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Visayas Federation

In the mid 21st century, when Pilipinas was trying to reconquer the islands and establish itself as the head of a united Philippines, most of the islands were basically independent nations themselves. The key centers of growth and development were Pilipinas (Luzon Island, where the former capital of the Philippines had been located), and Mindanao in the south, which was thriving under a largely Islamic culture.

After Pilipinas' ambitions toward conquest were curbed and the Japanese orbital catapult constructed there, Pilipinas instead concentrated its efforts on recovering the industrial strength it had formerly possessed, manufacturing a wide variety of goods for export. While most of these went to Japanese firms, Pilipinas also began to build up a strong export business to other Pacific Rim destinations, notably China and New Zealand. Their role model was, of course, Japan, and as a result much of society, culture and business practice began to slowly evolve toward the Japanese model.

As industry continued to develop and spread on Luzon, the production of foodstuffs and essential organics was gradually pushed to other islands by factors such as increasing industrial pollution, the rapid spread of residential areas into former farmland, and rising local labor costs. The area around the Visayan Sea, including Leyte, Samar, Masbate, Negros, Cebu and Panay islands, because the prime agricultural and maricultural region, and as it concentrated on food production is became increasingly dependent on Pilipinas as a supplier to technology and a market for foodstuffs.

By about 2100 this situation was becoming increasingly unbalanced, with corporate owners in Pilipinas operating what amounted to slave labor camps throughout the other islands. The populace was under no obligation to work, of course, but all the money and the only jobs available were controlled by corporations located on Luzon. The Visayan Sea region was being systematically pillaged, its cities deteriorating to slums and its people with little opportunity to escape except into the Pilipinas military. The islands had their own governments, but unofficial control from Pilipinas made sure they remained docile and harmless, usually through control of the money supply. The situation was stabilized, but began to gradually destabilize as Japanese education and money seeped into the hinterlands.

In 2120 an elementary school teacher in Catbalogan, Samar, named Davide Pacampara began publishing a revolutionary magazine calling for a change in the status quo. He provided hard statistics showing the difference in the standard of living between the people of Pilipinas and the people of the Visayan islands, with staggering comparisons of educational level, income, personal wealth and property, health, and probable lifespan. Eventually he caught the interest of the police (closer to corporate police hired by Pilipinas corporations than real national police), and he went underground. The result was war, from about 2126, and the effort was helped along considerably by numbers of veterans from the Pilipinas Army who had returned to their homes in the islands after mustering out.

The destruction of corporate assets in the area was enormous, especially in mariculture as carefully-cultivated beds and pens were destroyed and high-yield stock released to the open sea. In spite of corporate screams, the government of Pilipinas could do nothing, bound by the Federal Charter.

The corporations turned to private military forces - mercenaries - for assistance, and experienced military personnel throughout the Asian-Pacific region began drifting toward the Philippines, seeking employment. The underground, finding increasing support throughout the local populace and even in local government, requested Mindanao for assistance in putting down "brigands and pirates." Mindanao, while not thrilled by the idea of being involved in a new war, was very interested in reducing the power of the Pilipinas military-industrial complex (especially when they could say they were only putting down piracy), and provided extensive support. Japan, meanwhile, could do nothing, also unable to take an active part by the Federal Charter.

In 2146 the government of Leyte was overthrown, and a new government installed. It promptly requested admission to the Federation as a member state, and the request was granted through a majority vote, with only Pilipinas voting against. It at once requested the Japanese to hold a number of corporate assets in Leyte as surety while investigations into corporate support of piracy were completed. The Japanese agreed, and Japanese military units were dispatched to freeze and secure various assets.

In 2147 the government of Samar elected to follow suit, and entered into a mutual defense treaty with Leyte. Over the next two years, this was followed domino fashion by the other islands, as the mercenary units found themselves in an increasingly difficult situation. They were not up to fighting front-line troops with naval and air support at their beck and call.

Over the next decade the courts were very busy, but it was extremely difficult to prove any connection between the corporations and the mercenary units. The corporations were found guilty in only a handful of cases, while the majority were eventually dismissed or settled out of court in one way or another. After being "on ice" for such a long period, few of the farms or other facilities still had much value, and were eventually sold off to Leyte investors, who returned them to full production over the course of the following decade.

The situation stabilized until about 2190, and the two groups (Pilipinas and the Visayan Sea islands) once again existed in a trading relationship, but this time one that was closer to being in balance. In 2190 a woman on Cebu named Rosa Tampipi launched a political party calling for the construction of a United States of the Philippines, with each nation joining as a member state. She argued (justifiably) that this would provide them all with a stronger bargaining position within the Federation, and won many supporters to her cause not only on Cebu but throughout the Philippines. In 2196 she was elected president of Cebu (a single-island nation), and continued her visits to other islands, trying to drum up support for her vision of a unified group of Philippine nations. In 2199 her seaplane was ambushed by unknown fighters while flying between Mindanao and Cebu. Her body was never recovered. This effectively killed the possibility of a US of P, and accusations flew left and right. Her supporters claimed she was assassinated by Pilipinas, but were unable to prove anything.

Many of her supporters, however, were already in relatively high positions throughout the region, and they continued efforts toward unification. Cebu and Panay merged in 2208, to be joined by Negros in 2214, and in 2219 by Leyte and Samar. They formed the first trans-national political party in the world, and it remains in force today, still working for unification of the islands. Masbate remained independent, cleverly playing off offers from both Pilipinas and the newly-emergent Visayas Federation.

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