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Philippine Islands

Details About the Philippine Islands - A Rich Scenic Archipelago

Philippine Islands is an archipelago, well-known for its rich and varied heritage. The picturesque islands along with the hospitable Filipinos make the Philippine Islands a must-visit tourist destination...
Vacayholics Staff
Last Updated: Mar 9, 2018
Philippines is an archipelago located in South East Asia which encompasses 7,107 islands and islets. However, of the 7,107 existing islands only 2000 islands have been inhabited. These islands are categorized under the three island groups namely: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
  • Luzon forms the largest and the northernmost part of the country, and houses the country's capital and largest city, Manila. It is also the world's fifteenth largest and the fifth most populous island. Luzon is economically and politically the most important island of the country as it leads Philippines, both in industry as well as agriculture.
  • Visayas forms the central portion of the Philippines archipelago and comprises a cluster of islands. It is the most popular part of the country and is well-known among tourists due to its rich natural resources. Its central location makes it an important economic and political link between Luzon and Mindanao.
  • Mindanao, the second largest island of the Philippines after Luzon, completes the Philippine archipelago by forming its southernmost part. It is endowed with rich mineral resources such as lead, zinc, iron, copper, gold, chromite and magnetite. Nearly half of its gold reserves are accounted from Mindanao's gold mines.
Geographical Location
Philippines forms the northernmost part of the Malay archipelago and is enveloped by the Pacific Ocean on the east, the South China Sea on the west, the Bashi Channel which separates it from Taiwan in the north and the Celebes Sea in the south. The total land area of Philippines is 300,000 square kilometers of which about 298,170 square kilometers corresponds to the land area, while the remaining 1,830 square kilometers corresponds to the total water area. It has a coastline which stretches across 34,400 kilometers and is the world's fifth longest coastline.

Climate
Situated right above the equator, Philippines experiences an average temperature that varies from 24˚Celsius (about 75˚Fahrenheit) to 31˚Celsius (about 88˚Fahrenheit) with the humidity ranging from 70% to 85%. The climate throughout the year is warm and humid which gives Philippines one of the healthiest and favorable tropical climates in the world. Usually, the weather is cool during the months of November to February with a striking contrast of heat and dryness from March to May.

The weather conditions experienced across the country are different and dependent on the type of winds that cross the islands. For example, the northeast monsoon winds blowing during the period of October to January, the trade winds from February to April and the southwest monsoon winds from May to September. Typically, the rainy season is spread across the months from May to November. However, the months between June to October experience the rainiest of days.

Natural Beauty
Philippines' rare scenic beauty and alluring natural environment gave it the title: "Pearl of Oriental Beauty and Enchantment". Just like rubies, diamonds, emeralds etc. studded in a crown enhance the beauty of the crown; so also the numerous mountains, lakes, rivers, caves, beaches, volcanoes, extensive coral reefs and waterfalls that are spread across the Philippine islands, enhance the beauty of the country. Philippines possesses one of the richest collections of corals in the world. Thousands of tourists visit Philippines every year just to enjoy the country's scenic beauty.

People and Language
Philippines is not only known for its natural beauty but also for the warmhearted and compassionate Filipinos who welcome the tourists with open arms. Rarely, do we find people who find such pleasure in associating with tourists from the West. Filipinos are a blend of different cultures and comprise mainly of Malays with a few Chinese, American, Spanish and Arab additions. Pilipino is the formal, native language of the country, with English as the informal one.

Calamities and Disasters
Philippines was termed as the fourth-most accident-prone country in the world by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in their global report. The number of casualties were studied for the period of 1991 to 2000. Philippines ranked fourth after China, India and Iran. Philippines would have ranked second had it not been for its small population. Some of the natural calamities encountered are:

Volcanic activities: Since these islands lie on the northwestern borders of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Philippines encounters a large amount of seismic and volcanic activities. There are more than 18 active volcanoes across the Philippines, which result into approximately 20 (too weak to be felt) earthquakes being registered everyday. June 1991, viewed the century's second largest volcanic eruption from Mount Pinatubo situated in the Zambales province (central plains of Northern Luxon). The eruption released around 15 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the earth's atmosphere, thereby killing thousands of people. Besides all the destruction caused by the volcanic eruptions over the years, they have also contributed positively in various ways. The frequent eruptions paved the way for the country's rich-fertile soil, lush greenery, breathtaking landscapes and underwater areas.

Earthquakes: In 1990, an earthquake of magnitude 7.8, was recorded on the Richter scale, which left Luzon islands of Philippines devastated. The catastrophe claimed lives of around 1600 people and was one of the most costliest and lethal natural calamities in Philippines.

Sinking coastal areas: Geologists from the University of the Philippines' National Institute of Geological Sciences reported that the lowland regions such as Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela and several towns in Bulacan, Pampanga and Bataan sank one meter in the last 30 years. They held excessive extraction of groundwater by the thriving population responsible for the speedy rise in the water levels.

Typhoons: Typhoons are quite common in Philippines and may occur at anytime of the year. However, the maximum number of typhoons can be seen during the rainy season. The intensity, number and path of the typhoons change every year. However, an average of 25 typhoons are recorded every year all across the country.

Although Philippines encounters these natural calamities, don't let this stop you from visiting this wonderful island country. It's worth the risk! Philippines has many interesting facts that are hidden in those numerous islets. Go, unravel and experience the magic of Philippines firsthand!
Typhoon Environment
Philippines Waterfall
Luzon Philippines
Map of Philippines
Waterfalls In The Philippines Photo