The Philippine islands are an archipelago of over 7,000 islands lying about 500 mi (805 km) off the southeast coast of Asia. The overall land area is comparable to that of Arizona. Only about 7% of the islands are larger than one square mile, and only one-third have names. The largest are Luzon in the north (40,420 sq mi; 104,687 sq km), Mindanao in the south (36,537 sq mi; 94,631 sq km), and Visayas (23,582 sq mi; 61,077 sq km). The islands are of volcanic origin, with the larger ones crossed by mountain ranges. The highest peak is Mount Apo (9,690 ft; 2,954 m) on Mindanao.
The population is approximately 82,995 million, with a population growth rate of 2.1%. The Philippines with its unique history prior to Spanish colonization, the islands inhabitants were primarily Malays. The overwhelming majority of the population is composed of Malays, while the Chinese make up the largest minority group. The national language is Filipino (based on Tagalog), and the language of the government and higher education is English. There are also about 87 national indigenous languages, many of which are the mother tongue of 85% of the population. The Philippines is the only Asian country where Christianity is the predominant religion. Other religions practiced are Protestantism, Islam, and Buddhism.
Although endowed with many fine beaches and a growing tourism industry, much of the country is mountainous and prone to earthquakes and eruptions from around 20 active volcanoes. It is often buffeted by typhoons and other storms.
The Philippines is a republic with executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The executive branch is lead by the president, who is both the chief of state and the head of government. Under the judicial branch, the president appoints the justices in the Supreme Court. The legislative branch is comprised of a bicameral congress. The legal system is based on Spanish and Anglo-American law.
Graced by dazzling beaches, year-round sun and numerous opportunities for diving, island hopping and surfing, the Philippines has long attracted a steady stream of foreign visitors. Yet theres far more to these islands than sand and snorkeling. Beyond the coastline are places to visit of a different nature; mystical tribal villages, ancient rice terraces, jungle-smothered peaks and crumbling Spanish churches. Look closer and youll see the influence of the islands rich stew of cultures Islamic, Malay, Spanish and American in an exuberant array of festivals, tantalizing food and elegant colonial towns that has more in common with Latin America than the rest of Asia.
From pristine beaches and marvelous natural wonders to interesting historic sites and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the Philippines pack many exciting things to see and do. The Most visited tourist attractions in the Philippines are Tubbataha Reef, San Agustin Church - Manila, Mayon Volcano, Malapascua Island, Puerto Galera, Puerto Princesa Underground River, Donsol, Chocolate Hills, Boracay, Banaue Rice terraces, Palawan, Mindoro, Cebu, Mactan, Malapascau Island, Tagaytay, Apu Reef Marine Natural Park, Mount Pinatubo, and don't forget to taste their tall glass of icy Filipino Halo-Halo.
The Philippine Peso is divided into 100 centavos. The Philippine Peso is the currency of Philippines. The currency code for Pesos is PHP, PH, PHL, and the currency symbol is P, and ?.
The most popular Philippine Peso currency exchanges in The Philippine Islands are Australian Dollar (AUD
), European Euro (EUR
), US Dollar (USD
), UK Pound Sterling (GBP
), Canadian Dollar (CAD
), Malaysian Ringgit (MYR
), Singapore Dollar (SGD
), UAE Dirham (AED
) and Japanese Yen (JPY