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Once an American colony, country consists of over 7,000 islands — it has mountains, caves, white waters and many great beaches By Sandra Scott Folkloric shows, mainly in hotels and resorts, celebrate the diversity of the country. The Philippines were colonized in 1521 by the Spanish, who left their mark on the culture of the country. As a result of the 1898 Treaty of Paris ending the Spanish-American War, Spain ceded Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines to the United States for $20 million. The Philippines became the first and only colony of the United States, which left its mark on the society. The Republic of the Philippines was granted full independence by the United State on July 4, 1946. There are many ethnic groups on the islands creating many dialects but the two official languages are Filipino and English. It is the third largest English speaking country in the world. The Republic of the Philippines is blessed with mountains, caves and white waters. You name it, the Philippines has it. The Jeepneys are the most popular means of public transportation. The Philippines offer all sorts of adventures and activities, including sky diving, mountain biking, caving, hot air ballooning, trekking, white