One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.
— Henry Miller, 1891 - 1980




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


PhilippinesMaxims Tower 

Newport City

Price (US$): $263 - $264 / night

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Location. Located in Pasay, Maxims Tower is near the airport and close to Baclaran Church, Embassy of Japan, and Makati Stock Exchange. Nearby points of interest also include SM Mall of Asia and Ayala Center. Resort Features. In addition to 7 restaurants, Maxims Tower offers a snack bar/deli and a coffee shop/cafĂ©. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The resort serves a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning in the restaurant. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a… more »

PhilippinesMandarin Oriental Manila 

Makati Avenue, Metro Manila
Makati 1226

Price (US$): $405 - $406 / night

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Location. Near the airport, Mandarin Oriental Manila is located in Makati's Makati Central Business District neighborhood and close to World Trade Center Manila, Makati Stock Exchange, and Canadian Embassy Philippines. Additional points of interest include Ayala Center and Baywalk. Hotel Features. Dining options at Mandarin Oriental Manila include 7 restaurants. 2 bars/lounges and a poolside bar are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an… more »

PhilippinesSofitel Philippine Plaza Manila 

CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard
Pasay 1300

Price (US$): $289 - $487 / night

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Location. Located in central Pasay, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila is near the airport and within walking distance of Coconut Palace, Philippines International Convention Center, and Philippine International Convention Center. Additional points of interest include SM Mall of Asia and Baywalk. Hotel Features. Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila features a poolside bar and a snack bar/deli. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a children's pool… more »

PhilippinesCrimson Hotel Filinvest City Manila 

2609 Civic Drive, Entrata Urban Complex
Filinvest City, Alabang
Muntinlupa 1781

Price (US$): $147 - $148 / night

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Location. Crimson Hotel Filinvest City Manila is located in Muntinlupa's Alabang neighborhood, close to Festival Supermall, Asian Hospital and Medical Center, and Alabang Town Center. Nearby points of interest also include SM City Southmall. Hotel Features. Crimson Hotel Filinvest City Manila's restaurant serves lunch, dinner, and light fare. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a fitness facility. This 4.5 star property offers small meeting rooms and… more »

PhilippinesThe Farm at San Benito 

119 Barangay Tipakan
Lipa 4217

Price (US$): $963 - $964 / night

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Location. Located in Lipa, The Farm at San Benito is in a rural location and close to Mount Malarayat Golf and Country Club, San Sebastian Cathedral, and The Mabini Academy. Additional area points of interest include Summit Point Golf and Country Club and Fernando Air Base. Resort Features. The Farm at San Benito's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Room service is available during limited hours. The resort serves a complimentary full breakfast each morning in the restaurant.… 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