval Base, Zambales Province - RZ 02
- Baguio City/Camp John Hay, Benguet Province - RZ 03
These locations, as well as the surrounding countryside, were later known as Restricted Zones or RZs; towns and cities such as Olongapo (Zambales), Angeles City and San Fernando (both in Pampanga) were destroyed along with the targets.
Indefinite Emergency (1983-1987)
The immediate days following Doomsday plunged the country into crisis. Emergency plans were quickly initiated by the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), prompting the evacuation of much of Pampanga, Bulacan, Zambales, Bataan, and Tarlac to stations across Luzon; the operation took place over several weeks. President Ferdinand Marcos, still residing in Malcanang, declared Martial Law - as he did in 1972 - once more. Military forces were dispatched across the archipelago, quelling riots and overseeing rations. Government institutions were dispersed out of Manila into different provinces. By April 1984, the country was in lockdown, with government operations remaining in Manila "to ensure normality;" the Marcos family had relocated to Vigan, Ilocos Sur. With contact with the United States lost, the only things keeping Marcos and his cronies in power were the military loyalists, and the desperate survival of their own countrymen. Elsewhere, plans were made in establishing an "administrative citadel" in the Cordilleras: the future New Baguio.
The Chinese Refugee Crisis
As the nation began to stabilize in mid-1985, Coast Guard vessels reported several various seacraft - yachts, fishing boats, tugboats - off the coast of Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan and Batanes Provinces. Upon inspection, these were found to contain refugees, mainly from Taiwan and Hong Kong, totaling about 140,000. For the first time, Filipinos learned the extent of Doomsday (at least in East Asia); they were fairly convinced then that they were alone in the region. NDCC shelters quickly became overwhelmed with this influx, prompting Marcos to close down the country's maritime borders to prevent any further movements. Of the 140,000 Chinese refugees, only 30% were officially admitted by 1986. In a radio statement from the high security New Baguio encampments, Marcos ordered all the remaining "illegal aliens" to be expelled by any means, "but as orderly as possible;" rumors circulated in the underground press of refugees being "escorted" at gunpoint. In later years, several political disappearances would be reported to have taken place around this time, including political activist Corazon "Cory" Aquino.
Downfall of Marcos: "The Bloodless Coup of '87"
On 14 December 1986, classified documents were leaked into anti-Marcos channels, primarily military and activist elements; by former members of Marcos' inner circle. The papers and photos confirmed not only the "secret debriefing" of Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino's assassination - about a month before Doomsday - but also confirmation of the mass killings ordered by Marcos himself. Public reaction quickly exploded across much of the country, prompting the government to renew crackdowns on dissidents. A major incident was the Veritas Standoff in February 1987: several activists and Catholic clergymen held themselves inside the old Radio Veritas Building (Manila), broadcasting religious and pro-democracy messages, until soldiers opened fire on the building; 14 casualties was the official tally. Amidst the renewed upheaval, Marcos' grip on the nation grew increasingly weaker, as various elements of society went in unison against him, including the Communist NPA (New People's Army) and Islamic MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front).
All this culminated in the "Bloodless Coup of '87." On 21 June 1987, a near simultaneous uprising, lead by former inner circle member Juan Ponce Enrile, took place nationwide as protesters overwhelmed government installations in peaceful marches of solidarity and faith. At 3:47 PM local time, rebellious soldiers under Enrile's direct command seized control of New Baguio, arresting Marcos and his remaining staff in a "Mandate of the people;" Marcos' "Bagong Lipunan" (New Society; Second Republic) came to an end with barely a shot fired. The (former) Presidential Family was placed under house arrest 22 kms. east of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte. Marcos would die of heart failure in 1990.
The Founding of the Third Republic.
Juan Ponce Enrile placed the country under temporary military rule on 23 June 1987, to supervise the shift back to civilian democracy; the following months saw the "de-Marcosification" of the government. Institutions relocated after Doomsday were "settled down" into their present locations, with Malacanang Segundo - dubbed by the press as "The Mountain Palace" - based in New Baguio. A National Commission was assembled a few days later, comprising of surviving congressmen, senators and representatives from various groups. After 3 months of debates and arguments, the commission agreed to utilize a modified version of the 1935 Commonwealth Constitution, later known simply as the Revised Constitution.
On 8 November 1987, the first multi-party elections were held, with Salvador Laurel elected President of the Third Republic of the Philippines in 6 January the following year; the inauguration took place in Kawit, Cavite. The first years were marked with increased attention to welfare and the first solid attempt to purge corruption. The Laurel years also marked the first efforts to reach out to both the NPA and MNLF. The end of the 1980s saw the beginning of the capital's re-population and reformation into Manila-NCR.
In the early 1990s, it became clear that the existing administrative system needed to be changed. The old provincial and district divisions became more inefficient to cope with domestic and political interests. Thus in 18 May 1993, a nationwide forum was held to decide on how to reform the system. Discourse soon went leaning towards economic and cultural lines; it was also suggested to grant greater independence to the Moros. The momentum put forward culminated in the passing of The 1994 Reorganization Act (Republic Act 1694): a thorough and comprehensive redrawing of the system above the barangay (lowest local level). This resulted in the end of provinces altogether, having been replaced by Administrative Territories organized in public (and national) interest. The Act was also notable for granting Moro considerable autonomy and the reestablishment of the old Sultanates.
It was also during this time period that naval patrol boats began venturing out of national waters into the coast of Sabah. When contact was made with remnant Malaysian authorities in 1993, a plebescite was held on whether to incorporate the region. On 3 August 1995, Sabah became an autonomous territory of the Philippines; though in practice control was limited to the region closest to the Moros.
Contact with ANZC
The first known "outside knowledge" on post-Doomsday Philippines came from the USS Benjamin Franklin in 1992. En route back to Australia, it crossed the vicinity of the Spratly Islands, reporting garbled radio messages in "mixed English and Tagalog" coming from Palawan and as far as Manila; rumors spread of sightings of naval vessels at the edge of their radar. As far their superiors in Canberra were concerned, the island nation's survival was labeled "unverified." The Filipino Diaspora community soon lobbied to the authorities - and later the WCRB - to investigate the fate of their ancestral homeland.
On 11 November 1996, an ANZC recon force to South East Asia arrived off the coast of Davao, confirming the existence of a functioning government and society. The meeting that followed between the ANZC commander and Governor Prospero Amatong of Compostela-Davao signaled the beginning of Philippine-ANZC relations. The first words spoken to the outside world were:
- Mabuhay. Welcome! I guess you gentlemen haven't forgotten about this part of the world.
For the first time since Doomsday, Filipinos became aware of the altered state of global affairs, as well as a renewed link to the (surviving) Diaspora. An embassy was established in the old American compound, in a now repopulated Manila-NCR, in 1997. Among the most affected by the Contact were American "nationals" - soldiers, civilians, staff - still waiting to return home; long after the "United States" they knew ceased to exist. While some migrated to Australia soon after, others remained behind to become "naturalized Filipinos."
"Pag-asa para sa Bagong Milenyo" (Hope for the New Millenium)
Current Conditions (From the Philippine Yearbook 2009)
Population: 70,550,000 (Estimated)
- Roman Catholicism: 81%
- Protestantism(+Evangelical): 7%
- Indigenous Churches: 2%
- Others: 1%
Other Faiths: 1%
Poverty Rate: 26%
5 Most Populous Cities:
- Cebu City
- New Baguio
- Davao City
Government and Politics
The Philippines is a pseudo-federal Democratic Republic, whose head of state is the President. According to the Revised Constitution, presidential Elections take place every 6 years, whereas 3 years for senatorial and congressional positions. Since Doomsday, there is increased representation from the various ethnic and religious groups. Its official capital is Manila-NCR - locally referred to as "Metro Manila" - where the Senate, Corte Suprema and Malacanang Palace are located. The events of Doomsday prompted the decentralization of major institutions, resulting in relocations to Cebu (notably Congress and the Opisina ng Ombudsman) and New Baguio (Department of Defense, Malacanang Segundo); most departments still maintain offices in Manila-NCR. The various territories have fair representation in both Congress and the Senate, though the autonomous elements have separate institutions.
Prominent Political Parties include:
- Partido Nacionalista
- Bagong Pagasa Party
- Liberal Party
- Chinese Conservative Party
- Partido Communista
- Muslim Regionalist Party
English and Tagalog are the national languages, although various languages (Cebuano, Ilocano, etc.) have official status as well in the territorial level. The main languages are frequently used throughout the country in an almost equal proportion. Despite relative isolation, English proficiency remains high, particularly among the upper classes; a legacy of the Americans. More recent developments since 1997 have seen the development of a new lingua franca to replace Tagalog, known as "Filipino:" a synthesis of Tagalog, Cebuano, Kapampangan, Ilocano and Chavacano (Spanish creole). Put forward by former president Salvador Laurel, it is part of the government's effort to promote nationalist and patriotism. The project is still under scrutiny of the National Commission of Languages, successor to the Komisyon ng Wikang Pambansa.
Although a democracy, considerable influence still comes from dynastic political and business families; but not as dominant as during Marcos' day. Corruption remains one of the main concerns of both government officials and NGOs. The Catholic Church remains a potent, though benevolent, force in the national psyche.
Internationally, it has for the most part stayed out of foreign affairs, save for trade agreements. Filipinos have close relations with ANZC, East Timor and Japan. On 3 June 2008, it applied for membership in the League of Nations, citing its adherence to the old U.N. charter.
The Philippine Armed Forces (Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas) still maintains the four pre-Doomsday branches: the Army, Air Force, Navy and National Police (formerly the Philippine Constabulary). In other respects, however, the military was practically overhauled to cope with domestic and "border" issues. Occasional skirmishes with rogue NPA cells have rendered it adept in tropical combat. The RZs still maintain high military restrictions, although incentives for public resettlement have been offered since 2003.
Equipment is anachronistic by ANZC standards, with its mixture of post-WW2 aircraft and Marcos-era tanks (modified post-Doomsday), as well as APCs. The M-16 and M-14 are the main firearms, with the (experimental) M1-X Maharlika rifle undergoing testing. Despite the "technological mash" disadvantage, the Philippine's military is considered one of the most potent and skilled in the region.
Territories (After Reorganization)
- Luzon Norte
- Central Luzon
- Manila-NCR (National Capital Region; Rehiyon ng Pambansang Kabisera)
- Isla ng Palawan
- Visayas Occidental
- Rehiyon Ilonggo
- Cebu National Administrative City
- Islas Bohol-Guimaras
- Visayas Oriental
- Ciudad Nacional Administrativo de Zambuanga
- Autonomous League of Moro Sultanates
- Mindanao Norte
- Mindanao Sur
- Sabah Autonomous Region (disputed boundary with Brunei)
The Philippine economy is primarily based on both agriculture and mid-industry. Until the landmark ANZC Contact, trade was limited to the local level, or at best to outlying communities in Sabah; merchant trade with southern Taiwan started unofficially by 1996. Today, it maintains commercial relations with both the ANZC and SAC, with businessmen and workers establishing themselves on both sides. Given the extent of the Diaspora communities across the civilized world, the presence of "Returning Expats" and Overseas Professionals is growing into a potent trend.
Among the prominent local companies to survive Doomsday are Lopez and Associates, owners of the restored ABS-CBN media stations, and Ayala Enterprises, responsible in part for the reconstruction of Manila-NCR (based on old Makati plans and Burnham's 1900s designs). These corporations quickly took advantage of restored contact to establish a foothold in the international corporate scenes; Ayala now holds 20% of real estate properties in Taiwan.
Energy-wise, the country is reliant on coal, hydroelectric and geothermal plants for power. With much of its oil supply cut off by Doomsday, increased emphasis was placed on utilizing natural, renewable sources. Vehicles have since been modified to run on coal, and natural gas; as well as the controversial "hydro-engine," which runs on and releases oxygen and water.
Filipino culture is a blending of native, Chinese, Spanish, and American influences; in many aspects Hispanization is prominent. Although Urban society is more cosmopolitan and fast-paced, reflecting somewhat pre-Doomsday America, Rural life, particularly the "Christian lowland," is decidedly conservative; though the "modern" is seeping through the "traditional." Both, representative of the predominant Christian/Catholic populace, are in contrast to the "Native Islamic" trappings of the Moros, and the indigenous tribes. In general, Filipinos value family, kahiyaan and faith. The events of Doomsday had prompted Filipinos to focus on community building, resulting in more fervent nationalism among otherwise disparate members of society.
The country is unofficially known as the "Catholic Center" of East Asia, owing to its heritage with the Catholic Church. Its clergy, along with those of East Timor, represent the Asian faithful in the Vatican. thumb|300px|left|A recording of the Philippine National Anthem for the Centennial Anniversary (1998)