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The Philippines' 7,107 islands stretch 1,839 kilometres from the northernmost tip of Butanes to the southernmost island of Tawi-Tawi. Bordered by the South China Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The archipelago has its biggest island, Luzon, followed by Mindanao in the south. The Visayas islands in between are largely interspersed by small bodies of water. An irregular coastline of 334,539 kms. Is dotted with many fine beaches, coves, and natural harbours.
Located off the southeast coast of Asia, the Philippines' capital, Manila, is a mere hour-and-a-half away by plane from Hong Kong and about 14 hours from the United States and Canada.
Although endowed with many fine beaches and a growing tourism industry, much of the country is mountainous and prone to earthquakes and eruptions from around 20 active volcanoes. It is often buffeted by typhoons and other storms.
The economy, one of the region's best-performing in the 1990s, slowed down at the turn of the 21st century but has recovered steadily since 2004. The Philippines now ranks as one of the most promising newly-industrialised countries, with its export economy moving away from agriculture to electronics, petroleum and other goods.
The prospect of peace could open up the resources-rich south to foreign investment, which is still overshadowed by the billions of dollars sent home each year from the huge expatriate workforce. These remittances, like the tourism industry, leave the country vulnerable for the time being to any negative global economic trends.
The Philippines has one of the highest birth rates in Asia, and forecasters say the population could double within three decades. Governments have generally avoided taking strong measures to curb the birth rate for fear of antagonising the Catholic Church, but the current administration managed to get a law passed in parliament making contraception more widely available.
Filipinos are predominantly of Malay descent, frequently with Chinese and sometimes American or Spanish ancestry.
Many Filipinos have Spanish names because of a 19th-century Spanish decree that required them to use Spanish surnames, or last names. Parents often name their children after the saint whose feast day was on the day of their birth.
Elementary education in the Philippines starts at age seven, is required by law, and lasts for six years. Secondary education begins at age 13 and lasts for four years
The islands are home to many species of flowering plants and ferns, including hundreds of species of orchids. Tall grasses have replaced the forests, which have disappeared due to logging, mining, and development.
The Philippines are inhabited by more than 200 species of mammals, including monkeys, squirrels, lemurs, mice, pangolins, chevrotains, mongooses, civet cats, and red and brown deer, among others.
Filipinos elect their president. The president is the head of state and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and serves a six-year term.
The economy is based on agriculture, light industry, and services. The country produces bananas, rice, coconuts, corn, fish, mangos, pineapples, sugarcane,
The Philippine islands are an archipelago of over 7,000 islands lying about 500 mi (805 km) off the southeast coast of Asia. The overall land area is comparable to that of Arizona. Only about 7% of the islands are larger than one square mile, and only one-third have names.
The largest are Luzon in the north (40,420 sq mi; 104,687 sq km), Mindanao in the south (36,537 sq mi; 94,631 sq km), and Visayas (23,582 sq mi; 61,077 sq km). The islands are of volcanic origin, with the larger ones crossed by mountain ranges. The highest peak is Mount Apo (9,690 ft; 2,954 m) on Mindanao.
Most of the Philippines have a typical tropical marine climate. So you will find typical hot and humid weather throughout most of the year. From June to September, the country experiences a rainy season. In this period typhoons are common.
From October to February, the north-eastern monsoon brings cold winds from the north, which creates cool and dry weather. From March to May the Philippines experiences very hot summers.
The country's average temperature can range from 25 degrees Celsius – 32 degrees Celsius (78-90° Fahrenheit), with humidity around 77 percent. Highland areas are much cooler, with night-time temperatures at night dropping to 20 degrees Celsius (68° Fahrenheit).
The Philippines is still primarily an agricultural country despite the plan to make it an industrialized economy by 2000. Most citizens still live in rural areas and support themselves through agriculture. The country's agriculture sector is made up of 4 sub-sectors: farming, fisheries, livestock, and forestry (the latter 2 sectors are very small), which together employ 39.8 percent of the labour force and contribute 20 percent of GDP.
According to the latest official census, Filipinos now number 68 million. Population growth as of 1991 is estimated at 2.7 % annually and the number is expected to top the 75.2 million by the Year 2000.
Filipinos are famous for their warm hospitality, friendliness to foreigners, musical and artistic talents, romanticism, deep religiosity, and bravery. They are also fond of music, fiestas, and politics.
There are 11 cultural and racial groups, each with its own language. Most Filipinos are bilingual, with English has the basic language in business, government, schools, and everyday communication. Pilipino, based primarily on the Tagalog language, is the national language; there are 11 languages and 87 dialects in the archipelago. Aside from English, Spanish is another foreign language spoken fluently by a number of Filipinos along with Arabic, Chinese, and Nippongo.
Peso is the unit of currency. Bank notes: P5, P10, P20, P50, P100, P500, and P1, 000. Coins: P5, P2, P1, 50c, 25c, 10c, and 5c. Various banks, hotels, and authorized foreign exchange dealers provide peso exchange for most foreign currencies. Credit cards are accepted at major hotels, resorts, shops, and restaurants although, outside of Manila, the use of Philippine pesos is preferred.
Roman Catholic is the predominant religion, comprising about 85 percent of the population. Muslims are concentrated at the southern end of the archipelago.
Dialling code: +63
ISO code: PHL
Currency: Philippine peso
Population: 98.39 million (2013)
Resident: Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III (2010)
Land area: 115,124 sq. mi (298,171 sq km);
Total area: 115,830 sq. mi (300,000 sq km)
Population (2014 est.): 107,668,231 (growth rate: 1.81%); birth rate: 24.24/1000; infant mortality rate: 17.64/1000; life expectancy: 72.48
Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Manila, 11.862 million
Other large cities: Davao 1.565 million; Cebu City 855,000; Zamboanga 884,000 (2011)
Monetary unit:1Peso=1.42indian rupee
TIME:Current: PHTPhilippine Time
Offset: UTC/GMT +8 hours
2:30 hours ahead of Hyderabad
Tourism is one of the major contributor to the economy of the Philippines, contributing 5.9% to the Philippine in 2011.] The Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of 7,107 islands. The country's rich biodiversity is the main tourist attraction of the Philippines. Its beaches, mountains, rainforests, islands and diving spots are among the country's most popular tourist destinations. The country's rich historical and cultural heritage is also one of the attractions of the Philippines.
Since 2010, South Korea has been the largest source of visitors to the Philippines. In 2013, a total of 1.17 million South Koreans visited the Philippines. It is followed by the United States, Japan, China, Australia, Taiwan, and Canada. In 2013, the country attracted 4,681,307 visitors