The Philippines

21 May, 2009

The Philippines – the Large Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean

The Philippines

The Philippines, or as its official name is, the Republic of Philippines, is an archipelago consisting of 7,107 islands and islets. It covers a total area of 300,000 sq kilometres in the Pacific Ocean and borders South China Sea, the Philippine Sea and is situated in close proximity to Taiwan and Borneo. Manila is the capital and second biggest city of the island. According to statistics it is the 12 largest country by population in the world, with almost 90 million residents, while at least 12 million people live and work outside the country. It is also considered to be a very stable economy, with a large annual GDP.

The archipelago is divided in to three smaller groups; the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Quezon is the largest city of the archipelago.

The Philippines used to be a colony of Spain and later on of the USA, therefore it’s not surprising that the official religion is Catholicism – it’s actually the second country in Asia after East Timor. The population features a vast array of cultures and religions though, as there are Islamists, Buddhists and Hindis.

Although the Philippines are a patchwork of ethnicities, the Spanish influence is still the most predominant there. These influences are obvious in the national cuisine, literature, music and dances, even in architecture. People who travel to the island do not have a problem adjusting right away, as the culture is a real mixture of east and west.

The name of the country comes from the King Philip the 2nd of Spain who was the ruler in the 1500s. Spanish explorer named Lopez de Villalobos was the first one who used the term ‘the Philippine Islands’ in order to honor his King. He was not referring to the entire archipelago at that time, but to two smaller islands. However, the term remained for the entire complex of islands.

The Philippines

The Philippines

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One Response to “The Philippines”

  1. Thanks for the post. I really miss the Philippines.

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