PHILIPPINE ISLANDS


PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
   (8,500), a large and numerous group in the north of the Malay archipelago, between the China Sea and the Pacific, of which the largest, Luzon, and the next Mindanao, are both much greater than Ireland; are mountainous and volcanic, subject to eruptions and continuous earthquakes. In the N. of the group cyclones too are common. The climate is moist and warm, but fairly healthy; the soil is very fertile. Rice, maize, sugar, cotton, coffee, and tobacco are cultivated; the forests yield dye-woods, hard timber, and medicinal herbs, and the mines coal and iron, copper, gold, and lead. The chief exports are sugar, hemp, and tobacco. The aboriginal Negritoes are now few; half-castes are numerous; the population is chiefly Malayan, Roman Catholic at least nominally in religion, and speaking the Tagal or the Visayan language. Discovered by Magellan in 1521, who was killed on the island of Mactan; they were annexed by Spain in 1569, and held till 1898, when they fell to the Americans. The capital is Manilla (270), on the W. coast of Luzon; Laoag (37), San Miguel (35), and Banang (33) among the largest towns.

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

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