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Philippines Geography

The Philippines




(2009 estimate): 92.2 million

Natural Resources:

Timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper

The Republic of the Philippines, is a nation of 7,107 islands with a total area of 111,830 square miles (307,055 square kilometers). It is located on the Pacific Rim of Southeast Asia. Two thousand of its islands are inhabited. Luzon is the largest island with one-third of the land and half the population, is in the north. Mindanao is the second largest island, it is in the south. The Philippines are 1,152 miles (1,854 kilometers) long from north to south. The width is 688 miles (1,107 kilometers).

There are no land boundaries; the country is bordered on the west by the South China Sea, on the east by the Philippine Sea, on the south by the Celebes Sea, and on the north by the Luzon Strait, which separates the country from its nearest neighbor, Taiwan. The closest nations to the south are Malaysia and Indonesia. Vietnam and China are the nearest neighbors on the mainland of Asia.

The islands are volcanic in origin. Mount Mayon in southern Luzon erupted in 2000. Mount Pinatubo in central Luzon erupted in 1991 and 1992. Both eruptions caused destruction of villages and farms and displaced thousands of people from their tribal homelands. Because the country is volcanic, the small islands have a mountainous center with coastal plains. Luzon has a broad central valley in the northern provinces along the Cagayan River and plains in the midlands near Manila, the capital.Mindanao and Panay also have central plains. Northern Luzon has two major mountain ranges: the Sierra Madres on the eastern coast and the Cordilleras in the center. The highest peak is Mount Apo in Mindanao at 9,689 feet (2,954 meters).


Topography of the Philippines

Banaue Rice Terraces: Productive for centuries, the irrigated rice terraces of Banaue are still harvested by hand. The Banaue terraces are part of the rice terraces of the Philippine cordilleras, some 2,000 to 6,000 years old and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Chocolate Hills, Bohol


The weather is hot because of the country's closeness to the equator. The temperatures are constant except during typhoons. The dry season is from January to June; the wet season with monsoon rains is from July to December. Temperatures are cooler in November through January, dropping below 30 degrees Celsius (85 degrees Fahrenheit). The summer months of April and May have temperatures in excess of 39 degrees Celsius (100 degr
ees Fahrenheit). Typhoons occur from June through November.

Plants and Animals:

The Carabao: The Philippines National Animal

Orange Clown fish
The Tarsier: The Tarsier is an unusual mammal that lives in southeast Asia, in rainforests and bamboo forests in the Philippines and Indonesia. The tarsier is arboreal, spending its entire life in trees. It travels by leaping from tree to tree. It even sleeps and gives birth clinging to a tree trunk. Tarsiers cannot walk on land; they hop when they are on the ground. Tarsiers are primates, mammals closely related to lemurs, monkeys, apes, and people.
Clownfish in its anemone, Dauin, Philippines

The Philippine Eagle

The high temperatures and the continuously high humidity the whole year through, make that there are more than 3500 species of plants and anmals. Plants and animals are adjusted to the tropical climate and specific qualities of the tropical environment. Especially the tropical coral waters and the original tropical rainforests are the places, where hundreds of beautiful colored and sometimes rare animals live. In the waters of the Philippines there are more than 2000 different kinds of fish. Added to that figure, the country counts about 200 different kinds of reptiles and 25000 different insects. The smallest monkey and the biggest fish in the world, they both live in the Philippines.
The Philippines can show you what a typical tropical country can offer in species of animals.

Fresh Flowers of Bagulo, Bagulo City

Philippine Orchid


Quiz yourself to see what you remember!

1. What is the capital of the Philippines?
a) Baguio
b) Puerto Princesa
c) Manila
d) Samar

2. What are two of the Philippines natural resources?
a) coffee & gold
b) nickel & granite
c) salt & corn
d) cobalt & silver

3. The weather is (blank) because of it’s closeness to (blank).

a) fair, water
b) hot, the equator
c) warm, volcanoes
d) hot, Taiwan

*Highlight the row below the numbers to check your answers



Maps and Bottom Topography of the PHILEX Region. (n.d.). MSEAS Home. Retrieved May 1, 2011, from

Philippines Guide . (n.d.). Travel & Cultures - National Geographic. Retrieved April 27, 2011, from

Philippine Images. (n.d.). Philippine Tourism Promotions Board Website. Retrieved April 22, 2011, from

The World Factbook. (n.d.). Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved April 26, 2011, from

Culture of The Philippines . (n.d.). Countries and Their Cultures. Retrieved April 29, 2011, from

Schoolmeester, E. d. (n.d.). Animals in the Philippines. the Philippines. Retrieved April 28, 2011, from

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