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.