A beautiful archipelago of 7,640 islands, stunning beaches, and picturesque tribal villages, the Philippines is an extraordinary country of remarkable sights. We are the "Pearl of the Orient".
WELCOME TO THE PHILIPPINES
For many visitors to the Philippines, their enduring memory of the archipelago will be the people. Filipinos, gregarious and hospitable to a fault, are always ready with a warm smile and a cheery welcome. They also have an innate sense of having fun and of living life to the fullest, an endearing trait that manifests itself in the country's many fiestas.
The current population of the Philippines is 112,285,313 as of May 2022, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data.
The Philippines 2020 population is estimated at 109,581,078 people at mid-year according to UN data.
The Philippines population is equivalent to 1.41% of the total world population.
The Climate of the Philippines is tropical and maritime. It is characterized by relatively high temperature, high humidity, and abundant rainfall. It is similar in many respects to the climate of the countries of Central America. Temperature, humidity, and rainfall, which are discussed hereunder, are the most important elements of the country's weather and climate.
Based on the average of all weather stations in the Philippines, excluding Baguio, the mean annual temperature is 26.6o C. The coolest months fall in January with a mean temperature of 25.5oC while the warmest month occurs in May with a mean temperature of 28.3oC. Latitude is an insignificant factor in the variation of temperature while altitude shows greater contrast in temperature. Thus, the mean annual temperature of Baguio with an elevation of 1,500 meters is 18.3oC. This makes the temperature of Baguio comparable with those in the temperate climate and because of this, it is known as the summer capital of the Philippines.
Using temperature and rainfall as bases, the climate of the country can be divided into two major seasons: (1) the rainy season, from June to November; and (2) the dry season, from December to May. The dry season may be subdivided further into (a) the cool dry season, from December to February; and (b) the hot dry season, from March to May.
Nature and Wildlife
The Philippines is rich in natural resources. It has fertile, arable lands, diverse flora and fauna, extensive coastlines, and rich mineral deposits. About 30% of the land area of the country was determined to be geologically prospective by the Philippine Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau.
The Philippines also boasts of wide tracts of lush, green forests. In fact, almost half of the country’s total land area is forested. Sixty percent of these forests are found in Mindanao.
There are approximately 191 mammal species found in the Philippines. Of these 191, eight are critically endangered and thirty are vulnerable. Large mammals are relatively few, the domesticated water buffalo is one of the larger mammals and is quite common. Smaller species like monkeys, rodents, bats, shrews, deer, mongoose, and porcupines are found throughout the country. The Philippine Tarsier is endemic to the country and is one of the smallest monkey species in the world. From December to May, the largest annual congregation of whale sharks happens in Donsol. Large numbers of whale sharks migrate to Donsol to take advantage of the dense food and krill concentration that exists there.
The Philippines is a culture in which East meets West. The Filipino people have a distinct Asian background, with a strong Western tradition. The modern Filipino culture developed through the influence of Chinese traders, Spanish conquistadors, and American rulers. Filipino people tend to be very hospitable, especially to Western visitors. Because of their strong ties to Spanish culture, Filipinos are emotional and passionate about life in a way that seems more Latin than Asian.
The family is the basic and most important aspect of Filipino culture. Divorce is prohibited and annulments are rare. The family is the safety net for individuals, especially older people, during difficult economic times. Children will often stay with their parents into adulthood, only leaving when they get married. Political and business ties are often influenced by family relationships.
More than 80% of the population of the Philippines is Roman Catholic. Fiestas in honor of the patron saint of a town is quite common. Criticism of the Catholic church is not taken lightly - and should be avoided.
In the Philippines, people greet each other with a handshake. A smile or raised eyebrows can mean "Hello" or "Yes". Someone can be summoned with a downward wave of the hand.
In Filipino homes, food is served family-style in large bowls or platters and everyone is encouraged to help themselves. There's always plenty of white rice, and the dishes meant to be served with that rice line the center and, sometimes, the perimeter of the table. Any empty space is usually taken up by small bowls of vinegar, fish sauce, bagoong (fermented seafood sauce or paste), and slices of calamansi (a ubiquitous citrus fruit), all of which are used to season the food for each diner's individual taste. For larger celebrations, there’s a traditional way of eating known as “kamayan,” in which food is placed directly on banana leaves to be shared by all.
Rice is an intrinsic part of daily life in the Philippines. Filipinos begin and end their day with it–we eat it for breakfast, we eat it for dinner, we eat it at lunch, and we eat it in sweets and snacks.
Filipinos have with describing their cuisine to the many cultural influences Filipinos have adopted as their own. After all, there are dishes with Spanish names like embutido and lechon and dishes with Chinese names like lumpia and pancit, all comfortably coexisting alongside dishes with indigenous names like kinilaw and sinigang. Soups and stews play a central role on the Filipino table and are consumed year-round. In Filipino, “sabaw” means soup and broth.
If there’s one dish you’ve heard of, it’s probably adobo, which is regarded as the national dish. Despite the name, adobo existed prior to Spanish colonization and denotes both a dish and a cooking method of stewing meat with vinegar.
Sizzling sisig, deemed by the late Anthony Bourdain as his favorite Filipino street food, is a finely-chopped hash of pork ears, cheeks, snout, and organs doused in a spicy-tart dressing of soy sauce, calamansi juice, and chiles.