Their little clutch of islands make for one long stretch of beach – more than 15,500 kilometers.
No one is more than two hours away from a beach-side lounge chair — which explains why everybody knows how to smile and have fun!
The Philippines is an archipelago bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Bashi Channel to the north and the Sulu and the Celebes Seas to the south.
Found East of Vietnam, North of Indonesia.
The country is divided into the geographical areas of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Its capital, the City of Manila, is in Luzon. You can also enter through the cities of Cebu in the Visayas, and Davao in Mindanao.
Welcome to the isles.
The Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands. Some have grown into cities. Some are the epitome of tropical dreams. Some are just long enough to lay down on and get a tan.
Long ago, these islands were home to Indo-Malays and Chinese merchants. Then in 1521, Spanish explorers led by Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan discovered them. They named the archipelago “Felipinas” after Spain’s Philip II, and introduced Christianity to the people.
The explorers saw the islands’ potential for commerce, with Manila and Cebu as strategic trading ports. They established the seat of government in Cebu, later moving it to Manila in 1571. The islands were a colony of Spain from the 16th to the 19th century, for a total of 333 years.
The Filipinos waged Asia’s first nationalist revolution in 1896. On June 12, 1898, they won their independence from Spain.
After the Spaniards left, the Americans came, introducing their educational and legal systems, as well as their democratic form of government. They ruled for 48 years until World War II broke out in 1941.
Japanese troops invaded the country on December 8, 1941 and stayed for four years. The US forces returned to liberate the Filipinos and finally recognized Philippine independence on July 4, 1946.
Every so often, you might come across an article about a new species of owl, fish or even lizard that’s just been discovered in the Philippines. Our islands are hotbeds of life, with approximately 12,000 plant species, 1,100 land vertebrate species and at least 400 coral species. And more are being discovered as you read this!
We’re just shy of being 2,000 kilometers long from the tip of Luzon to the toe of Mindanao, but we are host to a lot of mosts. The island with the most volcanoes per square kilometer. The most mangrove species in the world. The most bio-diverse reef system.
We have extensive mountain ranges to hike through, underwater landscapes to dive in, flat plains to drive across, cave systems to explore, waterfalls, rock faces, rivers, lakes – and, of course, much more.