Map of Southeast Asia

Is The Philippine Part Of Asia?

Written By:

Post Date – Updated:

The Philippines is a country that both Spain and the United States have ruled. It has a long history of not identifying as Asia but with European or American colonial powers.

The Philippines is part of Asia, particularly Maritime Southeast Asia. As Southeast Asia is part of Asia, the Philippines is considered Asian. Even though the Philippines is located within the Asian territory, many Filipinos identify more with the west, particularly the United States.

The United States ruled the Philippines from 1898 to 1946. Even after the United States no longer ruled the Philippines, there was a significant US military presence during the Vietnam War.

Table of Contents

Philippines and Southeast Asia

The Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia, so technically, it is in Asia; Southeast Asia is part of Asia.

Officially the Filipinos are considered Asian or part of Southeast Asia. But for a long time, the Philippines also identified themselves as Pacific islanders.

The Philippines used to be called the Philippines Islands of the Pacific. When the Americans ruled the Philippines from the late 19th Century to the early 20th Century, the Americans called the Philippines “the orphan of the Pacific.”

They may have called the Philippines a pacific island because the Philippines is a country that has over 7,000 islands and would have reminded many Americans of the Hawaiian and Polynesian islands.

The Philippines is one of the only Christian-dominated nations in Asia; thanks to their Spanish conquerors, Christianity is the main religion in the Philippines. The Philippines is also a nation that blends the west and Asian cultures, making it a unique place that is not entirely Asian and not quite western either.

The Filipinos will classify themselves as Asian but are a culture blended between western and Asian cultures; some Filipinos may feel closer to the west, especially the United States. America did rule the Philippines for almost 50 years.

Even after the Americans no longer ruled the Philippines, there was a robust American presence. The American military used the Philippines as their main military bases during the Vietnam War. We can say that American history in the Philippines extends past when America ruled the Philippines.

Because of this, many Filipinos may see themselves as Asian or Southeast Asian as more of an accident of geography – the fact they are located in the Asian region makes them Asian; culturally, the Filipinos may identify more with the long history they have had with the west, in particular the United States.

About Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is an area in Asia consisting of regions from China, southeast of the Indian subcontinent, and northwest of Australia. Southeast Asia is bordered to the north by East Asia, the west by South Asia and the Bay of Bengal, and the east by Oceania and the Pacific Ocean. It borders on the south to Australia and the Indian Ocean.

Southeast Asia is the only subregion of Asia that lies partly within the Southern Hemisphere. The majority of Asia is still in the Northern Hemisphere.

Southeast Asia is divided up into two primary geographical divisions:

  • Mainland Southeast Asia – Mainland Southeast Asia is also known as the Indochinese Peninsula and historically Indochina or Indochine. This area includes Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Maritime Southeast Asia – Maritime Southeast Asia is also known as the Malay Archipelago and historically as Nusantara, the old Java term that means outer island. This part of the Southeast consists of Brunei, East Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, Philippines, and Singapore.

This part of the world was known for a long time as the East Indies. In 1839, the American Pastor Howard Malcolm used the team’s Southeast Asia in his book “Travels in South-Eastern Asia.” In his book, Malcolm only included the Mainland section as southeast Asia and excluded any maritime countries as Southeast Asian.

During World War II, the Allies started to use the terms Southeast Asia to refer to these countries in Asia and to show the difference between Southeast Asia and East Asia.

The Philippines is a country in Asia and is termed a Southeast Asian nation. It is located in the Asia area, and politically the land belongs to Asia and, more particularly, Southeast Asia. It is not in the Pacific Ocean area but is near the South China Sea, making it within the Asian Area.

At A Bus On A Dusty Road, we talk about everything about travel, life, and ex-pat living. We are all about “Living Life As A Global Citizen.” We explore social, cultural, and economic issues and travel.

We would love to have you be part of our community. Sign up for our newsletter to keep up-to-date by clicking here. If you have any questions, you can contact me, Anita, by clicking here.

Listen to our Podcast called Dusty Roads. You can find it on all major podcast platforms. Try out listening to one of our podcasts by clicking here.

Subscribe to our A Bus On A Dusty Road YouTube Channel filled with great videos and information by clicking here.

How Many Islands Are In The Philippines?

The Philippines has over 7600 miles within its sovereignty. The Philippines is considered an archipelago nation because its area has so many islands. The Philippines is divided into three islands the Luzon in the north, the Visayas in the central region, and Mindanao in the south.

You can learn more by reading How Many Islands Are In The Philippines? by clicking here.

10 Myths Debunked About The Philippines

Some of the myths about the Philippines are that doctors and nurses can have tattoos if it’s okay to drink tap water and that you are not allowed to wear shorts in the Philippines. Also, there are some myths that people think everyone in the Philippines is skinny, has no diabetes, and vegetables are one of the main staples of their diet.

You can learn more by reading 10 Myths Debunked About The Philippines by clicking here.

Anita L Hummel
Follow Me

Share Our Content