John and Nory Cogan
Republic of the Philippines
Area: 300,000 sq km (slightly larger than Arizona)
Languages:Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects – Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan
Religions: Catholic 82.9% (Roman Catholic 80.9%, Aglipayan 2%), Muslim 5%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, other Christian 4.5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1% (2000 census)
The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel QUEZON was elected president and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence. A 20-year rule by Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a “people power” movement in Manila (“EDSA 1″) forced him into exile and installed Corazon AQUINO as president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts that prevented a return to full political stability and economic development. Fidel RAMOS was elected president in 1992. His administration was marked by increased stability and by progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph ESTRADA was elected president in 1998. He was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, in January 2001 after ESTRADA’s stormy impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down and another “people power” movement (“EDSA 2″) demanded his resignation. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2004. Her presidency was marred by several corruption allegations but the Philippine economy was one of the few to avoid contraction following the 2008 global financial crisis, expanding each year of her administration. Benigno AQUINO III was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2010. The Philippine Government faces threats from several groups, some of which are on the US Government’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Manila has waged a decades-long struggle against ethnic Moro insurgencies in the southern Philippines, which has led to a peace accord with the Moro National Liberation Front and on-again/off-again peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The decades-long Maoist-inspired New People’s Army insurgency also operates through much of the country. The Philippines faces increased tension with China over disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea.
In October 1980 John and Nory Cogan and their children returned to the Philippines to witness to her family and to help in the work of God in any way possible. They financed this venture by selling all their earthly possessions, except for what they could pack in eight large suitcases. Living by “faith” for seven months, they established a church that has produced six pastors, five of whom are Nory Cogan’s first cousins. The Cogans received their UPCI missionary appointment in 1983. They live on Mindanao Island. He serves as president, administrator, and instructor at Apostolic Institute of Ministries in Davao City. He is also the missionary advisor to the Mindanao District and a member of the executive board of the United Pentecostal Church (Phil.) Inc. Much of their ministry in the Philippines is the teaching and administrating of Bible schools. They thoroughly enjoy their involvement with the Filipino young people, helping them reach their potential in becoming pastors and evangelists for the Philippines. The Cogans also travel throughout the islands preaching seminars and conferences and encouraging the brethren as well as serving as an advisor to the Filipino national leadership.