The Philippines an archipelago of 7,000 islands is named after King Philip II of Spain (1556-1598). By the 12th Century AD Arab merchants reached the Philippines and they introduced Islam and chess. Then in 1521 Ferdinand Magellan sailed across the Pacific. He landed in the Philippines and claimed them for Spain. In 1571 the Spanish conquistadors had the Philippines well under control. Together with conquistadors came friars who converted the Filipinos to Catholicism. The friars also built schools and universities.
Then in 1898 came war between the USA and Spain. On 30 April 1898 the Americans defeated the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay and the Philippines became part of the USA. During this time there was also a strong impedance movement, which is reflected in the Maria Clara chess set. Today we still see Muslim, Christian and Tribal influences in historical chess sets.
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