The Philippines

Varenya S. - Mr. Masengill - 6th Period

Introduction

The Philippines!

What makes the Philippines so unique is that it is an archipelago of over 7,000 islands! Some of these islands are volcanic, but this actually good for farmers. The lava from the volcanoes provides fertile soil for agriculture.

Slogan - It's Not a Summer Vacation, Unless It's a Samar Vacation!

Geography and Climate

Geography

The Philippines is an archipelago of over 7,000 islands! Including the bodies of water, the total square area of the country is 300,000 square miles. The Philippine Sea is to the east, the South China Sea to the west, and the Celebes Sea to the south. Most of the mountainous islands are covered with tropical rainforests. Mount Apo, the highest mountain in Philippines, is on the island of Mindanao. For farming, Philippine uses it's fertile, agricultural soil and terraces. Due to the volcanic nature of the islands, mineral deposits are abundant. The country is estimated to have the second-largest gold deposits and one of the largest copper deposits in the world. It is also rich in nickel, chromite, and zinc.

Climate

The Philippines has a tropical maritime climate and is usually hot. The average yearly temperature is around 97 degrees Fahrenheit (which, by the way, is GREAT for swimming!). Whether you are in the north, south, east, or west of the country, the sea temperature will remain the same.

People & Culture

People

The Philippines is the only Christian country in Southeast Asia. Almost 90 percent of the Filipinos follow the Roman Catholic religion. According to the 2000 census, 28.1% of Filipinos are Tagalog, 13.1% Cebuano, 9% Ilocano, 7.6% Bisaya/Binisaya, 7.5% Hiligaynon, 6% Bikol, 3.4% Waray, and 25.3% as "others", which can be broken down further to yield more distinct non-tribal groups like the Moro, the Kapampangan, the Pangasinense, the Ibanag, and the Ivatan. There are also indigenous people like the Igorot, the Lumad, the Mangyan, the Bajau, and the tribes of Palawan. Negritos, such as the Aeta and the Ati, are considered among the earliest inhabitants of the islands.

Languages

Ethnologue lists 175 individual languages in the Philippines, 171 of which are "living" languages while 4 no longer have any known speakers. They are part of the Borneo–Philippines group of the Malayo-Polynesian languages, which is itself a branch of the Austronesian language family. Filipino and English are the official languages. Filipino is a standardized version of Tagalog, spoken mainly in Metro Manila and other urban regions. Both Filipino and English are used in government, education, print, broadcast media, and business. There are also regional languages such as Bicolano, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Tagalog, and Waray-Waray.

The Chavacano language, creole language born from Spanish, is also spoken in Cavite and Zamboanga. There are also many other languages that are prevalent in their provinces.


Culture

Philippine cuisine has evolved over many centuries from its original Malayo-Polynesian origins, blending with Asian, American, and many more cultures. Dishes an be very simple, like a meal of fried salted fish and rice, or elaborate, such as the paellas and cocidos created for fiestas. Popular dishes include lechón, adobo, sinigang, kare-kare, tapa, crispy pata, pancit, lumpia, and halo-halo. Some common local ingredients used in cooking are calamondins, coconuts, saba (a kind of short wide plantain), mangoes, milkfish, and fish sause. Unlike many Asian countries, Filipinos do not eat with chopsticks; they use Western cutlery. Various sports and pastimes are popular in the Philippines including basketball, boxing, cockfighting, volleyball, football, badminton,karate, taekwondo, billiards, ten-pin bowling, chess, and sipa. motocross, cycling, and mountaineering are also becoming popular. Basketball is considered to be the most popular sport in the Philippines. In almost every corner of the cities, there is a basketball court.

Government and Citizenship

Government Basics

The Philippines has a democratic government. It is a constitutional republic with a presidential system. The President functions as both head of state and head of government and is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The president is elected by popular vote for a single six-year term, during which he or she appoints and presides over the cabinet. The bicameral Congress consists of the Senate, serving as the upper house, with members elected to a six-year term, and the House of Representatives, serving as the lower house, with members elected to a three-year term.

Economy