Monday, September 12, 2016

Research: Phillipines

For my fourth Extreme Travel book, 'Please Don't Blow Up the Neighbors,' I took my crew to the Philippines.  That's an interesting place.

The Philippines is an archipelago (group or chain of islands) consisting of over 7000 islands in Southeast Asia.  It is slightly less than twice the size of Georgia, and slightly larger than Arizona.  The capital is Manila.  It is considered to be a tropical marine nation, with northeast monsoons from November to April and southwest monsoons from May to October.  Considered to be mostly mountainous, there are extensive coastal lowlands.


The history is very interesting, because after Magellan (of Portugal, but on a Spanish expedition) found the area in 1521, he was killed by the local tribes.  Even so, the country came under Spanish rule and was named after Crown Prince Philip II of Spain.  Most of the natives were converted to Catholicism.  Filipinos declared independence from Spain in 1898, but the country was then given over to the United States by Spain, even though Spain had no right to do so.  For seven years, the Filipinos fought American colonization, and were granted commonwealth status in 1935.  The Japanese occupied the country from 1941-1945 until General Douglas MacArthur and the US Army helped liberate the territory along with the Filipinos.  In 1946, the Philippines were granted independence.

Thus, many of the names in the country are more Spanish than Asian.  They have their own language (Tagalog, pronounced tag-A-log).  It, along with English, are the official languages.  There are about eight major languages, with many more language groups and other distinct languages.

Lately, even after I wrote the book, there have been kidnappings and beheadings in that country.  The main group seems to be the Abu Sayyaf group.  It also has issues with terrorism, and there are places to be avoided in that country.  They kidnap for ransom, which is what inspired my book.

Interesting place for my people to go, for sure.

Have a great day!
SweetTale Books


WikiTravel: Philippines
Terrorism in the Philippines: Places you should avoid
Philippines unrest: Who are the Abu Sayyaf group?

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