The word was derived from the word "Filipino" which was coined by the Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos, who named the islands "las Islas Filipinas" ("the Philippine Islands") after Philip II of Spain whom he served.
Antonio Pigafetta was one of the first Europeans to ever set foot in the Philippines. He listed and documented many of his sightings of the islands as he and other Spanish explore the islands. He included vast plains, mountains, and jungles that fascinated him. He later learns of the native culture and languages, and the first European to taste and eat kare-kare.
Ruy López de Villalobos was a Spanish explorer who sailed the Pacific from Mexico to establish a permanent foothold for Spain in the East Indies. On January 6, 1543, several small islands on the same latitude were seen, and named them Los Jardines (The Gardens) after his own linking of the place. In 1571 Spanish conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi founded the Manila in what today is Intramuros. Impressed by the sight of a prosperous city near a river, Legaspi eventually made Manila the capital of the Philippine Islands, which Spain would control for over three centuries.
Martín de Rada, a member of the Order of Saint Augustine, is much remembered as a great defender of the Filipino people against the lack of justice of Spanish officials at the local level. A key document in this matter was his Parescer del Provincial fray Martin de Rada, agostino, sobre las coasa de estas tieras ("About the abuses committed against the natives in the collection of tributes"), dated at Manila, June 21, 1575.
Frank Laubach, an Evangelical Christian missionary and mystic known as "The Apostle to the Illiterates", came to the Philippines to teach his "Each One Teach One" program. He showed a deep interest in the Philippines and Filipino culture when he wrote a biography of the Filipino national hero, José Rizal: Man and Martyr, published in Manila in 1936. He also translated the hero's valedictory poem, "Mi Ultimo Adios" (My Last Farewell.) His version is ranked second in ideas, content, rhyme and style among the 35 English translations in a collection. He also studied Maranao culture, commenting that " The Moros of Lake Lanao have amazingly rich literature, all the more amazing since it exists only in the memories of the people and had just begun to be recorded in writing. It consists of lyric and poetry with the epic greatly predominating."
William Henry Scott was a historian of the Gran Cordillera Central and Prehispanic Philippines, who wrote many books about the country. In 1994, the Ateneo de Manila University posthumously gave Scott the Tanglaw ng Lahi Award for a lifetime "spent in teaching not only in the classroom, but also the outside world by means of the broad reaches of his contacts and communication, and most of all through his hundreds of published scholarly articles and inspirationals which continue to disseminate and teach honest Philippine history to succeeding generations of Filipinos."
During the filming of The Bourne Legacy, actress Rachel Weisz admitted of being amazed by Palawan, saying that "[she] can live in Palawan forever!" during the shooting in El Nido, Palawan. Jun Juban, of the Philippine Film Studios Inc., told reporters during the weekly news forum at Annabel's restaurant in Quezon City that Weisz was amazed at Palawan's beauty. But she also shows deep concern with poverty in the Philippines after presumably seeing — and experiencing — the renowned banal impoverishment that blankets much of the country. In an interview with ANC, theatre actor John Arcilla said he had a conversation with Weisz, who was deeply concerned with what she had observed in the country. "Every break [I have conversations with] Rachel and she's more concerned with the poverty in the Philippines. She's asking if the people in the squatters area on the side are just numbers of poor people in the Philippines or are there more. [I did not hesitate to tell her that there are] a lot… and [she asked] are these the poorest[?] [and] I said no they’re not the poorest," Arcilla related.
Manny Pacquiao is a Filipino boxer who rose to fame after winning eight-division world titles. He was named "Fighter of the Decade" for the 2000s (decade) by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA), World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO). He is also a three-time The Ring and BWAA "Fighter of the Year," winning the award in 2006, 2008 and 2009, and the Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2009 and 2011. Bob Arum, long time boxing promoters, named Manny Pacquiao as the "Pound for Pound King", and has gained his support in fights.
When Pacquiao was allegedly defeated by Timothy Bradley in the 19th of June, 2012, Arum orders an investigation of the match which he believes wasn't right. Arum said in a press conference, "I want to investigate whether there was any undue influence, whether the [Nevada Athletic Commission] gave any particular instruction and how they came to this conclusion", in spite of being adamant at the post-fight news conference that the result was due to judging errors and not the result of anything suspicious. "The whole sport is in an uproar. People are going crazy." His investigations however were panned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Naseer Soomro, 26 years old who was named The Tallest Man in the World in his age category admitted that he is an avid fan of Pacquiao. "I Love You Filipino! Mabuhay Filipino! Mabuhay Pacquiao!", says Naseer as he cheers and meets Pacquiao for the first time.
Eskrima, also known as Kali, is a famous weapons based martial art which comes from the Philippines. It consists of weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives and other bladed weapons, and various improvised weapons including hand-to-hand combat and weapon disarming techniques. Bruce Lee shows Eskrima of which he learned from his Filipino student and friend Dan Inosanto in the film Game of Death. Where Bruce Lee faced Dan Inosanto in one of the featured battles with masters of different martial arts as he climbs the tower. This is one of the films that first brought Eskrima to popular international attention.
In 1901, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt established a naval base in the Philippines at Subic Bay, on territory won from Spain during the Spanish–American War in order to protect the islands from light of Japan's growing military might in the Pacific region and increasing political unrest in China, knowing of its power reaching the Philippines. He managed to create it even with opposition from Leonard Wood, governor-general of the Philippines, and various military leaders. After the Second World War, Subic Bay's strategic importance was recognized. The harbor became a service port for U.S. forces during the Vietnam War in order to bridge the gap between the U.S. and Vietnam.
In World War II, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, General Douglas MacArthur was put in charge of the Philippines where he had to defend the islands against an attack by the Japanese. He eventually lived a great amount of time in the Philippines where he admired the country. In March 11, 1942, he was forced to leave the islands when the Japanese overrun Corregidor. Although reluctant to leave, he promised the Filipino people that he would free them and finally make the U.S.A. promise of independence. He finally launched an invasion in Leyte.
In the Korean War, Major-General Robert H Soule was impressed by the Filipinos during the Battle of Yultong Bridge that he put many under his command, the Third Infantry Division in South Korea. On this, he commented, "The Fighting Filipinos are the best allied unit under my command." US Army Lieutenant Colonel Alex Lancaster, Operations Officer of the Eighth US Army in Korea, similarly remarked, "Give me the Filipino combat team and I will fight anywhere above the Thirty-Eighth Parallel."
Robert A. Heinlein is a famous American author who published his science-fiction masterpiece Starship Troopers. Heinlein made many references to Filipino culture and the Philippines in the eyes of his character Juan Rico, who is a Filipino youth turned soldier.
Jose Garcia Villa was a Filipino poet and a National Artist for Literature. He is known for introducing the "reversed consonance rime scheme", as well as for "comma poems" that made full use of the punctuation mark in an innovative way. His first collection of poetry, Have Come, Am Here, in which he introduced reversed consonance, was published in the U.S. in 1942 to critical acclaim. He introduced his comma poems in another collection called Volume Two, which was nominated for the Bollingen Prize in 1949. Other collections of Villa's poems include Selected Poems and New, published in 1958, which gathers his works between 1937 and 1957; Poems 55, published in the Philippines by Alberto Florentino in 1962; and Appasionata: Poems in Praise of Love, a collection of love poems published in 1979. According to Asiaweek magazine, "In a world of English-language poetry dominated by British and Americans, Villa stood out for the ascetic brilliance of his poetry and for his national origin."
In March 16, 1900, the Taft Commission was created by U.S. President William McKinley. McKinley wanted to hasten the transition of the Philippine military government into a civil one after the bloody Philippine insurgeny and the fall of economy, which he felt can be fixed and renewed by the use of education of the Filipino people. The first law it passed set aside P2 million for the construction of treads and bridges. From September 1900 to August 1902, the Commission was able to enact 440 pieces of legislation for the Philippines. In 1903, William H. Taft was given the seat to the Supreme Court, but he reluctantly declined since he viewed the Filipinos as not yet being capable of governing themselves, because of his popularity among them, and in the hope of making the Philippines into a powerful democratic territory. This decision was one among many in Taft's career which demonstrated a compulsive dedication to the job at hand, without regard to his self-interest.
A known Filipino is Carlos P. Romulo who was the 1st Asian President of the United Nations Assembly. He began a career as a diplomat at the United Nations. As a signatory of the charter forming the United Nations in 1945, he spoke the famous line, "Let us make this floor the last battlefield" at the first General Assembly. There was at first silence, but then he received a standing ovation—the only one given to any speaker at the conference. A famous historic scene in the UN happened when Andrei Vishinsky, chief of the Soviet delegation, dismissed him as a "little man from a little country," Romulo was undeterred, fighting he said "like David, slinging pebbles of truth between the eyes of blustering Goliaths." Dubbed by his colleagues "Mr. United Nations," he was elected president of the United Nations General Assembly in 1949—the first Asian to hold the position—and served as president of UN Security Council four times, in 1981, in 1980 and twice in 1957.
Chef Cristeta Comerford is famous for being the White House Executive Chef since 2005 who was known for serving President George W. Bush and continues on to serve President Barack Obama and his family. She stated that she served Bush and her family Filipino cuisine such as adobo and bulalo, which the family liked to eat. Will Smith himself said that he loves Filipino food.
Freddie Aguilar, known for his song "Anak", not only broke the Philippine record charts in 1979, but it also hit no. 1 spot in Japan and achieved considerable popularity in other countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and parts of Western Europe. The song has become so famous that, by some counts, it has been recorded in as many as a hundred versions in 23 languages throughout the world. Billboard reported that the song was the number two world hit of the 1980s. As of 2006, it was unsurpassed as the highest-selling record of Philippine music history.
Other famous Filipino musicians are Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr. better known as apl.de.ap. Jessica Sanchez who is famous for being part of American Idol season eleven, whose performance of Buddy Holly's "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" got a standing ovation from the three judges. Randy Jackson was astonished by Jessica's performance, In the semi-finals, Sanchez performed Jennifer Hudson's "Love You I Do" from the film Dreamgirls where she got the only standing ovation of the evening from the three judges. Jackson called it "one of the best of the last two nights". Jennifer Lopez stated, "the whole thing is really really so beyond your years". Steven Tyler commended her "exceptional timing" and added, "Your voice is perfect, your pitch is perfect." When she was going to be voted out, all three judges decided to save her from elimination, stating that she has "potential".
Lea Salonga, is a Filipina lyric mezzo-soprano singer and actress who starred in the lead role of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon, for which she won the Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Theatre World awards. She was also the first Asian to play the roles of Éponine and Fantine in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway. She also provided the singing voice of two official Disney Princesses: Jasmine in Aladdin (1992), and Fa Mulan in Mulan (1998) and Mulan II (2004). She was named a Disney Legend in 2011 for her work with the company.
Charice Pempengco, is another Filipino singer who rose to popularity through YouTube. Dubbed by Oprah Winfrey as the Most Talented Girl in the World, she released her first international studio album Charice in 2010. The album entered the Billboard 200 at number-eight, making Charice the first Asian solo singer in history to land in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 albums chart.
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