Arcanum 1780: A New World
Known as “The Pearl of the Orient” and “The Crown Jewel of the New Spanish Empire”, the Philippines is an archipelago over well over 7,000 islands, rich in resources and located in an ideal position to be the trading hub of the Pacific. The Philippines is co important to international trade that for centuries, both Spain and Portugal have based ship quality on the speed and efficiency it could make a trip from the Philippines to the Americas.
Silver, produce and manufactured goods from the west arrive in Manila, the busiest port in the world, while silk, porcelain and spices arrive from the East. Since their introduction to the Philippines, chocolate, tobacco and coffee have flourished on the islands. A local breed of civet, known as an alamid has been semi-domesticated for the sole purpose of doing unspeakable things to coffee that produces a delicacy that is all the rage with nobles across the world for an outrageous price.
The capital of the Philippines is Manila, located in the Luzon province. Manila is a bustling port city where Spanish flair with tropical jungle life. Fort Santiago is the headquarters for the Spanish military, a walled 166 acre compound right in the heart of Manila. Manila is a city where you can see wealthy nobles and merchants in silk suits attend an opera that is in view of a place where laborers gather to watch cockfights. Fencing is a popular sport, and though technically illegal, Arnis/Escrima bouts are getting noble sponsorship and becoming more and more popular as a spectator sport.
As typical of the New Spanish Empire, the Philippines is home of a rabid embrace of Catholicism in all of the major communities, though pockets of native belief thrive in deep jungle and mountain villages, slowly being converted by the church through food and missions. The other major exception is the southern-most islands, were the Moros have been Muslim since the 12th Century. All attempts to convert or eradicate the Moros have resulted bloodbaths on both sides and prolonged battles seem to be the only thing that spreads Islam outside of the southern-most regions, so the provincial government has decided it best to keep the Moros on the bottom of the Casta and ignore them as long as they stay in the south. Luckily for the Spanish Inquisitors, the Moros branch of Islam is even more anti-magic than the Catholics, keeping the balance. Besides their heresy, the Moros are famous for their skills at building and sailing colorfully sailed outriggers called vintas that go deeper into the sea than other boats of their size, bringing back more exotic deep-sea fish. Moros are commonly found in area pirate ships as well.
(The pale tan is traditional Muslim territory, red is current confinement.)