Philippines

 

The Philippines is defined by its emerald rice fields, teeming mega-cities, graffiti-splashed jeepneys, smouldering volcanoes, bug-eyed tarsiers, fuzzy water buffalo and smiling, and their happy-go-lucky people. It is surprising when travelling to the Philippines, to find a destination where clerics take the place of Buddhist monks, tricycles replace the tuk tuks and marinade replaces the pho. The destination offers the chance to swim with whale sharks, climb volcanoes, explore deserted islands, enjoy the view of the ancient rice terraces, diving in special enclaves or venture into the jungle to meet tribes. The Philippines is a unique country, not only geographically talking but also culturally and spiritually. Its most obvious feature is its ingrained Catholicism, result of 350 years of Spanish rule; on the other hand, shopping centers, fast food chains and the use of English as the official language show the influence of his successor, United States. Perhaps by mixing these influences, the country boasts a unique character. Filipinos are warm and optimistic, and that attitude, captivates the visitor.

Official name

Republic of the Philippines

 

Political Regime

Unitary presidential constitutional republic

 

Surface

298.170 km²

 

Population

103.775.000 people.

 

Capital

Manila

 

Ethnic Groups

28,1% of the Filipinos are Tagalog, 13,1% Cebuano, 9% Ilocano, 7,6% Bisaya, 7,5% Hiligaynon, 6% Bikol, 3,4% Waray, and 25,3% as "others", which can be broken down further to yield more distinct non-tribal groups like the Moro, the Kapampangan, the Pangasinense, the Ibanag, the Ivatan and also some indigenous peoples like the Igorot, the Lumad, the Mangyan, the Bajau, and the tribes of Palawan.

 

Language

The official languages are Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English. In addition, there are a hundred ethnic-linguistic groups all belonging to the Malay-Polynesian, not mutually intelligible, 12 of which are important family in number (more than 1 million inhabitants). The most important local languages are Tagalog spoken in Metro Manila and central Luzon; ilocano spoken in northern Luzon; Cebuano in Cebu and Mindanao; the ilongo in parts of Visayas and chabacano, language derived from the Spanish spoken in the Zamboanga region and Cavite.

 

Religion

No confessional State. 80% of the population is Catholic, 5% is Muslim, 3% evangelical. Another 3% belongs to Filipino church of Christ.

 

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