Republic in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, comprising over seven thousand islands. Its capital and largest city is Manila.
Note: The Spanish held control of the islands until 1898, when they were transferred to the United States after the Spanish-American War.
Note: Named for Philip II, king of Spain during the sixteenth century.
Note: Occupied by the Japanese during World War II, the islands were liberated by Allied troops under General Douglas MacArthur.
Note: Although Philippine independence had long been an important political issue, the country did not gain full independence until 1946.
Note: The country was under the virtual dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos from 1965 until 1986, when he was forced into exile in the United States.
Note: It continues to be plagued by allegations of corruption in high places and by a Muslim insurgency.