Size: 115,830 sq mi (300,000 sq km)
The Philippines can be found in the South West Pacific Ocean. They are just off the coast of South East Asia and are in the Malay Archipelago. The Philippines cover an area of 1,152 miles north south and 688 miles east to west. There are over 7,000 island that’s make up the Philippines. Only 400 of these are inhabited permanently. The eleven largest islands form about 95% of the amount of land in the Philippines.
These large islands are:
• Luzon (this is the host to the capital city of Manila)
• Cebu Boho
The Philippines are a group of volcanic islands. This means that they were formed millions and millions of years ago as a result of intense volcanic activity. The scenery of the Philippines is rich and varied. You have a combination of large valleys, beautiful coastal plains, volcanos, dense forests, and plenty of hot springs. Due to its location, earthquakes are incredibly common.
In terms of climate, the Philippines are very much tropical. The average temperature is around 79.5 degrees throughout the lower areas of Manila. It does get slightly lower up in the highlands though.
The republic of the Philippines is divided up into 61 cities and 72 provinces. Manila is of course the capital city of the group of islands. However, other important cities include:
• Quezon City, this is located on Luzon.
• Cebu, on Cebu Island
• Iioilo on Panay
• Zamboanga and Davao on Mindanao
• Jolo on Jolo Island
Due to the climate and the intense rainfall that the Philippines enjoys, the main business is agriculture with rice, coconuts and corn forming about 80% of this farming business. Livestock and fishing is on top of this. The islands located in the Sulu Archipelago are known for the quality of their pearls and mother of pearl shells that they produce.
Most of the manufacturing in the area can be found in Manila. This is because the main port of the country is located here. Plenty is produced in Manila, some kept for the country with the rest being exported. Textiles, Pharmaceutical products, chemicals, electronics, and cars are big business. The area also engages in food processing and has a petrol refinery. Main exports include wood, electronics, telephone equipment, machinery, coconut, sugar, and various metals. Most production heads to the United States and Japan.
The majority of people that live with the Philippines regard themselves as Malay. They may also be referred to as Filipinos. Other major groups in the area include a Chinese minority, the Negritos and the Dumagats.
Over 70 different languages are spoken in the Philippines. The official national language is Pilipino and the second language is English.
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