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They were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples.Exchanges with Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Islamic nations occurred.Landa Jocano called the "Barangic Phase" of early Philippine history, beginning from the 14th century through the arrival of Spanish colonizers and the beginning of the Philippines' colonial period.The discovery of iron at around the 1st century AD created significant social and economic changes which allowed settlements to grow larger and develop new social patterns, characterized by social stratification and specialization.The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila.Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.Aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the United States retained sovereignty over the islands until after World War II, when the Philippines was recognized as an independent nation.

It also hosts the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank.

From the period of the Spanish–American War (1898) and the Philippine–American War (1899–1902) until the Commonwealth period (1935–46), American colonial authorities referred to the country as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the Spanish name.

From the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the name Philippines began to appear and it has since become the country's common name.

In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain.

With the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi from Mexico City, in 1565, the first Hispanic settlement in the archipelago was established.

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These artifacts are said to be evidence of long range communication between prehistoric Southeast Asian societies.