Location: Southeastern Asia, archipelago
between the Philippine Sea and the
South China Sea, east of Vietnam
Total: 300,000 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 73
Land: 298,170 sq km
Water: 1,830 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly larger than
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 36,289 km
Religion in the Philippines comprises an extensive range of
spiritual faiths, such as Catholics, Iglesia ni
Cristo, Aglipayans, Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists, Atheist
s, Agnostics, animists, and Hindus.
It is important not as a theoretical belief system, but as a
host of experiences: customs and adjurations that allow for
stability in life, shared unity, and honorable point for
Spiritual associations belong to the system of essential
kinship ties, patron-client bonds, and other relationships
outside of the nuclear family.
Christianity and Islam have been applied to early rituals and
The unique spiritual blends that have resulted, when
merged with the strong personal faith of Filipinos, have led
the way to various and assorted revivalist movements.
Usually characterized by anti-modern
favoritism, supernaturalism, and authoritarianism in the
individual of a charming messianic figure, these
associations have drawn thousands of Filipino people, in
particular areas like Mindanao, which have been subjected
to tremendous pressure of reform during a short period of
Many have been recruited in these movements, due to an
improved sense of society and community.
Like the very observable examples of flagellation and
reenacted crucifixion in the Philippines, such movements
may have few shared beliefs with organised Christianity or
In contrast, in the strongly personalistic Philippine sacred
perspective, there are less aberrations and more excessive
examples of religion keeping is important function in society.
Philippines: Religion statistics
Catholic 82.9% (Roman Catholic
80.9%, Aglipayan 2%)
Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%
Other Christian 4.5%
Largest city: Quezon City
Official languages: Filipino, English
Recognized regional languages:
Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Ilokano, Pampa
ngo, Pangasinense, Tagalog, Waray
Optional languages: Spanish, Arabic
Government: Unitary presidential
President: Benigno Aquino III
Vice President: Jejomar Binay
Senate President: Franklin Drilon
House Speaker: Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.
Chief Justice: Maria Lourdes Sereno
Upper house: Senate
Lower house: House of Representatives
Politics of the Philippines:
The political system of the Philippines functions in an organized structure of a
presidential, representative, and democratic republic in which the president serves as both the head
of state and the head of government within a pluriform multi-party structure; this structure centers on
three separate and self-governing, yet mutually dependent branches: the legislative, the executive
branch, and the judicial branch.
The government exercises executive power under the president’s leadership; legislative power is
vested in both the government and the two-chamber Congress (the upper chamber, the Senate, and
the lower chamber, the House of Representatives); judicial power is vested in the courts with the
Supreme Court of the Philippines as the most supreme judicial body.
Every three years (from 1992), an independent Commission on Elections governs elections; held
every second Monday of May, the victors in the elections are sworn in on the subsequent June 30.
Local government units from the provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays exercise local
Whereas most regions lack political power, and exist only for government purposes, self-governing
regions have extended powers more than the local government units.
Local government units are allowed self-governing, but a significant part of their budget is a result of
distribution from the national government, placing their true self-governing in question.
Benigno Aquino III
Born February 8, 1960 in Manila; also known as Noynoy Aquino or Pnoy.
15th and current President of the Philippines since June 30, 2010.
Is a fourth-generation politician: his great-grandfather, Servillano “Mianong”
Aquino, was a delegate to the Malolos Congress; his grandfather, Benigno
Aquino, Sr., was the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the
Philippines from 1943-1944; his parents were President Corazon Aquino and
Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr.
Is a member of the Liberal Party, in which he has served in a number of
posts, including Secretary General and VP for Luzon; is also the Liberal
Completed his Bachelor of Arts major in Economics from Ateneo de Manila
University in 1981 and subsequently joined his family in their exile in the
United States; returned to the Philippines in 1983 not long after his father
was killed, holding several posts working in the private sector.
Was elected to the House of Representatives as Representative of the 2nd
district of Tarlac province in 1998; was re-elected to the House in 2001 and
Was elected to the Senate in the 14th Congress of the Philippines in
2007, having been ineligible from running for re-election to the House due to
Following his mother’s death on August 1, 2009, many people called for him
to run for president.
On September 9, 2009, he formally announced he would be a nominee in the
2010 presidential election that was held on May 10, 2010.
One June 9, 2010, the Congress of the Philippines declared him the winner
of the 2010 presidential election.
Was sworn in as the 15th President of the Philippines by Associate Justice of
the Supreme Court of the Philippines Conchita Carpo-Morales at the Quirino
Grandstand in Rizal Park in Manila on June 30, 2010; succeeded Gloria
Was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time
magazine in 2013.
Even though the President’s formal home is the Malacañang Palace, he lives
in the Bahay Pangarap (House of Dreams), situated within the Palace
Born November 11, 1942 in
Paco, Manila; also known as Jojo Binay
15th and current VP of the Philippines
since June 30, 2010.
Was previously the Mayor of Makati City
twice: 1986-1998 and 2001-2010.
Also serves in the posts of President of
the United Nationalist Alliance
(UNA), President of Partido Demokratiko
Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-
Laban), Chairman of Asia-Pacific Region
Scout Committee, and President of the
Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
Born November 28, 1945 in Iloilo City, Iloilo; is the oldest son of Cesar
Drilon, Sr. and Primitiva Magtunao.
27th and current President of the Philippines since July 22, 2013; also served
as the 22nd President from July until November 2000 and the 24th President
Currently serves his third term in the Senate, and his third term as Senate
Also serves as the Chairman of the Liberal Party and a Senior Counsel of the
ACCRA Law Offices.
Received his elementary schooling at the Baluarte Elementary School in
Molo, Iloilo, Iloilo; graduated in 1957.
Completed his secondary education at the U.P. – Iloilo College (now
University of the Philippines High School in Iloilo) in 1961.
Attended college at the University of the Philippines, where he originally
pursued a Bachelor of Arts in 1965.
At the University of the Philippines, he worked as the associate editor of the
Philippine Collegian, serving as councilor of the U.P. Student Council; some
of his classmates were future political figures Miriam Defensor Santiago and
Finished his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) at the U.P. College of Law in 1969;
took the bar examination the same year, finishing with the third best score;
additionally served as an associate lawyer to the
Sycip, Salazar, Luna, Manalo & Feliciano Law Offices (now SyCip Salazar
Hernandez & Gatmaitan) in 1969.
Moved to the Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala & Cruz Law Offices
(ACCRALAW) in 1974; currently serves there as Senior Counsel.
Was subsequently promoted to partner in 1975, co-managing partner in
1981, and managing partner in 1986; was also a Bar Examiner on Labor and
Social Legislation in the 1979 and 1984 bar examinations.
Also became the VP and Governor of the Employers Confederation of the
Philippines (ECOP) and the VP, Board Member and Treasurer of the
Personnel Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP).
Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.
Born October 2, 1936 in Manila; was born to judge Feliciano
Belmonte, Sr. and Luz Raciomo.
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives, representing
the Fourth District of Quezon City; is also the 23rd and current
Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines since
July 26, 2010; also served as the 20th Speaker of the House of
Representatives from January until June 2001.
Was also the 9th Mayor of Quezon City from 2001-2010.
Attended grade school in Baguio City, acquiring his high school
diploma at the San Beda College in Manila.
Completed law at the Lyceum of the Philippines University; was a
reporter at the Manila Chronicle while in law school; reported on
the police beat and events at the Philippine Commission on
Started his government service as the presidential staff
subordinate of President Diosdado Macapagal; also worked as a
special subordinate for the Commissioner of Customs, and as a
manager subordinate at the Central Bank of the Philippines.
Was assigned by President Corazon Aquino in 1986 to supervise
several economically struggling government-run companies.
Became President and General Manager of the Government
Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Manila Hotel and
chairman of the National Reinsurance Corportation of the
Also represented the government as a member of the board of
directors of the San Miguel Corportation and the Philippine Long
Distance Telephone Company (PLDT); more significantly, he
assumed the post of President and Chief Executive Officer of
Philippine Airlines, at the time wholly run by the Philippines’
Maria Lourdes Sereno
Born July 2, 1960 in Manila.
24th and current Chief Justice of the Philippines since
August 25, 2012.
Became the second youngest and the first woman to
preside over the judiciary upon her election at age 52.
Was nominated Associate Justice of the Supreme
Court of the Philippines in August 2010, making her
the first nominee to the High Court by President
Benigno Aquino III.
Was at the time the youngest nominee to the Supreme
Court since Manuel Moran in 1945, but was exceeded
by Marvic Leonen in 2012 at the age of 49; is also the
13th woman nominated as a Supreme Court Justice.
On August 24, 2012, President Aquino declared his
nomination of Justice Sereno as the new Chief Justice
of the Supreme Court; she replaced Renato
Corona, who was voted out of office in May 2012
following her conviction in an impeachment trial.
Is due to retire in 2030 (when she will turn
70), following 20 years in office (18 years as Chief
Justice), in accordance with the conditions of the 1987
Politics of the Philippines: Major political
Two dominating parties:
Liberal Party (governing party)
United Nationalist Alliance (largest
Four major parties:
People Power-Christian Muslim
Democrats (Lakas-Christian Muslim
Nationalist Party (Nacionalista
Nationalist People’s Coalition, NPC
National Unity Party, NUP
The governing political party and a liberal party in
the Philippines; was founded as a breakaway
Liberal group from the Nacionalista Party on
November 24, 1945 by former senators Senate
President Manuel Roxas, Senate President Pro-
Tempore Elpidio Quirino, and former 9th
Senatorial District Senator José Avelino.
Currently the governing party after Benigno
Aquino III’s election victory as the President of
Control the House of Representatives, though it
is a participant in a coalition agreement in the
Senate; per se, it is the second-oldest political
party in the Philippines in relation to
establishment, and the oldest existing political
party in the Philippines.
Has been led by people including Manuel
Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Diosdado
Macapagal, and Benigno Aquino, Jr.
United Nationalist Alliance
Political multi-party electoral alliance in the
Replaced the ex-United Opposition (UNO) coalition for
the forthcoming 2013 midterm elections and the 2016
The acronym UNA is a pun on una (Tagalog for
first), compared to UNO (Spanish for the number one).
The Pwerasa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP, led by ex-
President Joseph Estrada) and the Partido
Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bryan (PDP-Laban, led
by VP Jejomar Binay) signed a coalition agreement on
April 4, 2012 for the 2013 elections, founding the
United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
The two parties were previously partners in the United
Opposition in the 2007 Senate election; Estrada and
Binay were running mates in the 2010 presidential
Aquilino Pimentel III, PDP-Laban president, has said
that the UNA’s senatorial slate is now over twelve
members and is in the procedure of decreasing; he
also mentioned reservations on the addition of Juan
Miguel Zubiri, of whom he had won an election
demonstration subsequent to the 2007 election.