- Official Country Name: Republic of the Philippines
- Capital: Metro Manila
- Location: Southeast Asia
- Area Code: +63
- Time Zone: UTC+8
- Population: 102 million
- Government Type: Presidential Republic
- Religion: Catholicism
- Land Area (km²): 299700
- Languages: Tagalog, English
- Major Tourism Places: Cebu, Bohol Island, Palawan, Boracay Island
Republic of the Philippines, referred to as the Philippines, located in the western Pacific Ocean, is a multi-ethnic island country in Southeast Asia, bordering the South China Sea to the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. There are more than 7100 large and small islands in the Philippines with an area of 297,700 square kilometers. These islands are like shining pearls, dotted with numerous waves in the western Pacific Ocean, and the Philippines is therefore known as the "Western Pacific Pearl".
The Philippines is mainly divided into Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It is a major member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and one of the 24 members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). It is currently one of the emerging industrial countries and the world's emerging markets.
Filipino ancestors were immigrants from the Asian continent. Before the fourteenth century, the Philippine archipelago did not form a country, mostly in the form of indigenous tribes. In 1390, the Sumatra immigrants from Minangkabau established the Sultanate of Sulu, the first country in Philippine history. In 1450, the Arab businessman Said Abu Bakr established an Islamic regime in the southern Philippines.
In 1521, the Magellan expedition arrived in the Philippine archipelago during the first global voyage of the geographical discovery. In 1565, Spain invaded the Philippines and ruled the Philippines for more than 300 years.
On June 12, 1898, the Philippines declared its independence and established the Republic of the Philippines. In the same year, the United States occupied the Philippines based on the Paris Treaty signed after the American-Spanish War. On March 24, 1935, the Philippine Autonomous State was established. In 1942, the Philippines was occupied by Japan. After World War II, the Philippines was once again colonized by the United States.
On July 4, 1946, the United States was forced to agree to the independence of the Philippines, and the Philippines gained complete independence. Since then, the Liberal Party and the Kuomintang took turns in power. On September 2, 1996, the Philippine government signed a peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front, the largest anti-government organization, ending the 24 years of war in the south.
The Philippines is divided into three parts: Luzon, Visaya and Mindanao. The country has 18 regions including the Capital Region, the Cordillera Administrative Region, and the Mindanao Muslim Autonomous Region, with 81 provinces and 117 cities.
Philippines Administrative Division
The Philippines belongs to a monsoon-type tropical rainforest climate, characterized by high temperature, rain, high humidity, and many typhoons. The annual average temperature is 27℃, and the annual precipitation is 2000-3000 mm.
Filipinos are very religious. Under the long-term influence of Buddhism and Hinduism, the Hinduism that most Filipinos believe in today is full of Buddhist ideas, and there are many Buddha statues in Hindu temples. About 84% of the population believes in Catholicism, 4.9% believe in Islam, a few people believe in Independence and Protestantism, Philippine-Chinese believes in Buddhism, and indigenous people believe in primitive religions.
The official language of the Philippines is Filipino, but English is also widely spoken. Filipino, also known as Tagalog, belongs to the South China Islands language class in language classification, mainly used in the Philippines, and is also widely used in China Macau, Malaysia Sabah, Northern Philippines and Singapore. It was designated as the national language by the Philippine Constitution in 1987. Among the nearly 170 native languages in the Philippines, Filipino is the only language with an official language status.
Philippine Peso is the official currency of the Philippines. The international abbreviation "peso" is commonly used. The subsidized unit is centavos: 1 peso = 100 centavos. The issuance of currency is the responsibility of the Central Bank of the Philippines. The international organization for standardization has designated its standard code name PHP.
- Symbol: peso
- Issuing Bank: Central Bank of the Philippines
- Subunit: centavos
- Banknotes: 1 pesos, 2 pesos, 5 pesos, 10 pesos, 20 pesos, 50 pesos, 100 pesos, 200 pesos, 500 pesos and 1000 pesos
- Coins: 1 centavos, 5 centavos, 10 centavos, 25 centavos; 1 pesos, 5 pesos, 10 pesos
The exchange rate between PHP and other currencies are as below:
1 AUD≈34 PHP; 1 CAD≈36 PHP; 1 CNY≈7 PHP; 1 EUR≈56 PHP;
1 GBP≈61 PHP; 1 JPY≈0.46 PHP; 1 USD≈49 PHP; 1 KRW≈0.04 PHP
Tipping is not mandatory in the Philippines, but small gratuities for great service are very much appreciated. Tipping is a recognition of their service. In some hotels and restaurants, a service charge is usually added to the bill at checkout. Tourists may give tips to hotel attendants and baggage porters at their discretion. Please keep in mind that it is NOT polite to tip anyone with coins.
Transportation in the Philippines is dominated by road and sea transportation. The railway is underdeveloped and concentrated on Luzon Island. Air transportation is mainly operated by Philippine Airlines and other airline companies. Flights are available between major islands across the country.
There are 288 airports in the Philippines. Domestic routes cover more than 40 cities, and international shipping agreements have been signed with more than 30 countries. The main airports are Ninoy Aquino International Airport in the capital Manila, Mactan International Airport and Davao Airport in Cebu City, etc.
Most foreign tourists' trips to the Philippines begin with Manila, the capital of the Philippines and the transportation hub of the Philippines. Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is the main transit point to other areas and islands.
There are hundreds of large and small ports in the Philippines and more than 1,000 merchant ships. The main ports are Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Zamboanga, etc. Cruise ships run between the main islands of Manila and Cebu. Most of the passenger ships are Japanese medieval ships, and their classes are divided into special cabins, first-class cabins and third-class cabins. The best way to experience the beauty of the Philippine islands is to take a boat.
The train starts from Manila, and the Philippine National Railway is divided into two lines, north and south. The north line extends to San Fernando and can be transferred to Baguio halfway. The southern route extends to Regasby, and Maroon Volcano is visible halfway.
The total length is about 216,000 kilometers. Passenger traffic accounts for 90% of the nation's total transportation, and freight traffic accounts for 65% of the nation's transportation. Buses, taxis, tricycles and other transportation operate in major cities in the Philippines. There are also long-distance buses running between cities.
Tourism is one of the important sources of Philippine foreign exchange income. The main tourist spots are Yum Beach, Blue Harbor, Baguio City, Mayon Volcano, the original terraces of Ifugao Province, etc.
►Best Time to Visit the Philippines
The Philippine is an all-the-year-round tourist resort. It is suitable for traveling in any season. You can arrange Philippine tours according to your preferences.
►Best Places to Visit the Philippines
Manila is the capital of the Republic of the Philippines and the largest port city in the Philippines. As the largest economic, cultural and transportation center in the Philippines, Manila is very westernized and is called "Asian New York". Manila has a long history. It blends Indian civilization, Chinese civilization, ancient civilizations of Central Asia, Western civilizations of Spain and the United States, forming a culture that combines East and West. Now Manila has become a garden city and an international metropolis.
Cebu, which belongs to the Visayas in the central Philippines, is the second largest city in the country. Cebu City, located on the north shore of Cebu Island, is the oldest city in the Philippines. In 1521, the Portuguese navigator Magellan sailed from Spain to Central and South America, and was surprised to discover this beautiful and quiet island on the way. As a result, Cebu became the earliest developed city in the Philippines, known as "Queen of the Philippines". Today, the picturesque Cebu Island has developed into the most popular tourist spot for tourists.
Boracay is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the Philippines, where high-quality beaches are known as "the finest beaches in the world." The high-quality sea views and low prices here are attractive reasons to attract tourists. Although Boracay is only 7 kilometers long, the world-famous white sand beach accounts for 4 kilometers. The extremely fine sand here is vividly called "flour sand", which is the biggest reason why travelers come to Boracay. Compared with the well-known Southeast Asian islands such as Bali and Phuket, Boracay is much smaller in scale, but it can be described as small and refined.