Country profile

The Philippines: About the country

The Philippines has a reputation as the friendliest country in the world, and it cannot be denied that the Filipinos are hospitable to a fault. Quite remarkable when you consider the turbulent history that has created this island race. Colonised by the Spanish from 1512, it took three and a half centuries and three hundred rebellions to win their freedom, only to be colonised once again by the United States. Yet it was this later colonisation that has put The Philippines at the forefront of the tourist world, because it means that almost all Filipinos speak fluent English.

The Philippines comprises over 7,000 islands, with beaches that go beyond your wildest dreams. Powdery pure white sand, crystal clear seas and palm lined shores make those idealistic holiday brochure shots a reality almost everywhere you go. Add in virtually nonstop sunshine, balmy temperatures and stunning clear blue skies, and you really do have paradise.

No wonder that the Filipinos are such happy, content people. Their smiles will live with you long after you have left, and their warm, welcoming hospitality will change you forever. Combining the influences of their Malay neighbours, with the strong family values of their Asian trading partners and the clean living Christianity of their Spanish conquerors, the Filipinos are unique in their outlook and their approach to life. And remember, that friendly welcome will generally be offered in English, making Westerners feel even more at home.

The list of highlights in The Philippines is endless. Try the ‘finest beach in the world’ on Boracay, around 250 miles south of the capital Manila, or explore the hundreds of caves on Bohol. Discover the tropical rainforests of Palawan, or dive amongst the historic shipwrecks off the coast of Subic, including a Spanish gunboat and the USS New York. With 7,107 islands to choose from, you’ll never be short of things to do.

Wherever you go, make sure you take time to stop off in Manila, the capital of this incredible country. Manila is a melting pot of influences, from Spanish and Chinese, to Arab and American, and there is simply nowhere like it in the world. Busy, dusty and packed with people, it is vibrant, exciting and full of life.

With a country so safe, friendly and unbelievably beautiful, you can’t help thinking that the reason that Filipinos are so welcoming to visitors, is that they simply want to show off!

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Quick facts

Population: 98 Million
Currency: Peso
Capital: Manila
Languages: Filipino, English, Spanish, Arabic
Religions: Catholic 80%

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