Since the colonization of the Philippines by Spain in the sixteenth century, the island chain has been at the center of global trade flows, imperial rivalries, and the globalization process. From its role as the main base of Spain's Pacific Galleon trade to its conquest centuries later by the United States and Japan, the Philippines has been a focal point of economic and military rivalry. Decolonized in 1946, the Philippines is growing economically after years of stagnation, is ruled today by a modern populist, President Rodrigo Duterte, and is embroiled in disputes with the East Asia region's rising superpower, China. In The Philippines: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Steven Rood draws from more than 30 years of residence in and study of the Philippines in order to provide a concise overview of the nation. Arranged in a question-and-answer format, this guide shares concise, nuanced analysis and helps readers find exactly what they seek to learn about Filipino geography and geology, history, culture, economy, politics through the ages, and prospects for the future. This book is an ideal primer on an enormously diverse country that has been and will likely remain a key site in world affairs.