Welcome to Philippines

Country Snapshot

The Republic of the Philippines was established in 1946 as a constitutional democracy with a presidential system. After the period of martial law imposed by President Ferdinand Marcos from 1972 – 1986,  the return of democracy and government reforms were hampered by national debt, government corruption, coup attempts, a persistent communist insurgency, and military conflict with Islamic separatists.

Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands.  Twelve million Filipinos live overseas,comprising one of the world's largest and most influential diasporas.

Compared with other countries, Filipina women have gained and enjoyed equal rights with men. They have become presidents, senators, congresswomen, mayors.  In spite of the male chauvinism in Filipino society, acknowledgment of the leadership role of women at every level of society shows the high regard placed upon women.

Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world's greatest biodiversity.                       

Good Shepherd founding story

The Sisters of the Good Shepherd celebrated 100 years of their presence in the Philippines in 2013.  As part of the celebration they published a Coffee Table Book which was launched on 19 March 2013. 

The first sisters arrived in the Philippines in 1912.  They were Irish Sisters who came from their mission in Burma (Myanmar).  They opened St Bridget’s Academy (now St Bridget’s College in Batangas). The Sisters started the first Good Shepherd residential facility for women in 1921 in Sta. Ana, Manila.  

Good Shepherd today

Now the sisters are engaged in a diverse range of ministries.  Schools, community development programmes and projects in cities and in rural areas across the Philippines.

The focus of their ministry is women dealing with various challenges:  single mothers, women working in prostitution, women subject to domestic violence, slum dwellers, landless farmers, indigenous groups, overseas contract workers and their families, street children.

Programmes/projects include:

  • Welcome House, Cebu.

  • Mountain Maid Training Center, Baguio.

  • Center for Overseas Workers, Manila.

  • Bukid Kabataan Center, Cavite.

  • Buhing Yuta - Living Earth, Butuan City. 

Throughout the Philippines, there are 22 apostolic communities and 4 contemplative communities of sisters.