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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.


  • Facebook shout outs as a call to action
    ONE of my Facebook friends Ray Cid wrote a post in which the "plant holders or pots" that are permanently cemented around the fence of the City Central School have never served their purpose. "On the contrary, it is hindering the flow of pedestrian traffic in the sidewalk.

  • Ex-cop charged for shooting man
    CHARGES were filed before the City Prosecution Office against a former police officer for shooting a man at GSIS subdivision in Matina, Davao City on Friday. Facing charges for frustrated murder and violation of the Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act is Esperlino Erfe Bello, a 63-year-old retired policeman.

  • For the Barkada Who Can't Get Enough of Steak And Ribs
    Because a girl's gotta eat, right? We found a place where you can get your fill for a reasonable price. Ever wanted to indulge in the best steaks and ribs at an affordable price? Then Beeffalo by Hotrocks is just the place for you! Take your family, your barkada, or your boyfriend out to dinner and be delighted by the delicious dishes this cozy resto has to offer.

  • 'Our land is being denied us'
    One of my tasks in my other role as International Spokesperson of the Cordillera Peoples' Alliance is to encourage Cordillera migrants to Canada to participate in the broad movement for social change in the Philippines. In the pursuit of that task, I need to go around the different cities of Canada where our "kakakilians" are located.

  • Davao needs 2 more bus terminals
    TWO more overland transport terminals are needed in Davao City to cater to the growing number of passengers traveling to and from the city. Alejandro J. Alilin, Davao City Overland Transport Terminal general manager who guested in Monday's edition of Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao, said a study is being conducted on the possibility of establishing a terminal each for northbound and southbound public transport.

  • Families of 58 killed in 2009 Philippine massacre demand swifter justice
    Five years after political killings in southern Philippines, relatives of the 58 dead fear case against clan leaders and others will drag on for years Journalists carry torches and display placards bearing the photos of victims of the massacre of 58 people, 32 of them journalists, as they march towards the Justice Department in Manila ahead of Sunday's 5th year commemoration of the massacre in Maguindanao, Southern Philippines. Photo: AP Five years after 58 people were killed in the Philippines' worst political massacre, anger among victims' relatives is building, with no one yet convicted and the alleged masterminds still enjoying power.

  • Unveiling Jess Ayco the artist
    VERY little is known about the artist and the man, Jess Ayco. I vaguely recall his name from when I was a little girl but it was sometime this year, at a premier of the movie Sonata, that his name resurfaced in my consciousness.

  • Typhoon victims home and dry as money pours in
    ABOUT A 9,000 was donated by people in Oxfordshire to the stricken victims of a typhoon in the Philippines. The money donated to the Philippines Typhoon Appeal run by CAFOD, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development to help people like Prospero and Elena Abuama.

  • P14-B infra budget for WV in 2015
    WESTERN Visayas has an allotment of P14 billion for infrastructure projects in 2015, said Department of Public Works and Highways Regional Director Edilberto Tayao. The amount will be divided among the six provinces of the region to fund public infrastructures, namely, the provinces of Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Guimaras and Negros Occidental and cities in the region.

  • Ex-village official, 2 others face raps
    A FORMER barangay kagawad and two others are now facing charges as authorities filed complaints against them before the City Prosecutor's Office Thursday. According to Senior Inspector Harvey Abellanosa, chief of the Detective Management Desk of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office , charged were Dan Donald Galvez, Allan Dumpas, and Rex Farly Caingin.

  • Community preparedness vital in fight vs...
    DAVAO City Health Officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte said Thursday that the community plays an important role in Ebola response and preparedness. "Community preparedness ang pinakaimportante kasi.

  • Family retrieves rebel's body
    THE body of the slain New People's Army member who died in an encounter with the military in a mountain village in Claveria, Misamis Oriental on November 18, was retrieved by his family Thursday, the Provincial Government said. The casualty, Francisco Manseguiao, 21 years old, who hailed from Sitio Lantad, Barangay Kibanban, Balingasag town, was killed when the military and insurgents figured in a firefight somewhere in Barangay Minalwang, Claveria.

  • Image of Asia: Countdown to...
    Filipino Victor Albano, 39, works on a small nativity house which he would sell for 500 peso at his makeshift stall as people begin shopping for Christmas decorations in Manila, Philippines, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Christmas is one of the most important holidays in this predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

  • Image of Asia: Countdown to Christmas
    A new blast of lake-effect snow began pounding Buffalo on Thursday, piling more misery on a city already buried by an epic, deadly snowfall that could leave some areas with more than 8 feet of snow on the ground... A new blast of lake-effect snow pounded Buffalo for a third day on Thursday, piling more misery on a city already buried by an epic, deadly snowfall that could leave some areas with nearly 8 feet of snow on the ground when... By J.M. HIRSCH AP Food Editor Giving thanks will be a little costlier this year, but - and here's something you can be truly thankful for - it probably won't empty your wallet.

  • Image of Asia: Countdown to Christmas
    A new blast of lake-effect snow began pounding Buffalo on Thursday, piling more misery on a city already buried by an epic, deadly snowfall that could leave some areas with more than 8 feet of snow on the ground... One of Alaska's most active volcanos has calmed down since spewing ash up to 35,000 feet into the air over the weekend, but scientists said Monday the volcano has a pattern of prolonged eruptions of varying... One of Alaska's most active volcanos has calmed down since spewing ash up to 35,000 feet into the air over the weekend, but scientists said Monday the volcano has a pattern of prolonged eruptions of varying intensity.... Florida State University police fatally shot a gunman at the campus library early Thursday in a shooting that left three students wounded as hundreds studying inside the library fled or took cover in panic.

  • Drilon urges government to step up...
    Drilon said Filipinos should be informed on the nature and symptoms of the Ebola virus to avert panic and fear in the country. "There is undeniably a growing misunderstanding about the disease which creates unnecessary panic and anxiety among our people.

  • Ayala raises $275 million via share placement
    Ayala raises $275 million via share placement MANILA, Philippines - Ayala Corp. on Thursday said it raised $275 million through a top-up placement of 18.8 million common shares. The shares were priced at P660 each, reflecting a 5.2 percent discount to Ayala stock's 30-day volume weighted averaged closing price.

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