The Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines (Filipino: Republika ng Pilipinas) is a sovereign island state located in Southeast Asia. The archipelago consists of 7,107 islands, divided into Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. It also controls Sabah. Despite Manila being targeted during the Great Nuclear of 1962, it was one the few nations to survive that catastrophic event and make it to modern times.
The Philippines was a Spanish colony for over 300 years before being ceded to the United States in 1898 following American victory during the Spanish-American War. A short-lived Filipino-American War was fought in which the Philippines became a U.S. territory in 1902. An Insular Government was established in the islands following this. The Philippines took one step closer to independence in 1934; the following year, the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established which would become independent in 10 years, with Manuel L. Quezon as President. The independence of the country was delayed because the Empire of Japan invaded the country in December 1941. In May 1942, the country was occupied by the Japanese. The United States returned to liberate the islands in October 1944 and was fully liberated in July 1945.
On July 4, 1946, the independence of the Republic of the Philippines came into effect. The United States maintained their military bases in the country in an agreement that would last another 99 years. During the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, the Philippines took part in the United Nations forces in the defense of South Korea, where Filipino forces fought against the Chinese and the North Koreans. At the same time during the Korean War, the Hukbalahap (communist guerrillas who fought the Japanese during the Second World War) staged a communist rebellion which was crushed in 1954 when the leader Luis Taruc surrendered to government forces. The country signed a mutual defense pact with the United States in 1951.
As the 1960s entered, the Philippines continued to support the United States in its Cold War against communism worldwide. It was one of this reason why the country was targeted during World War III.
Great Nuclear War
The capital of the Philippines, Manila, was struck with a 20kt Soviet nuclear weapon. It is estimated that 240,000+ people were killed instantly with another 490,000+ injured. Several more would be killed by radiation sickness in the weeks to come. Following the nuclear attack on Manila, the city and the nearby cities were evacuated to the surrounding provinces. President Diosdado Macapagal was warned ahead by the U.S. were he was evacuated to Baguio before the Soviet strike on Manila. The Philippine government relocated to Baguio City, Benguet which would become its temporary capital for the time being. The military was deployed to oversee the evacuation efforts as well as quelling riots. U.S. troops in the country, having lost contact with the Continental United States, decided it was the in their best interests to assist their Filipino allies in the evacuation and relief efforts. The evacuation would take over several weeks as Manila was declared a "No Entry Zone" guarded by both Philippine and American troops.
A New Communist Insurgency
Although the Huks have ended their insurgency, a brewing movement of new communists revolutionaries called the New People's Army began attacking villages, police stations, and military outposts. The NPA, having heard of the Soviet attack on Manila, thought it was the right time to overthrow the Philippine government. Military units, backed up by U.S. forces, would be deployed to the jungles and farmlands around the country - quelling rebellions and destroying communist strongholds.
Soon after, it seemed like the Philippines would become the next Vietnam War as the communist insurgents launched a war of attrition against government forces. The military nonetheless continued their resolve to quell the insurgency. Besides American servicemen assisting the Filipinos, the local troops were often assisted by anti-communist paramilitary groups, far-right militias and vigilantes.
1963-1970s: Rebuild and Reconstruct
The first few weeks since the Great Nuclear War plunged the country into instability; further added by NPA insurgency. President Macapagal initiated long term plans to help stabilized the Philippines. First, he nationalized all branches of the armed forces and local law enforcement. U.S. military servicemen were integrated into the Philippine military for the time being. Troops were deployed into provinces to help distribute aid and quell riots.
All secessionists were made an enemy of the state such as the NPA. In Mindanao, another seccessionist group called the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) staged an insurgency, further giving a headache to the government. Filipino and American soldiers were deployed to Mindanao to quell and riots further. Because of the catastrophic event, the 1965 elections were suspended. Elections resumed in 1966, in which Macapagal lost to Ferdinand Marcos in a close election. Marcos then placed policies on how the country will move on from the Great Nuclear War. He declared that all communists, anarchists, and Islamic militants as enemies of the state. This was also the time that the Philippine Armed Forces saw increased recruits. The Citizens Army Training was made mandatory. Marcos would also initiate economic reforms in the country which made the Philippine's economy grow during this decade.
There were plans to capture Sabah by 1968, however this was delayed as Marcos was closely observing the situation with the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation. The Great Nuclear War only made it worse as British forces were caught off guard. Before the end of the 1960's, the Marcos government had started manufacturing their own arms (using copies of U.S. made weapons), ships, and early ballistic missiles. By 1971, with the situation in Borneo gone out of control, the Philippines mounted an amphibious invasion of Sabah crossing from Tawi-Tawi in the pretext of "peacekeeping," codenamed Operation Merdeka. This caught the Malaysian, British, and Indonesian soldiers off guard. The fighting became a free-for-all, as it was troops started firing on each other. For three years, the fighting became a stalemate and all leaders sued for peace. President Marcos met with the leaders of Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Commonwealth on discussions to end the conflict in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in 1974. This resulted in the formation of Malaysia and the cession of Sabah to the Philippines. Relations between the two would become frostly until the 1980s. President Marcos would serve for another term before stepping down.
In 1975, contact was established with the United States of the Pacific - the official successor of the former United States. Americans still in the Philippines were given the option to relocate or stay. A bulk portion decided to move back to the "America" that exists, moving to Guam, Hawaii, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. while a few decided to remain in the Philippines. As for U.S. military assets that were nationalized, the USP government decided to hand over the military hardware to the Philippines
The Philippines strengthened their claims on the Spratly Island Archipelago. In 1981, the Philippines recognized Taiwan as the true China. This was done because there has been no word from Mainland China. It was also at this era when the Post-Marcos, new administration of the Philippine government decided to reach out both the NPA and MNLF as it saw no reason to continue fighting after the Great Nuclear War.
On July 16, 1990, a big earthquake struck the island of Luzon, destroying a large portion of Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija and the de facto capital of Baguio City. An estimated 1,600 people perished in the quake. Soldiers were deployed to the disaster areas to help in the relief and recovery. The United States of the Pacific and Taiwan quickly offered aid. However, a year later, Mount Pinatubo erupted and damaged Olongapo, Subic Naval Base, Clark Air Base, and Naval Station Cubi Point. American forces had to temporarily relocate to Wallace Air Station, Mactan Air Base, and other local airports. Some American dependents evacuated to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands as the ash fall from the volcano was being cleared.
The country established ties with Zhusanjiao after a Philippine frigate docked in Hong Kong in 1992. The Filipinos were surprised to see that not only Hong Kong and Macau united, but has since controlled portions of southern China. The two nations began trading afterwards. Technological advancements in infrastructure, engineering, energy, military were made at this part of the decade.
2000s: The Dawn of the New Millennium
By the year 2000, the government of the republic had completed peace talks with the rebels. This resulted in concessions given by both sides. For the NPA, land reforms were enacted coupled by the double of the payment for all farmer export on rice, livestock, and poultry. The Moros in the south were given greater autonomy with the establishment of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The territory of Sabah was placed under this administrative region.
The Philippines was one of the founding members of the International League of Nations during its formation in 2005.
On the 50th anniversary of the Great Nuclear War of 1962, the Philippines adapted a federal system in its government. This meant the reorganization of provinces throughout the archipelago. At this time, many Filipino Catholics migrated into Sabah, mixing with the Muslim population there.
Government and Politics
The Philippines has a democratic state in the form of a pseudo-federal constitutional republic with a presidential system. The country follows the 2012 Constitution, an updated version of the 1935 Constitution used when the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established in that year.
The President is the head-of-state and the head-of-government. He is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The Congress is the legislative branch of the government. It is divided into the upper house (Senate) and the lower house (House of Representatives). Judicial duties are performed by the Supreme Court.
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The Philippines is a member of the United Nations and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). The country had close ties with the West, namely the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and West Germany. It is an ally of the United States since 1951 with the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty, of which the United States of the Pacific (USP - the continuation of the USA in West Coast and the Pacific Ocean) would come to the defense of the Philippines. Following the Great Nuclear War, the Philippines has maintained relations with its neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and South Vietnam. Relations with Malaysia are somewhat strained because of the Sabah Issue. Recently, the country has established ties with the Republic of Zhusanjiao (Pearl River Delta), further bringing trade to the former areas of mainland China.
See also: Armed Forces of the Philippines
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is the military forces of the country. It is divided into three branches: Army, Air Force, and the Navy - of which the Marine Corps are part of. The standard service firearm is the M-16 assault rifle. They are used extensively with the M-14 rifle from the 1950s. In addition to that, the military still has remnant weapons and vehicles from World War II such as the M1 Garand, M1 Thompson, M3 Grease Gun, and countless leftovers from the Japanese occupation.
The Army operates M4 Shermans, M3 Half Tracks, Grayhound APCs, M113s, and still-operational, captured Type 95 and Type 97 IJA tanks.
In its aircraft inventory, the Philippine Air Force mainly operates the F-86 Sabre. With the nationalizing of the U.S. military assets in the country, the country was able to acquire USAF F-4 Phantoms and Northrop F-5 tigers. Fighters planes and B-17 Flying Fortress Bombers from World War II are placed in reserve.
The Navy operates frigates, gunboats, and corvettes. They conduct joint patrols with the remnant U.S. Navy ships at Subic Bay.
Under the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, the Philippine military began building their own versions of weapons, either reversed engineered from nationalized U.S. military hardware or ingenious design. The Philippine company Elisco now makes licensed M16 rifles based on early prototype designs that were shown prior to 1962. Examples include the Bongbong rocket, which is now adapted as an anti-ship and anti-aircraft missile. Locally produced units Delta Mini Cruiser (similar to the Willy's Jeep), the Floro MK-9 submachine gun, and the prototype Apolinario Mabini-class frigates. There are numerous prototypes under going testing that have yet to be revealed to the public.
The Philippines economy mainly relies on agriculture and fishing. The tropical climate makes it ideal to plant crops such as rice, corn, sugarcane, onion, garlic, and a variety of tropical crops. Fruits such as mangoes, durian, and pineapples, have also been exported to the nearby regions. It is known that the country is rich in natural resources, namely minerals, rubber, and oil, but these have yet to be maximized as the Philippines has still to find the means to extract these.
With the repopulation of Metro Manila still ongoing and the recent federalization in 2012, Cebu City has become the richest city in the Philippines, followed by Davao City in the south.
The culture is mixed with pre-Hispanic cultures, Malayo-Polynesian, Spanish, Chinese, American and other Western cultures.
Luzon and Visayas are predominantly Catholic. There has been a presence of other Christian beliefs such as Protestantism, 7th Day Adventist, and Inglesia Ni Cristo (INC). Mindanao and Sabah is predominantly Muslim, a mark left by the ancient sultanates in Southeast Asia.
The Philippines is still currently the most pro-American nation in Southeast Asia, before and after World War III. Part of this is due the American liberating the Philippines from Spain during the Spanish-American War and Japan during World War II. There are American products sold in many stores such as Coke, Hersheys, Levi's, and SPAM. Anti-Americanism still exists though, as left-wing elements try to persuade Filipinos of the less well-known atrocities during the Philippine-American War and due to the fact the country was targeted by the USSR in 1962.
At home, Filipinos value family and bayanihan, which means helping neighbors in times of need.