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BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PHILIPPPINES  
Pearl of the Orient Seas  

The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands in the South China Sea situated Taiwan to the north and Borneo to the south. Just 2,000 of its islands are inhabited and only 500 are larger than a kilometre square. The nine largest islands of Luzon, Mindanao, Palawan, Panay, Mindoro, Samar, Negros, Leyte and Cebu make up 90% of the nation's land area.

The original people of the Philippines were the ancestors of the people known today as Negritos or Aeta. They are an Australo-Melanesian people with dark skin and tight, curly brown hair. They are also distinctively small and of short stature. As the Pygmies in the equatorial forests of Africa, the Aeta are believed to have adapted locally to the tropical jungles of the Philippines.

The Aeta are a nomadic hunting and gathering people who forage in a small family bands with an uinformal organization and leadership. They were once widespread throughout the Philippines but are now found only in the remote highland areas of Luzon, Palawan, Panay, Negros and Mindanao.

   
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