I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.
— George Bernard Shaw, 1856 - 1950




The Philippine Islands became a Spanish colony during the 16th century; they were ceded to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. Manuel QUEZON was elected president and was tasked with preparing the country for independence after a 10-year transition. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence. A 20-year rule by Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986, when a "people power" movement in Manila ("EDSA 1") forced him into exile and installed Corazon AQUINO as president. Her presidency was hampered by several coup attempts that prevented a return to full political stability and economic development. Fidel RAMOS was elected president in 1992. His administration was marked by increased stability and by progress on economic reforms. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. Joseph ESTRADA was elected president in 1998. He was succeeded by his vice-president, Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, in January 2001 after ESTRADA's stormy impeachment trial on corruption charges broke down and another "people power" movement ("EDSA 2") demanded his resignation. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2004. Her presidency was marred by several corruption allegations but the Philippine economy was one of the few to avoid contraction following the 2008 global financial crisis, expanding each year of her administration. Benigno AQUINO III was elected to a six-year term as president in May 2010. The Philippine Government faces threats from several groups on the US Government's Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Manila has waged a decades-long struggle against ethnic Moro insurgencies in the southern Philippines, which has led to a peace accord with the Moro National Liberation Front and on-again/off-again peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The decades-long Maoist-inspired New Peoples' Army insurgency also operates through much of the country.


The Philippines (Filipino: Pilipinas) is an archipelago in South-East Asia. The nation consists of 7,107 islands located between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam, and north of Sabah and Borneo, combine all its beaches it forms one of the world's longest coastlines and it takes about 2 to 3 decades to visit and experience every island. Since Spanish colonial times, the country is considered to be Asia's largest Catholic country. Over a hundred ethnic groups, a mixture of foreign influences and a fusion of culture and arts have enhanced the uniqueness of the Filipino identity and the wonder that is the Philippines.

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Featured hotels in


PhilippinesMonaco Suites De Boracay 

Tulubhan Manoc Manoc
Boracay Island 5608

Price (US$): $308 - $432 / night

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Location. Monaco Suites De Boracay is located on the beach in Boracay's Manoc Manoc neighborhood, close to Lagutan Beach, Tulubhan Beach, and Balinghai Beach. Other points of interest near this luxury resort include Boat Station 3 and Boat Station 2. Resort Features. Monaco Suites De Boracay's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A swim up bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. A complimentary continental breakfast is served each… more »

PhilippinesInterContinental Manila 

No 1 Ayala Avenue
1226 Makati City
Makati 1226

Price (US$): $161 - $353 / night

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Location. Near the airport, InterContinental Manila is located in Makati's Makati Central Business District neighborhood and close to Glorietta Mall, Makati Stock Exchange, and World Trade Center Manila. Additional points of interest include Ayala Center and SM Makati. Hotel Features. Dining options at InterContinental Manila include a coffee shop/cafĂ© and a snack bar/deli. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet… more »

PhilippinesOakwood Premier Joy-Nostalg Center Manila 

17 ADB Avenue Ortigas Center
(Topaz Road Entrance)
Pasig 1600

Price (US$): $142 - $201 / night

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Location. Oakwood Premier Joy Nostalg Center Manila is a business friendly hotel located in Pasig's Ortigas Center neighborhood, close to Asian Development Bank Headquarters, Smart Araneta Coliseum, and Robinsons Galleria Mall. Additional points of interest include Metrowalk and SM Megamall. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, and a sauna. Spa amenities include spa services and massage/treatment rooms. This 4.5 star property has a business… more »

PhilippinesManila Marriott Hotel 

No. 10 Newport Boulevard
Newport City Complex
Pasay 1309

Price (US$): $265 - $1051 / night

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Location. Located in Pasay, Manila Marriott Hotel is near the airport and close to Baclaran Church, Embassy of Japan, and Makati Stock Exchange. Additional points of interest include SM Mall of Asia and Ayala Center. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a spa tub. This 4.5 star property has a business center and offers small meeting rooms. Wireless and wired high speed Internet access is available in public areas (surcharges apply). This Pasay property has 4… more »

PhilippinesMoevenpick Resort & Spa Cebu 

Punta Engano, Mactan Island
Lapu Lapu 6015

Price (US$): $184 - $282 / night

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Location. Moevenpick Resort & Spa Cebu is located on the beach in Lapu Lapu's Mactan Island neighborhood, close to Magellan Shrine, The Jungle Cultural Entertainment Center, and Mactan Island Aquarium. Other points of interest are Mactan Marina Mall and Cebu Yacht Club. Resort Features. Dining options at Moevenpick Resort & Spa Cebu include 5 restaurants. A beach bar, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The resort serves buffet… more »

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Full name
Republic of the Philippines

Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam

Geographic coordinates

13 00 N, 122 00 E

Area comparative

slightly larger than Arizona


36,289 km


tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)


mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands

Lowest point

Philippine Sea 0 m

Highest point

Mount Apo 2,954 m

Natural resources

timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper


99,900,177 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon Ilonggo 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4%, other 25.3% (2000 census)


Roman Catholic 80.9%, Muslim 5%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, Aglipayan 2%, other Christian 4.5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1% (2000 census)


Filipino (official; based on Tagalog) and English (official); eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan

Government type



12 June 1898 (independence proclaimed from Spain); 4 July 1946 (from the US)

National holiday

Independence Day, 12 June (1898); note - 12 June 1898 was date of declaration of independence from Spain; 4 July 1946 was date of independence from US

Chief of state

President Benigno AQUINO (since 30 June 2010); Vice President Jejomar BINAY (since 30 June 2010); note - president is both chief of state and head of government

Head of government

President Benigno AQUINO (since 30 June 2010)

Internet country code


Internet users

8.278 million (2009)


254 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Liman, Manila

Other countries in the region