|Anthem||Lupang Hinirang (Chosen Land)
Watch on youtube (with lyrics in video description)
|Largest city||Quezon City|
|Government||Unitary presidential constitutional republic|
|Area||299,764 km2, 115,831 sq mi|
|Population||~ 92 million|
The Philippines is an archipelago comprising 7,107 islands. The country is located 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. To the south the Celebes Sea separates the Philippines from other islands of Indonesia. The Philippine Sea lies east of the country.
The capital city of the Philippines is Manila with a population of 1,660,714. It is the eleventh most populous metropolitan area in the world. The Greater Manila Area has a population of around 20 million. Still, the city of Manila is only the second largest city in the country. Its largest city is Quezon City. It has an estimated population of 2,679,450 people.
Society and culture
Philippine culture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. There are elements of the Asian culture, but also Spanish and American influences.
By 2009, the Philippines became the world's 12th most populous nation with a population of over 92 million. It is estimated that half of the population resides on the island of Luzon. The population's median age is 22.7 years. Filipinos generally belong to several Asian ethnic groups, for example to the Tagalog, the Cebuano, the Ilocano and the Hiligaynon Ilongg. There are also indigenous peoples like the Igorot, the Lumad and the Mangyan.
There are 171 individual languages in the Philippines. According to the constitution, Filipino and English are the official languages. Both languages are used in government, education, print, broadcast media and business.
More than 90% of the population are Christians. About 80% belong to the Roman Catholic Church while 10% belong to other Christian denominations. Between 5% and 10% of the population are Muslim. Philippine traditional religions are still practised by many aboriginal and tribal groups.
Government and politics
The Philippines is a constitutional republic. The President functions as both head of state and head of government. The current president is Benigno S. Aquino III. He is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The bicameral Congress is composed of the Senate, serving as the upper house, and the House of Representatives, serving as the lower house. The judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court.
The Philippine economy has changed from one based on agriculture to one based on services and manufacturing. Primary exports include electronic products, transport equipment, petroleum products, coconut oil, fruits and others. Major trading partners include China, Japan, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong and some more. The unemployment rate stood at around 7.6% in July 2009.