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PHILIPPINES
 
   
   
 

Philippines Identity Card

 

 
Country name:
~ conventional long form: Republic of the Philippines
~ conventional short form: Philippines
~ local long form: Republika ng Pilipinas
~ local short form: Pilipinas
Area: 300,000 sq km
Coastline: 36,289 km
Highest point: Mount Apo 2,954 m
Population: 87,857,473
Density: 292/km2
Population growth rate: 1.84%
Official Languages: Filipino and English
Religions: Predominately Roman Catholic
Government type: republic
Capital: Manila
GDP - per capita: $5,000
Inflation rate: 5.5%
Currency (code): Philippine peso (PHP)
Vehicle Country Id-Code: RP
ISO CODE Alpha2: PH
ISO CODE Alpha3: PHL
ISO NUMERIC CODE: 608
Calling code: +63
Internet country code: .ph
Time Zone: + 8.0 H

 
 
 
 

Tuasan Falls on Camiguin Island

Philippines is a tropical party land with white sand beaches, serene coral waters, an immense variety of marine life and exotic collection of flora and fauna. Being an archipelago of 7,107 islands and a coastline twice the length of that of the United States, Philippines can very well be regarded as Asia's ‘Beach Capital’. Situated in the Southeast Asia, it is a paradise blessed with gorgeous landscapes and colourful cultural celebrations. Majority of the vibrant festivities and rhythmic processions belong to the catholic religion as 90% of the Filipinos follow this faith. A swelling population figure of approximately 86,241,697 people makes Philippines the twelfth most populous nation on earth. The country is basically agriculture based, complemented by the abundance of fresh water that comes from the plenty of lakes, waterfalls, and rivers. However, Philippines, officially the Republic of the Philippines, is never lagging behind in terms of modernisation. Surviving all the odds of Spanish and British colonial era and the present day curse of political instability and corruption, the island nation is surging ahead to a prosperous fiscal position. Manila, on the island of Luzon, is the capital city of Philippines.

Geography

The 7,107 islands of Philippines are part of the great Malay Archipelago and is scattered off the coast of Southeast Asia mainland. The island nation extends for 1,152 miles (1,855 km) from north to south, between Taiwan and Borneo. The shorelines of the different islands are drenched by the Philippine Sea on the east, the Celebes Sea on the south and the South China Sea and Sulu Sea on the west. On the northern half of the country, the Luzon Strait separates the largest island of Luzon from mainland Taiwan. Amazingly, out of the thousands of island of Philippines, the eleven islands of Luzon, Mindanao, Samar, Negros, Palawan, Panay, Mindoro, Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, Visayas and Masbate comprises of 94% of the total land area.
The general topography of Philippines is dotted with narrow coastal plains, wide valleys, dense forests, mineral and hot springs and mainly volcanoes. The natural division of the country is characterised by Luzon and its adjacent islands on the north, the central Visayan Islands and several smaller islands and the southern Mindanao Islands and the Sulu Archipelago. The earth crust of Philippines are chiefly of volcanic origin and mountains and highlands of Luzon, Sierra Madre traverse over all the islands. There are several volcanic peaks like peaks of Mount Mayon near Legaspi and Taal Volcano south of Manila. Mount Apo on Mindanao is the highest among them at 9,690-ft/2,954 m. Cagayan, on Luzon, is the largest navigable river of Philippines, followed by the Pulangi, the Mindanao River and the Pampanga. Laguna de Bay, southeast of Manila Bay, is the largest freshwater lake in the Philippines.


Crater Lake inside Taal Volcano

Climate

The climate of the Philippines is basically tropical with the heavy rainy season between June and October. It is complemented by maritime weather conditions in some islands. The hot summer months are interrupted by incessant rains and the winters are generally cool and less humid.

History

Philippines, due to its strategic continental positioning and rich natural resources, attracted foreigners from as far as European countries. With passage of time, the country emerged with a unique culture that possessed a fascinating blend of occidental and oriental values. The journey began with aboriginal Filipinos arriving from the Asian mainland around 25,000 B.C. They were followed by waves of Indonesian and Malayan settlers and trading took place with India, Indonesia, China, and Japan. Islam and Arab community came to Philippines on fourteenth century. The first European wave touched Philippine shores with Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese navigator, in 1521. The islands of the Philippines were colonised by Spain a couple of decades after this day. After three centuries of occupation, Spain lost Philippines to United States of America following its defeat in the Spanish-American War. Around this time, Philippines declared independence on June 12, 1898 in Cavite under the leadership of General Emilio Aguinaldo. However, U.S. authorities declined to approve self-governance of Philippines and the conflict took shape of Philippine-American War (1899–1913). Under a constitution approved by the people of the Philippines in 1935, the Commonwealth of the Philippines was established. During the Second World War the Japanese occupied the islands. The Philippines achieved full independence on July 4, 1946. In 1965 Ferdinand Marcos began a twenty-one year rule with martial law from 1972 to 1981 and ended with widespread revolt all over Philippines.


Boracay tropical beach

Economy

The economic structure of Philippines is largely based on the country’s agricultural sector. It is the main employer of the working population and a major contributor to the GDP. However, the manufacturing, service and light industries have picked up well in last few years and accelerated the growth rate of Philippines to 6% in 2004. It suffered a setback during the Asian market crisis of 1998 and continues to be plagued with heavy foreign debt, unemployment, corruption and unequal distribution of income.

Politics

The political system of Philippines runs with support of a constitution. The president is considered to be the highest executive authority of the country and is elected by popular vote for a six-year term. He or she serves as chief of state, head of the government and the commander-in-chief at a time. The president appoints the cabinet with approval of Commission of Appointments. The bicameral legislature of Philippines comprises of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The members of the 24-seat Senate and 204-seat House of Representatives are elected through nationwide vote. There is an independent judiciary in Philippines, which is headed by a supreme court.

 



 

 

 
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