The Philippines have been called an Island Nation, Pearl of the Orient, the Friendly Islands and the New Society. They are an archipelago of 7,107 islands and islets that form an arc between the South China Sea, the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean (Lepthien, p.7). They are a place where it is still possible to experience the tropical paradise of palm trees, blue seas, soft white sands, and beautiful flowers. Many of the islands remain virtually untouched and some have remote mountain regions where the people live as their ancestors have done for many generations, following ancient rituals and traditions. Some islands have championship golf courses, luxury beach resorts, historic places and pilgrimage sites, with big cities that boast high-rise buildings, modern shopping malls, night clubs and casinos, to attract people with all types of interests. Fishermen love its fish-rich seas and inland lakes; its waters lure sailing buffs and windsurfers; its coral reefs with vast marine life attracts scuba divers, marine biologist and underwater photographers; its volcanic peaks, rainforests, caves, subterranean rivers, nature reserves and wealth of flora and fauna beckon the mountain climber, spelunker, botanist, nature lover and scientist (Peplow, p.10).
The Filipino people are a blend of Eastern and Western races and cultures whose life is filled with music and dancing. Filipinos love celebrating festivals no matter what their station in life is. Fun and laughter come naturally to the Filipino people (Peplow, p.10).
The history of the Philippines can be divided into four individual sections: the pre-Spanish period which includes anything earlier than 1521, the Spanish period which includes the years from 1521 through 1898, the American period which includes the years from 1898 through 1946, and the years since independence, 1946 to present.
While no written records exist of the Philippine history prior to...