The Philippines

By: Anya D- 6th Period

Introduction To a Beautiful Country

The Philippines is a beautiful country of more than 7,000 volcanic islands, and also lush forests. The lava from these magnificent volcanoes produce a fertile soil that is great for farming. The Philippines are an independent democratic republic, and is the only Christian country in Southeast Asia! Most are Roman Catholics, but there are also many other religions such as other Christians, and Muslims. We have lots of beautiful mountain ranges, and our government is a republic! One of the main languages that we speak are Tagalog, and we eat usually simple dishes, but some of our popular ones are longganisa (Philippine Sausage), and Caldereta (meat in tomato sauce stew).

It's More Fun In The Philippines!

Geography/Climate

The geography in the Philippines is mainly volcanic mountains, and forests. In addition to having more than 7,000 islands, the lava from the volcanoes produces a fertile soil, which makes it a very agricultural area. More than 2,000 years ago, Malay immigrants built terraces on the fertile mountains to farm, because the land can also hold water. Even though the Philippines has a tropical monsoon climate with hot, humid weather during the summer, and cool, dryer air during the winter, the temperatures mostly stay between 80-100 degrees Fahrenheit year round. They get lots of rain that averages to about 100 inches per year, but the lowlands have less rain than the higher elevated lands.

People and Culture

The Population in the Philippines is about 103,775,000. Since there are so many islands in the Philippines, there are very many ethnic groups. Some of them are Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4% and Other 25.3%. Because they spent 300 years as a spanish colony, most of the people in the islands are Roman Catholic (about 80%). For many years the official language was spanish, but now the official languages are English, and Philipino (Tagalog).


About 40% of the people make a living by farming. The owners of the land hire workers to work the land. Houses in rural areas are close together, and have wooden walls and roofs made of thatch or corrugated iron. Usually Philipinos have large families that are very closely in touch with each other.


The food in the Philippines is a mixture of American, Malay, Chinese and Spanish dishes. Most meals include rice, and usually also include beef, fish, or poultry. A popular dish is adobo (chicken and pork cooked in soy sauce and vinegar), and a popular drink across the islands is tuba (made from the sap from the coconut palm tree). People in the Philippines eat a lot of fish. The types of fish they catch are anchovies, mackerel, sardines, scad, tuna, and other types of fish.


Their clothes are similar to other western countries. The people enjoy sports such as basketball, baseball, boxing, and golf. They also enjoy things such as gambling, karaoke and movies. Plus, 9 out of 10 people can read and write, but only 1/4 of college age students go to college. Art is also important to the people of the Philippines. Fabian de la Rosa's paintings depicted the everyday life of the people. Fernando Amorsolo became popular for his portraits and rural landscapes.






Government and Citizenship

We are an independent democratic republic. Elections are held for a president (who gets a 6 year term decided by the people), and a legislature. The congress has two chambers. The House of Representatives and the Senate.


Children from 7- 12 years old are required to go to school through at least the 6th grade. Everyone above the age of 18 is allowed to vote. Even if you are working during election day, or if they are overseas, they will still get their opportunity to vote.


The justice system is the Judicial System. The judges are appointed by the president. They do not have juries. The national court system is made up of 4 levels. The local and regional trial courts, a national court of appeals, the supreme court, and the informal local system.

Economy

In our country there are many natural resources. We farm one third of the countries land, and they farm the most on the lowlands, but they also make slopes on the sides of mountains to farm there too. Rice is the leading food crop. They grow bananas, coconuts, mangoes, pineapples, and sugar cane to export, but they also use it locally. About one fourth of the land there is forests. There are many types of trees that are used for different things. Dipterocarp trees, mangroves, and pine trees are the trees used for lumber. The Kapok tree creates a fiber that is helpful with insulation, mattresses etc. Bamboo is used for making houses, furniture, handcrafts etc.


The Philippines also exports minerals. They mine a lot of copper, gold and nickel, and other minerals they mine are chromite, coal, lead, limestone, silver, and zinc. Fishing is also a huge part of their economy. Anchovies, mackerel, sardines, scad, tuna, and other fish are caught by fishing crews, and crabs and shrimp also live in the island waters. Divers collect sponges, clams and oysters near the southern islands. Milkfish, shrimp and Talapia are also very important sea creatures. Manufactured goods consist of cement, chemicals, clothing, foods and beverages, refined metals and petroleum, semiconductors and other electronic products, textiles, and tobacco products.

Imports and Exports

Imports:


  • chemicals
  • electronics
  • machinery
  • petroleum
  • petroleum products
  • transportation equipment
Exports:



  • clothing
  • copper
  • electronics
  • electronic equipment
  • food
  • machinery
  • transportation equipment