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Philippines and Thailand

Every country in Southeast Asia was colonized by Western countries, except for

Thailand. Thailand is unique for never having been colonized by any country except that

Japanese military had occupied Thailand during the World War II. The Philippines is ruled by

Spain from the defeat of Cebu in 1565 and Manila in 1571 for total of more than three centuries

and was named after the 16th-century Spanish king. Then Spain defeat in the Spanish-American

War in 1898 and Philippines was then taken over by the US in the early 20th century.

Colonization plays an important role in influencing on language, religion, and politics in the

Philippines, which is different from Thailand.

Total population in the Philippines today is about 96.5 million people where Thailands

population today is about 66 million people. The capital city of Philippines is Manila. Philippines

currency is Philippines peso. The Philippines has a democratic government system in form of a

constitutional republic with a presidential system. The president works as both head of state and

head of government. President is elected by popular vote for a single six-year term. But in the

year 1965 to 1986, Ferdinand Marcos, a Filipino politician, was the President of the Philippines

ruled as a dictator. He is known for mass corrupting, political turmoil, and etc. Until February

1986, people rose again his dictatorial rule which led to the People Power revolution and causes

him to flee to the United States. In contrast, Thailand is a constitutional monarchy where the

Prime Minister is the head of government and a Hereditary Monarch is head of state. Thailand

has also switched between parliamentary democracy and military junta for decades. Thailand

currency is Thai Baht and the capital city of Thailand is Bangkok.

More than 90% of todays population in the Philippines practice Christianity and about

81% of that belongs to Catholic. Spain introduced Catholic religion to the Philippines along with

the building of the Catholic churches. It was rapidly spread during the early years of Spanish

colonialism except in the south where Islam predominates. The Catholic Church has great

influence on Philippines society and politic which linked in Spanish policy. One of Spains

objectives in colonizing the Philippines was the conversion of Filipinos to Catholicism. Several

Catholic holidays are also included in the calendar. However, the main religion practiced in

Thailand is Buddhism. In fact, Thailand might be the only country in the world where the king is

constitutionally stipulated to be a Buddhist. Many foreigners called Thailand The Land of

Yellow Robes, the yellow robes are the garments of Buddhist monks. About 90% of Thai

population practices Theravada Buddhism or Southern Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism was

made as the state religion with the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom in the 13th century.

After the decline of Buddhism in India, Sinhalese monks converted from Ari Buddhism to

Theravada. In the next two centuries, they also brought Theravada Buddhism to Myanmar,

Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, which replaced the previous forms of Buddhism. Thailand has

been tolerant of other religions, and there are only small amount of people practicing other

religions such as Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Sikhism. Buddhist temples in Thailand are

characterized by tall golden stupas and it is similar to other Southeast Asian countries. Both

countries have different main or official religion practiced in their country. But the second

largest religion in both country is Islam. About almost 5% of the population are Islam in both

countries which is most at the southern part of the country.

Philippines culture is outstanding, widely practiced and even encouraged by

non-Filipinos. Filipino language, originated from the Tagalog language, is the national language

in the Philippines and it is influenced by Spanish. English is also considered as an official

language in the Philippines and that is why it is widely used in the Philippines. Philippines

culture contains a mix of foreign cultures. Spaniards introduced the Western culture into the

Philippines such as their Philosophy of life, habits, language, clothing, ways of amusement,

religion, arts, and cooking. America achieved in introducing public school system in the

Philippines which increase the number of Filipinos who knew how to read and write. Filipinos

cook many kinds of foods influenced by Western, Pacific Islander, and Asian cuisine. Rice is the

basis of both Thailand and Philippines diet. In contrast, English in Thailand is not as widely use

as in the Philippines and it is not an official language in Thailand. Thailand has its own language,

Thai, as its national language. Over 80% of the population in Thailand speak Thai. Some other

languages that are spoken in Thailand are Malay language or Yawi and Chinese. Even though

English is not widely used in Thailand, English is a mandatory school subject for Thai students.

In conclusion, both countries are different from the beginning. But Philippines is affected

directly by the colonization from Spain and US in many ways. Many things in the Philippines

today is influenced by Spanish. Thailand also changes over time. Thailand is influenced by

western cultures but not directly affected from the colonization of the Philippines. Colonization

in the Philippines shows that it is not always bad. They might get money from resources or

market, but they also improve the country in many ways. At the present time, Philippines is not

ruled by any country and declared as a State. Both countries also are members of Association of

Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN.


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