MAP OF THE PHILIPPINES
The Philippines is an archipelago of approximately 7,107 islands. The official name is the Republic of the Philippines. It is located in the western side of the Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia. Surrounding it are the Philippine Sea, South China Sea, Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea. Its neighboring countries are Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. The country has a size of approximately 300,000 sq kilometers or over 115,000 sq miles, making it the 73rd largest country in the world. The country is divided into three major geographical divisions, namely: Luzon (north), Visayas (central) and Mindanao (south), with Manila as its capital. Luzon is the largest, followed by Mindanao, with Visayas the smallest.
The topography of the Philippines is mostly mountainous. Being a group of islands, it is also comprised of coastal lowlands, which ranges from narrow to large. With these islands being broken up by a body of water, the country has one of the longest coastlines in the world. The islands are also volcanic in origin with the country being part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. All the islands are prone to earthquakes. The five active volcanoes are: Pinatubo, Taal, Canlaon, Mayon and Ragang. The highest point is Mount Apo in Mindanao with an elevation of 9,690 ft.
The climate of the country can be described as tropical marine with it being relatively warm and tropical the year round. It is generally classified into rainy or wet season and dry season. The southwest monsoon (May to October) brings heavy rains, while the northwest monsoon (November to April) brings drier and cooler air. The country experiences an onslaught of strong typhoons typically from July until October since it sits on a typhoon belt. On the average, around 15 typhoons hit the country every year.
With the current population at over 99 million, it is the 12th largest in the world in terms of population, and 7th in Asia. With its population growth of more of more than 2%, it is one of the highest in Asia. More than half of the population resides in Luzon, followed by Mindanao, with Visayas having the least. The median age is 21 years old, which means that half of the population is below 21 years old. Divided into ethnicity, the Tagalogs are the largest, the Cebuanos are second, and the Ilocanos third. Following them are the Bisayas, Ilongos, Bicolanos, Warays and the rest of the ethnic groups.
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