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The Republic of the Philippines contains more than 7,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean north of Indonesia. It was a Spanish colony that was ceded to the United States after the Spanish-American War in 1898 and received full independence in 1946. The population of more than 90 million people is 84% Roman Catholic, making it the largest Christian majority country in Asia. It is the third largest Catholic country in the world, after Brazil and Mexico; 9% of the population is Protestant Christian, and 5% are Muslim. Many of the Muslims are concentrated in the southern island of Mindanao, where the Moro Liberation Front has spearheaded a sometimes violent separatist movement.

Dissolution of Indigenous Culture

Originally, the main islands (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao) were not under a ...

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