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Philippines

Philippines Guide. Philippines Country Profile.

Country Profile: Philippines.

Interesting trvia: The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands, and is also popularly known as "Pearl of the Orient."

The Republic of the Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam. The Sulu Sea to the southwest lies between the country and the island of Borneo, and to the south the Celebes Sea separates it from other islands of Indonesia. It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea. Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and its tropical climate make the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons but have also endowed the country with natural resources and made it one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world. An archipelago comprising 7,107 islands, the Philippines is categorized broadly into three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Its capital city is Manila.

With an estimated population of about 92 million people, the Philippines are the world’s 12th most populous country. An additional 11 million Filipinos live overseas. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. In prehistoric times, Negritos were some of the archipelago’s earliest inhabitants. They were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples who brought with them influences from Malay, Hindu, and Islamic cultures. Trade introduced Chinese cultural influences.

The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 marked the beginning of an era of Spanish interest and eventual dominance. Manila emerged as the Asian hub of the Manila–Acapulco galleon fleet. Missionary work led to widespread Christianity. As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, there followed in quick succession the short-lived Philippine Revolution, the Spanish-American War, and the Philippine-American War. In the aftermath, the United States replaced Spain as the dominant power. Aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the United States retained sovereignty over the islands until the end of World War II when the Philippines gained independence. The United States bequeathed to the Philippines the English language and a stronger affinity for Western culture. Since independence the Philippines has had an often tumultuous experience with democracy, with popular “People Power” movements overthrowing a dictatorship in one instance but also underlining the institutional weaknesses of its constitutional republic in others.

:: Background of Philippines ::

The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel QUEZON was elected president and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence. A 20-year rule by Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a “people power” movement in Manila (“EDSA 1?) forced him into exile and installed Corazon AQUINO as president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts that prevented a return to full political stability and economic development. Fidel RAMOS was elected president in 1992. His administration was marked by increased stability and by progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph ESTRADA was elected president in 1998. He was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, in January 2001 after ESTRADA’s stormy impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down and another “people power” movement (“EDSA 2?) demanded his resignation. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2004. Her presidency was marred by several corruption allegations but the Philippine economy was one of the few to avoid contraction following the 2008 global financial crisis, expanding each year of her administration. Benigno AQUINO III was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2010. The Philippine Government faces threats from several groups on the US Government’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Manila has waged a decades-long struggle against ethnic Moro insurgencies in the southern Philippines, which has led to a peace accord with the Moro National Liberation Front and on-again/off-again peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The decades-long Maoist-inspired New People’s Army insurgency also operates through much of the country.

:: Geography of Philippines ::

Location: Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam

Geographic coordinates: 13 00 N, 122 00 E

Area:
total: 300,000 sq km
land: 298,170 sq km
water: 1,830 sq km

Area – comparative: slightly larger than Arizona
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 36,289 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: irregular polygon extending up to 100 nm from coastline as defined by 1898 treaty; since late 1970s has also claimed polygonal-shaped area in South China Sea up to 285 nm in breadth.
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: to depth of exploitation

Climate: tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)
Terrain: mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Philippine Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Apo 2,954 m

Natural resources: timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper

Land use:
arable land: 19%
permanent crops: 16.67%
other: 64.33% (2005)
Irrigated land: 15,500 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 479 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 28.52 cu km/yr (17%/9%/74%)
per capita: 343 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards: astride typhoon belt, usually affected by 15 and struck by five to six cyclonic storms per year; landslides; active volcanoes; destructive earthquakes; tsunamis
volcanism: the Philippines experience significant volcanic activity; Taal (elev. 311 m, 1,020 ft), which has shown recent unrest and may erupt in the near future, has been deemed a “Decade Volcano” by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Mayon (elev. 2,462 m, 8,077 ft), the country’s most active volcano, erupted in 2009 forcing over 33,000 to be evacuated; other historically active volcanoes include Biliran, Babuyan Claro, Bulusan, Camiguin, Camiguin de Babuyanes, Didicas, Iraya, Jolo, Kanlaon, Makaturing, Musuan, Parker, Pinatubo and Ragang

Environment – current issues: uncontrolled deforestation especially in watershed areas; soil erosion; air and water pollution in major urban centers; coral reef degradation; increasing pollution of coastal mangrove swamps that are important fish breeding grounds

Environment – international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography – note: the Philippine archipelago is made up of 7,107 islands; favorably located in relation to many of Southeast Asia’s main water bodies: the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, and Luzon Strait

:: People of Philippines ::

Population: 101,833,938 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 34.6% (male 17,999,279/female 17,285,040)
15-64 years: 61.1% (male 31,103,967/female 31,097,203)
65 years and over: 4.3% (male 1,876,805/female 2,471,644) (2011 est.)

Median age:
total: 22.9 years
male: 22.4 years
female: 23.4 years (2011 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.903% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 25.34 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 5.02 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -1.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Urbanization:
urban population: 49% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 19.34 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 21.84 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 71.66 years
male: 68.72 years
female: 74.74 years (2011 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.19 children born/woman (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS – adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – people living with HIV/AIDS: 8,700 (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS – deaths: fewer than 200

Nationality: noun: Filipino(s) adjective: Philippine
Ethnic groups: Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon Ilonggo 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4%, other 25.3% (2000 census)
Religions: Roman Catholic 80.9%, Muslim 5%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, Aglipayan 2%, other Christian 4.5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1% (2000 census)

Languages: Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects – Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.6%
male: 92.5%
female: 92.7% (2000 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 12 years
male: 12 years
female: 12 years (2008)
Education expenditures: 2.6% of GDP (2007)