Philippines State Overview

Philippines State Overview


According to Allcitycodes, the Philippines constitute an archipelago of 7,107 islands with a total land area of approximately 300,000 km². It is bordered to the east by the Philippine Sea, to the west by the South China Sea, and to the south by the Celebes Sea. To the south are the Moluccas and Celebes in Indonesia, to the southwest the Malay part of Borneo and directly to the north is Taiwan.

The islands are divided into three groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The city of Manila, on Luzon Island, is the former capital and the second largest city next to Quezon City.

South of the Philippines passes the Wallace line is an imaginary line that marks a biogeographic boundary through Insulindia separating the regions of Asia and Australia. The line passes between the islands of Bali and Lombok, east of Java; it continues between Borneo, which it leaves to the west, and Celebes and passes to the south of the Philippines.


The local climate is hot, humid and tropical. Promedial annual temperature is about 26.5 ° C. Filipinos recognize three seasons: tag-init or tag-araw (the summer from March to May), tag-ulan (rainy season from June to November), and tag-lamig (the cold season from December to February). It is also a territory that regularly suffers from typhoons.

Flora and fauna

About 23.9% of the surface of the Philippines is covered by forest or bush. Among the trees are the banyan tree, different varieties of palm trees, trees from which rubber is extracted and many native trees of very hard woods such as the apitong, the yacal, the lauan, the camagón, the ipil, the white and red narra and the mayapis. Bamboo and cinnamon, clove, and pepper plants grow wild, as do numerous species of orchids.

One of the most valuable indigenous plants is abaca (or Manila hemp) a yanten whose fiber is used to make rope, textiles and hats. Mangroves and nipa palms grow in coastal swamps, and large areas of the highlands are covered by thick grasses of little value to livestock. Except for rodents, comparatively few varieties of mammals are found on the islands. The most important are the domesticated water buffalo (called carabao), various species of deer, wild and domesticated boars, mongooses and a characteristic species of cattle. There are also large numbers of reptiles and some 760 species of birds, including multi-colored parrots.

In the Philippines there is a large number of marine fauna in coastal waters, particularly mollusks. Pearl oysters abound in the Sulú archipelago, in the extreme south-west, whose pearls are very famous.


The economy of the Philippines is dominated by agriculture, although the industry has experienced considerable growth since 1945. According to the Constitution, all land and water are in the public domain and all natural resources are owned by the State, and only those Filipino citizens or organizations controlled by Filipino citizens can exploit them. The gross domestic product is 117,562 million dollars, which means a per capita income of 1,362.80 dollars. The estimated annual budget for 2006 was $ 19.005 million in revenue and $ 20.539 million in expenditures. Marine fishing is the main industry. Of 4,145,044 tonnes caught in 2005, 3,566,713 came from marine fishing; anchovies, tuna, squid, shrimp and crabs are the main species collected.


Education in the Philippines is free and compulsory for ages 6-12. Although Tagalog is taught in the early grades and local dialects are used, English is the primary language of instruction. 96.3% of the adult population can read and write. According to data from the year 2000, 12.8 million students are enrolled in primary schools and 5.39 million attend secondary schools.

Approximately 2.47 million students are enrolled in universities and colleges, including: the University of the Philippines (1908), in Quezon City; the University of Adamson (1932), the University of the East (1946), the University of the Far East (1928), the University of Feati (1946), and the University of Santo Tomás (1611).


In the Philippines there are 13 official languages:

  • 2 national official languages
    • Philippine
    • English
  • 8 regional official languages
    • bicolane
    • cebuano
    • hiligueina
    • ilocano
    • pampango
    • pangasinense
    • tagalog
    • samareño
  • 3 optional official languages
    • Spanish
    • Arab
    • Japanese

The two official languages across the nation are the Filipino language (based on Tagalog, English, and some modified words from Spanish) and the English language (due to the United States holding the Filipino population enslaved between 1898 and 1946).

8 indigenous languages derived from Malay and Chabacano are also spoken, the latter a Creole language derived from Spanish and spoken mainly in the city of Zamboanga. Both have legal recognition.

The constitution also optionally and voluntarily promotes Arabic, Spanish and Japanese.

Spanish heritage

In the Philippines there are many words and expressions that trace their origins to the Spanish language:

  • bwenas notches (‘good night’)
  • kumusta ka? (‘how are you?’)
  • gwapo (‘handsome’)
  • university (‘university’)
  • hepe (‘boss’)
  • kumpisal (‘confess’)
  • dalanghita (‘naranjita’) (tangerine)
  • silya (chair)
  • kabayo (horse)
  • relos (watch)
  • flour (flour)
  • hours (hours)
  • kotse (car)
  • saklolo (relief)
  • gobiyerno (government)
  • luku-loko (crazy)
  • but (but)
  • porke (because)
  • pwersa (strength)
  • gwapo (handsome)
  • kwento (tale)
  • pwesto (position)
  • nweba (new)
  • o – o
  • Pilipinas (Philippines)


The existence of a varied number of different languages, dialects and religious traditions has meant that the Filipinos have not developed a single national culture. For many centuries, the evolution of the cultural history of the Philippines has been local in nature, enriched with influences from China, Malaysia, Spain and the United States. Indigenous folk elements found expression in literature and music, as well as in other cultural forms.


Traditional sports include arnis, a type of fencing with wooden sticks, and sipa, a game much like volleyball, except that players use both their feet and their hands and arms. Cockfighting and boxing are very popular, and American cultural influence can be seen in the popularity of baseball and basketball.

Philippines State Overview

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