The 7,000 islands (1,000 of which are inhabited) of the Philippines comprise a land area equal to that of Italy and a little larger than that of Arizona.
Some 70 languages are spoken in the Philippines. The five languages with the greatest number of speakers are: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon (or Ilongo), and Bicolano. English remains important for professional, academic, government, and business careers.
Christian (82% Catholic); Islam; animismThe Philippines is made up of thousands of islands with many distinct cultures. Despite speaking several different languages, 90% of the population share a common way of life, and practice Christianity. The remaining 10% consists of many small, non-Christian groups.
Problems for people here:
Under the civil war conditions during the regimes of
Ferdinand Marcos (1965–86) and his successor, Corazon Aquino (1986–92), human rights abuses were common, with government forces, insurgents, and anti-insurgent vigilantes victimizing civilians as a matter of course. Widespread political corruption and extreme poverty are prevalent. Four PIME Missionaries have been martyred here since they arrived in 1968, the most recent being in 2011. PIME strives to help the most ignored and subjugated of the people in this country, supporting farmers, the poor, and indigenous Filipinos against the government and foreign interests. This has often led to conflict with those parties, who tend to take advantage of all those beneath
them, as well as the natural resources of the country. Life in rural areas can also be quite difficult, with missionaries having many parishes, traveling great distances to ensure that everyone receives the Sacraments. Recently, certain areas of the country have had issues with Islamic Extremism and related violence as well.
How PIME helps the mission here:
PIME has stood up for the rights of the most subjugated
people since their arrival, at great cost. Our missionaries here strive to
develop the socio-economical situation of the people. In addition to this, the Silsilah Movement encourages inter-religious dialogue between people of all faiths, something that has caused great strife in the country.