Ethnipedia Wiki
Filipino people
Mamamayang Pilipino
Filipino festival.jpg
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Majority populations
Philippines.png Philippines 94,000,000 [2]
Minority populations
United States.png United States 3,416,840 [3]
Saudi Arabia.png Saudi Arabia 1,066,401 [4]
United Arab Emirates.png United Arab Emirates 700,000 [5]
Malaysia.png Malaysia 636,544 [6]

Mostly Philippine languages
(Filipino, Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, other Philippine languages) , English


Predominantly: Roman Catholic
Minority: Other Christian sections, Islam, Philippine folk religion

Related ethnic groups

Chamorros, Taiwanese aboriginals, Malays, other Austronesian ethnic groups

The Filipino people (Filipino: Mamamayang Pilipinos) are an Austronesian-speaking group of people that are indigenous to the Philippines in Southeast Asia and are bound together by Filipino culture. Filipino culture is a melting pot of eastern and western influences in addition to the indigenous culture however it is known to be one of the most westernized cultures in all of Asia. Most Filipinos follow a Spanish-influenced culture, as a result of 333 years of Spanish rule, but are not considered Hispanics. Remnants in the southern Philippines still follow a Malay-influenced culture.


The term Filipino was first coined by the Spanish colonists for ethnic Spaniards born in the islands, which were named Las Isles de Filipinas after Prince (and later King) Philip of Spain. Thus, Spaniards born in the Philippine islands were known as Filipinos. The natives of the islands were known as Indians or indios in Spanish caste terminology.[7] The Filipino terminology was descended completely from the Spanish caste system but changed to fit Philippine definitions. For example, the word mestizo was originally for people of native and Spanish descent, but it simply means any Filipino of mixed descent either Spanish or non-Spanish, in the Philippines, mostly for Filipinos of Chinese origin. Moros are the Muslim natives of the Philippines, that originated from the Spanish moniker for the Iberian Moors although they have no cultural connection, other than following Islam.


Early History and Ancestry

The Philippine islands are home to some of the earliest human remains. The oldest surviving remnants of early

The Laguna Copperplate Inscription

inhabitants of the islands were found in Callao Cave in Cagayan, which is dated to be 67,000 years old.[8] The ethnic groups of Luzon are mostly descended from southern aboriginal tribes from China and Taiwan. Most of the central and southern Filipinos of Visayas and Mindanao are descended from Malay and Indian migrants, who introduced the Malay language around the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and established dynasties in Visayas, and later in Mindanao when the Malays converted to Islam along with Arab migrants to Mindanao, continuing the exerting of their influence.  The earliest evidence of known thriving civilizations in the Philippines can date only as a far back a 900 A.D., which are generally recent discoveries. The religious nature of the islands suggested that Indian, Chinese and Malay missionaries introduced Hinduism and Buddhism to the islands, although no evidence of any active Indian voyage to the archipelago exists, but influence from the Indian Subcontinent is very predominant in the ancient Filipino world that would persist through the introducing of the Islam in the Philippines by Indian Muslims until Spanish colonization. Prior to findings of copperplate inscriptions and other artifacts, most Filipino historians believed that Spain started Philippine history when they discovered the islands in 1521 - meaning that the pre-Hispanic people of the Philippines were nothing more than primitive tribes, which is now proven false. The earliest surviving-document from the Philippines so far is the Laguna Copperplate Inscription which dates back 900 A.D., it was written a few languages included the Malay language. The inscriptions were written in Kawi, a script used in the Malay Srivijaya and Javanese Majapahit Kingdoms, which were the known powers in the region at the time. Before the arrival of major ethnic groups, most Filipinos were Animists and nature-worshippers.

Pre-Hispanic States Era

One of earliest foreign human accounts of the ancient Philippine civilizations were from Chinese travellers during the Song Dynasty. Zhao Rugua (Chinese: 趙汝适), an administer of trade from China's Fukien province referred

A Song-dynasty era Chinese proclein found in Mindoro

to the Philippine islands as Ma-i (Chinese: 麻逸). The collections of provinces in the northern Philippines/Ma-i were referred to as the Luzon Empire (Chinese: 呂宋國; Lǚsòng Guó), which literally meant "Lesser Song Empire" in Chinese.[9] Soon after, a wealthy Japanese merchant from the Sakai province named Naya Sukezaemon (Japanese: 納屋助左衛門) also arrived in Manila to increase his monopoly in trade. Naya would later Gold was very abundant in the Philippines and was the basis of trade before Spain occupied it.[10] Naya change his name to Luzon Sukezaemon, after the island of Luzon. The earliest-recorded kingdom in the Luzon was Namayan which was  succeeded by the latter kingdoms of Tondo (Chinese: 東都 dōngdū) and Maynila.[11] In this golden age, the Chinese Song Dynasty extended their trade with the civilizations in the Philippines. Extensive Chinese trade allowed Tondo and Maynila to prosper into very wealthy kingdoms. The region was once

This gold belt was found in Surigao, and it was worn by the royalty.

known as ginto, a Tagalog word meaning "gold" since gold was so abundant in Luzon. When the Chinese travellers and merchants arrived in the islands, they also mentioned statues entirely made of gold. In Rugua's book Zhu Fan Zhi (Chinese: 諸番志), he said,

"There are metal images of unknown origin scattered about in the tangled wilds."

No other metal has been as abundant as gold in Luzon at that time. According to the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, gold was the main monetary unit of tax used between the Tagalogs and the Srivijayans from Sumatra in Indonesia. Most of the ancient Philippine ruling system was of Malay, Indian and Chinese influence. Native rulers adopted the Indian and Malay title rajah and datu, governing

A golden belt worn by the Datu Class, found in Butuan Archeological Digs, which is now in display at the Ayala Museum in Makati City, Metro Manila.

states known as rajahnates and smaller municipalities known as barangays. Tondo and Maynila were both governed by native Tagalog rulers, Tondo was ruled by Lakan Dula (who was actually of Kapampangan origin, the term lakan is a Kapampangan term erronous to rajah) and Maynila was ruled by Salalila (Sanskrit: शरीर). When the Javanese Majapahit Empire reached the height of its extent, the southern Philippines, the Sulu Archipelago in particular, became part of its extended sphere of influence. Sulu was known as Solot. The Majapahit and Srivijayans exerted influence in the Visayan islands and the northern region of Mindanao following more migration of Malays. The native Visayan rulers also adopted the Hindu influence and ruled rajahnates as well as a result of the Malay influence although their confederations were generally decentralized into independant barangays. In 1450, a Sumatran prince by the name of Sri Lumay or Rajamuda Lumaya emigrated to the Philippine island of Cebu and established the Rajahnate of Cebu (Malay: Kerajaan Sugbu), a dynastic confederation of small kingdoms in Cebu.[12] He was originally supposed to establish Cebu as a vassal for the Chola Empire, but he rebelled and found his own kingdom.   

In the late 14th century, the arrival of Arab, Indonesian, Indian Muslim, Chinese Muslim and Malay missionaries and traders brought Islam to the islands.

A statue of Sultan Kudarat in the Mindanaoan town of the same name

This in turn, led to the establishment of Muslim states, some retaining Indian nobibility, others adopting traditional Muslim noble titles such as sultan, or both. [13] Unlike the trading states of the north and central regions (which would later become absorbed and Christianized by Spain), the Muslim states stood against all their enemies. In 1500, Bolkiah, Brunei's sultan decided to occupy the prospering Maynila and Tondo, which expanded Islam to the shores of Manila Bay. Rajah Salila changed his name to Sulaiman (Arabic: سليمان) after converting to Islam and adopting Islam as Maynila's state religion, it is unknown whether his uncle Ache converted to Islam. In the Sulu Archipelago, a Malaccan-born Arab and an acclaimed-descendant of

The Shiekh Karimal Makdum Mosque is the oldest mosque in the Philippines built by Makhdum

the Islamic prophet Muhammad by the name of Sayyid Abu Bakr Abirin established the Sultanate of Sulu (Jawi: سلطنة سولو دار الإسلام) in 1457 after his fascination with the natives.[14] He was coronated under the regal name Sharif ul-Hāshim. In Mindanao, Kabungsuwan established the Sultanate of Maguindanao (1500-1898 A.D.). which would come to comprise nearly the entire island of Mindanao except for the northern parts. The Sultanates of Lanao were a result of Kabungsuwan's influence; unlike Maguindanao and Sulu, the Lanao sultanates were not centralized.[15]

Spanish Colonialization & Christianization 1521-1898

During the Age of Imperialism, Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer and conquistador (for Spain) landed in Cebu in 1521. Magellan was originally assigned to find the Spice Islands in Indonesia. He enountered Cebu's ruler Humabon, who befriended Magellan and even

Statue of Lapu-Lapu in Mactan Island

allowed himself to be converted to Roman Catholicism and persuaded the other rajahs to submit to Spanish rule and convert to Roman Catholicism, starting the era of Christianization in the Philippines.[16] Word then got to the Spanish forces about the prospering Tondo and Maynila; which changed New Spain's focus to Luzon. A Spanish conquistador by the name of

Costume of a typical Principalía family on display at a museum in Manila

Miguel López de Legazpi was able to conquer Visayas while Martín de Goiti and Legazpi's grandson, Juan de Salcedo occupied Manila.[17] Active Spanish missionaries worked diligently to convert Luzon, Visayas and northern Mindanao's people to Roman Catholicism through their native rulers (or datus), who would often become the first targets of religious conversions. Lakan Dula submitted to Spain's rule and also converted to Roman Catholicism and his brother Rajah Ache of Maynila became baptized as a Catholic by request after falling to illness. The native rulers who converted to Roman Catholicism were allowed to retain their governing powers. Spain gave them the title don (or doña for females) which was an honorific Spanish title for a ruler or of royalty. They eventually formed the native colonial nobility known as the Principalía. Juan de Salcedo signed a peace treaty with Rajah Sulayman after occupying several Muslim settlements. Martín de Goiti consolidated and enforced Spanish rule in the Philippines by bethrothing one of his daughters to Batang Dula, Lakan Dula's oldest son and the heir to his throne. Through three centuries of 

Artist's rendering of Mactan battle

colonialism, most Filipinos absorbed Spanish culture upon successful conversion to Roman Catholicism by Spanish missionaries.

Native Resistance

Magellan had assumed that Humabon had full control of Cebu, only find out he was wrong when he encountered Lapu-Lapu, Humabon's rival chief in Mactan Island who refused to listen to Humabon's order to submit to Spain and convert to Roman Catholicism. In battle, Lapu-Lapu led a decisive victory against the Spanish forces, killing Magellan and his Malay slave whom he used to communicate with the Philippine natives. The Muslim natives of the Philippines resisted Spanish rule and waged a jihad (holy war) against the occupation. Rajah Sulayman of Manila battled Spanish forces led by Martín de Goiti and Juan de Salcedo. Another Muslim chief, a contrevoursial Kapampangan ruler by the name of Tarik Sulayman from Macabebe also led a failed offensive in the Bangkusay Channel in Tondo. The most fierce and in many

A statue of Tarik Sulayman

aspects, successful resistance came from Mindanao and Sulu. The unwillingness of the Muslim south to submit slowed down the Christianizing of the Philippine south for centuries to come. Muhammad Dipaduan Kudarat, the fifth sultan of Maguindanao, halted Catholic missionary activity in Mindanao.[18] Chinese pirates and rebels also aided the native war against Spain. After Maguindanao's defeat, Sulu was the only native Muslim army left standing. Spain defeated Sulu after destroying Chinese aid. Accepting the fact that they could not convert Mindanao or Sulu's natives, Spain and the Moro sultans signed a series of treaties in an attempt to create peace between Spain and the southern sultanates which cited some instances of cooperation between the Moro sultans and the Spanish monarchs. But for the most part, the treaties signed between Mindanao's sultans and the Spanish Crown did not last very long especially with the constant raids from Moro and Chinese pirates, who continued to deliver phsycological blows against the Spanish colonists and Catholic Filipino settlements in Mindanao. The fighting between the Spanish armies and their Filipino collaborators against Moro raiders fighters would persist through the entire Spanish colonial era. This would form one of the foundations for the enmity and hostility between Christian and Muslim citizens of the modern-day Philippines.

Philippine Independance War

The Philippine independance movement began in the late 1800s with Andrés Bonifacio, a Filipino revolutionary - against the deteriorating Spanish Empire who was also dealing with revolutions in their Latin American territories which resulted in the shift of the governing of Philippines from Mexico City to Madrid. Following Bonifacio's works, a polymath and historian by the name of José Rizal continued the literary resistance against Spain, writing works in both the Spanish and Tagalog languages, calling the Philippines his home. Spanish soldiers did execute Rizal, but the resistance continued. Emilio Aguinaldo, a military general, also of the Tagalog ethnic group joined in the resistance and fought the Spanish armies.

American and Japanese Occupation

The United States came to occupy the islands following the American victory after the Spanish-American War of

The Bataan Death March

1898. The conquest of Mindanao had depleted Spain of its military resources. The Filipinos had fought alongside the Americans mistaking independence for American occupation. As the Filipinos realized that the Americans were actually occupying the islands, another resistance was mounted. Emilio Aguinaldo, a military general who had fought alongside the Americans against Spain, led the resistance, which failed. The Muslims of Mindanao tried to use this occupation as an opportunity to gain independence from both Spain and mainstream Philippines. The American occupation also marked the rapid decline of Spanish as the lingua franca of the Philippines, but its influence still remained strong and would still remain the national and official language of the Philippines until the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos. Japan invaded Southeast Asia including the Philippines and almost the entire Asia-Pacific region on December 7, 1941. The Filipino people would experience a bittler five-year struggle against the Japanese forces, fighting alongside battered-American troops with little to no support. One of the most fatal atrocities of these was the Bataan Death March in which 72,000 allied Filipino and American troops were taken as prisoners of war following the surrender of Bataan and the fall of Corregidor. Less than one half of these 72,000 survived the brutal treatment in the Japanese prison camps. As a result of the American surrender, Philippine resistance relied solely on militant groups known as guerillias, who fought a hit-and-run style of warfare. The Americans launched another invasion in 1945 that obliterated Japanese positions and eventually led to Bataan's recapturing by the Americans and the liberation of the Philippines that led to its independence.


In the 1960s, many Filipinos emigrated to the United States and became farmers. However, they worked under poor

People's Power Revolution

conditions and were given little for their works. In the United States Philip Vera Cruz led a Filipino American union aimed at gaining farmers' rights. In 1965, popular Mexican American farming heroin César Chávez joined Vera Cruz's union to create a joint-union of Filipino American and Mexican American farmers in the United States. In 1965, Ferdinand Marcos became the president of the Philippines. Marcos became one of the most infamous, yet well-known leaders of modern Philippine history. He was widely revered for his acitivity that promoted what could be describe as Filipino nationalism. He expelled foreign bussinessmen he felt were a threat to the Philippine economy, modernized infrastructure and the military. During his presidency, the Philippines stood as the sole military power in Southeast Asia. However, presidency was also marked by corruption, brute-force and fascist-like rule, which contributed to his duo-legacy as a hero and a villian. He also encouraged the illegal settlement of Catholic migrants to the once predominantly-Muslim areas of Mindanao, disrupting the peace between the Muslim and Animist/Christian natives in Mindanao. Many of the Muslims formed militant groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front as a radical response. An even more radical group known as the Abu-Sayyaf was formed. The Philippines also experienced martial law under Marcos's presidency. Marcos's party was accused of murdering Benigno Aquino Jr., his opponent in 1983 which lead to the People Power Revolution that ousted Marcos out of office. Marcos was sent to live in exile in the United States in Honolulu. In 1997, Southeast Asia experienced the Asian Financial Crisis. The Philippines was among countries that experienced economic devastation. After Estrada's presidency, Glorya Macapagal-Arroyo became the president of the Philippines. Under Arroyo, the Philippine economy was smoothened.

Islamic Insurgency in Mindanao and Sabah

More-often, the Philippine and even the Malaysian government must deal with Islamic insurgency by Muslim rebels in Mindanao and the Malaysian state of Sabah, most are Filipino rebels. Proclaimed-descendants of the Sulu Sultanate claim Sabah is rightfully their territory. In September 2013, Muslim militants carried out an unsuccessful armed attempt to take the Zamboanga Peninsula by force and create an independant Bangsamoro Republik, they were defeated by Filipino forces for control of Zamboanga City and areas taken by Muslim militants were re-captured by the Filipino army.


Indigenous Languages

The Philippines is home to 174 indigenous languages, all belonging to the Philippine branch of the Austronesian family and one, Chavacano, a Spanish-based creole. The three most spoken are Tagalog, Cebuano and Ilocano, to which the first is an official language.

Tagalog and Ilocano belong to the Northern sub-branch of the Philippine languages, while Cebuano belongs to the Central sub-branch. Tagalog, native to the Metro Manila area, is registered as Filipino, and constitutes one of two official languages, co-official with English. Filipino/Tagalog serves as the unifying language of Filipino culture, and was the language used alongside Spanish in the various Philippine revolutions.

Filipino/Tagalog is widely spoken in the western United States and Hawaii, home to large Filipino-American communities, and is considered among of the most-spoken foreign languages in the American west.[19] Cebuano is native to the central Philippines, or Visayas, is also often colloquially known as Visayan, which also includes other closely related languages to Cebuano. Despite being native to the island of Cebu, most Cebuano speakers are concentrated in Mindanao, there are more in Mindanao than Cebu or Visayas. Other well-known languages include Kapampangan, Maguindanaoan and Tausūg, the latter two being indigenous to Muslim Mindanao.

The Philippine languages are related to Indonesian and Malay, both major languages, considered cousin languages of the latter two, and closely related to the Chamorro language and the indigenous languages of Taiwan. Some communities of Muslim Mindanao can speak Malay, or at least a Malay-based creole. Almost all of the Philippine languages today are written using Latin, however, ancient scripts such as Baybayin, influenced by scripts originating from India were used to write the Philippine languages in the pre-Hispanic era. An Arabic-based script, known as Jawi, used for many Austronesian languages, is also used for the languages of the Muslim south.

Foreign and Historical Languages

English is also an official language in the Philippines. Most of the second-generation overseas Filipino Americans in the United States communicate in English, others elsewhere communicate in Filipino. Be it native or overseas, almost all Filipinos are fluent in English. Filipinos also code-switch a lot whether it be between two indigenous languages or between an indigenous and non-indigenous language. Many Tagalog speakers code-switch between Tagalog/Filipino and English.

A remnant of the elders can still speak the Spanish language as it was the language of administration during the colonial era, and remained widely spoken well into the 1960s. Spanish influence remains extremely predominant in Filipino vernaculars, terminology, daily-conversations, the numbering system, and in the Catholic church as a liturgical language. There is also a Spanish-based creole known as Chavacano, and is spoken primarily in southwestern parts, and Cavite. This is the closest spoken communication to Spanish that is well and alive in the Philippines.

Former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a fluent Spanish-speaking Filipino politician of Kapampangan descent re-introduced instruction of the Spanish language in the Philippine school systems.

A handful of those in the Muslim south can speak Malay or Malay-based creoles, and Arabic, especially in Marawi City. 



Historical Barasoian Church

Most Filipinos are overwhelmingly devout adherents to Christianity. The majority of Christians profess Roman Catholicism which was the result of a well-carried out and concentrated effort by the Spaniards to convert the natives of the Philippines to Christianity, which has been an important of Filipino identity.

However. there are also large numbers of Protestants and members of independent Philippine churches such as the Iglesia ni Kristo (literally means Church of Christ in Pilipino) - the largest Philippine-based denomination, and the Aglipayan Tayo (literally means Let us Pray in Pilipino), many of these are ex-Catholics or descendants of ex-Catholics, converted by American missionaries during the occupation. Despite guaranteeing freedom of religion and having no official state religion, Catholicism nearly plays the role of the de facto state religion of the Philippines. Christianity is a major role-player in mainstream Filipino culture today and is an important part of everyday Filipino life for the most part, comparable to its role in Latin American culture.

Six percent of Filipinos follow Islam, which was the first monotheistic religion in the Philippines and like the Catholics and Christians, religion plays a central role in their lives.[20] They are most native in the southwestern part of Mindanao, southern Palawan and the whole of the Sulu Archipelago near Malaysia and Indonesia since Spain failed to convert the populations of those areas. There is a large community in the Quiapo district of Manila. The Muslim natives of the Philippines are known as Moros, their main region is known as Bangsamoro, which contains the majority of the Muslim populations in the Philippines and is officially recognized by

Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque in Cotabato City

the Philippine government as the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

More often-not, the Moros do not consider themselves Filipino. Moros are also understood to be a distinct ethnic group, and Filipinos who convert to Islam are not usually considered Moro.

Regardless of Catholic or Muslim, ancient influences from Philippine paganism and folk religion still remain string in the spiritual culture of the Philippines.


Filipino cuisine is a melting pot of Chinese, Spanish, Malay, Latin American, American and European influence, with traces of Indian and Arab influences and


differs from region to region. For example, the coastal natives mostly consume fish, seafood and tropical fruits, the mountaineers mostly consume vegetables and urban locals are a mix. Pork is the most popular meat used in the Philippines, but beef, chicken and goat are also popular. Pancit are Philippine pork noodle dishes which are made of thin rice noodles. Lechón ("litson" in Pilipino), a suckling pig delicacy is the national dish of the Philippines which is a result of Spanish culinary influence, once eaten by the elite classes. Adobo is an extremely common dish made of either pork or chicken marinade in various sauces such as soy sauce and vinegar and is another national dish of the Philippines. The word adobo is a Spanish word for marinade. Barbeque is a pork-skewer snack that is popular with Filipinos all over the world, with the exception of those in Saudi Arabia.


Pandisal (from the Spanish word pan de sal) is a sweet dinner roll that is commonly sold everywhere in the streets, markets and stores in the Philippines. Hopia is a flaky pastry that resembles Chinese moon cakes, and is the same as the Indonesian pastry bakpia. Only difference is that hopia uses mostly sweet pastes while moon cakes can include meats and beans. Siopao (Hokkien: 燒包) is a steamed-bun dish snack. Siopao is a hot snack and the fillings are mostly chicken, pork, vegetables or hard-boiled eggs marinated in sweet sauce. A Philippinized version is siopao asado or adobo rolls in which fillings are based

chicken adobo

on a sweet adobo filling. Flan is a national Filipino dessert, more commonly referred to as letseplaun in Pilipino, from the Spanish word leche flan. Another popular dessert, more indigenous and pre-Hispanic is suman, which is a sweet sticky rice cake wrapped in coconut or banana leaves. Almond and grilled variants are known as tupig. Other foods that show Spanish influence include chicharon (from Spanish chicharrones which are pork rinds); tocino, a sweet-pork dish; and lunganisa (from Spanish longaniza), Filipino-style sausages. Since the Philippines is an archipelago, seafoods are also predominant in Philippine culinary traditions. Fishes are fried, steamed or boiled in the Philippines. The balut is a fertilized chicken egg, that is a very popular street snack in the Philippines. Balut however, is undesirable to westerners. Staple fruits include coconuts, pineapples, kiwis, and durian, a fruit native to maritime Southeast Asia that is known for its heavy and unpleasent odor. There is some debate as to whether durian is native to the Philippines; most of it is grown in Mindanao, particularily in the Davao region.

Moro and Southern Filipino Dishes

The Malay,


Indian and Middle Eastern influence is seen most significant in southern and some central Filipino dishes, rich in spices - resembling the cuisines of Malaysia and Thailand. Southern ingredients include cuman, lemon grass, coconut milk, turmeric, coriander and chillies. Satti is the southern Filipino version of Malaysian/Thai satay which is a sweet kebab snack. Satti is only found amongst the Muslim communities in Mindanao. Rendang is a spicy beef-curry dish that is served on special occasions, which originated from the Minangkabau people of Sumatra in Indonesia. Biryani and kiyoning are rice dishes that are also eaten on big and special occasions, given a southern Filipino touch. Biryani is of Indian and Malay origin and kiyoning is the Filipino version of the Turkish pilaf.

Notable Filipinos or People of Filipino Origin


Lapu-Lapu 2.png
The ruler of Mactan Island in Visayas (specifically Cebu), who killed Magellan and his slave, Enrique of Malacca first known native of the Philippines to lead an armed resistance against Spain, he is considered the earliest Philippine national hero, though his ethnic background is disputed among conflicting folklores and historical sources, citing Cebuano, Tausūg or Bornean ancestry

José Rizal

Jose Rizal.jpg
A Filipino revolutionary and polymath who led a resistance through literary works, first to call Philippines his home, he is the author of several works such as Noli Me Tángere, El Filibusterismo and a number of poems and essays. He wrote in Spanish and Filipino, and invented the Abakada alphabet system for Philippine languages.

Emilio Aguinaldo

Emilio Aguinaldo.png
A military general who fought New Spain and against/alongside the Americans shortly after the Spanish-American War of 1898, he also became the first president of the Philippine Republic, he is also the youngest to have become Filipino president
Jesús A. Villamor
Jesus Villamore.png

A Filipino American pilot who fought the Japanese in World War II. He was known for his bravery fighting against the Japanese forces even when disadvantaged. For his bravery as a pilot and ingenuity as an intelligence officer, President Ramón Magsaysay awarded Lieutenant Col. Villamor the Medal of Valor, the highest Philippine military bravery decoration, on January 21, 1954.

Andrés Bonifacio

Andres Bonifacio.jpg
A member of the Philippine Revolution, he started the uprising is considered the father of the Philippine Revolution, he was a member of the Katipunan, a revolutionary political faction that sought to liberate the Philippine Archipelago from Spanish rule

Manuel Quezon

Manuel L. Quezon (November 1942).jpg
Second president of the Philippines, during American occupation which at the time was known as the Commonwealth of the Philippines - he is known for having battled the problem of landlessness of poor Filipino peasants during his presidency

Lakan Dula

A ancient Kapampangan king (lakan) from Luzon, ruler of the prosperous Tondo kingdom who invited the Spanish colonists in, one of the Three Kings of Manila that played a role in the Spanish conquest of Manila, he was known for his diplomacy and defended the land against attacks led by the Chinese warlord Limahong

Rajah Sulayman

The native ruler of Maynila/Selurong (and later Tondo) from Luzon who tried to accept the Spanish friendship without converting or giving up his land he led a rebellion against the Spanish armies along with Lakan Dula, but failed and ended up signing an alliance with Spain

Muhammad D. Kudarat

Sultan Kuduarat.png
Fifth sultan of Maguindanao, a descendant of Sharif Kabungsuwan who fought Spanish forces in Maguindanao, hindering their influence and emerged as Mindanao's most powerful and influential Muslim ruler, he became a Philippine National Hero under the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos, the province of Sultan Kudarat in the island of Mindanao is named in his honor

Glorya Magapal Arroyo

Filipino politician who served as Philippines' 14th president for nine years, vice president for two years, also former Secretary of Defense and a current member of the Philippine House of Representatives, she re-instroduced the use of Spanish into Philippine schools and emerged as an influential politician, she is the second female president of the Philippines after Corazon Aquino

Ferdinand Marcos

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A Philippine politician who served as the president from 1965 to 1986, he was known for being a proactive politician, he strengthened the Philippine military and strived to rely less on foreign powers, he also promoted Filipino nationalism. However, his Bagong Lipunan ("New Society"), turned into a right-wing dictatorship that had him implementing martial law, and getting ousted via the People Power Revolution. His corpse today remains unburied, and on display.
Rodrigo Duterte
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A Filipino politician and lawyer, who is the 16th and current president of the Philippines. He is widely known for his tough stance against criminals and drug traffickers, establishing vigilante "death squad" groups. He served as mayor of Davao City for 22 years, transforming it from a crime-ridden city to one of the safest cities in Southeast Asia, he is also the first president from Mindanao.

Philip Vera Cruz

Philip Cruz.png
A Filipino American labor leader and farmworker who led a group of union workers to gain rights for Asian American civil wars and merged with a Mexican American group to form the United Farm Workers, born in the Philippines and spent the rest of his life as an American citizen
Jaime Augusto de Ayala

A Filipino businessman of European descent, who currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ayala Corporation. He succeeded his father as the company's President and CEO in 1994 and as Chairman and CEO in 2006. He is chairman of the Board of Directors of Globe Telecom, Bank of the Philippine Islands, and Integrated Microelectronics Inc. (IMI); vice chairman of the Board of Directors and member of the Executive Committee of Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI); vice chairman of Manila Water Co.; and co-chairman and trustee of Ayala Foundation, Inc.

Paeng Nepomuceno

A six-time World Bowling Champion Filipino bowler. He has won the World Cup of Bowling four times (1976, 1980, 1992 and 1996). Nepomuceno has also won the World's Invitational Tournament in 1984 and the World Tenpin Masters championship in 1999. In its September 2003 issue, the Prestigious Bowlers Journal International named Paeng as the Greatest International Bowler of All Time.

Manny Pacquiao

A Filipino politician and former professional boxer who became one of the world's best pound-for-pound fighters winning multiple championships in multiple divisions, he was also elected into the Philippine House of Representatives in the 15th Congress of the Philippines representing the province of Sarangani, he is also running for senator under the United Nationalist Alliance party, he is a national fighting symbol of the Philippines 
Paulino Alcántara

A Filipino–Spanish footballer and manager. He spent most of his playing career at Barcelona and was the first Filipino and Asian player to play for a European club. He also played for Catalonia, the Philippines and Spain. Alcántara made his debut for Barcelona at the age of 15 and remains the youngest player to play or score for the club. He also scored 100 goals in 69 matches, making him the club's highest goalscorer (counting goals scored in both official games and friendlies).

Brandon Vera

An Filipino-American professional MMA fighter who fights for ONE Championship where has held the Heavyweight Championship two times, in his past career, he has also fought for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) where he won the Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion, and the World Kickboxing Association where he also won the Super Heavyweight Champion. He was born to a Filipino father and an Italian mother, and is a dual citizen of both Philippines and the United States, as well as a veteran of the United States Air Force.

Lorenzo Ruiz

A saint from Manila, a mestizo of Chinese and Filipino descent who was the first saint from the Philippines to be venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, a Christian martyr, he was killed in Japan during the Tokugawa period for refusing to renounce his Catholic faith and is a religious hero for many Filipino Catholics

San Pedro Calungsod

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A Roman Catholic saint and a migrant, sacristan and missionary from Cebu who died as a martyr while preaching Christianity in Guam to the native Chamorro people, he often batpized children and infants at the risk of religious persecution, he canonized as a saint in 2012 by Pope Benadict XVI. His missionary work is one of the reasons why the native Chamorro people of Guam are Roman Catholic.

Robin Padilla

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A Filipino film director and screenwriter producer, martial artist and actor who is a famous cultural icon and matinee idol of the Philippines, known for taking roles of protagonist gangsters in Philippine Cinema most notabely his films Anak ni Baby Ama, Grease Gun Gang and the Bad Boys series, he was born to a family or prominent politicians and actresses/actors

Lea Salonga

A Filipina American soprano singer and actress who provided voice acting roles for Princess Jasmine in Disney's Aladdin and and Fa Mulan in Disney's Mulan, she also starred the lead role as Kim in the musical Miss Saigon. She is the first Filipino artist to sign with an international record label, to have received a major album release and distribution deal in the United States, and one of the best-selling Filipino artists of all time, having sold over 19 million copies of her albums worldwide.

Allan Lindo Jr.

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Better known by stage name "", a Filipino-American rapper for the band Black Eyed Peas born to a Filipino mother and African American father in the Philippines, he is known for actively using his career with the Black Eyed Peas to promote his Filipino heritage, he is a dual citizen of both Philippines and the United States and natively speaks Tagalog and Kapampangan

Dave Batista

Known by his ring name "Batista", an American actor, former professional wrestler and former MMA fighter who was best known for his time with WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), he is regarded as one of WWE's longest-reigning World Heavyweight Champions and best known for his time with the SmackDown! brand, born to a father of Filipino descent and an American mother of Greek descent, he is the only person of Filipino descent to have wrestled for the WWE. He is well-known for his lead role in the Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy.

Erik Spoelstra

American baskebtall coach, who is the current head coach of the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association, he only person in the league of Filipino descent, and the only person of Filipino descent in the NBA to win two championships - he was born to a Filipino mother and an father of mixed European origin in the United States

Vanessa Hudgens

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An American singer and actress, best known for her time with Disney and her performances in the trilogy High School Musical, born to a Filipino mestiza mother (with mixed Chinese, Filipino and Spanish ancestry) from Manila and a father of European and Native American descent

Bruno Mars

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An American singer, songwriter and record producer from Hawaii, known for his retro reenactments, as well as his multipolar music career in pop, R&B, disco, funk, soul, reggae (among many others), he is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, he was born to a Filipino mother and a father from New York City of Puerto Rican origin

Works Cited