The Philipines have been home to many people over the course of human history. The indigenous population was soon followed by traders from mainland Asia, who themselves were followed by Europeans seeking new markets and resources. A possession of Spain until the 19th century, the Phillipines found itself ruled by the United States until World War II, at which time it faced Japanese occupation until the end of the war.
The current sovereign nation was a founding member of the United Nations, it is one of the most populous nations on Earth as well as one of the major emerging economies of the Pacific.
Quick Facts about The Philippines
- Three of the ten biggest shopping malls in the world are located in the Philippines.
- The Philippines was the first nation in Southeast Asia to gain its independence after World War II.
- The Philippines is the only Asian country with a majority Christian population.
- The world's longest reptile, the Reticulated Python, is native to the Philippines.
- About one-quarter of all the nurses in the world are from the Philippines.
As a nation of islands, the Philippines does not share land borders with any nation. It does, however, share maritime borders with Taiwan, Japan, Palau, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. It borders the Philippine Sea on the east, the South China Sea on the west, and the Celebes Sea to the Southwest.
The nation of the Philipines is composed of 7,461 separate islands. The total land area of the country is around 115,831 square miles, making it the fifth-largest country in the world. Its massive number of islands also gives the Philippines the fifth-longest coastline in the world. The biggest of the islands in the country is Luzon, with an area of 42,458 square miles. Luzon is the 15th-largest island on Earth.
There are over 180 languages spoken in the Philippines, though the dominate language is Filipino. Alongside Filipino in official status is English, a holdover from the country's time as an American territory. It should be noted that the vast majority of Filipinos speak Filipino exclusively, even though English is largely a language of the government.
Spanish is still a very popular foreign language in the country owing to its heritage, though, and several Asian languages such as Chinese and Korean are widely spoken here as well.
Weather & Climate
The weather in the Philippines can be divided into three seasons. The first is a hot, dry summer that stretches from March to May. The next is a rainy season that lasts from June to November. From December to February, the weather tends to be cooler and mild.
Regardless of the time of year, the Philipines tens to be quite humid. The average temperature in the country is around eighty degrees Fahrenheit, with storms likely during the later months of the year.
Type of Government
Historically, the government of the Philippines can most accurately be described as unstable. There have been issues with corruption, incidents of presidents ruling via decree, and even a brief period of dictatorial rule.
The government of the Philippines today is described as a presidential constitutional republic. In this system, the constitution outlines the role of each branch of the government. The president is the head of state and the head of the government. The bicameral Congress, which consists of a House of Representatives and a Senate, serves as the legislative branch while the primary judicial power of the country is held by the Supreme Court.
Filipino and English
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