The Philippines consists of over 7,000 islands,
of which nearly 900 are inhabited, east of the Asian
mainland. The majority of the inhabitants are of Malay
origin, but hundreds of years of Spanish colonization
and American dominance during the first half of the 20th
century have left traces in the culture. Ever since
independence in 1946, politics and the economy have been
dominated by a small number of wealthy families.
However, the incumbent president, Rodrigo Duterte, does
not belong to the country's traditional elite. His
government is accused of widespread violations of human
rights. The country has, for decades, been shaken by a
communist revolt in the north and a Muslim separatist
uprising in the south.
Brief profiles of Philippines, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
The Philippines consists of over 7,100
islands. Most of them are small, the eleven largest make
up 92 percent of the land mass. Largest are Luzon in the
north and Mindanao in the south. Between Luzon and
Mindanao lies the Visayas archipelago and southwest of
the Mindanao Sulu
The country is surrounded by the South China Sea in
the west, Lake Sulus in the southwest, Lake Celebes in
the south and the Pacific Ocean in the east with the
Philippine tomb, whose largest depth is 10,430 meters.
The islands inland are high and mountainous, between
1,200 and 2,400 meters above sea level. There are about
10 active volcanoes, including Pinatubo on Luzon, which
suffered a major outbreak in 1991, requiring 600
casualties. Earthquakes are common.
Larger plains are found only at Luzon and Mindanao.
Large parts of the country's surface were previously
covered by forests - tropical rainforests on the plains
and in the lower mountains and coniferous forests on the
higher mountains. Along the coasts there are often
forests of mangroves. Since the 1960s, most of the
lowland forests have been harvested.
The Philippines' claim to the strategically located
Sprat Islands (in the Philippines is called the Kayalaan
archipelago) in the South China Sea creates friction in
its contacts with China in particular (see Foreign
Policy and Defense).
The tropical sea climate of the Philippines can
sometimes be very depressing. The summer from May to
October, when the southwest monsoon sweeps over the
islands, is often rainy with high humidity. The winter
from November to March is milder than the summer, but
only in the north can you notice a noticeably cooler
season. The temperature is also lower in the mountainous
The warm, short spring falls between March and May.
It rains most in the western part of the country, except
during the winter months when the eastern part receives
the most rainfall.
The Philippines is often hit by storms and typhoons.
The islands in the north are particularly vulnerable.
Extensive logging has contributed to severe landslides
in connection with storms (see also Natural Resources
and Energy). A tropical storm in 2013 demanded over
6,000 human lives and caused major material damage (see
also Current Policy).
- Climate research: what can we learn from the
Typhoon Haiyan text in English from Spiegel online
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
300,000 km2 (2018)
Swedish + 7 hours
Capital with number of inhabitants
Manila 1,780,000 (census 2015) (including suburbs
Other major cities
Davao City, Cebu, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro City,
Parañaque City, Valenzuela City
Mount Apo (2954 m asl)
Cagayan (Luzon), Pulangi (Mindanao)
Average Precipitation / month
Manila 30 mm (per month, December to April), 367 mm
(per month during July-September)
Average / day
Manila just over 25 °C (Jan), 29 °C (May)
Reconstruction plan after cyclone Hayian ready
President Aquino approves a $ 3.6 billion reconstruction plan for tropical
cyclone Hayian. The money will be used, among other things, to build temporary
housing for those affected, until more permanent housing can be built.
Murders trigger anti-American sentiments
Suspicions that an American soldier murdered a transsexual person are
provoking protests against the new defense agreement with the United States (see
Bills for peace agreements with Milf are presented at the congress
President Aquino presents a bill linked to the peace deal with Milf for
Congress. This is considered to have strong support in both chambers, but it is
said that it may take until 2015 before it can be adopted. Few assessors believe
that it will go through in its current form, and it is likely that the
government and Milf must continue to negotiate amendments to the proposal.
200,000 homeless after storm
A tropical storm, Fung-Wong, causes flooding in Manila. At least 200,000
people are forced to leave their homes.
Chinese tourists are warned to visit the Philippines
China warns Chinese tourists not to visit the Philippines.
The Philippines takes home UN soldiers from the Golan Heights
The Philippines decides to take home more than 300 soldiers from a UN
operation at Golan Heights, citing the increasingly uncertain situation in the
New defense agreement with the United States
The Philippines and the United States enter into a new defense agreement.
Prosecutions are brought against corruption-accused senators
Prosecutions are brought against three senators, Enrile, Ramon "Bong" Revilla
and José "Jinggoy" Estrada, who were suspected of crimes in connection with the
PDAF scandal (see June 2013). They are arrested in June 2014.
The Supreme Court gives clear signs of contraception
The Supreme Court approves the new law on contraception (see December
2013 and March 2013)
Communist leaders are arrested
Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma Austria are arrested. According to the
military, they are leaders of both the CPP and the left-wing NPA.