archipelagic country in Southeast Asia
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The Philippines is an island country in Southeast Asia in the Pacific Ocean. It has 7,641 islands. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila.

Republic of the Philippines
Republika ng Pilipinas  (Filipino)
Coat of arms of the Philippines
Coat of arms
"Maka-Diyos, Maka-Tao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa"[1]
"For God, People, Nature, and Country"
Anthem: Lupang Hinirang
Chosen Land
Great Seal
Great Seal of the Philippines
Dakilang Sagisag ng Pilipinas  (Filipino)
Great Seal of the Philippines
Location of the Philippines
14°35′N 120°58′E / 14.583°N 120.967°E / 14.583; 120.967
Largest cityQuezon City
14°38′N 121°02′E / 14.633°N 121.033°E / 14.633; 121.033
Official languages
Recognized regional languages
National languageFilipino
Other recognized languagesOfficial and national sign languageb
Filipino Sign Language
Auxiliary languagesc
Ethnic groups
(masculine or neutral)
(colloquial masculine or neutral)
(colloquial feminine)
GovernmentUnitary presidential constitutional republic
• President
Bongbong Marcos
Sara Duterte
Juan Miguel Zubiri
Lord Allan Velasco
Alexander Gesmundo
House of Representatives
Formation of the republic 
June 12, 1898
• Treaty of Paris (1898) / Spanish cessiond
December 10, 1898
January 21, 1899
March 24, 1934
May 14, 1935
July 4, 1946
February 2, 1987
• Total
300,000[2][3] km2 (120,000 sq mi) (72nd)
• Water (%)
0.61[4] (inland waters)
• Land
• 2015 census
100,981,437[5] (13th)
• Density
336/km2 (870.2/sq mi) (47th)
GDP (PPP)2020 estimate
• Total
Decrease $933.913 billion[6] (27th)
• Per capita
Decrease $8,573[6] (115th)
GDP (nominal)2020 estimate
• Total
Decrease $367.362 billion[6] (31st)
• Per capita
Decrease $3,484[6] (119th)
Gini (2015)Positive decrease 40.1[7]
medium · 44th
HDI (2017)Increase 0.699[8]
medium · 113th
CurrencyPeso (₱) (PHP)
Time zoneUTC+8 (PST)
• Summer (DST)
UTC+8 (not observed)
Date format
  • mm-dd-yyyy
  • dd-mm-yyyy (AD)
Mains electricity220V - 60Hz
Driving sideright[9]
Calling code+63
ISO 3166 codePH
  1. ^ While Manila is designated as the nation's capital, the seat of government is the National Capital Region, commonly known as "Metro Manila", of which the city of Manila is a part.[10][11] Many national government institutions aside from Malacañang Palace and some agencies/institutions are located within the NCR.
  2. ^ Since March 10, 1945[12][13]

Spain (1521–1898), and the United States (1898–1946), colonized (controlled) the country and Palau, which is on the eastern side of the Philippine Sea. The Philippines and East Timor are the only nations in East Asia where most people are Christians. The Philippines got independence when the United States left in 1946.

The Philippine Islands are surrounded on the east by the Philippine Sea, on the west by the South China Sea, and on the south by the Celebes Sea. Borneo island is a few hundred kilometers to the southwest, Vietnam is to the west, and Taiwan is directly north.

Regions and States


Local Government. The parts of Philippines are "local government units" (LGUs). The province is the top unit. There are 81 provinces in the country (2015). In the provinces there are cities and municipalities (towns). In these municipalities there are smaller barangays (villages). The barangay is the smallest local government unit.

All provinces are in 17 regions for administration (organisation). Most government offices have regional offices for the provinces. The regions do not have a separate local government, except for the Muslim Mindanao and Cordillera regions, which have their own power (autonomous government).


Region Designation Regional center
Ilocos Region Region I San Fernando, La Union
Cagayan Valley Region II Tuguegarao, Cagayan
Central Luzon Region III San Fernando, Pampanga
CALABARZON ¹ Region IV-A Laguna, Quezon
MIMAROPA ¹ Region IV-B Calapan, Oriental Mindoro
Bicol Region Region V Legazpi, Albay
Western Visayas Region VI Iloilo City
Central Visayas Region VII Cebu City
Eastern Visayas Region VIII Tacloban
Zamboanga Peninsula Region IX Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur
Northern Mindanao Region X Cagayan de Oro
Davao Region Region XI Davao City
SOCCSKSARGEN ¹ Region XII Koronadal, South Cotabato
Caraga Region XIII Butuan
Bangsamoro BARMM Cotabato City
Cordillera Administrative Region CAR Baguio
National Capital Region NCR Manila

¹ Names are capitalized because they are acronyms, containing the names of the constituent provinces or cities.



The Philippines has 7,107 islands. Together there are about 300,000 square kilometers of land. The islands are in three groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Luzon is the largest island and Mindanao is the second largest. The Visayas are the group of islands in the central part of the Philippines. The busy port of Manila, on Luzon, is the country's capital and it is the second-largest city after Quezon City. Cebu City and Davao City are the largest cities in Visayas and Mindanao, respectively.

The climate is hot, humid (there is a lot of water in the air), and tropical. The average temperature all year is around 26.5 °Celsius. Filipinos usually say there are three seasons: Tag-init or Tag-araw (the hot season or summer from March to May), Tag-ulan (the rainy season from June to November), and Tag-lamig (the cold season from December to February).

The Philippines is in the Pacific Ring of Fire (zone of frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions). Most of the mountainous islands had a lot of tropical rainforests a long time ago. They started as volcanoes. The highest place is Mount Apo on Mindanao at 2,954 m. Many volcanoes in the country, for example Mount Mayon, are active. The country also has about 19 typhoons per year.

Taal Volcano is an island in Taal Lake. It is in an ancient caldera in Batangas Province. It is about 2 hours by bus going south from Manila. The jump-off point in Talisay is suitable for day trips and overnighters.



Human beings came to the Philippines 30,000 years ago. They came from Asia. Scientists think they came on a land bridge during the ice age. The sea level was very low then. By the 900s c.e. there were villages in the Philippines. Chinese sailors from China and Muslim sailors from Borneo came to trade with the villagers.[14]

In 1521, Ferdinand Magellan claimed the Philippines for Spain. That means he said they belonged to Spain, but the Filipinos did not agree or sign a treaty. Because the king of Spain at the time was King Philip II, the islands are called the Philippines. The Spanish built farms in the Philippines, but many Filipinos did not want Spain to rule them. For example, Jose Rizal wrote about why the Spanish rule was bad. The Spanish government killed him.[14]

Rebels began to fight the Spanish government. They were still fighting when the Spanish-American War began in 1898.[14] During the Spanish-American War, American Commodore George Dewey started to capture Manila on May 5. But he did not finish right away. Because messages were slow in 1898, Dewey captured Manila one day after the truce began. The United States paid Spain US $20 million and took the Philippines.[15]

In 1899, the Filipinos began an insurgency against the Americans. The Filipinos did not want the United States to rule them. They wanted to rule themselves, so they fought the Americans. They started fighting on February 4, 1899, two days before the treaty between the United States and Spain. The Americans and Filipinos fought each other. Emilio Aguinaldo led the Filipinos. There were cruel acts. For example, American soldiers would kill Filipinos even if they were not fighters. About 20,000 Filipino fighters and about 200,000 Filipino non-fighters died. About 4200 Americans died. In 1902, the United States won. There was a little more fighting later.[16][17]

The United States government decided that the Philippines should be an independent country but not right away. In 1907, the Philippines had elections for its first assembly. In 1916, the United States government promised to make the Philippines an independent country. In 1935, the Philippines became a United States commonwealth. This meant the Filipinos had more control over the Philippines than before but were not an independent country.[16][18]

During World War II, the Japanese navy came to the Philippines. The American army was not ready to stop the Japanese. They left. The Japanese captured the country. The Japanese soldiers took away the Filipinos' food. The people starved. The Filipinos used guerrilla warfare to fight the Japanese. Later in the war, the Americans came back. The Americans and Filipinos fought the Japanese together. The American general Douglas MacArthur helped lead.[18]

After World War II, the United States and the Philippines agreed that the Philippines should be an independent country. The Philippines became independent in 1946. It became the Republic of the Philippines.[16][18]

The United States military did not leave all of the Philippines. The United States and Philippines signed a treaty in 1947. That treaty said the United States could build a military base in the Philippines. Subic Bay and Clark Air Force Base were the largest American military bases outside the United States. They were important during the Cold War.[18] Many Filipinos did not like the bases.[19]

During the Cold War the United States did not like Communism. It would support almost any government that was not Communist, even if it was very bad in other ways. The Marcos family became leaders of the Philippines for many years. The Filipinos elected Ferdinand Marcos in 1965. Later, he declared martial law and dismissed the assembly. That meant that the Filipinos had almost no freedom and could not vote for new leaders. Communist groups and Muslim groups tried to take control, but the United States helped Marcos stop them.[19]

In 1986, the Filipinos stopped Marcos. They wrote a new constitution for the country. In the early 1990s, Subic Bay and Clark Air Force Bases were closed. There was still corruption but not as much as with Marcos.[20]



There are many environmental problems in the Philippines. One of them is overfishing in many areas, which lead to pitiful catches. Another problem is that only ten percent of sewage is treated and cleaned, while the other 90% is dumped back to nature and the ocean, which leads to pollution. Deforestation is a serious problem, and after decades of cutting down forests, illegal logging and forest fires, there is only 3% left of original forest cover. Forest losses have also affected the Philippines with serious soil erosion, which is threatening the Philippines biodiversity.[21]



The Philippines is a developing country. In 1998 the Philippine economy—a mixture of agriculture, light industry, and support services—deteriorated because of the effects of the Asian financial crisis and poor weather conditions. The economy's growth fell to 0.6% in 1998 from 5% in 1997, but recovered to about 3% in 1999 and 4% in 2000. As of 2012, it is estimated at 6.6%.[22]

The Government has promised to continue its economic reforms to help the Philippines match the pace of development in the newly industrialized countries of Southeast Asia. The strategies are improving infrastructure, fixing the tax system to help the government income, supporting deregulation (to remove government control) and privatization of the economy, and increasing trade within the region. Future prospects depend heavily on the economic performance of the three major trading partners, China, the United States and Japan.


The arena match at WSM

Around 109,6 million people live in the Philippines as of 2020. Most people in the Philippines are of Austronesian stock. The ethnic Chinese, who have helped run businesses since the 9th century, also live in the country. Its now 105 million people there. The Negritos live in the mountains of Luzon and Visayas. Luzon has a lot of mestizo people, a Spanish term for someone of mixed Hispanic and native blood.

The people of the Philippines are known as Filipinos. Filipinos are divided into many groups, the three largest are the Tagalogs, Cebuanos, and the Ilocanos. When the Philippines was a colony, the term "Filipino" used to mean the Spanish and Spanish-mixed minority. But now everyone who is a citizen/national of the Philippines is called "Filipino". Even then, it is still has the most diverse ethnic groups in Asia, the other being Indonesia. People also call Filipinos "Pinoy" for short.


The man speaking Filipino

Filipino and English are the official languages. Filipino is based largely on Tagalog, a native language spoken in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces. The Filipino language, is a cousin of the Malay language. Other local languages and dialects are Cebuano and Ilocano and many others. English is used in government, schools and business. Other languages are Chinese which is spoken by the ethnic Chinese population and the Chinese–Filipinos. Most of the Muslims live deep in southern Mindanao and the smaller islands off of the southern Philippine mainland near Malaysia's northeastern tip. They also speak Arabic as a second language but to a small extent. Spanish, once the official language of the Philippines in the 1970s is also spoken by a notable minority of Filipinos.



Before the Spanish arrived, the Filipinos did not think of themselves as one culture. Most of the Philippines were Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu. The Spaniards came in 1565, and brought with them Spanish culture. They soon spread to the islands making forts and schools, preaching Christianity, and converting most of the native people to the Catholic religion. When the United States colonized the islands in 1898, the Americans brought with them their own culture, which has the strongest influence up to now. This makes the Philippines the most Westernized country in eastern Asia. The Spanish culture in the Philippines is not directly from Spain but from Mexico, as the Philippines were ruled by Spain via Mexico. It was governed from Mexico City which explains much of the Spanish influence in the Philippines.[23] Also, the Spanish that was spoken in the Philippines was Mexican Spanish, not European Spanish. A lot of the foods in the Philippines can also be found in Mexico. Filipinos, as a tradition, usually eat with their hands, like that of Malay tradition. And most of Filipino cuisine is also of Malay influence for the most part.[24]

Each year major festivities called barrio fiestas are held. They commemorate the Patron saints of the towns, villages and regional districts. The festivities includes church services, street parades, fireworks displays, feasts, dance/music contests, and cockfights. Circumcision of males is a tradition and a big cultural event called Tuli, nearly 91.7% are circumcised.[25]



Most of the people in the Philippines are Christians. About 92% of the people are Christians. Most people in the Philippines belong to the Roman Catholic faith (70%). A sizable percentage of the people are Protestants (many diverse Christian denominations) (17%), Iglesia ni Cristo (2%), Muslims (5-10%), Buddhists (2%). There are also some Hindus and some other minor religions with fewer adherents (6.6%).



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  2. "Philippine Population Density (Based on the 2015 Census of Population)". September 1, 2016.
  3. "World Development Indicators".
  4. "East & Southeast Asia :: Philippines". The World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. October 28, 2009. Archived from the original on July 19, 2015. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
  5. "Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population". Philippine Statistics Authority.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "IMF Philippines". International Monetary Fund.
  7. "Gini Index". World Bank. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  8. "Human Development Indices and Indicators: 2018 Statistical update" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. September 15, 2018. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  9. Lucas, Brian (August 2005). "Which side of the road do they drive on?". Retrieved February 22, 2009.
  10. "Presidential Decree No. 940, s. 1976". Manila: Malacanang. Archived from the original on April 5, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2015.
  11. "Quezon City Local Government – Background". Quezon City Local Government. Archived from the original on August 20, 2020. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  12. "Executive Order No. 34, s. 1945". Manila: Malacanang. Archived from the original on November 12, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  13. Lucas, Brian (August 2005). "Which side of the road do they drive on?". Retrieved February 22, 2009.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "History of the Philippines". California State University at Bakersfield. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  15. Office of the Historian. "The Spanish-American War, 1898". United States Department of State. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Office of the Historian. "The Philippine-American War, 1899–1902". United States Department of State. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  17. "1898-1933: America's Colony". PBS. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 "1934-1964: War and Independence". PBS. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "1965-1986: The Marcos Years". PBS. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  20. "1987-2003: Reform and Rebellion". PBS. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  21. "WWF Philippines office - WWF".
  22. "Report for selected countries and subjects".
  23. "The Spaniards as Colonial Masters in the Philippines".
  24. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2012-02-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25.[permanent dead link] tuli-a-rite-of-passage-for-filipino-boys/story/

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