Philippines country profile

Why It Is More Fun in the Philippines
Why It Is More Fun in the Philippines
Why It Is More Fun in the Philippines
Why It Is More Fun in the Philippines
Why It Is More Fun in the PhilippinesThe Philippine Islands is an archipelago that consists of 7,108 islands that are divided between three major island groups—Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

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Why It Is More Fun in the Philippines

The Philippine Islands is an archipelago that consists of 7,108 islands that are divided between three major island groups—Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. This country is no stranger to conquerors, having been conquered a few times by different countries. Officially called the Republic of the Philippines, this country was first conquered by the Spanish in the early 1500s. The Spaniards stayed and ruled the country for 300 years, after which it was sold to the U.S. for US$20 million in 1898.

The Philippine people did not take kindly to the continuing control of foreign entities of these islands, and the Philippine-American war broke out with the Americans coming out as the victors. The Philippines was given commonwealth status by the U.S. in 1935. The Japanese invaded the country and governed it as well during the Second World War, and in 1946, immediately after the Japanese surrendered to U.S. forces, the country was given its full independence.


Philippines and Its Geographical Statistics


Map References:

Southeast Asia



Northeast monsoon from November to April and southwest monsoon from May to October; Tropical marine climate



Narrow to extensive coastal lowlands with mountainous areas


Elevation Extremes:

Highest point:

Mount Apo


Lowest point:

Philippine Sea

Land Use:

Permanent crops:



Arable land:





Natural Resources:

Petroleum, timber, nickel, silver, gold, cobalt, salt, copper


Natural Hazards:

Typhoons, landslides, earthquakes, tsunamis and active volcanoes



International agreements:

Party to biodiversity,  climate change, ozone layer protection, marine dumping, and many more


Current Issues:

soil erosion, deforestation, water and air pollution in urban areas, coral reef degradation






Political Geography

The islands of the Philippines are located in the Pacific Ocean, and this nation is near countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Borneo. It is southwest of Japan, directly south of China, and east of Vietnam. The Philippines is one of the many countries sitting within the Pacific’s Ring of Fire, which accounts for why the country has quite a number of active and dormant volcanoes and experiences massive earthquakes every now and then.

The country is divided into three major island networks—Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao—with the capital city of Manila located in the northernmost island network of Luzon. It is surrounded by bodies of water that include the Philippine Sea to the east, the Celebes Sea to the south, the Sulu Sea to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the west.


Landscape and Climate

With a tropical maritime climate, the Philippines is exposed to hot and humid weather during the warm months of the year. The country enjoys three main seasons: hot and dry, rainy, and cool and dry. The hot and dry season occurs during March to May, which is also called the country’s summer season. The rainy season follows after the summer season and drenches the country in rain from June to November. The cool season comes around in December and lasts till February.

Since the country is located in what is called the typhoon belt, it experiences a number of weather disturbances like tropical cyclones and torrential rains during the rainy season. The country usually expects to see around 19 typhoons entering and leaving the country every year, with the worst of these causing landslides, property damage, and flooding.


Political and Governmental Facts on the Philippines


Government Type:



Country Name:

Long form (conventional)

Republic of the Philippines


Short form (conventional)



Long form (local)

Republika ng Pilipinas


Short form (local)






Constitution of February 2, 1987


Administrative Divisions:

80 provinces and 39 chartered cities


Executive Body:

Chief of State (president), Head of Government (president), Cabinet (appointed by president)


Legislative Body:

Bicameral Congress consists of Senate and House of Representatives


Judicial Body:

Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan






The Philippines is run by a democratic government that is led by a president who is elected every six years. Presidents can only run for a single term and cannot run for re-election. The president is the head of government, head of state, and is also the commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces. The president of the Philippines appoints members of his cabinet with the approval of a commission on appointments.

The officials of the Senate and the House of Representatives are also elected, with senators sitting for a six-year term before elections are held again, and representatives or congressmen sitting for a three year term before elections are called for. There are 24 senators in the upper house, and 287 representatives in the lower house.

The Supreme Court is the highest judicial power in the country and is led by a chief justice and has fourteen associate justices in its ranks. These are all appointed by the president with nominations being made for these posts by the country’s Judicial and Bar Council.


The Philippines’ Economy


GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

US$389.8 billion (2011 est.)

GDP (Official Exchange rate)

US$216.1 billion (2011 est.)

GDP Real Growth Rate

3.7% (2011 est.)

Labor Force:

40 million (2011 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

7% (2011 est.)


expenditures: $35.96 billion
revenues: $31.4 billion (2011 est.)

Public Debt:

49.4% of GDP (2011 est.)




The Philippines is considered a newly industrialized country that is slowly transitioning from an agriculture-based economy to a services and manufacturing one. The country is earning a lot from remittances sent by overseas workers and is seen as still pretty reliant on this source of revenue. Tourism is also one of the major earners for the country due to the numerous beaches and tourist attractions around the country.

It has been noted that the Philippines is well on its way to becoming the next tiger economy, and this is due mainly to the increase in business process outsourcing companies in the country as well as tourism. Numerous financial institutions have pegged the country as poised to take its place as one of the world’s bigger economic successes in the coming decades.


People and Culture

The Philippines has a population of 94 million, with majority of this number residing in the northernmost island group of Luzon. The ethnicity of Filipinos includes Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Bisaya, and Waray, to name a few. Due to the number of islands that are populated, it is no wonder that there are quite a number of ethnicities and dialects in the country. Aside from these ethnicities, Filipinos are also known to be of mixed heritage. With mixes that include American, Spanish, Chinese, Malay, and Japanese making the populace very diverse.

Catholicism has the most number of religious followers in the country, with 80% of the population having been baptized as Roman Catholic. The country is predominantly Christian, with another 10% of the population belonging to churches like the United Church of Christ, Iglesia ni Kristo and Seventh-Day Adventist Church, to name a few. Around 5 to 10% of the population is Muslim, and majority of those who belong to this religion are found in the southernmost group of islands called Mindanao.

Food in the Philippines is a mix of both local and foreign influences. Generally a mixed-cuisine, you can easily find Chinese, Malay, Spanish, American, and other Asian influences in the dishes served in this country. Staple food of the country is rice, and this is often served with dishes made with meat, fish, and vegetables. The most popular dishes in the country include adobo, or stewed meat in vinegar and soy sauce, lechon or roasted pig, sinigang or sour soup, and crispy pata or fried pork leg.