To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam. The Sulu Sea to the southwest lies between the country and the island of Borneo, and to the south the Celebes Sea separates it from other islands of Indonesia.
- Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and its tropical climate make the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons but have also endowed the country with natural resources and made it one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world.
- An archipelago comprising 7,107 islands, the Philippines is categorized broadly into three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
- They were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples who brought with them influences from Malay, Hindu, and Islamic societies.
- In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain.
- Manila became the Asian hub of the Manila–Acapulco galleon fleet.
- As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, there followed in quick succession the Philippine Revolution, which spawned the short-lived First Philippine Republic; the Spanish-American War; and the Philippine–American War.
- In the aftermath, the United States emerged as the dominant power; aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the United Statesretained sovereignty over the islands until the end of World War II when the Philippines gained independence.
- There are several opposing theories regarding the origins of ancient Filipinos.
- The influx of Spanish and Latino settlers secularized churches and opened up government positions traditionally held by Spaniards born in the Iberian Peninsula.
- He was assassinated as he was taken off the plane at the Manila International Airport (now called the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in his memory).
- In addition to membership in the United Nations, the country is also a founding and active member of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), an organization designed to strengthen relations and promote economic and cultural growth among states in the Southeast Asian region.
- The Philippines is a member of the East Asia Summit (EAS), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Latin Union, the Group of 24, and the Non-Aligned Movement.
- Manila Bay, upon the shore of which the capital city of Manila lies, is connected to Laguna de Bay, the largest lake in the Philippines, by the Pasig River.
- Of the country’s total labor force of around 38. 1 million, the agricultural sector employs close to 32% but contributes to only about 13.8% of GDP.
Some traditions, however, are changing or gradually being forgotten due to modernization.