Penatubo Volcano

Village Vegetable Market

Philippine Children

Angol Village

Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam.
68 million (growth rate 2.5 percent).
Conditions vary. Basically, there is a three-season year: hot, wet and cool. During the winter, November through February, it is usually cold in the north and mild in the south. It begins to get hot around mid-March and usually lasts till the monsoons begin in early July.
The Philippines is the only Christian country in Asia. Over 90 percent of the population claim to follow Christian faiths. The largest of these groups is Roman Catholic with 83 percent. Protestants make up only 9 percent. The largest of the minority religious groups are the Muslims (5 percent), who live chiefly on Mindanao and in the Sulu archipelago. There is also a Philippine Independence Church, some Buddhists and a small number of animists (3 percent).
Pilipino (Tagalog) and English plus numerous widely spoken indigenous languages and some Spanish.
The Philippines consists of 7,107 islands in the western Pacific Ocean, only 2,000 of which are inhabited. Luzon and Mindanao are by far the largest, and comprise roughly 66% of the country's area. Only about 1,000 islands are larger than one sq km and 2,500 aren't even named. The Philippines' nearest neighbors are Taiwan (north), Eastern Malaysia and Brunei (southwest), and Indonesia (south).
The archipelago has a volcanic topography and experiences frequent seismic activity. There are 37 volcanoes in the archipelago and the highest peak is Mt Apo (2,954m) in Mindanao. About half the country is under cultivation and about a third remains forested, despite tree-felling and slash-and-burn agriculture. There are more than 1,000 species of birds and animals, notably wild dwarf buffalo, mouse deer, crocodiles and pythons. There are over 10,000 species of trees, shrubs and ferns, the most common of which are palms and bamboos.
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