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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.


Some 80% of Filipinos are Catholic. About 15% are Moslem. The rest are made up of smaller Christian denominations and Buddhist.


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.


  • 3 dead in flooding; thousands displaced
    Torrential monsoon rains worsened by Tropical Storm Mario flooded large swathes of Metro Manila and nearby provinces Friday, leaving at least three people dead and displacing tens of thousands just days after the region was drenched by a typhoon. Authorities said more than 470,000 residents of Metro Manila and other provinces were affected in severely inundated communities.

  • Nalzaro: Time to act on the flooding problem
    AFTER we experienced flooding the other day due to the heavy downpour spawned by tropical storm Mario, Metro Manila went through the same experience yesterday. But the flooding there was worse compared with ours.

  • Aquino witnesses signing of LRT 1 service pact
    PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has witnessed the signing of a technical service agreement between RATP Developpement and the Light Rail Manila Consortium for the operations and maintenance of Light Rail Transit Line 1. The agreement, signed between RATP Developpement President Pierre Mongin, and Jose Ma. Lim, President and CEO of the Metro Pacific Investments Corp., at the Philippines-France Business Forum at Intercontinental Paris Le Grand Hotel in France, aims to provide operation and maintenance service and technical advice and expertise relating to the operations and maintenance of the Manila LRT 1 Cavite Extension, Operation and Maintenance Project.

  • Philippines pulls its UN peacekeepers from the Golan Heights early as security worsens
    Manila orders its force of UN peacekeepers out of the Golan Heights on the border between Israel and Syria 'because of the deteriorating security situation', military spokesman says Filipino peacekeeper trainees at a training center in Capas town, Tarlac province, north of Manila earlier this month. Photo: AFP The Philippines has pulled its peacekeepers from the Golan Heights ahead of schedule amid worsening security there, a military spokesman said Friday.

  • Philippines Shuts Capital on Severe Flood; Flights Scrapped
    The Philippines shut government offices, financial markets and schools in the capital and nearby areas as Storm Fung-Wong dumped rains and caused widespread flooding. Fung-Wong, locally known as Mario, has made landfall over Cagayan province in northern Philippines, with maximum winds of 85 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 100 kph, the weather bureau said.

  • Tropical storm flooding shuts down Philippine capital
    Filipino residents on a makeshift raft wade on floodwater brought by Typhoon Fung-Wong in Marikina city, east of Manila, the Philippines, 19 September 2014.EPA/Francis R. Malasig MANILA: Heavy rains brought by the outer bands of Tropical Storm Fung-Wong shut down the Philippine capital Manila on Thursday, stranding motorists and forcing tens of thousands to flee their flooded homes, officials said. A major river burst its banks on Manila's heavily populated eastern districts, while other parts of the sprawling metropolis and the region north of the capital also suffered widespread flooding, though no casualties were reported.

  • It's Haiyan All Over Again As Philippines Grapples With Heavy Rain, Floods
    A fisherman secures his boat as Typhoon Rammasun hits the coastal town of Imus, Cavite southwest of Manila, July 16, 2014. Philippine authorities evacuated almost 150,000 people from their homes and shuttered financial markets, government offices, businesses and schools on Wednesday as typhoon Rammasun gathered strength and hit the capital, Manila.

  • US gov rallies industry to join mission to Indonesia and the Phillipines
    Pharma service companies looking to access the growing Philippine and Indonesian markets have been invited to join a Public-Private trade mission by the US Department of Commerce. The International Trade Administration of the US Department of Commerce issued a notice today calling for representatives from a variety of US-based healthcare industry manufacturers - including drug delivery devices and lab equipment makers - and service providers to join a Trade Mission to Manila, Philippines and Jakarta, Indonesia, early next year.

  • DTI sets trade exposition in Zambo City
    THE Department of Trade and Industry will hold a four-day trade fair in Zamboanga City to feature the region's finest products. Dr. Sitti Amina Jain, DTI regional director, said the fair dubbed as the 2014 Zamboanga Peninsula Trade Exposition will be held from October 8 to 11. Jain said the Zampex 2014 is a great venue for local businessmen to promote their products that will be identified with the Zamboanga Peninsula.

  • Going natural
    WHILE everybody is going instant in skin care and health, Lee Eun Young Nature Care Center offers the basic and natural way of treating our skin and body. After opening its first clinic last 2011 at FTC Tower, located along Mt.

  • Alleged Pastor gunman indicted despite recantation
    The Department of Justice , in an 8-page resolution released on Thursday, recommended the indictment for murder of Police Officer 2 Edgar Angel, the alleged gunman in the killing of international race car driver Enzo Pastor. This, despite Angel's recantation of his two separate extrajudicial confessions that he was the gunman who killed Pastor last June 12 in Quezon City.

  • Pope's visit will change Philippines, Cardinal Tagle hopes
    Manila, Philippines, Sep 18, 2014 / 12:47 am .- Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines in January will be an opportunity to lead the Church in the country down "new roads in the faith and in the mission," said Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila. "Pope Francis' pastoral visit, centered on mercy and compassion, will undoubtedly offer great opportunities to experience grace, to hear a call, to question our comfortable surroundings, to value the poor, renew society, care for creation and live honorably," the cardinal said in a letter to Catholics of the Philippines.

  • Megaworld eyeing Bacolod properties
    NEGROS Occidental Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson confirmed on Wednesday that property giant Megaworld, owned by tycoon Andrew Tan, is negotiating with Sta. Clara Estate in Bacolod City for a possible joint venture.

  • Interior designers group joins Realty Fair 2014
    "The Cebuano market is a good niche for design and every Filipino deserves a really good space. That is why we create trendy and functional space for all - from low end to high end," said Hermie Ray Oplado, president of the Philippine Institute of Interior Design -Cebu Chapter.

  • Investment gab set on Friday
    IT is all systems go for the staging of the first Southern Mindanao Growth Corridor Investment Forum this Friday at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao. The investment forum is spearheaded by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc. - Davao, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc. and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Mindanao Inc. .

  • Balili River still - dead'
    Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau spokesperson Susan Nool revealed this in a water forum held at University of the Philippines-Baguio on September 17. Nool explained while Balili, being a water quality management area , has improved in terms of raising awareness and involving the stakeholders from the academe and communities in the coalition to rehabilitate it, the efforts are still not enough to improve it biologically. Last year, a research of the UP Baguio on the Balili River found it biologically dead.

  • JPark to expand to Luzon
    GRAND LAUNCH. JPark Island Resort president Justin S. Uy talks during the grand launch of the resort, formerly known as Imperial Palace.

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