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Mount MayonMount Mayon
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authorshipSir Mervs
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B. Melayu

The Philippines is an archipelago nation in Southeast Asia. It covers 299,764 sq km (115,831 sq mi) and comprises 7107 islands on the western Pacific Ocean. With about 92 million inhabitants (2011 estimate), the Philippines is the world's 12th most populous country. Its capital is Manila while its most populous city is Quezon City. Both Manila, Quezon City and over a dozen other Filipino cities are part of a metropolis known as Metro Manila.

Being an island nation, the Philippines is a country surrounded by bodies of water. Its immediate neighbours include Taiwan, across the Luzon Strait in the north, Malaysia, across the Sulu Sea to the southwest, and Indonesia, across the Celebes Sea to the south. The South China Sea separates the Philippines from Vietnam. To the east of the country is the Philippines Sea, which is contiguous with the Pacific Ocean.

Main Cities of the Philippines

  1. Manila (1,661,000)
  2. Quezon City (2,700,000)
  3. Antipolo City (634,000)
  4. Caloocan City (1,379,000)
  5. Cebu City (799,000)
  6. Davao City (1,363,000)
  7. Pasig City (617,000)
  8. Taguig City (613,000)
  9. Valenzuela City (569,000)
  10. Zamboanga City (774,000)

Places of Interest in the Philippines

Ten Biggest Islands of the Philippines

  1. Luzon (104,688 sq km)
  2. Mindanao (97,530 sq km)
  3. Negros (13,074 sq km)
  4. Samar (12,849 sq km)
  5. Palawan (12,189 sq km)
  6. Panay (12,011 sq km)
  7. Mindoro (10,572 sq km)
  8. Leyte (7,368 sq km)
  9. Cebu Island (4,468 sq km)
  10. Bohol (3,821 sq km)

Baguio CathedralBaguio Cathedral
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The Philippines was a former colony of Spain, and the United States. It is one of two only predominant Roman Catholic countries in Asia, the other being East Timor. In addition to the Roman Catholics, there are also a number of minority religious groups, including various Christian denominations, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other beliefs. Multiple ethnicities, and cultures are found throughout the islands.

The Philippines derived its name from King Philip II of Spain in the 16th century. It was called Las Islas Filipinas by Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos when he explored the islands of Leyte, and Samar.Although there were other names for the archipelago, the name Filipinas was eventually chosen. The official name, however, changed a few times throughout the course of its history.

Lake Kayangan, Coron IslandLake Kayangan in Coron Island, regarded as one of the cleanest lakes in the Philippines
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authorshipMichael Ocampo
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During the Philippine Revolution, it was called República Filipina or the Philippine Republic. From the period of the Spanish-American War, and the Philippine-American War, until the Commonwealth period, American colonial authorities referred to the country as the Philippine Islands, a translation of the original Spanish name. The name "Philippines" began to be used during the American period and was adopted as its current official name.

The Philippines is eight hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+8). Traffic is driven on the right here, just as in the United States. The electricity of the country is 220V/60Hz. The phone IDD code for the Philippines is +63. The official currency is the Peso (PHP). Filipino (a language based on Tagalog) and English are the official languages.

The economy of the Philippines is transitioning from one based on agriculture to one based on services and manufacturing. It is one of the newly industrialized countries of Asia which includes China, India, Thailand and Malaysia. In 2010, the Philippines had an estimated nominal GDP of $188.719 billion, equivalent to a per capita nominal GDP of $2,007. Its per capita GDP at purchasing power parity stood at $3,737.

The skyline of MakatiThe skyline of Makati
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The Philippines experiences a tropical maritime climate. The temperature is quite uniform, hovering around 26.6°C (80°F) for much of the year, with January being slightly cooler and May slightly warmer. Differences in elevation creates a more distinct difference in temperature and climate, with the city of Baguio at 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level having an average temperature of 18.3°C (65°F). The rainy season in the Philippines is from June to November while the cool dry season is from December to February.

The Philippines is on the typhoon belt. It often experiences torrential rains and thunderstorms from July to October. Within a year, there would be approximately nineteen storms of typhoons magnitude entering the Philippines. The country is also on the Pacific Ring of Fire, making it prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Chocolate Hills, BoholThe Chocolate Hills have become the main tourist attraction on Bohol Island
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authorshipmendhak, pixeltoo
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Planning your trip to the Philippines

The main entry points for the Philippines are the international airports at Manila, Cebu, Davao, Clark and Subic.

Arriving by Air in Manila

The majority of overseas visitors arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) in Manila. The airport has four terminals. Terminal 1 is used by non-Philippines Airlines and non-Cebu Pacific carriers. Terminal 2 is used by only Philippines Airlines. Terminal 3 serves both Cebu Pacific and Air Philippines. The fourth terminal is the Manila Passenger Domestic Terminal used by the domestic airlines such as Zest Airways, Interisland Airlines and SEAIR.

If you arrive at Ninoy Aquino Airport, you can catch a taxi for around 150 to 200 peso to most of the hotels in Manila.

In addition to Ninoy Aquino Airport, you may also arrive at Clark Air Base (officially the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport) in Angeles City. This airport is used by low-cost carriers such as Air Asia and Tiger Airways.

Arriving by Air in Cebu

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) is the airport serving the island of Cebu. It is also the second busiest airport in the Philippines. Apart from Philippines Airlines, the other carriers flying to this airport include Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, China Eastern Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines and SilkAir.

Planning your travel within the Philippines

In this section, I will only touch on getting around the Philippines as a whole. For Manila, I will describe within the Manila section.

As the Philippines is an archipelago, you will find that flying is the most practical way for you to explore the country. It is also by far the most comfortable and least time consuming.

While taking ferries and boats are cheaper than flying, be wary of overcrowding, which has often lead to sinkings. Do not board if the ferry appears over capacity.

Sights in and around Metro Manila

  1. Angono
  2. Anilao
  3. Antipolo
  4. Balesin Island
  5. Burdeos
  6. Cainta
  7. Calamba
  8. Cardono
  9. Cavite City
  10. Corregidor Island
  11. Infanta
  12. Kawit
  13. Laguna
  14. Laguna de Bay
  15. Lake Caliraya
  16. Lake Taal
  17. Liliw
  18. Lipa City
  19. Lucena
  20. Luisiana
  21. Mabitac
  22. Majayjay
  23. Morong
  24. Nagcarlan
  25. Pagbilao Grande & Pagbilao Chico
  26. Pagsanjan
  27. Pagsanjan Falls
  28. Pakil
  29. Polillo Islands
  30. Quezon National Park
  31. Quezon Province
  32. Real
  33. San Jose Church, Las Piñas
  34. San Pablo
  35. Santiago de Apostol Church, Paete
  36. Taal City
  37. Taal Volcano
  38. Tagaytay City
  39. Tanay
  40. Taytay

Sights in Central Luzon

  1. Angeles City
  2. Bacolor
  3. Balagtas
  4. Baliuag
  5. Barrio Barretto
  6. Betis
  7. Bocaue
  8. Bulacan Province
  9. Malolos
  10. Marilao
  11. Minalungao National Park
  12. Mount Arayat
  13. Mount Pinatubo
  14. Mount Samat
  15. Meycauayan
  16. Pampanga Province
  17. San Fernando
  18. Subic Bay
  19. Tarlac Province
  20. Valenzuela
  21. Zambales Province

Sights of Ilocos Region

  1. Bacnotan
  2. Badoc
  3. Balaoan
  4. Bangar
  5. Bolinao
  6. Hundred Islands National Recreation Area
  7. Ilocos Norte Province
  8. Ilocos Sur Province
  9. Laoag
  10. La Paz Sand Dunes
  11. Lingayen
  12. Manleluag Springs National Park
  13. Pagudpud
  14. Pangasinan Province
  15. Paoay
  16. Pinsal Falls
  17. Quezon Island
  18. Rosario
  19. San Esteban
  20. San Juan
  21. San Nicolas
  22. Santiago
  23. Sarrat
  24. Tagudin
  25. Urdaneta City
  26. Vigan

Sights of Northeast Luzon

  1. Aparri
  2. Aritao
  3. Aurora Province
  4. Baler
  5. Bambang
  6. Bayombong
  7. Cagayan Province
  8. Cauayan
  9. Fuga Island
  10. Gamalaniugan
  11. Gattaran
  12. Hanging Footbridge of Ambaguio
  13. Iguig Calvary Hills
  14. Ilagan
  15. Isabela Province
  16. Palanan Wilderness Park
  17. Palaui Island
  18. Quirino
  19. Rio Grande de Cagayan
  20. Santa Victoria Caves
  21. Tuguegarao
  22. Tumauini

Sights of the Central Cordillera

  1. Agamatan National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
  2. Apayao Province
  3. Banga-an
  4. Baguio
  5. Balbalaasang National Park
  6. Balbalan
  7. Banaue
  8. Bangued
  9. Bauko
  10. Bontoc
  11. Hapao
  12. Ifugao Province
  13. Kabayan
  14. Kalinga Province
  15. Lagawe
  16. Mayoyao
  17. Mount Pulog
  18. Mount Timbac
  19. Poitan
  20. Tam-an Village
  21. Tinglayan
  22. Tinongchol Burial Rock

Sights in Bicol Peninsula

  1. Albay Province
  2. Atulayan Island
  3. Bacagay
  4. Barcelona
  5. Buhi
  6. Bula
  7. Bulusan Volcano National Park
  8. Cagsawa Ruins
  9. Calabidong Caves
  10. Camarines Norte Province
  11. Camarines Sur Province
  12. Caramoan Peninsula
  13. Casiguran
  14. Cataduanes Province
  15. Daet
  16. Gubat
  17. Hoyop-Hoyopan Caves
  18. Irosin
  19. Kulapnitan Caves
  20. Lagonoy
  21. Lake Bulusan
  22. Leaning Tower of Bombon
  23. Legaspi
  24. Luyang Caves
  25. Malilipot
  26. Masacrot Spring
  27. Mount Isarog
  28. Mount Mayon
  29. Naga
  30. Nahulugan Falls
  31. Panicuason
  32. Pili
  33. Roca Encantada
  34. Sorsogon Province
  35. Tabaco

Sights on the Islands off Luzon

  1. Ambil Island
  2. Ambulong Island
  3. Apo Island
  4. Bathala Caves
  5. Boac
  6. Botongan
  7. Burias Island
  8. Cabra Island
  9. Elephant Island
  10. Ilin Island
  11. Luyang Baga
  12. Mainit Hot Springs
  13. Malbog Sulfur Springs
  14. Mamburao
  15. Marinduque
  16. Masbate
  17. Mindoro
  18. Mount Halcon
  19. Mount Iglit-Baco National Park
  20. Mount Malindig
  21. Naujan Lake
  22. North Pandan Island
  23. Puerto Galera
  24. Pungaw Hot Springs
  25. Romblon Province
  26. Salomague Island
  27. Tablas
  28. Tamaraw Falls
  29. Ticao Island
  30. Tres Reyes Islands

Cities and Sights of Eastern Visayas

  1. Balangiga
  2. Barugo
  3. Basey
  4. Biliran Island
  5. Biri Island
  6. Borongan
  7. Carigara
  8. Guiuan
  9. Hilongos
  10. Homonhon Island
  11. Leyte
  12. Limasawa Island
  13. Mahagnao National Park
  14. Marabut
  15. Ormoc City
  16. Palo
  17. Panaon Island
  18. Pinipisikan Falls
  19. Samar
  20. Tacloban City
  21. Tong-onan Hot Springs National Park
  22. Villaba

Sights of Central Visayas

  1. Badian Island
  2. Balicasag Island
  3. Bantayan Island
  4. Bohol Island
  5. Camotes Islands
  6. Carcar
  7. Carmen
  8. Chocolate Hills
  9. Danao City
  10. Kawasan Falls
  11. Mactan Island
  12. Malapascua
  13. Moalboal
  14. Panglao Island
  15. Tagbilaran

Cities and Sights of Western Visayas

  1. Amlan
  2. Antique Province
  3. Apo Island
  4. Arevalo
  5. Bacolod
  6. Bacong
  7. Bais City
  8. Boracay Island
  9. Cadiz City
  10. Canlaon National Park
  11. Canlaon Volcano
  12. Capiz Province
  13. Catilaran Cave
  14. Culasi
  15. Dumaguete
  16. Guimaras Island
  17. Iloilo City
  18. Jaro
  19. Kalibo
  20. Miagao Fortress Church
  21. Molo
  22. Murcia
  23. Negros Oriental
  24. Roxas City
  25. San Jose de Buenavista
  26. Silay
  27. Siquijor Island
  28. Sira-an Hot Springs
  29. Tambobo Cove
  30. Tanjay
  31. Valencia
  32. Zamboanguita

Cities and Sights of Palawan

  1. Aborlan
  2. Apulit Island
  3. Balabac Island
  4. Bataraza
  5. Brooke's Point
  6. Busuanga Island
  7. Calauit National Wildlife Sanctuary
  8. Coron
  9. Culion Island
  10. Dinakya Island
  11. El Nido
  12. Lake Cayangan
  13. Maguinit Hot Springs
  14. Paly
  15. Pangulasian
  16. Puerto Princesa
  17. Quezon, Palawan
  18. Rio Tuba
  19. Tabon Caves
  20. Tarampitao
  21. Taytay, Palawan
  22. Ursula Island National Bird Sanctuary

Cities and Sights of Mindanao excluding Zamboanga

  1. Davao City
  2. Babak
  3. Balo-i
  4. Bolon Sabak Bilaan Village
  5. Bukidnon Province
  6. Butuan City
  7. Cagayan de Oro City (CDO)
  8. Camiguin Province
  9. Cantilan
  10. Cateel
  11. Compostella Valley
  12. Cotabato City
  13. Digos
  14. General Santos City (Gensan)
  15. Gingoog City
  16. Iligan City
  17. Kaputian
  18. Kidapawan
  19. Lake Lanao
  20. Lake Sebu
  21. Lanao del Norte Province
  22. Lanao del Sur Province
  23. Limunsudan Falls
  24. Magsaysay
  25. Malaybalay
  26. Mangkangagi Island
  27. Marawi
  28. Mati
  29. Misamis Oriental Province
  30. Mount Candalaga
  31. Mount Hamiguitan
  32. Mount Malindang
  33. Mount Puting Bato
  34. Oroquieta City
  35. Ozamis City
  36. Palaopao Hill
  37. Panaon
  38. Pilar
  39. Polomolok
  40. Prosperidad
  41. Samal Island
  42. Siargao Island
  43. Sigaboy Island
  44. Sta Cruz
  45. Sungko
  46. Surigao City
  47. Tagum
  48. Talaingod
  49. Tandag
  50. Tangub City

Cities and Sights in Zamboanga and the Sulu Islands

  1. Basilan Island
  2. Bongao
  3. Dapitan City
  4. Dipolog City
  5. Great Santa Cruz Island
  6. Jolo
  7. Lamitan
  8. Pagadian City
  9. Sulu Province
  10. Taluksangay
  11. Tawi-Tawi
  12. Zamboanga City
  13. Zamboanga del Norte Province

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