Skip to main content

Philippines

Philippines

 

300,000 sq km
Capital  Manila
Pop  96,061,680 (july08)
Religion   RC                 80.9%
                   Muslum          5%
                   Evangelical    2.18%

Language Filipino - English 
                        &eight dilects

 

The Philippines, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines (Filipino: Republika ng Pilipinas), is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam. The Sulu Sea to the southwest lies between the country and the island of Borneo, and to the south the Celebes Sea separates it from other islands of Indonesia. It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea. Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and its tropical climate make the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons but have also endowed the country with natural resources and made it one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world. An archipelago comprising 7,107 islands, the Philippines is categorized broadly into three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Its capital city is Manila.

 

History

Prior to 2010, the earliest known human remains found in the Philippines were those of the pre-Mongoloid Tabon Man of Palawan, carbon-dated to around 24,000 years ago. In 2010, however, a metatarsal of Callao Man (possibly Negrito in physical type) discovered in 2007 was reported to have been reliably dated by uranium-series dating to 67,000 years ago. Negritos were among the archipelago's earliest inhabitants but their appearance in the Philippines has not been reliably dated. They were followed by speakers of Malayo-Polynesian languages who began arriving around 4000 BCE, displacing the earlier arrivals. By 1000 BCE, the inhabitants of the archipelago had developed into four kinds of social groups: hunter-gathering tribes, warrior societies, petty plutocracies, and maritime-centered harbor principalities.

 

Geography

The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands with a total land area, including inland bodies of water, of approximately 300,000 square kilometers (116,000 square miles). Its 36,289 kilometers (22,549 miles) of coastline makes it the country with the 5th longest coastline in the world. It is located between 116° 40', and 126° 34' E. longitude and 4° 40' and 21° 10' N. latitude and borders the Philippine Sea on the east, the South China Sea on the west, and the Celebes Sea on the south. The island of Borneo is located a few hundred kilometers southwest and Taiwan is located directly to the north. The Moluccas and Sulawesi are located to the south-southwest and Palau is located to the east of the islands. 

 

Economy

The national economy of the Philippines is the 46th largest in the world, with an estimated 2010 gross domestic product (nominal) of $189 billion. Primary exports include semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, and fruits. Major trading partners include China, Japan, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Thailand, and Malaysia. Its unit of currency is the Philippine peso (₱ or PHP).

 

Culture and society

Philippine culture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. The Philippines exhibits aspects found in other Asian countries with a Malay heritage, yet its culture also displays a significant amount of Spanish and American influences. Traditional festivities known as barrio fiestas (district festivals) to commemorate the feast days of patron saints are common. The Moriones Festival and Sinulog Festival are a couple of the most well-known. These community celebrations are times for feasting, music, and dancing. Some traditions, however, are changing or gradually being forgotten due to modernization. The Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company has been lauded for preserving many of the various traditional folk dances found throughout the Philippines. They are famed for their iconic performances of Philippine dances such as the tinikling and singkil that both feature the use of clashing bamboo poles.

 

Cuisine

Philippine cuisine has evolved over several centuries from its Malayo-Polynesian origins to become a mixed cuisine with many Hispanic, Chinese, American, and other Asian influences that have been adapted to local ingredients and the Filipino palate to create distinctively Filipino dishes. Dishes range from the very simple, like a meal of fried salted fish and rice, to the elaborate, such as the paellas and cocidos created for fiestas. Popular dishes include lechón, adobo, sinigang, kare-kare, tapa, crispy pata, pancit, lumpia, and halo-halo. Some common local ingredients used in cooking are calamondins, coconuts, saba (a kind of short wide plantain), mangoes, milkfish, and fish sauce. Filipino taste buds tend to favor robust flavors but the cuisine is not as spicy as those of its neighbors.