The Philippines is a country located in Southeast Asia with Manila as its capital city. It constitutes an archipelago of 7,107 islands.The country is the world’s 12th most populous country with a population approaching 90 million people. Its national economy is the 46th largest in the world. There are more than 11 million overseas Filipinos worldwide, the largest diaspora network in the world, about 11% of the total population.

Cebu is one of the provinces of the Philippines; its capital is Cebu City, the oldest city in the country. Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the country and the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry. Magellan led a flotilla of five ships here on March 16, 1521. Cebu, being the most densely populated island in the country, served as a vital Japanese base during the Japanese occupation in World War II which began with the landing of the Japanese Imperial Army in April 1942.

Almost three years later in March 1945, the Filipino and American forces landed and reoccupied the city headed by General MacArthur. The forces first retook the island of Leyte, in very bloody fighting, where there is now a international memorial site. The Battle of Leyte occurred on 20 October 1944.

Homosexuality is increasingly being tolerated in the Philippines. However this tolerance is tempered by the strong influence of the Catholic church and macho culture. Most Filipinos appear to be comfortable with gays as long as they fit to certain stereotypes and behave according to accepted, non-threatening norms.
There is a vibrant gay scene in the Philippines with several bars, clubs and saunas in Manila as well as various gay rights organizations.

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