Two roads diverged in a wood and I - I took the one less traveled by.
— Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963
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Philippines

Background

Philippines

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.

About

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.

Read more about Philippines in our Philippines travel guide »

A travel warning has been issued for Philippines

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Featured hotels in

Philippines

PhilippinesRaffles Makati 

1 Raffles Drive, Ayala Center
Makati 1224
Philippines

Price (US$): $411 - $412 / night

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Location. Located in central Makati, Raffles Makati is near the airport and within walking distance of Ayala Center and Makati Stock Exchange. Additional points of interest include World Trade Center Manila and SM Mall of Asia. Hotel Features. Dining options at Raffles Makati include a coffee shop/café and a snack bar/deli. A poolside bar is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each morning in the coffee shop (surcharges… more »

PhilippinesAcacia Hotel Manila 

5400 East Asia Drive corner Commerce
Avenue, Alabang
Muntinlupa 1781
Philippines

Price (US$): $109 - $220 / night

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Location. Acacia Hotel Manila is a business friendly hotel located in Muntinlupa's Alabang neighborhood, close to Festival Supermall, Alabang Town Center, and Asian Hospital and Medical Center. Additional points of interest include SM City Southmall. Hotel Features. Dining options at Acacia Hotel Manila include 2 restaurants. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast in the restaurant. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a fitness… more »

PhilippinesPan Pacific Manila 

M. Adriatico corner General Malvar Str.
Malate
Manila 1004
Philippines

Price (US$): $135 - $403 / night

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Location. Located in central Manila, Pan Pacific Manila is near the airport and within walking distance of Remedios Circle and Baywalk. Additional points of interest include Supreme Court of the Philippines and U.S. Embassy. Hotel Features. In addition to 5 restaurants, Pan Pacific Manila offers 3 coffee shops/cafés. A poolside bar is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the breakfast area (surcharges apply).… more »

PhilippinesShangri-La's Boracay Resort and Spa 

Barangay Yapak
Malay
Boracay Island 5608
Philippines

Price (US$): $324 - $410 / night

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Location. Shangri La's Boracay Resort and Spa is located near the beach in Boracay Island's Yapak neighborhood and close to Punta Bunga Beach, Balinghai Beach, and Puka Beach. Other points of interest near this luxury resort include Boat Station 1 and Boat Station 2. Resort Features. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a children's pool, outdoor tennis courts, a health club, and a sauna. The property's full service health spa has body treatments and massage/treatment rooms. This… more »

PhilippinesEdsa Shangri-La, Manila 

1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center
Mandaluyong 1600
Philippines

Price (US$): $258 - $327 / night

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Location. Edsa Shangri La, Manila is located close to Shangri La Mall, Smart Araneta Coliseum, and Ayala Center. Additional points of interest include Asian Development Bank Headquarters and William J Shaw Theater. Hotel Features. Dining options at Edsa Shangri La, Manila include 6 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply). Recreational… more »

Browse more hotels in Philippines »

Philippines

Full name
Republic of the Philippines
Capital
Manila
Location

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

Coastline

36,289 km

Climate

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

Terrain

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

Population

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)

Religions

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)

Languages

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

Government type

republic

Independence

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

.ph

Internet users

8.278 million (2009)

Airports

254 (2010)

Ports and terminals

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

Other countries in the region