The Republic of the Philippines is a sprawling archipelago set in the western Pacific Ocean. The country is made up of 7,107 islands, totaling about 300,000 sq. km. (117,187 sq. mi.) It borders on the South China Sea to the west, the Philippine Sea to the east, and the Celebes Sea to the south.
The Philippines is an incredibly diverse nation in terms of language, religion, ethnicity and also geography. With a population of more than 90 million people and an annual growth rate around 2%, it is one of the most populous and fastest growing countries on Earth. The official languages of the Philippines are Filipino (Tagalog) and English. More than 180 different languages and dialects are spoken in the Philippines.
Due to early colonization by the Spanish, the Philippines is a majority Roman Catholic nation, with 80.9% of the population self-defining as Catholic. The Muslim population live mostly in the southern provinces of Mindanao, Palawan and the Sulu Archipelago, sometimes called the Moro region. They are predominantly Shafi’i, a sect of Sunni Islam.
The climate in the Philippines is tropical and monsoonal. The country has an average yearly temperature of 26.5° C (79.7° F); May is the warmest month, while January is the coolest. The primary industries in the Philippines include agriculture, wood products, electronics assembly, garment and footwear manufacturing, mining and fishing. The Philippines also has an active tourism industry, and receives remittances from some 4-5 million overseas Filipino workers. Its unit of currency is the Philippine peso.
Filipinos are known around the world for their warmth and hospitality! They are a close-knit, family-centered society who are creative, resourceful and self-sacrificing.