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Week 2 - Revolution

In January of 2001, the Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Cardinal Sin led a revolution against the then current president of the Philippines, Joseph Estrada. Former president Joseph Estrada was being accused of graft and corruption, specifically for spending tax payer's money (in the hundreds of millions of pesos) for gambling purposes. Cardinal Sin led the revolution in EDSA, a major highway in Metro Manila, where the first People's Power Revolution was held during the time of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1989. For this reason, they called this revolution as the People's Power Revolution II. Roughly two million people crowded the streets, revolted against the president, and sang chants to overthrow Joseph Estrada. Among these people were regular citizens, members of the police, and even the military. On January 20, 2001, Joseph Estrada resigned as president and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (the vice-president at the time) became the new president of the Philippines.


Week 3 - Slavery

It is clear that slavery still exists in Philippine society today. In fact the number of modern day slaves in the country is outrageous. It is estimated that there are 140,000 to 160,000 people who are abducted, forced to work, and enslaved mainly in the sex trade industry. Many of these who are enslaved are young girls coming from extremely poor backgrounds. They are tricked into thinking that they will be saved from poverty, but instead are brought to urban centres and foreign countries to be held captive overseas. They are used and abused beyond their control and power. On top of this, young boys are also forced into work and are treated as animals by other people; they eat the food of animals and sleep in places that animals would sleep in.


Week 4 - Labour movements

In 2011, a national survey found that there is an estimated 3 million children (ages 5 to 14) who are working in child labour. Majority of these children are working in the agricultural industry. The working conditions are horrible for these children; it is especially not meant for young, underdeveloped children. In 2014, the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) took a firm stand against these labour conditions and currently is implementing a strategy to fight against this phenomenon. The government is taking big steps forward especially in forming laws/regulations and enforcing them to fight against child labour in the country. This project was designed to commence in 2014 and conclude in 2016.


Week 5 - Women in social movements

It is important to note that the Philippines has had two female presidents in the past, President Corazon Aquino and President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. In 2014, the country celebrated International Women's Day. From March 1, 2014 to March 31, 2014, women all over the Philippines were being celebrated and empowered. This is an initiative of the Philippine Commission on Women (PWC), which is an organization that advocates for gender equality and female empowerment. These celebrations of International Women's Day in the Philippines are inspired by the women's social movements in the United States when they fought against the poor working conditions at the time. SOURCE:

Week 6 - Independence

The Philippines was a Spanish colony for more than 300 years. The revolutions against the Spanish army began in 1897 led by Emilio Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo and his companions were exiled in Hong Kong for starting revolts against the Spaniards. In April of 1898, conflicts arose between the U.S. and Spain. By May of 1898, the Americans arrived in the Philippines to wage war against the Spaniards. This was termed the "Spanish-American War". In June 12, 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo declared Philippine independence from Spain.The war was won by the Americans and a formal American government was set up in 1902. The Americans governed the Philippines until 1935, when Manuel Quezon became the first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. The Philippines became totally independent from the United States in the year 1946.


Week 7 - Freedom Struggles

Ferdinand Marcos was the president of the Philippines for more than 20 years. During this period, he announced Martial Law and became the dictator of the country. Many Filipino citizens were oppressed by this dictator and the military army that supported him. In February 1986, the Filipino people fought for their freedom. They started a revolution in EDSA, one of the main roads in Metro Manila. This revolution was called People Power revolution and it was led by Cardinal Sin of the Catholic Church. Marcos tried to fight back by sending the army to the streets with tanks, but the soldiers refused to fire. After 4 days, Ferdinand Marcos stepped down from his presidency. This is a good example in Philippine history of how the people started a social movement against the president to fight for their freedom and were in fact successful in overthrowing him.


Week 8 - Civil Rights

In the Philippines, there are no racial, class, or gender discriminations against who is allowed to vote. As long as one is a Filipino citizen, he/she can vote. A Filipino citizen can vote no matter whether that person is dark-skinned or light-skinned, rich or poor, male or female. The country is often called the Republic of the Philippines, and it is a democracy. The government in the country is meant to represent the people of the Philippines. The Philippines uses a Presidential system and an important note to mention is that the President and the Vice-President are voted separately. This means that the president and the vice-president can come from different parties and different campaigns from one another.


Week 9 - Sexual Revolutions

The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country. Many of the laws that have been established result from the Catholic background and history of the country. For example, divorce and gay marriage is illegal in the Philippines. Although this is the case, Western thought and culture has influenced the Filipino people. Just last year, the Reproductive Health Bill was passed in the Philippines. This meant that taxpayer's money would go into funding family planning and reproductive health services. Although there was opposition from many religious groups, the bill has been passed and the president has signed on it.


Week 10 - Indigenous Movements

It is estimated that there are roughly 12 million indigenous people living in the Philippines, while majority of them live in the island of Mindanao (Southern Philippines). In 1997, Republic Act 8371 was passed and it essentially protects the cultural values and basic human rights of the indigenous people while also protecting their rights to their land. There are also social initiatives taking place that are geared towards reducing the poverty of indigenous peoples in the country.


Week 11 - Environmentalism

The main environmental issues in the Philippines includes overfishing and destructive fishing, coastal infrastructure development, deforestation, and pollution. Because of these reasons, protecting the environment is a serious issue in the country. It appears that the government needs to take a stand on these issues because there seem to be many flaws within the laws, regulations, and enforcement of environmental policies.