Travel Guides: Philippines
Philippines is a country in Southeast Asia, in the Pacific Ocean, including the archipelago with the same name.
In the Philippines you can find plenty of natural wonders – the spectacular waterfalls, beautiful beaches, rice terraces, corals which hold a rich aquatic life. The true wonder of nature in the Philippines is on its people, who do not like solitude and want the company of other people all the time. This spirit of being united with each other, it extends to visitors who come here. Rarely will you find a people who smiles, laughs and jokes, hooked up with tourists. If you think that the most important in a trip is to make friends and learn about people, rather than to visit temples and museums, then certainly the Philippines is the country you should visit. Philippines is a country where tourists will feel safe.
In 1521, Fernando Magellan landed in Cebu and Matacan and inaugurated the era of Spanish conquest (in 1571 was formed the city of Manila). In 1898, the state proclaimed its independence. The Paris Peace Treaty of 1898, which ends the Spanish-American War, gives the state to the United States, which stifles the movement for national liberation in 1901. In 1935 the country elected the first national president, Manuel Luis Quezon. The archipelago is occupied between 1942 and 1945 by Japanese troops. On 4 July 1946, it is proclaimed an independent republic. President Ferdinand E. Marcos (1965-1986) has a policy of economic and social modernization, but also an authoritarian regime. In 1983 Benigno S. Aquino is assassinated, Jr., an opposition leader. After the resignation of Ferdinand Marcos, is elected President (1986 and 1992) Corazon Aquino, the widow of the assassinated leader.
Philippines is divided into 81 provinces, each divided into 17 regions. The country is composed of about 7,100 islands, the largest being Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The landscape is mountainous and volcanic. The country is in an active seismic region of intense volcanism being included in the Pacific Circle of Fire. Main cities are: Manila (capital); Quezon City (the largest city). Philippines’ climate is tropical. The country has equatorial forests (containing mahogany, coconut, banana, bamboo) and mangrove vegetation on the shore. Since the early ’90s of the twentieth century, the Philippines is implementing a very comprehensive program of economic restructuring. Natural resources: exploiting of gold, platinum, iron ore, chromium, manganese, copper, zinc, mercury and coal.
The industry produces electricity, cars, televisions, refrigerators, timber, furniture and canned fish. They grow corn, sugar cane, bananas, coffee, cacao, abaca, sisal, raffia, tobacco and copra. Area: 300,000 sq km. Population: 62.898.000 inhabitants. The capital and largest city: Manila 1.876.195 inhabitants. Languages spoken: Filipino (derived from a Malaysian dialect) and English. Imported products: oil, car parts, vehicles, textiles. The exported products are: appliances, clothes, coconut oil, minerals, sugar and timber. Official currency: Peso (1 U.S. dollar = 100 pesos). State type: republic. Located about 1,000 km off the coast of south-east Asia, Philippines consists of 7100 islands, 90% of which are inhabited and many have not yet a name.
Luzon is the largest (104.688 km) and Mindano in south is the second largest (94630 km). Other islands that are inhabited are: Samar, Negros, Lite, Mindoro, Bohol, Cebu, Masbate. The islands are volcanic and hilly. Energy: 53% of electricity comes from power plants, hydro 33% and 14% of geothermal power plants. The farms employ 47% of the workforce being only 26% of the cultivated area and 4% pastures. The climate is tropical and marine. The wet period is between July and October when monsoon winds blow from the south and between August and October are typhoons. Annual amount of precipitation is 100 cm up to 500 cm on the coasts. The temperature in the mountains ranges of Manila is 25 degrees C to 29 degrees C in January and July. 38% of the country is covered by tropical forests mixed with over 30 species. Hardwood trees are used for constructions and furniture and timber exports are a source of income which is very important. Philippines is rich in minerals of nickel, zinc, copper, cobalt and coal. Luzon is the main source of minerals and the main island industries. By 1970 the industry was largely based on local production: forestry and fishing.
Philippines is home to a mixture of Spanish and Chinese. The largest city is Manila at the mouth of the Pasig River. It is the main industrial and administrative center and has very poor suburbs. The 1282 km of railway line and over 161000 km are the best networks in Asia. Air and sea traffic is important for the connection between the islands. There are 94 customs ports and 82 national airports. The main port is Manila but also Legazipi on Luzon and the Cagayan de Oro on Mindanao. The Philippine archipelago is famous for white sandy beaches, which are among the most beautiful beaches in the world. In the island of Mindanao in the south, a major tourist attraction is the Lake Sebu, located in the mountains at an altitude of 300 m, and there lives an indigenous tribe T’boli, in almost total isolation, which has preserved ancient culture and traditions.
Credit cards: they are widely accepted in restaurants, hotels and large shopping centers. Clothing: it is recommended light clothing, cotton throughout the year and in the rainy season waterproof clothes. Water: water is not drinkable, bottled water use is mandatory. Climate: wet season from June to September and the dry season from September to May. Temperature ranges between maximum and minimum from 31 degrees C to 24 degrees C. The ideal time for hiking is between December and May when temperatures are excessively high and rainfall is low. Information about visas: tourists need a visa to enter the country and a four months valid passport. Information about health in the Philippines: It is recommended vaccination against hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid, malaria and diphtheria. Avoid bathing, as in water is present the bacillus “bilharzias”.11