Alternate History

Monarchy of the Philippines (World of Kings and Queens)

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King of The Philippines
Felipe VI 2015 (cropped)
Felipe VI
since 19 June 2014

Heir apparent: Leonor, Princess of Asturias

The Monarchy of the Philippines (Spanish: Monarquía de Filipinas, Tagalog: Monarkiya ng Pilipinas) is the core of Philippines' federalism, being the foundation of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the federal and each provincial government. The current Philippine monarch, since 19 June 2014, is King Felipe VI. 

Although the person of the sovereign is equally shared with 9 other independent countries within the Coalition of Nations, each country's monarchy is separate and legally distinct. As a result, the current monarch is officially titled King of the Philippines and, in this capacity, he, his consort, and other members of the Royal Family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of the Philippine state. However, ever since the leadership of Ferdinand Marcos, the country's prime minister from 1965-1985, the King holds no true constitutional or civil power or authority and his position and title as King of the Philippines is only in name and of pure tradition. As Felipe VI lives predominantly in Spain, the sovereign's governmental and ceremonial duties in Philippines are carried out by the King's representative, the Governor-General and the Prime Minister. In each of Philippines' provinces, the monarch is represented by a gobernadorcillo.

Philippines is one of the oldest continuing monarchies in the world, where the historical roots of the Philippine monarchy date back to approximately the turn of the 16th century, when European kingdoms made the first claims to what is now Philippine territory. Monarchical governance thenceforth evolved under a continuous succession of Spanish and Portuguese sovereigns and eventually the federal Philippine monarchy of today. The Philippine Monarchy has high historical ties to the Mexican Monarchy and Cuban Monarchy.


Colonial Era

The Philippine monarchy belongs to the House of Bourbon. In 1898, King Alfonso XIII signed the Manila Decree, which allowed the Philippines to independantly govern themselves. He ordered Spanish troops in the Philippines to free Katipunan prisoners and other anti-monarchy militants in order to allow them to establish their own armed forces. Alfonso XIII had also hoped that this would help the Philippine natives re-gain their respect for the Spanish Crown. Many Spanish troops withdrew from the Philippine Islands thereafter, and the remaining ones mostly served as military leaders and officers of the Philippines Land Forces - commanding and leading native Filipino forces.

However, this didn't please all Katipunan members, who continuously waged a war against the Filipino soldiers, which the Filipino forces emerged victorious by luck. The Philippine government, under the leadership of the country's first Prime Minister, José Rizal sent Filipino soldiers to help the Spanish Crown regain control of Cuba. 

This was not an independence-granting, the Spanish Crown did exercise its remaining legitimacy in the Philippines. It sent Spanish troops back to the islands, to aid the Filipinos in case of a potential American invasion. 

World War II

During World War II, over 23,000 Spanish, Filipino and Mexican soldiers perished fighting the Japanese invasion, with American aid. This had created a rift between Filipinos of their faith in the Spanish Crown. Those beginning to reject the Spanish Crown has argued that the Spanish monarchy was out-dated and failed to provide the Filipino forces with proper support. Supporters of the Spanish Crown argued that there was too much pressure and there wasn't much that could be done. The presence of the American forces in the Philippines had also begun an age of "Anglophilia", where many Filipinos began converting to Baptist, Protestant or other English-speaking churches. In addition, many began favoring English over Spanish. Roman Catholic leaders in the nation feared this, and called on the King Juan III of Spain and Prime Minister Sergio Osmeña to restrict American activities in the country.

On August 12, 1945, was the crowning of an independent "Philippine Monarch", in which King Juan III of Spain was Crowned as the first to hold the title as "King of the Philippines". King Juan III made a personal visit to Bataan, to commemorate the lives of Filipino and Spanish veterans. He viewed as the Philippines as his closest friend and ally. Sergio Osmeña acknowledged the existence of a distinct Monarchy of the Philippines.

In 1947, Ferdinand Marcos, a right wing republican militant who had fought the Japanese invasion, made an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Philippine Monarchy. At this point, the Katipunan had become frustrated and easily irritated. Juan de Bolano, the leader of the Katipunan stated, "The people of the Philippines have clearly demonstrated their sheer-stupidity, they've seen the nothingness that the Spanish Crown produced during our war with Japan. Yet, they still continue to preserve our non-independence". Marcos and his family were imprisoned, his parents died while in prison. Marcos promised them both that he'd be leader of the Philippines one day.

Cold War

After World War II, the status quo regarding Philippine politics had remained the same. The King of Spain retaining his title as King of the Philippines, under the leadership of a Governor-General and a Prime Minister. In 1965, Ferdinand Marcos of the Liberal Democratic Party achieved his ultimate goal - to become Prime Minister of the Philippines. While Marcos knew he could never convert the Philippines into a presidential republic, he worked to distance the Philippine government from the Spanish Crown.

From the 1965 and on, the Spanish Crown slowly lost all legitimacy in Philippine politics. In 1967, Prime Minister Ferdinand Marcos announced the creation of an independent Philippine Constitution, as well as the passage of the Patriation Act. Their act did many things and would change the role of the Philippine Monarchy, essentially making it but a mere figurehead and ceremonial position, stripping the King of any real constitutional power. It created an independent Philippine Parliament, and also handed over the judicial, executive and legislative branches of government to the Philippine Parliament. Previously, Spanish Parliament held the legislative powers. It also limited the influence and political legitimacy of royal families.

Mestizo Filipinos had viewed this as cultural persecution and ethnic cleansing, yet - they were powerless to stop Marcos. In 1970, the Spanish language was abolished as an official language, the Tagalog language which Marco officially dubbed as the "Filipino language", became the sole and national language. Spanish remained an optional auxiliary language. 

In 1975, Marcos successfully entered the Philippines into the Alam Melayu, joining its southern neighbors of Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as Singapore. 

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