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The classical period of precolonial Philippine historytechnically, "pre-Philippine history", as the name is obviously of colonial origin, named for King Philip II of Spainis known largely from third-party accounts from elsewhere in East and Southeast Asia, but the oldest concrete artifact of a proto-Philippine provenance is the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, a record of a royal debt pardon dated, luckily very specifically, to 900 CE.
It definitively demonstrated that culturally advanced and loosely organised kingdoms were thriving in the area for at least a millennium before the colonial period.
Throughout the early Cold War era the Philippines had to contend with the Hukbalahap or Huks ("Hukbong Bayan Laban sa Hapon", National/People's Army Against the Japanese, later "Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan", People's Liberation Army), Communist rebels originally formed during World War II.
They were finally pacified under the moderate Ramon Magsaysay in the 1950s.
Owing to its position at the crossroads of several foreign trade routes, the country has earned a vast diversity of cultures and religions, of which Christianity predominates, a legacy of over 300 years under the Spanish Empire and 40 under the United States (in fact, the Philippines is the largest Christian-majority country in Asia and, until East Timor's independence, the only one), with Islam a distant second and Buddhists, animists and others filling the gaps.
It is well-known that besides a booming export market and local corporate businesses, the Philippines' economy heavily relies on foreign remittances from overseas workers.
That's right, one of the country's biggest exports is its people, who make up a major proportion of overseas workers from all over the world.
It helps that most of these workers speak Surprisingly Good English, a mark of the nation's colonized past.
The islands were settled as early as 67,000 years ago, evidenced by the metatarsal of a man found in Cagayan valley in 2007.Amidst this background Portuguese conquistador Ferdinand Magellan managed to find the islands in 1521 and claimed them on behalf of the Kingdom of Spain.