Republic of the Philippines Geography
The Philippines extend 1,152 miles (1,855 km) from North to South, between Taiwan and Borneo, and 688 miles (1,108 km) from East to West, and are bounded by the Philippine Sea on the east, the Celebes Sea on the south, and the South China Sea on the West. They comprise three natural divisions—the northern, which includes Luzon and attendant islands; the central, occupied by the Visayan Islands and Palawan and Mindoro; and the southern, encompassing Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. In addition to Manila, other important centers are Quezon City, also on Luzon; Cebu, on Cebu Island; Iloilo, on Panay; Davao and Zamboanga, on Mindanao; and Jolo, on Jolo Island in the Sulu Archipelago.
The Philippines are chiefly of volcanic origin. Most of the larger islands are traversed by mountain ranges, with Mt. Apo (9,690 ft/2,954 m), on Mindanao, the highest peak. Narrow coastal plains, wide valleys, volcanoes, dense forests, and mineral and hot springs further characterize the larger islands. Earthquakes are common. Of the navigable rivers, Cagayan, on Luzon, is the largest; there are also large lakes on Luzon and Mindanao.
The Philippines are entirely within the tropical zone. Manila, with a mean daily temperature of 79.5°F (26. 4°C), is typical of the climate of the lowland areas—hot and humid. The highlands, however, have a bracing climate; e.g., Baguio, the summer capital, on Luzon, has a mean annual temperature of 64°F (17.8°C). The islands are subject to typhoons, whose torrential rains can cause devastating floods
Area: 300,000 sq km
80 provinces; 7,250 islands, of which over 700 are inhabited, 11 of which contain the vast bulk of the population. The largest are Luzon (116,000 sq km) in the north and Mindanao (102,000 sq km) in the south. Over 75% mountains; prone to devastating typhoons.
Population: 93,616,853 Annual Growth: 1.83%
HDI Rank: 105 of 182 (UN Human Development Reports 2009) People
Peoples: 189 people groups
The great majority of the people of the Philippines belong to the Malay group and are known as Filipinos. Other groups include the Negritos (negroid pygmies) and the Dumagats (similar to the Papuans of New Guinea), and there is a small Chinese minority. The Filipinos live mostly in the lowlands and constitute one of the largest Christian groups in Asia. The official languages are Filipino, based on Tagalog, and English; however, some 70 native languages are also spoken.
Official language: Filipino (based on Tagalog), English
Languages: 181 total languages
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