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The 7,107 Islands of Philippines Beckon You to Explore the Richness of Nature and Their Culture!
History of the Philippines:
From a long history of Western colonial rule, interspersed with the visits of merchants and traders, the 7,107 islands of the Philippines today have evolved as a unique blend of east and west, both in appearance and culture. Today considered the third largest English-speaking country in the world, the country has a rich history combining Asian, European and American influences.
The Filipinos had a rich culture and traded with the Chinese and Japanese before the historic event, Spanish colonization in 1521 that changed the fate of the island nation. Spanish colonization being a strong denominator in the history of the Philippines, brought about the construction of Intramuros, a “walled city” composed of European buildings and churches, reproduced in different parts of the archipelago. A series of political rebellions then continued for 350 years, at the end of which in 1898, the Filipinos managed to gain their independence. It is worth mentioning here that this independence of the nation was nurtured by leaders like Jose Rizal and Emilio Aguinaldo.
1898 became a landmark year in the history of the Philippines as in this year; The Philippines became the first and only colony of the United States. However, the US refused to recognize any Philippine right to self-government. As a result, Aguinaldo declared war against the United States for denying their independence on February 4, 1899. After the Philippine-American War, the United States brought widespread education to the islands. Filipinos fought alongside the Americans during World War II, notably in the famous Battle of Bataan and Corregidor, which delayed the Japanese advance and saved Australia. They then waged a guerilla war against the Japanese from 1941 to 1945. However, the country was able to regain its independence in 1946. In this way, freedom-loving Filipinos have waged two peaceful and bloodless revolutions against what they perceived as authoritarian regimes. corrupted, resulting in the vibrant democracy of the Philippines today. Today, there are up to 12 national English newspapers, 7 national television stations, hundreds of cable television stations and 2000 radio stations in the Philippines, which ensures the restoration of democracy in the country.
Economy of the Philippines:
Based on the agriculture industry, the Philippines has gradually evolved today as one of the fastest growing economies in all of Southeast Asia. The service sector in the Philippines is growing at a steady pace, while maintaining the country’s phenomenal productivity in agriculture and industry.
Mainly an agricultural region that produced copra, corn, hemp, rice, sugar and tobacco, the land of the Philippines was also notable for mining activities as research has revealed that the mountains of the islands contain significant amounts of chromium, copper, gold, iron. , lead, manganese and silver. Fishing, concentrated in Manila Bay and the Sulu Archipelago, has been another important occupation, especially for members of the tribes scattered throughout the archipelago. However, the prospects of fishing as an industry like that of the agricultural and mining industries in the Philippines are quite bleak, due to expensive funding and equipment. Important sectors of the Philippine economy, in addition to agriculture, mining and fishing, include food processing, textiles and clothing, and electronic and automotive parts.
While most of the Philippines’ industries are concentrated in urban areas around metropolitan Manila, natural gas resources have recently been discovered in the islands of Palawan, which are sure to add to the country’s considerable geothermal, hydro, and coal reserves. country.
Essentially an agricultural economy with trade, commerce and industry contributing to its growth and development, agriculture with the main crops ‘palay’ and ‘maize’ and also minor crops such as roots, vegetables and fruits, as well as livestock and pig raising are considered among other main economic activities. In addition, the country’s oranges and mangoes are now major fresh exports to Asian countries.
The Philippines was less affected by the 1998 Asian financial crisis than neighboring Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, etc. This was possible because there were annual remittances of $7-8 billion from overseas workers. In addition, no sustained increase in asset prices or foreign borrowing occurred here before the crisis. Therefore, from a decrease of 0.6% in 1998, GDP expanded by 2.4% in 1999 and 4.4% in 2000. However, at the end of 2001, the country showed an economic decline in the face of a global economic slowdown, but quickly recovered in consecutively, while GDP growth accelerated to 4.3% in 2002, 4.7% in 2003 and around 6% in 2004, reflecting the continued resilience of the services sector and a very large improvement in exports and agricultural production.
Despite all these facts and figures, the Philippines’ high annual population growth rate and unequal income distribution, higher oil prices, higher interest rates on dollar borrowings, and higher inflation occur be strong obstacles to sustainable economic progress. Keeping these in mind, the government should take a higher and sustainable growth path to make significant progress of the economy.
A true blend of culture where the east synergizes with the west, the Philippines has acquired a cultural character with a little bit of all the cultures combined. Divided geographically and culturally into regions, each regional group of Filipinos is known by distinctive features and dialects. The hardy and thrifty Lokans of the north, the industrious Tagalogs of the central plains, the carefree Visayans of the central islands and the colorful tribes and religious Muslims of Mindanao all speak distinct dialects of their own. Thus, the Philippines speaks more than 111 dialects, due to subdivisions of these basic regional and cultural groups. Home to the Malay-Indonesian people as well as some Chinese and Spanish elements, the country has been famous for its “Bayanihan” or spirit of kinship, friendship and hospitality that Filipinos are said to have inherited from their ancestors. Chinese influence has incorporated into them the concept of close family relationships, while the characteristic piety comes from the Spanish who introduced Christianity in the 16th century. Among the English-speaking Orientals, they have Pilipino as their official national language, while English is considered the country’s unofficial language. In fact, the Philippines is currently the third largest English-speaking country in the world.
An integral part of Filipino culture, “fiesta” is quite a cultural designation of the Philippines. Filipino culture shows that good times or bad, no matter what, the party must go on. Every town and barrio has at least one local festival of its own, (usually celebrating the feast of its patron saint), there is always a celebration happening somewhere in the country. The most pompous and elaborate of all of these is Christmas, a season that fun-loving Filipinos celebrate with all the pomp and pageantry imaginable.
Speaking of religion, Filipinos have historically embraced two of the world’s major religions – Islam and Christianity. Introduced during the 14th century, soon after the expansion of Arab commercial ventures into Southeast Asia, today Islam in the Philippines is limited to the southern region of the country. On the other hand, Christianity, which was introduced in the 16th century with the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, remains a dominant religion in the country with a large proportion of Catholics (82.9%) and a small number of Protestants (5.4%) . . Protestantism was introduced into Philippine history much later (1889) by the first Presbyterian and Methodist missionaries who came with American soldiers to the country.
Philippine churches, with their unique awe-inspiring architecture, are landmarks in almost all major cities, provincial capitals, and major cities. As an important fact, two of the most prominent independent Philippine churches were organized at the turn of the century, namely, the ‘Aglipay Independent Church’ (founded in 1902) and the Iglesia Ni Kristo’ or ‘Church of Christ’ (of founded in 1914). While Aglipay has recently signed a covenant with the Anglican Church, Iglesia ni Kristo has expanded its membership considerably.
Travel/Tourism in the Philippines:
With exotic beach destinations in the Philippines such as Boracay, Pagudpud, Mactan Island, Panglao, Camiguin and more, with rare and exotic marine life graced by flora and fauna, with an exciting range of water sports ranging from scuba diving and snorkeling to sea kayaking and white water rafting, the Philippines, along with other neighboring Southeast Asian countries, happens to be a treasure trove for foreign tourists. In fact, the Philippine Islands are said to be the most sought-after wedding destination where traditional meets exotic, modern meets mythical, and above all, east meets west.
Foreign tourists across the globe compete with each other to experience the fabulous wedding packages at the Mactan Shangri-la Island Resorts. Pansukian tropical resorts, on the other hand, are in demand every year with their enchanting honeymoon package offers. And why not, for 7,107 islands, a coastline twice as long as that of the United States, the warm crystal blue waters of the China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, long white sandy beaches and a variety of marine life will to be tempting. enough for anyone in the world!
The Philippines also boasts a fascinating wildlife with a large group of endangered Philippine endemic animals, including 108 African animals, the Philippine man-eating crocodiles and the endangered “dugong” or manatee. The country also boasts of spectacular marine life as the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park of the Philippines is filled with coral species, coral genera, marine species, large marine animals, dolphins, sea turtles; and sea birds. The “Bird Island of the Central Philippines” is a critical stopover for up to 50,000 migratory waterbirds that fly annually on the East Asian migration routes. Speaking of the distinctive beauty of the flora, there is the Ninoy Aquino Park and Wildlife Nature Center in Quezon Avenue, Philippines, which boasts about 38 species of trees and shrubs, representing the 2,443 trees commonly found in the forests of the Philippines.
In addition, the Philippines’ idyllic surroundings make it an outstanding golfing destination for the elite and upmarket crowd. Endowed with unique golfing enclaves, from lush valleys to mountaintops, coastal resorts or just within the cityscapes, the Philippines boasts the proud venues of some of the world’s most prestigious international and local tournaments. These include the Johnnie Walker Classic, the World Amateur Golf Championship, the World Cup, the Asian PGA and the Philippines Open. With all these attributes and much more, the place could very well be the Beach Capital of Asia in the truest sense of the term.
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