Ferdinand Marcos

Ferdinand Marcos (1917-1989) was a nationalist president remembered as a corrupt dictator who ushered in an era of political repression and violence. In attaining and holding the presidency, he wielded charisma, vast wealth, political connections among both Filipinos and Americans, military clout, and drew upon the charm of his wife, the former beauty pageant winner Imelda Marcos.

Marcos, an Aglipayan Catholic and later a...

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Filipino First Policy, The

The Filipino First Policy was introduced by nationalist President Carlos García, favoring Philippine economic interests over American interests. The effects of the policy were seen in investment in Philippine industry, the creation of new businesses, and rising local investment in local initiatives. However, the policy was strongly opposed by the United States government and was characterized as pro-communist. The policy was dismantled by pro-American Diosdado Macapagal.


 Luis H. Francia...

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Islam in the Philippines

Islam is practiced by roughly 5% of Filipinos from a variety of ethnolinguistic groups, over half of whom live on the large southern island of Mindanao.

Islam arrived in the Philippines in the late 14th century with Arab and Malay merchants following Southeast Asian trade networks, propagating Sunni Islam with a variety of Sufi traditions. Muslims were dubbed “Moros” by the Spanish, a reference to the Muslim “Moors” encountered in Spain and North Africa whom the Spanish regarded with disdain....

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José Burgos

José Burgos (1837-1872) was a Filipino Catholic Priest and a leader of the secularization movement, referring to the full incorporation of Filipino priests into the Catholic hierarchy of the Philippines, then dominated by Spanish friars. Alongside Fathers Mariano Gomez and Jacinto Zamora, Burgos was arrested on false charges of sedition and incitement of the Cavite Mutiny—a mutiny of 200 Filipino soldiers and laborers in the town of Cavite—and executed in 1872. The acronym GOMBURZA,...

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José Rizal

José Rizal (1861-1896) was a Filipino nationalist, poet, and author of several influential novels, including Noli Me Tangere, an account of religious corruption among Spanish friars in the Philippines. Rizal joined the Filipino student community in Spain in his early twenties and became an outspoken member of the Propaganda Movement. He was deeply inspired by the life and untimely death of Father Jose Burgos...

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Moro National Liberation Front, The

The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is a Moro political organization established in 1972 by Moro activist Nur Misuari, a leftist professor of Political Science at the University of Philippines, who sought a separate state comprised of Mindanao, Palawan island, and the Sulu Archipelago. The formation of the MNLF was in part prompted by Moro unrest against the imposition of martial law by Ferdinand Marcos and the subsequent...

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Moros, Filipino Muslims, represent roughly 5% of the population of the Philippines. As a diverse community of various ethnolinguistic groups, Moros are marginalized by the state and have longstanding grievances dating back to the Spanish colonial period. Culturally speaking, the term “Moro” as it is used among Muslims tends to denote resistance rather than religious affiliation. This is echoed in the term used by contemporary separatists for their community, the Bangsamoro (“Moro Nation”)....

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Pasyon, The

The Pasyon is a retelling of the Passion of Christ. Readings and performances of the pasyon text are widespread in the Philippines, where they have synthesized indigenous religious performativity with Catholicism and political and social activism. There are three pasyon texts, the first of which was published in 1704 by the Filipino poet Gaspar Aquino de Belen. The pasyon is performed during Lent in cities and villages throughout the Philippines,...

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