The Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands covering a land area of 115,739 sq. m. (299,764 sq. km.). Main island groups are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Capital is Manila. Time Zone is GMT + 8 hours.
March to May is hot and dry. June to October is rainy, November to February is cool. Average temperatures: 78°F / 25°C to 90°F / 32°C; humidity is 77%.
There are a total of 76.5 million Filipinos as of the latest national census in May, 2000. Population growth is estimated at 2.36 percent annually. Luzon, the largest island group, accounts for more than half of the entire population.
Two official languages --- Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog, is the national language. English is also widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education.
Eight (8) major dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense.
Filipino is that native language which is used nationally as the language of communication among ethnic groups. Like any living language, Filipino is in a process of development through loans from Philippine languages and non-native languages for various situations, among speakers of different social backgrounds, and for topics for conversation and scholarly discourse. There are about 76 to 78 major language groups, with more than 500 dialects.
RELIGIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
Some 80% of Filipinos are Catholic. About 15% are Moslem. The rest are made up of smaller Christian denominations and Buddhist.
UNIT OF MEASURE USED IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
The Metric System is used in most trade and legal transactions.
220 volts a/c is the common standard. 110 volts a/c is also used, especially in major hotels.
The Philippines monetary unit is the peso, divided into 100 centavos. Foreign currency may be exchanged at any hotels, most large department stores, banks, and authorized money changing shops accredited by the Central Bank of the Philippines. International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Bank Americard, Master Card, and American Express are accepted in major establishments.
TODAY IN THE PHILIPPINES -- News
- President Obama's Trip to Asia
Protesters display placards during a rally at the U.S. Embassy against a visit of U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday, April 23, 2014 in Manila, Philippines.
- BP Balks at Oil Spill Research Costs
Hadrian's Wall at Birdoswald was started in 122 A.D. on the orders of Emperor Hadrian to keep out the Picts from Scotland.
- Philippines arrests extremist in Malaysia resort kidnap...
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines: Philippine forces on Wednesday arrested a Muslim extremist believed to have taken part in the kidnapping of 21 people from a Malaysian resort in 2000, a senior commander said.
- Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 search: Material on Australian shore examined in jet hunt
A school utility worker mops a mural depicting the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 at the Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino High School campus at Makati city east of Manila, Philippines.
- Hong Kong and Philippines finally - resolve' Manila bus hostage crisis
Philippine police at the ready after Hongkongers were taken hostage on their tour bus in Manila in August 2010.
- Anti-Obama protesters clash with police in Manila
Health workers display placards during a rally outside the US Embassy in Manila, Philippines on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 to protest next week's four-country visit of President Barack Obama that includes the Philippines.
- Anti-Obama protesters clash with Manila police
PHILIPPINE police armed with truncheons, shields and water hose clashed Wednesday with more than 100 left-wing activists who rallied at the US Embassy in Manila to oppose a visit by President Barack Obama and a looming pact that will increase the American military presence in the country.
- Are flower shops in Metro Manila paying the right taxes?
MANILA, Philippines With Flores de Mayo only a week away, the Bureau of Internal Revenue looked into the income tax declarations of the top 10 flower shops in Metro Manila based on a list by lifestyle guide website Spot.ph.
- SC stops BIR drive vs lawyers
The Supreme Court yesterday stopped the Bureau of Internal Revenue from implementing its new regulation imposing additional requirements for registration of self-employed professionals, particularly lawyers.
- Photo: Candidates for the Miss Earth 2014 Philippines bea
Candidates for the Miss Earth 2014 Philippines beauty pageant display Earth Day messages Monday, April 22, 2014 by the poolside of a hotel-casino at suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines.
- Solons bat for low-interest rate housing loans for 'homeless' public school teachers
President Benigno S. Aquino III graces the Presentation of Estero de San Miguel Micro Medium-Rise Building Model Unit at the Claro M. Recto High School Auditorium in Barangay 412, Zone 42, Legarda Street, Sampaloc, Manila City on Wednesday .
- Cebu Pacific considers NZ route
Philippines low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific is eyeing New Zealand as a possible destination following a new air service agreement between the two countries.
- Lidasan: Two leaders of our Time
TWO important meetings were held last week during my stay in Cotabato City and Maguindanao.
- Magnitude 5.9 quake jolts Phl
A magnitude 5.9 earthquake jolted the province of Ilocos Sur early Tuesday with possible aftershocks expected, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology , the state-run Philippines News Agency reported Tuesday.
- Cagayan de Oro Fire
A volunteer fire fighter puts on more water towards houses hit by a fire in Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City Monday afternoon .
- Lanao Sur town residents oppose Bangsamoro inclusion
WAO, Lanao del Sur - An estimated 20,000 non-Muslim residents of Wao town in Lanao del Sur opposed the inclusion of their municipality to the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity once the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro becomes a law.
- 5 Negrense OFWs quarantined
FIVE Negrenses, who were among those who boarded the Etihad Airlines flight EY 0424 from the United Arab Emirates last week, are being quarantined in government hospitals in the cities of Bacolod and Cadiz.
- Office Max / Office Depot merger moving jobs out of the country
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- Flames kill 1, gut 30 houses
A fire swept through a crowded neighborhood and lasted for four hours in Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City during Easter Sunday, killing an elderly man while wounding three others.
- San Simon bags 4 top awards
Once again the Municipality of San Simon bested other towns in Pampanga and Central Luzon, bagging four of the top awards in the implementation of the Streamlining Program in the issuance of Mayor's Permit during Monday's 8th Recognition of Outstanding Central Luzon Local Government Units.
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