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Classified as one of the developing nations of the world, the Philippines has been experiencing political instability, poverty, and a population growing at an extremely fast rate.
On the other hand, it is one of the world's most bountiful countries in terms of flora and fauna, has many urbanized cities with progressive socioeconomic growth, has deep, rich cultures of both ancient and contemporary, and both discussed survey results that Filipinos are happier in comparison to people of developed countries.
Amidst this background Portuguese conquistador Ferdinand Magellan managed to find the islands in 1521 and claimed them on behalf of the Kingdom of Spain.
Magellan would never live to see his fleet complete the world's first circumnavigation, however — he was killed in Cebu in a skirmish with a defending aligned with Magellan.
That's right, one of the country's biggest exports is its people, who make up a major proportion of overseas workers from all over the world.
Throughout the early Cold War era the Philippines had to contend with the Hukbalahap or Huks ("Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon", National/People's Army Against the Japanese, later "Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan", People's Liberation Army), Communist rebels originally formed during World War II.
They were finally pacified under the moderate Ramon Magsaysay in the 1950s.
That, too, met with resistance from Madrid, and by the time one of the movement's leaders, doctor and novelist José Rizal, was executed on December 30, 1896, calls for reform had already given way to those for armed revolt.
The Philippine Revolution, led by Andres Bonifacio and the "Katipunan" secret society (whose full acronym was KKK, no relation to the American one) broke out in August 1896.