The Philippines in Southeast Asia

The relationship between
the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia
is distinguished by the fact that:

   Indic influence

in the Philippines was extremely marginal.  
There were no great Indic architecture,
religious rituals nor elaborate civilizations
in the country (with the exception of
Muslim sultanates in the south)
prior to the arrival of the Spaniards
in the 1500s.


muslim.bethrotal2.carlos.v.francisco.1958.jpg (114117 bytes)
Carlos V. Francisco, 1958 (34843 bytes)
Miagao Church Iloilo
ni Rodolfo Y. Ragodon, 1966

The Philippines is largely
a Roman Catholic country
in a Buddhist-Islamic world of Southeast Asia. 
Like Thailand, it has a troubled history
with its minority Islamic peoples. 

Although a heavily westernized population
and culture on a superficial level,
it is Southeast Asian in many important
cultural ways.  Its current direction
of forging closer and stronger ties
with the rest of ASEAN is marked
by a different attitude by most Filipinos
toward issues of human rights
and political freedom. 

bantilan.jorgepineda.1943.jpg (67311 bytes)
ni Jorge Pineda, 1943

wpe30.jpg (31053 bytes)
Mariang Makiling
ni Hugo C. Yonzon, 1974

For example,
the Philippines' western-style democracy
has been a cause of criticism
by other Southeast Asian states
who blame it for problems of
ineffective implementation
of new legislation or
for debates that stall reform. 

At the same time, however,
many Southeast Asians admire
the Philippines exactly
for these reasons,
in particular its more open society
and a free press.

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