The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia, surrounded by the China Sea to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Sea of Celebes to the South. The country is made up of 7000 Islands, only 400 are inhabited and 93% are less than one square mile. Manila, the capital, is located in Luzon, the largest island.
About 90% of the population is living on just eleven islands.
There are twenty volcanoes on the islands, of which twelve are more or less active. Located in the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions periodically occur.
The climate is mild and tropical in Manila. The average rainfall is 75 inches, average temperatures range from 78 to 90 degree F. and 77% humidity.
After 30,000 years of pre-historic habitation from Borneo, Sumatra and Malaya, Ferdinand Magellan, a Spanish explorer landed there in 1521. He named the islands “Las Filipinas” in honor of Prince Philip (later Philip II) of Spain. Revolts against Spain began in 1896. After about 350 years as a Spanish colony, independence from Spain was declared on June 12, 1898.
In 1942 General Douglas McArthur was ordered out of the Philippines and proclaimed his famous words “I shall return”. He fulfilled that promise in 1944 to liberate the Philippines from Japanese occupation.
The Philippines is an example of a mixture of cultures due to its “East meets West” history. From Indonesia and Malay to Chinese and Spanish, followed by American influence, a diverse blend has become a truly unique Philippine culture today.
Christianity was introduced to the Islands in the 16th Century and the country is predominantly Christian. Islam is practised in the southermost island of Mindanao
The Philippines is one of few or maybe the only English proficient Asian country, Filipino and English are official languages, plus over a hundred native languages. The word boondocks is derived from the Tagalog word “bundok” which means “mountains”. It was used by the American soldiers in the 1900’s, it referred to remote and wild places.
The people of the Philippines are legendary for their hospitality in Southeast Asia. Visitors from all over the world will experience a warm and friendly acceptance.