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Philippines Travel Site – All You Need to Know About The Philippines

 

INTRODUCTION

History

Republic of the Philippines – is an island situated in Malay Archipelago that comprises 7, 107 islands known as Philippine Archipelago. It has a total area of 300,000 square kilometers. The name of the country came after King Philip11 called ” Las Islas Felipinas”. In 1556, the country fell to Spanish Colonialism.  It lasted for three centuries and ended after the revolution in 1896. In 1898, Philippines ceded to the United States after the Spanish-American War. The Philippines became a commonwealth government under President Manuel L. Quezon. During World war II, the Philippine islands was under the Japanese occupation. During 1944-45, the Filipinos and the US forces fought together to recover its control. The Republic of the Philippines got its independence on July 4, 1946.

The country was ruled for twenty years by Ferdinand MARCOS and ended in year 1986, when the “people power” movement held in (“EDSA 1”) Manila forced this President into exile and put Corazon AQUINO as the new president. Her administration was affected by a number of coup attempts that avoided a return to total political stability as well as economic growth. In 1992, Fidel V. Ramos was elected as President. His administration had been designated by progress and increased stability on economic change. The United States closed its military bases. In 1998, Joseph Ejercito Estrada was elected as the new president.

After Estrada's impeachment trial on his corruption charges, another EDSA 2 revolution happened that demanded his resignation. He was then replaced by his Vice President, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO in January, 2001. She was elected as President in May, 2004. Arroyo's presidency was damaged by a number of corruption accusations however the Philippine economy was one of the very few to avoid shrinkage after the 2008 global economic crisis, increasing each year with her administration.

In May, 2010, Benigno “NoyNoy” Aquino was elected as president with a 6-year-term. The government of the Philippines encounters many threats from different groups. Some of these groups are from the US Government's Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Manila has fought a decades-long battle against ethnic Moro insurgencies in the southern part of the Philippines, that has resulted in a peace agreement along with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and continuing peace talks along with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The many years of long Maoist-inspired the New People's Army insurgency furthermore operates much of the country. There is an increased tension with the China over the questioned maritime and territorial claims located in the South China Sea.

GEOGRAPHY

Location : Southeastern Asia, archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam
Geographic coordinates: 13 00 N, 122 00 E
Map references: Southeast Asia
Area: 300,000 sq km
Land: 298,170 sq km
Water: 1,830 sq km
The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia, around 800 kilometers from the Asia mainland. It is one
of the largest archipelagos in the world, with over 7,100 islands and a total land area of approximately 300,000 square kilometers. The country is divided into three main geographic areas: Luzon, where Metro Manila is located, Visayas and Mindanao.

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Climate

The Philippines has a tropical climate with three seasons: summer, or the hot dry season, from March
to May, the rainy season from June to November, and the cool dry season from December to
February. Temperatures usually range from 21°C to 32°C, with the yearly temperature averaging
26.6°C in Metro Manila. The driest month is February, with 13 mm average rainfall, while the wettest
month is July, with 432 mm average rainfall.

Population

As of 2011, the population of the Philippines was estimated at 94.9 million. Outside Metro Manila, the
most populous cities are Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro and General
Santos.

Language

Filipino is constitutionally designated as the national language of the Philippines and, along with
English, as one of two official languages. Many other languages and dialects are spoken all over the
country.

Currency

Philippine Peso (PHP); PHP1 = 100 centavos
The average exchange rate in 2011 was PHP43.3:USD1

Time

8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

Public holidays

New Year”s Day (January 1), Maundy Thursday and Good Friday (varies), Araw ng Kagitingan or
Valor Day (April 9), Labor Day (May 1), Independence Day (June 12), Ninoy Aquino Day (August 21),
National Heroes Day (August 27), All Saints Day, (November 1), Bonifacio Day (November 30), Eid
ul-Adha (varies), Eid ul-Fitr (varies) Christmas Day (December 25), Rizal Day (December 30), Last
Day of the Year (December 31).

Political structure

The Philippines has a presidential system of government, the president being limited to a single six-year term. Congress is modeled on the U.S. system and comprises two directly elected bodies: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The judicial power is vested in the Supreme Court which can rule on the constitutionality of government actions.

Economy

The economy expanded by 7.6% in 2010, its fastest pace of growth since the mid-1970s, brought about by increased consumer demand, a rebound in exports and investments, and election-related spending. However, growth slowed to 3.7% in 2011 as external shocks, such as weaknesses in the European and United States economies, and the Middle East and North African crisis that resulted in high oil prices, affected the economy. Internally, several typhoons, floods, and other natural disasters affected agriculture and infrastructure in 2011.
However, the government is optimistic that the economy will be better in 2012 amidst external developments that pose risk to the country”s growth. Among the industry sectors that are expected to contribute to the country”s economic growth are construction (as the government accelerates its public expenditures in infrastructure and implements its PPP program), energy, mining, agribusiness, health and wellness, telecommunications and tourism. Growth is expected to accelerate beginning 2013, as the expected global economic recovery will support a domestic rebound.

Foreign trade

The Philippines has opened its economy to foreign markets and established a network of free trade agreements with several countries. Its main exports are electronics (primarily semiconductors), garments, coconut oil, and woodcraft and furniture. The leading export markets are Japan, China, the United States of America, Singapore and Hong Kong S.A.R.
On the other hand, main imports are electronic products, and mineral fuels and lubricants, transport equipment, and industrial machinery and equipment. The major sources of imports are Japan, the U.S., China, South Korea, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Foreign trade

The Philippines has opened its economy to foreign markets and established a network of free trade
agreements with several countries. Its main exports are electronics (primarily semiconductors),
garments, coconut oil, and woodcraft and furniture. The leading export markets are Japan, China, the United States of America, Singapore and Hong Kong S.A.R.
On the other hand, main imports are electronic products, and mineral fuels and lubricants, transport
equipment, and industrial machinery and equipment. The major sources of imports are Japan, the
U.S., China, South Korea, Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Tourism

The tourism industry has remained resilient in the face of global and national economic, social and
political events. In 2011, visitor arrivals reached 3.9 million, an increase of 11% from 2010 arrivals of
3.5 million. The top visitor markets are Korea, U.S., Japan, China and Taiwan.
For the years 2000 to 2010, the average share of tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) to the
country”s GDP was around 5.8%. TDGVA in 2010 reached PHP518 billion, 13% percent higher than
the previous year”s PHP459 billion. Shopping had the biggest share to TDGVA at 20.3%, followed by
accommodation (14.8%), and entertainment and recreation (6.8%). Other significant tourism-related
industries were travel agencies, food and beverage, and transport. Employment in tourism industries
was estimated at 3.7 million in 2010.

Inbound tourism expenditures of non-resident visitors within the Philippines, amounted to PHP109.2
billion, 9.6% higher than the PHP99.7 billion recorded in the previous year. Expenditures went
primarily to shopping, food and beverage, and accommodation. On the other hand, domestic tourism expenditures of resident visitors were six times as much as inbound tourism expenditure, showing that its economic contribution is substantially more important than that of inbound tourism.
The Philippines is one of the emerging players in the multi-billion dollar medical tourism industry which currently is dominated in Asia by Singapore, India, Malaysia and Thailand. It is estimated that the country earned USD1.3 billion from healthcare and wellness services from 2006 to 2010, and has the potential to earn as much as USD1.0 billion per year by 2018 or even earlier.

The country is known to have a high level of quality in healthcare. The top tertiary hospitals have state-of-the-art medical facilities and at least eight are accredited by various international accreditation agencies. These hospitals are staffed with highly qualified doctors, nurses, therapists and other medical personnel.
Other competitive advantages of the Philippines in medical tourism are cost competitiveness, the Filipinos” high level of English communication skills, and the people”s unique culture of compassion
and service which many patients look for in providers of healthcare services.
RA 9593, or The Tourism Act of 2009, declares a national policy for tourism as an engine of
investment, employment, growth and national development. Among others, it mandates the Tourism.
Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA, formerly the Philippine Tourism Authority), an
attached agency to the Department of Tourism, to designate, regulate and supervise Tourism
Enterprise Zones (TEZs) established under this Act, as well as develop, manage and supervise
tourism infrastructure projects in the country.

TEZ Operators and registered Tourism Enterprises within the TEZ may avail of incentives such as
income tax holiday; gross income taxation of 5% in lieu of national and local taxes, except real estate
taxes; exemption from all taxes and customs duties on importation of capital investment and
equipment; and employment of foreign nationals in executive, supervisory, technical or advisory
positions. A separate set of incentives are given to registered Tourism Enterprises outside the TEZ.
So why the Philippines?

As an archipelago composed of 7,107 islands, the Philippines offers countless attractions to see, such as the famous white sand beaches of Boracay, big shopping centers of Metro Manila, rice terraces of Ifugao, diving sites of Palawan, lush forests of Bohol, heritage houses in Vigan, and the cultural attractions of Cebu and Manila.
Metro Manila, the national capital region of the country, is known for being one of the best shopping destinations in Asia;[13] its wide collection of shopping centers offer a range of local and international shops. Numerous shopping malls can be found around the metropolis, especially in the business and financial districts of Ortigas Center and Bonifacio Global City, while high-end shopping centers are mostly located at the Ayala Center inMakati. Despite the rise of modern shopping centers, traditional Filipino shopping areas still remain around the metropolis.

Basilica of Santo Niño

Located just approximately 315 km (196 mi) south of Manila is Boracay; it is known for its white sand beaches and has been a favorite island destination for local and foreign visitors. In 2012, Boracay received the best island award from the international travel magazine Travel + Leisure. Boracay was also named as the second best beach in the world.[15] Aside from its white sand beaches, Boracay is also known for being a popular destination for relaxation, tranquility and for an exciting nightlife.[16]
Mindanao, the southernmost island of the Philippines is home to the country's tallest mountain, Mount Apo. The mountain features a wide range of flora and fauna and is home to over 272 bird species, 111 of which are endemic to the area. Mount Apo is also home to the country's national bird, the Philippine Eagle. Mount Apo is a popular destination for hiking and mountain activities.

So our mission is to provide you with a fascinating online experience with detailed coverage of the length and breathe of these beautiful Islands. In so doing, we hope you enjoy the journey as much as we have in putting it together.

There is nothing than that the quality of thought which we entertain correlates certain externals in the externals in the outside world. This is the world from which there is no escape. And it is this Law; this correlative of thought with its object, that from time to time immemorial has led the people to believe in special providence. – Wilmans.

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