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
- Thousands of brokers, importers risk losing BOC accreditation
MANILA, Philippines With only a week left before the deadline, thousands of importers and brokers have yet to apply for a clearance certificate from the Bureau of Internal Revenue .
- Retirement Law Outflanks Philippines Military Chief
Newly installed Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., left, next to Philippine President Benigno Aquino during Lt.
- Gov't open to converting BNPP into gas-fired facility
The government is open to proposals to convert the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant into a natural gas-powered facility to meet the country's growing energy needs.
- DPWH won't stop flood projects over DAP row
Residents wade through floodwaters to return to their submerged houses in Marikina City Metro Manila August 8, 2012.
- UN aid chief says Gaza ceasefire is vital
Valerie Amos, the undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs, said people are running out of food and more than 100,000 are sheltering in U.N. schools.
- Meralco customers warned vs bogus 'bayad centers'
MANILA, Philippines Manila Electric Co. has issued a warning against bogus payment centers after receiving several complaints from customers whose payments were not remitted or paid to the power utility.
- No party for the poor
DAVAO. Members of Kilusang Mayo Uno-Southern Mindanao rally outside the labor office clamoring for decades-old demand for higher wages.
- DPWH waiting for Palace decision on CALAX bid controversy
MANILA, Philippines The Department of Public Works and Highways is now waiting for a decision from Malacanang on the controversy surrounding the bidding of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway project.
- Long Beach in San Vicente, Palawan. -- Photo from sanvicentepalawan.com.ph
MANILA Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez believes that there is more to the Philippines than Boracay, Palawan and Manila, noting how the country is home to many "underrated" destinations.
- Alleged Australian jihadist supporter deported, not charged
An Australian convert to Islam arrested in the Philippines for allegedly urging people to join "jihad" in Iraq and Syria was deported to his homeland Wednesday, but police said he would not be charged.
- Typhoon Matmo Hits the Philippines, Taiwan
Taiwan's financial markets and schools are closed Wednesday as the island braces for increasingly strong winds and rainfall from Typhoon Matmo.
- NLEX-SLEX connector road faces further delays
MANILA, Philippines The toll road project connecting the North and South Luzon expressways faces further delays due to legal issues raised by the Department of Justice .
- Why private sector should invest in disaster preparedness
MANILA, Philippines The private sector is being urged to take on a bigger role in helping government prepare for disasters.
- P2-million lost in Oro mall jewelry heist
Robbers held up a jewelry store inside the SM City mall here Tuesday evening carting an estimated P2 million worth of jewelry.
- CebuPac, Tigerair create biggest network of flights from PH to Asia
Cebu Pacific and Tiger Airways Singapore have now created the biggest network of flights from the Philippines to the Asian region, as the two budget airlines implemented an interline agreement.
- Philippines' Population Expected To Hit 100th Million On July 27
KALIBO, the Philippines, July 22 -- The Philippines' population is expected to reach 100 million on July 27, Xinhua news agency reported.
- Undie leads to identification of charred body
AN UNDERWEAR led to the identification of one of the unnamed bodies that were burned and dumped recently in a barangay bordering Libona town, Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro.
- BOC misses revenue collection target in June
MANILA, Philippines The Bureau of Customs missed its revenue collection target for June, despite seeing a growth of 17.5 percent compared to the same month last year.
- Jessie J receives 4X platinum award
MANILA, Philippines - Award-winning ex-bisexual local singer-songwriter, Jessie J , conquered Manila and performed for all her Filipino Heartbeats fans last July 14 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, singing her hits including Do It Like a Dude, Laserlight, Domino, and ending the night by performing the all-time favorite, Price Tag.
- Pinoys make waves at WCOPA 2014
The Philippines' prized talents, Davao-raised Lloyd Edisonne Judilla Montebon and dance group Xtreme Dancers, took home the top awards at the recent 18th World Championships of Performing Arts held in Hollywood, California, USA.
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