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The Philippines (Filipino: Pilipinas), officially the Republic of the Philippines (Republika ng Pilipinas), is an island nation located in the Malay Archipelago in Southeast Asia, with Manila as its capital. It comprises 7,107 islands called the Philippine Archipelago, with a total land area of approximately 300,000 square kilometers or 116,000 square miles, making it the 72nd largest country by area.

Modern day Filipinos are mostly of Austronesian stock, although there are a number of Filipinos with Spanish, Chinese, American, and Arab ancestry.[2]

The country was named "Las Islas Filipinas" by Ruy López de Villalobos after King Philip II of Spain. Spanish colonial rule began in 1565 and lasted for about three centuries until the Philippine Revolution of 1896. The United States gained possession of the Philippines after the Spanish-American War in 1898 and ruled the country for about five decades. Philippine culture has many affinities with the West. Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion, and Filipino is an official language, along with English.

The Philippines constitutes an archipelago of 7,107 islands with a total land area of approximately 300,000 square kilometres (116,000 sq. mi). It lies between 116° 40' and 126° 34' E. longitude, and 4° 40' and 21° 10' N. latitude, and borders the Philippine Sea on the east, on the South China Sea the west, and the Celebes Sea on the south. The island of Borneo lies a few hundred kilometers southwest and Taiwan directly north. The Moluccas and Sulawesi are to the south, and Palau is to the east beyond the Philippine Sea.[3]

The islands are commonly divided into three island groups: Luzon (Regions I to V, NCR and CAR), Visayas (VI to VIII), and Mindanao (IX to XIII and ARMM). The busy port of Manila, on Luzon, is the national capital and second largest city after its suburb Quezon City.[3]

The local climate is hot, humid, and tropical. The average yearly temperature is around 26.5°C (79.7°F). There are three recognized 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 Taglamig (the cold season from December to February). The southwest monsoon (May-October) is known as the "habagat" and the dry winds of the northeast monsoon (November-April) as the "amihan".[9] The country itself is udergoing desertification in place like Sorsogon, Baguio, Davao and the Sierra Madre mountain range.[citation needed]

Most of the mountainous islands used to be covered in tropical rainforest and are volcanic in origin. The highest point is Mount Apo on Mindanao at 2,954 metres (9,692 ft). There are many active volcanos such as Mayon Volcano, Mount Pinatubo, and Taal Volcano. The country also lies within the typhoon belt of the Western Pacific and about 19 typhoons strike per year.[citation needed]

Lying on the northwestern fringes of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines experiences frequent seismic and volcanic activities. Some 20 earthquakes are registered daily in the Philippines, though most are too weak to be felt. The last great earthquake was the 1990 Luzon earthquake. [10]

The longest river is the Cagayan River of northern Luzon. The nearly circular Manila Bay, is connected to the Laguna de Bay by means of the Pasig River. Subic Bay, the Davao Gulf and the Moro Gulf are some of the important bays. Transversing the San Juanico Strait is the San Juanico Bridge, that connects the islands of Samar and Leyte.

Information provided by Wikipedia

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eBookers - Cheap Flights, Hotels, Airline Tickets, Car Hire and Holiday Packages in The Philippines.
Kuoni Travel - Kuoni Travel are Britain's best known longhaul luxury holiday tour operator offering a wide range of tailormade holiday types in over 65 countries. From 3* to luxury, cruises to safaris, scuba diving to skiing and luxury spas to escorted tours.
Opodo - Your first choice for holidays and travel offers across the world.
Airline Network - Fly to the Philippines.
Expedia - Book cheap package holidays, luxury holidays and last minute holidays today.
Singapore Airlines - One of the world's leading carriers in Asia and the Philippines.
British Airways Holidays - For individual, couples or family holidays.

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