The republic of the Philippines became one of the founding members of the United Nations on October 11, 1945. The Southeast Asian country consists of more than 7,600 islands that are geographically categorized under three divisions namely Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
In honor of Philip II of Spain, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the islands Las Islas Filipinas in 1543. The country became part of the Spanish Empire for three centuries.
On June 12, 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo proclaimed the independence of the Philippines from Spain. However, Spain sold the Philippines to the United States for US$20 million according to the 1898 Treaty of Paris terms.
On July 4, 1946, the U.S. officially recognized the Philippines as an independent country through the Treaty of Manila. But since the 1960s, the Southeast Asian country has been celebrating its independence day every June 12.
Internationally, the Philippines is known as a powerhouse in boxing, singing and beauty pageants. Here is the 2011 list of the 13 most handsome living men of Filipino descent or citizens of the Southeast Asian country:
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