Philippines

Philippine Airelines (PAL) is a flag carrier of the Philippines. Headquartered at the Philippine National Bank Financial Center in Pasay City, the airline was founded in 1941 and is the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia operating under its original name. Philippine Airlines serves twenty destinations in the Philippines and 26 destinations in Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia, Oceania and North America.

Geography

Philippines is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. 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. It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea.

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. Its capital city is Manila.

 

With a population of more than 92 million people, the Philippines is the 7th most populated Asian country and the 12th most populated country in the world. An additional 12 million Filipinos live overseas. The influences from Malay, Hindu and Islamic ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. Trade and subsequent Chinese settlement eventually introduced Chinese cultural influences which remain to this day.

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Benigno Aquino III, president of the Philippines

Benigno Aquino III also known as Noynoy Aquino or PNoy, is a Filipino politician who has been the 15th and current President of the Philippines since June 2010. Born in Manila, Aquino finished his Bachelor of Arts Major in Economics from Ateneo de Manila University in 1981 and joined his family in their exile in the United States shortly thereafter. He returned to the Philippines in 1983 shortly after the assassination of his father and held several positions working in the private sector. In 1998, he was elected to the House of Representatives as Representative of the 2nd district of Tarlac province. He was subsequently re-elected to the House in 2001 and 2004. In 2007, having been barred from running for re-election to the House due to term limits, he was elected to the Senate in the 14th Congress of the Philippines. [read more...]

 

Culture

Philippine culture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. The Philippines exhibits aspects found in other Asian countries with a Malay heritage, yet its culture also displays a significant amount of Spanish and American influences. Traditional festivities known as barrio fiestas (district festivals) to commemorate the feast days of patron saints are common. The Moriones Festival and Sinulog Festival are a couple of the most well-known. These community celebrations are times for feasting, music, and dancing.

Moriones Festival Sinulog Festival Philippine Cuisine

Philippine cuisine has evolved over several centuries from its Malayo-Polynesian origins to become a mixed cuisine with many Hispanic, Chinese, American, and other Asian influences that have been adapted to local ingredients and the Filipino palate to create distinctively Filipino dishes. Unlike many of their Asian counterparts, Filipinos do not eat with chopsticks; they use Western cutlery. However, possibly due to rice being the primary staple food and the popularity of a large number of stews and main dishes with broth in Philippine cuisine, the main pairing of utensils seen at the Filipino dining table is that of spoon and fork, not knife and fork.

 

Economy

The national economy of the Philippines is the 45th largest in the world, with an estimated 2011 gross domestic product (nominal) of $216 billion. Primary exports include semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, and fruits. A newly industrialized country, the Philippine economy has been transitioning from one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. Major trading partners include the United States, Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Germany, Taiwan, and Thailand.

Makati City, Financial Centre Agriculture manufacturing

 

Attractions

Chocolate Hill

The Chocolate Hills are simply a mystery. Legend says that the hills were made when two giants threw stones and sand at each other in a fight. When they were finally through fighting, they became friends and left the island, but left behind the mess they made. Others believe that the hills are exposed coral formations weathered from thousands of years. Whatever the history, the 1,200 hills in Bohol are magnificent to see—completely uniform in size and shape. They stand about 30-50 meters high, covered in grass, but at the end of the dry season, turn chocolate color. You can climb 214 steps to an observation hill near the complex to view the immensity in the number of hills.

 

Casa Manila

This house is a re-creation of a 19th-century Spanish patrician’s three-story domicile. It stops short of nothing to make you feel as if you were living t here during this period of time. Enjoy the beautiful carriage entrance, the landscaped inner courtyard, and the spacious, grand stairway seen only in movies. As you make your way upstairs, you will view the incredible spread of well-kept furniture and accessories from the 1800s. Experience this complete treasure in the city of Manila, a city of industry and fast-pace.

 

Coconut Palace

For a mere $10 million dollars, the Coconut Palace is a project built for Pope John Paul’s visit in 1981 thought up by former first lady Imelda Marcos. This house is 70% constructed from parts of the coconut tree. This structure is a phenomenon and unbelievable in size. Located in the Cultural Center, it faces beautiful Manila bay. It contains seven suites and is named and decorated after a different region in the country. The Pangasinan Room, features pineapple fiber bedcovers and pearl table sets.

 

Cebu Island

The oldest city in the country, Cebu is noth ing short of paradise. Enjoy the first rate, five-star hotels right on the ocean and listen to the waves crash against the shore. The many casinos will delight the gambler in you; the numerous shopping malls will delight the shopper in you. With all the coral and tropical fish surrounding the island, Cebu is one of the best diving spots in the country.