The Philippines are the highest portions of a partly submerged mountain chain and is made up of more than 7,000 islands; the three main island groups are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The Philippines is one of the most westernized nations in Southeast Asia, a unique blend of eastern and western cultures.

Spain (1565-1898) and the United States (1898-1946), colonized the country and have been the most significant influences on the Philippine culture.

This is about to change. Philippine President Duterte announced a ‘separation’ from the US; he declared he has realigned with China as the two countries agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks. Duerte said in his speech at a forum in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing: “America has lost. I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow, and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world — China, Philippines, and Russia. It’s the only way.”

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