Philippines is an island nation located in Southeast Asia between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam. According to the geography of Philippines, the country is made up of 7,107 islands, with a total area of 300,000 sq km. The country's land area occupies 298,170 sq km while water constitute only 1,830 sq km of the total area and has a coastline of 36,289 km. An important feature of the geography of Philippines is that the country is part of a western Pacific arc system which is characterized by active volcanoes. All the islands of the country are susceptible to earthquakes. The country's closest neighboring countries are Taiwan to the north and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south. The country's capital city is Manila located on Luzon Island.
People and Places
According to the 2008 census, the population of Philippines has been estimated to be 91,077,287. This island country comprises of 79 provinces and 117 chartered cities. Just about 1000 islands of the country are populated and less than one-half of these being larger than 2.5 square kilometers.
The largest cities in Philippines based on their population density are Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Davao City, Zamboanga City, Antipolo City, Cagayan de Oro City, Bacolod City, General Santos City, Iloilo City and Iligan City. The capital city Manila is the largest metropolitan city in the Philippines with highest population.
The climate in the Philippines is tropical marine dominated by a rainy season from May to October and cool dry winters from December to February. Most of the island country experiences summer monsoons with heavy rainfall. Annual rainfall is about 5,000 millimeters in the mountainous east coast section while some of the sheltered valleys country experiences less than 1,000 millimeters.
Natural Resources and Wildlife
The important natural resources available in the Philippines are timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt and copper.
This vast island nation consists of a wide variety of ecosystems which has numerous rainforests, mangrove swamps, marshes, grasslands, and coral reefs. These are the sanctuaries of a wide diversity of wildlife found in the Philippines.
Among the most popular species are the "Butandings" known as the "gentle giants" of Donsol, Sosogon, an incredibly large number of whale sharks that appear every year. Philippines' largest native animal is the endangered tamaraw, which is found in the Mindoro and less than 350 are known to exist.
The other endangered animals are Philippine crocodile and the tiny Philippine tarsier. The rainforests is the habitat of a large number of species of birds which include the Philippine eagle or monkey-eating eagle.
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