The main islands of the Philippines are Luzon, Mindanao, Mindoro, Leyte, Samar, Negros, and Panay. Conquered by Spain in 1565, the islands were ceded to the US following the Spanish-American War in 1898. The Philippines achieved full independence as a republic in 1946. From 1965 the country was under the increasingly dictatorial rule of President Ferdinand Marcos (1917–89); he was driven from power in 1986 and replaced by Corazón Aquino (1933–2009), President 1986–92. In 2013 large areas were devastated by typhoon Haiyan with the strongest winds ever recorded on land.
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