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Official languagesEnglish, Filipino
CapitalManila
Form of governmentPresidential Republic
PresidentGloria Macapagal Arroyo
surface300,000 km²
population84.525.639
Population density282 inhabitants per km²
independencefrom the USA on July 4, 1946
currencyPhilippine peso
Time zoneUTC +8
License PlateRP
prefix+63
The Philippines, with its 7,107 islands, is an interesting and popular travel destination. Around 1,000 islands are inhabited. Around 2,500 smaller islands don't even have a name. Only 11 islands have an area of ​​more than 2,500 km². The largest islands are Luzon, Mindanao, Samar, Negros, Mindoro, Panay and Palawan.

The Philippines offer you a unique variety of exotic landscapes, from inaccessible mountain regions to tropical forests to countless lakes and rivers. You can find picture book dream beaches on almost every island. For divers, the coasts are a true underwater paradise with an indescribably beautiful and diverse flora and fauna.

Manila is the capital of the Philippines and includes the former cities of Manila and Quezon City. Manila consists of several districts with banks, administrative buildings and shopping centers (e.g. Makati) and old, narrow, densely populated, traditional districts (e.g. Quiapo), in which tourists are less likely to get lost.
Only a few remnants of the long Spanish colonial rule have been preserved, as the oldest district of Intramuro was largely destroyed in World War II when the Philippines was occupied by Japan.

Those looking for a special adventure can dare to climb the islands' occasionally active volcanoes, such as the Taal, which is just south of the capital. However, such a company is not entirely safe.

In the interior of the country, in contrast to many other countries in Southeast Asia, you will not find any magnificent buildings from the heyday of Buddhism and Hinduism, but instead old Spanish churches and much older rice terraces. The extensive rice terraces are located in the north of the island of Luzon, near Banaue. Some of the local mountain people still live there in their traditional houses.
Many other traditions, such as the weaving of colored cloths, the bronze casting and the production of rice schnapps, were preserved. Gold mining has a long tradition in this region that goes back well before the Spanish era. Quite a few mountain residents still wear the typical protective helmets used by miners as headdresses.

The Republic of the Philippines (Republika ng Pilipinas, English Republic of the Philippines; the name is derived from the Spanish King Philip II) is located in the western Pacific Ocean and belongs to Southeast Asia. The South China Sea separates the archipelago from Vietnam in the west, the Celebes Sea from Indonesia in the south. The archipelago, which extends from latitude 5 ° to 21 ° north and longitude 117 ° to 126 ° east, forms the fifth largest island nation in the world after Indonesia, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea and Japan.

Cities: Manila (agglomeration) (approx. 17 million registered inhabitants, whereby approx. 2-3 million should be added who live illegally in Manila (rural exodus), Quezon City, Caloocan, Davao City, Cebu City; see also the List of cities in the Philippines.
Languages: 55% Filipino (derived from Tagalog), 28% Tagalog, 25% Cebuano and other local languages; also English, Spanish and Chinese, whereby in contrast to other Asian countries the English language has become very widespread.
Religion: 84% Catholics, 5% Muslims, also Protestants, Buddhists and followers of indigenous religions
National holiday: June 12th and July 4th