Philippines

Article

May 20, 2022

The Philippines, in long form the Republic of the Philippines (in Filipino Pilipinas and Republika ng Pilipinas, in Spanish Filipinas and República de Filipinas, in English Philippines and Republic of the Philippines, in Ilocano Filipinas and Republika ti Filipinas, in Cebuano Pilipinas and Republika sa Pilipinas), is a country in Southeast Asia made up of an archipelago of 7,641 islands, eleven of which total more than 90% of the land and of which just over 2,000 are inhabited, while around 2,400 islands didn't even get a name. There are three geographical areas: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Luzon is the largest and northernmost island, home to its capital, Manila, and the country's largest city, Quezon City. In the center, the dense group of Visayas includes the islands of Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Panay, Masbate, Samar and Leyte. To the south, Mindanao is the second largest island; its main cities are Davao, Marawi, Zamboanga and Cagayán de Oro. Southwest of Mindanao are the islands of Sulu, such as Basilan, Jolo and Tawi-Tawi, close to Borneo. Finally, to the west of the Visayas, extends the archipelago of Palawan, which alone has more than 1,700 islands. Luzon, the closest island to the Asian continent, is located 650 kilometers southeast of the Chinese coast. It is one of only two predominantly Catholic countries in Asia (along with East Timor) and one of the most westernized. Spain and the United States, which both colonized the country, each had a great influence on Filipino culture which is a unique blend of East and West. The Philippine archipelago is located between 116° 40′ and 126° 34′ east longitude and 4° 40′ and 21° 10′ north latitude. It stretches 1,652 km from north to south and 1,066 km from east to west. To the south is the island of Celebes while to the south-southeast is the archipelago of Moluccas, both belonging to Indonesia. To the southwest, the Sulu Sea bathes the archipelago and separates it from Borneo, an island shared between Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia. To the north is Taiwan and, about 500 km to the east, the Palau Islands.

Geography

The Philippines are located north of Celebes, northeast of Borneo and 360 kilometers south of the island of Taiwan from which they are separated by the Strait of Luzon. They consist of an archipelago of 7,641 islands, with a total area of ​​approximately 300,439 km2. The islands stretch from Babuyan and Luzon Islands in a south-southeast direction to Mindanao and then west-southwest from there to the western end of the Sulu Archipelago, the together forming an island arc with a dimension of about 2,040 km. The archipelago on the other hand has a width of 1,066 km. It borders four different seas: the Philippine Sea to the east, the Celebes Sea to the south, the Sulu Sea to the southwest, and the South China Sea to the northwest and north. The islands are divided into three groups: Luzon (Regions I to V + NCR & CAR), where the capital, Manila, is located, Visayas (VI to VIII), Mindanao (IX to XIII + Bangsamoro). Most of the mountainous islands were covered with tropical forests and of volcanic origin as evidenced by the frequent earthquakes and the twenty active volcanoes such as Pinatubo. Today, the forest cover is only 25.89%. The archipelago is also subject to typhoons from the western Pacific at the rate of about fifteen per year, more particularly between May and October. The Philippines is thus the 3rd country in the world most exposed to natural disasters. The port of Manila, on the island of Luzon, is the capital and the second largest city in the country after Quezon City. The highest point is Mount Apo on the island of Mindanao, which rises to 2,954 meters.

Geology and topography

Of volcanic origin, the islands of the Philippines are part of the ce