The Philippines Islands are a cluster of more than 7000 islands, lying north
of the Malay Peninsula in South East Asia. The Philippines is a developing democratic republic located in Southeast
Asia. Philippines is of volcanic origin, it has
more than 20 active volcanoes. English is widely spoken in the
Philippines, and most signs are in English.Tourist facilities are available within
population centers and the main tourist areas.
The 7000-odd islands that comprise the Philippines are the forgotten islands
of southeast Asia. Off the main overland route and with a recent history of
martial law and endemic corruption, the country has struggled to attract
tourists in the numbers many of its southeast Asian neighbours have.
The Philippines are entirely within the tropical zone. Manila, with a mean
daily temperature of 26. 4° C, is typical of the climate of the
lowland areas : hot, humid, and enervating.
A large part of the terrain is mountainous; the volcanic eruptions in the
area have given the Philippines, fertile soils and spectacular landscapes and
underwater areas. Unfortunately, deforestation and uninhibited harvesting of
both flora and marine life have deprived the Philippines of its once rich and
The fertile lowlands of the islands provide crops of rice, coconuts, corn,
sugarcane, bananas, pineapples and mangoes. Pork, eggs, beef and an abundant
supply of fish are also produced. Industries center around textiles,
pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, petroleum refining
For connoisseurs of beaches, the central Visayan
region is an island-hoppers' paradise, with white sand everywhere and unspoiled
fishing barrios where there's nothing to do at night except watch the fireflies,
listen to the geckos, and perhaps share a bottle of local Tanduay rum. Palawan ,
one hour to the southwest of Manila by plane or an overnight journey by ferry,
is an unforgettable wilderness of diamond-blue lagoons, volcanic lakes and
first-rate scuba diving. In the Cordillera Mountains of the far north live
tribes who make propitiatory offerings to rice gods and whose way of life has
barely changed since they first settled there around 500BC. One of the few
concessions they have made to modernity is to give up headhunting.
Then, of course, there are the Filipinos
themselves. It has become hackneyed to describe the Philippines
as the land where Asia wears a smile, but there's no denying it's true.
Filipinos are a gregarious and accommodating lot. Graciousness and warmth seem
to be built into their genes. English is widely spoken, even in the provinces,
and everywhere you go you will be greeted with the honorific "ma'am"
or "sir".Filipinos are also passionate, sometimes
hot-headedly so. They love food, they love life and they love romance.