Welcome to the Philippines!
Located in Southeast Asia, the Philippines, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is made up of 7,107 islands nestled inside the South China Sea to the west (also known as the West Philippine Sea), the Pacific Ocean on the East, the Sulu Sea on the Southwest and the Celebes Sea to the South.

Philippines MapThere are three main groups of islands: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. All of the islands feature beautiful beaches, palm trees, and wildlife. Some even have hills and mountains. Surrounding countries include Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the U.S. territory of Guam.

To visit the Philippines is a long trip from the United States and Europe. It is about 9,000 miles from New York City to the Philippine capital of Manila, for example, a flight of about 19 to 20 hours. From Los Angeles, it would only be about a 14-15 hour flight, and about the same from London, England.

The People
The people of the Philippines represent a mixture of Eastern and Western cultures with strong Spanish and American influences. Although are there are more than 50 dialects being used including Tagalog as the national language, English is well-spoken throughout the islands by many people.

The people are known to be very talented when it comes to singing, cooking, and crafting. Even more, Philippines is said by foreigners to have the most beautiful women in all of Asia. The people share many ideals similar to those of people in the U.S., including American movies, music and fast food. They also have cell phones and are avid users of text and instant messaging, as well as social networking and video games.

Influence from Spanish culture can mainly be seen in the names of the people, streets, towns and provinces of the Filipinos. This is due to Spanish colonization in the 16th century. Spanish architecture can be seen in buildings, churches and universities. They enjoy native music and dancing.

Philippines has high crime rates in certain areas just like any other nation, but most people are well known to be friendly, hospitable and easy going. They are described by many as people who work to live, not live to work, and have strong family values. They are known to welcome visitors to their country, and to invite them into their homes to share a meal. It's common to hear people referring to the Philippines as the friendliest country in the world.

The Weather
Philippines Flag There are two seasons in the Philippines - rainy season and dry season. Because the islands are surrounded by water, cool ocean breezes allow visitors to enjoy tropical, but humid temperatures averaging about 80 degrees fahrenheit (26 degrees celsius) year-round.

The hottest time of the year is from March to May, where the temperature can reach up to 100 degrees fahrenheit (or 37 degrees celsius). But the coolest time of the year is from November to February, where the temperature stays around 80-85 degrees fahrenheit (or 26-29 degrees celsius). During rainy season, usually June to October, the temperature can also be cooler and often it will rain on a daily basis causing major flooding.

Top Destinations

There are many places to go within the Philippines, but here are some of the top destinations:

Metro Manila - the country's capital, known and loved for it's malls, restaurants, museums and more.

Cebu - the country's 2nd largest city, known for shopping, restaurants, and beaches at the beautiful Mactan Island.

Davao City - the country's 3rd largest city, known for delicious tuna, watermelon and beaches at Samal Island.

Palawan - One of the top tourist destinations in the world, known for its amazing beaches and underground caves.

Boracay - Also a top tourist destination, known for its long beaches, boardwalk, and water sports.

Baguio - A beautiful mountain destination, popular for horseback riding, zip lining, hiking, and strawberries.