A Comparison of the African and of the Philippine History

According to Carter G. Woodson, an African-American historian, if a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated. Therefore, every place and any country have its own origin or roots. Likewise, this can be said about the Philippines and the Africa which are two separate places yet each possessed its own distinct characteristics. There are many similarities between Africa and the Philippines. The most common of these similarities is the strong colonial history or influence in the society.

This is the effect of the post-colonial ideology. Africa had been colonized by European countries such as France, Portugal, United Kingdom and others while the Philippines had been colonized by Spain, United States of America and Japan. Both of them had experience the lost if their own identity in the hands of these colonizer. In terms of religion, Islam is the largest religion in Africa followed by Christianity. This is according to the World Book Encyclopedia. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, Christianity occupies the largest religion and Islam only ranked second. In addition, both of the Philippines and Africa had diverse language.

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In the Philippines, Tagalog or Filipino is the national language and English is the secondary language. Aside from that, many dialects also exist in the country like Bikol, Waray, Pangasinense and other local dialect. In this juncture, by most estimates, well over a thousand languages (UNESCO has estimated around two thousand) are spoken in Africa. Most are African origin, though some are European or Asian origin . Africa is the most multilingual continent in the world and it is not rare for individuals to frequently speak not only multiple African languages, but one or more European as well.

Another similarity between Africa and Philippines is that both are composed of tribal and ethnic groups. The indigenous ethnic group that inhabit the Philippines include Badjao, Igorot, Ilongots, Lumad, Mangyan, Negrito groups and the Palawan tribes. The San of Southern Africa, Pygmies in Central Africa, Nilo-Saharan in the West and the Berbers in the Northeast Africa are just some tribal groups in the Africa to name a few. Furthermore, the limited infrastructure in the countryside and the agriculture –based economy can also be considered as one of the similarities between the two.

Poverty and corruption along with instability and violence are also a common similarity . Although both has abundant natural resources; they are still considered poor and developing. This is the result of variety of causes that may include the spread of deadly diseases(notably HIV/AIDS and malaria), corrupt governments that have often committed serious human rights violation and failed central planning of the government. On the other hand, Africa and the Philippines have also their differences. For example, the Philippines is less populous with an almost 104 million people compared to 1,022,234,000 or almost 1 billion population by 2012.

This is not surprising since Africa has a larger area of 30,221,532 square kilometres or 11,668,598 square miles compared to 300,000 square kilometres (115,800 square miles) of the Philippines. In the climate aspect, the climate of Africa ranges from tropical to subarctic on its highest peaks. Its northern half is primarily desert or arid while its central and southern areas contain both savannah plains and very dense jungle. Meanwhile, the Philippines has a tropical maritime climate with two seasons and is an archipelago which consists of almost 7,107 islands. Both also differ in the form of government.

The Philippines is a democratic country. On the contrary, the vast majority of African states are republics that operate under some form of the presidential system of rule . However, few of them have been able to sustain democratic governments on a permanent basis and many have instead cycled through a series of coups, producing military dictatorship. It is hard to compare Africa and Philippines because Africa is a continent, actually the world’s second largest continent while the Philippines is only a country, one of the 45 countries in Asia which is the world’s largest and most populated continent.

Africans and Filipinos should be a proud people. The Africa and the Philippines are something they can be proud of. Each has its own distinct characteristic which makes it unique and special. Let us reflect on a quote of WILLIAM BATCHELDER GREENE, Remarks on the Science of History: He who thoroughly understands the present epoch, must have reproduced, and lived through, in his private experience, all the religions, dispensations, and civilizations that preceded it.

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