300,000 sq km (115,830 sq mi)
Population (2009 est.):
Capital and largest city (2003 est.):
Manila - 10,677,000 (metro. area)
Other large cities:
Quezon City - 1,669,776 (part of Manila metro. area); Cebu - 761,900
Filipino (based on Tagalog), English (both official); eight major dialects: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense
Roman Catholic 81%, Evangelical 3%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2%, Aglipayan 2%, other Christian 5%, Islam 5%
GMT-5; DST is not observed
AC 220V/60Hz; plugs with two round pins (europlugs) and American type plugs with two flat blades are used; many hotels have AC 110V/60Hz
The Philippines is an island country in Southeast Asia occupying an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, about 800 km (497 mi) southeast of the mainland Asia.
The archipelago borders the Philippine Sea on the east, the South China Sea on the west, and the Celebes Sea on the south. The largest three islands are Luzon (104,687 sq km / 40,420 sq mi), Mindanao (94,631 sq km / 36,537 sq mi) and Samar (13,271 sq km / 5,124 sq mi), and they make up over two thirds of the total country's area and are home to about 60% of the population.
Since most of the islands are of volcanic origin, the terrain is largely mountainous and covered with tropical rain forest. The highest point in the Philippines is Mount Apo, on the Mindanao Island, at 2,954 m (9,692 ft). The country also has several active volcanoes, including the Mayon Volcano, Mount Pinatubo and Taal Volcano.
The Philippines attract visitors with the rich, unique culture and history of the Filipino people, magnificent landscapes, natural beauty, diverse fauna and flora, warm tropical waters or striking marine life.