The Philippines

The Philippines (The Republic of the Philippines)

Is the second-largest archipelago in the world and is one of the great treasures of Southeast Asia.

It is classified as an Island country with an  area of 115,831 sq mi (316,294 sq km). The country’s capital is Manila.

Filipinos are predominantly of Malay descent, frequently with Chinese and sometimes American or Spanish ancestry. Languages: Filipino (Pilipino) and English (both official); the other main groups are Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, and Bicol.

Currency: Philippine piso (peso).

The Philippines consist of about 7,107 islands and islets. The two principal islands are Luzon in the north and Mindanao in the south. The Visayan group is in the central Philippines.

Philippines is a great place to escape the hordes who descend on other parts of Southeast Asia. First and foremost, the Philippines is a place of natural wonders – a string of coral-fringed islands strewn across a vast expanse of the western Pacific. Below sea level, the Philippines boasts some of the world’s best diving and snorkelling, including wreck diving around Coron and swimming with the whale sharks off Donsol. Above sea level, it has a fantastic landscape with wonders enough to stagger even the most jaded traveller: the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, Banaue & The Rica Terraces and the fascinating reminders of the islands’ history in places such as Samar & Leyte and Vigan. And if you’re after palm-fringed, white-sand beaches, try laidback Sipalay, or flat-out party town Boracay.

And then there’s the food: Filipino cuisine is famously cross-cultural, with lumpia (vegetable-stuffed rolls) of the Southeast Asian tradition and pansit noodles derived from Chinese cooking, alongside many dishes with a European or Hispanic flair. The de facto national dish is lechon (suckling pig roasted on a spit), hailed by Anthony Bourdain as the king of all pig dishes worldwide.

Filipinos are famous for the close family ties, and this goes even for the Filipinos mixed with other Asian or European ancestry.  The primary social welfare system for the Filipino is the family.

Filipinos themselves are among the most ebullient and easygoing people anywhere. 

 

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