the philippines

The Philippines, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is a sovereign state 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...

read more

The Philippines, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is a sovereign state 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. Covering almost three hundred thousand square kilometres make it the 73rd largest independent nation and 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.

With a population of more than 92 million people, the Philippines is the seventh most populated Asian country and the 12th most populated country in the world. An additional 12 million Filipinos live overseas. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. In prehistoric times, Negritos were some of the archipelago's earliest inhabitants. They were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples who brought with them influences from Malay, Hindu, and Islamic societies. Trade and subsequent Chinese settlement eventually introduced Chinese cultural influences which remain to this day.

The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 marked the beginning of an era of Spanish interest and eventual colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. The Spanish Empire began to settle with the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi from New Spain in 1565 who established the first Spanish settlement in the archipelago, which remained a Spanish colony for more than 300 years.

Manila became the Asian hub of the Manila–Acapulco galleon fleet. As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, there followed in quick succession the Philippine Revolution, which spawned the short-lived First Philippine Republic; the Spanish-American War; and the Philippine–American War. In the aftermath, the United States emerged as the dominant power; aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the United States retained sovereignty over the islands. After the World War II, the Treaty of Manila established the Philippine Republic as an independent nation. Since then, the Philippines has had an often tumultuous experience with democracy, with popular "people power" movements overthrowing a dictatorship in one instance but also underlining the institutional weaknesses of its constitutional republic in others.

some cities

experiences (3)

have you spent time in the philippines? share your experiences

4

cebu, philippines - anonymous' thoughts after months there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 04/24/14.

How old were you when you came to the Philippines?

I had just turned 25 when I came to the Philippines. I literally blew out my birthday cake, and boarded the plane.

Where were you before?

I originally hailed from Seattle, WA. Most my childhood was growing up in close cities (Bellevue, Issaquah, Sammamish, etc), and I studied at the University of Washington.

What brought you to the Philippines?

Job training brought me over. I was to go to Taiwan to visit family before going back to the Philippines for 7-8 months, and finishing up my training in Taiwan.

Describe the city you lived in in the Philippines and your impressions of it.

Unfortunately I did not see much of Manila until the end of my training. I spent most the time in the free trade zone in Cebu, in Clark (by the airport). I experienced a bit of Angeles and their… less tasteful areas. As this zone was more occupied by foreigners coming to work at factories and visitors looking for some night entertainment, most of the area was full of bars, the streets were full of legalized prostitutes, and your average number of thugs/beggars. It was not safe to go out at night, especially as a foreigner.

How does the...

read more
4

the philippines - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 10/29/13.

How much time have you spent in the Philippines?

About 2 and a quarter years, about summer '05 to '07.

How old were you when you came to the Philippines? Where were you before?

20, from the Western United States.

Describe the city you lived in in the Philippines and your impressions of it. How does the city you lived in compare to other cities in the Philippines? What drew you to the city you lived in over other cities in the Philippines?

I lived in several cities over Cavite Province, such as Dasmariñas and Tanza, then spent about a year in Metro Manila proper, living in Makati, Bonifacio, and Muntinlupa. There's a tremendous variety to the Philippines, with the sparser provincial areas filled with domesticated kalabaw (water buffalo), and a wider mixture of home types, including houses made of wood and grass, denser concrete barangays (individual communities), and poorer "squatter" communities with homes generally made of wood and corrugated aluminum panels. The city is quite a bit more packed and often features much tighter living conditions, with temperatures often growing to sweltering levels due to how packed in and insulated things are, the ground consisting of...

read more
3

the philippines - anonymous' reflections after years there in their 20s

posted by anonymous on 09/26/13.

Originally from the USA , originally traveled here for a vacation.

I live in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines and the largest city of the philippines. I have traveled many places here, but live here due to work, city life and technology.

Social life is strange for me, people are nice and friendly but at the same time being from different cultures we just don't really seem to meld as friends. We have nothing much in common and I feel sort of an outcast culturally. I could probably do more to make friends but I'm busy, such is life.

I originally came here for vacation, applied for jobs and managed to find one and stayed.

I prefer my previous social life in the USA.

Race isn't really an issue in the philippines its very multicultural, they aren't racist people.

Language: Most people speak some english. In the city well educated people speak perfect english. But in some areas far out of the city they have different dialects and might not speak english.

I have struggled to learn Tagalog. Because I get by mostly with english.

Social advice: they are very catholic here and conservative. They are very old fashioned in some ways. This can be positive or...

read more

 videos (12)

loading...
loading...
loading...
loading...
loading...
loading...

view all 12 videos

demographics

population

103,775,002 (July 2012 est.)

ethnic groups

Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon Ilonggo 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4%, other 25.3% (2000 census)

languages

Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan

religions

Catholic 82.9% (Roman Catholic 80.9%, Aglipayan 2%), Muslim 5%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, other Christian 4.5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1% (2000 census)

age structure

0-14: 0-14 years: 34.3% (male 18,175,763/ female 17,452,488)

15-64: 15-64 years: 61.3% (male 31,837,152/ female 31,796,606)

65+: 65 years and over: 4.3% (male 1,948,152/ female 2,564,841) (2012 est.)

urbanization

49% of total population (2010)

life expectancy

71.94 years

obesity rate

4.3% (2003)

literacy rate

92.6%

average years of education

12 years

economics

cost of living

3/10 (low)

economic overview

Philippine GDP grew 7.6% in 2010, spurred by consumer demand, a rebound in exports and investments, and election-related spending, before cooling to 3.7% in 2011. The...

read more

Philippine GDP grew 7.6% in 2010, spurred by consumer demand, a rebound in exports and investments, and election-related spending, before cooling to 3.7% in 2011. The economy weathered the 2008-09 global recession better than its regional peers due to minimal exposure to troubled international securities, lower dependence on exports, relatively resilient domestic consumption, large remittances from four- to five-million overseas Filipino workers, and a growing business process outsourcing industry. Economic growth in the Philippines averaged 4.5% during the MACAPAGAL-ARROYO administration (January 2001 - June 2010). Despite this growth, however, poverty worsened during her presidency. The AQUINO administration is working to reduce the government deficit from 3.9% of GDP, when it took office, to 2% of GDP by 2013. The government has had little difficulty issuing debt, both locally and internationally, to finance the deficits. The AQUINO Administration reduced public debt to below 50% of GDP and obtained several ratings upgrades on sovereign debt so that the Philippines is now close to investment grade. However, the lack of government spending, especially on infrastructure, was one of several factors which slowed GDP growth in the second half of 2011, leading the government to announce a stimulus effort and increased public spending on infrastructure in 2012. AQUINO's first budget emphasized education, health, conditional cash transfers for the poor, and other social spending programs, relying mostly on the private sector to finance important infrastructure projects. Weak tax collection, exacerbated by new tax breaks and incentives, has limited the government's ability to address major challenges. The AQUINO administration has vowed to focus on improving tax collection efficiency, rather than imposing new taxes, as a part of its good governance platform. The economy still faces several long-term challenges, including reliance on energy imports and foreign demand for overseas Filipino workers.

major industries

electronics assembly, garments, footwear, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, petroleum refining, fishing

electronics assembly, garments, footwear, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, petroleum refining, fishing

gdp per capita

$4,100 (2011 est.)

gdp growth rate

3.9% (2011 est.)

gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 12.8% industry: 31.4% services: 55.8% (2011 est.)

unemployment rate

7% (2011 est.)

population below poverty line

26.5% (2009 est.)

gini index

45.8 (2006) country comparison to the world: 37 46.6 (2003)