The Philippines officially the Republic of the Philippines is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia situated in the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City.
The Philippines’ location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world’s greatest biodiversity. It is the eighth-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. In prehistoric times, Negritos were some of the archipelago’s earliest inhabitants. They were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples. Exchanges with Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Islamic nations occurred. Then, various competing maritime states were established under the rule of Datus, Rajahs, Sultans or Lakans.
The Philippines is considered to be an emerging market and a newly industrialized country, which has an economy transitioning from being one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. The Philippine economy is the 34th largest in the world, with an estimated 2017 GDP(nominal) of $348.593 billion.
The travel and tourism sector is a major contributor, contributing 7.1% to the Philippine GDP in 2013. The country’s rich biodiversity is one of the main tourist attractions with its beaches, mountains, rainforests, islands and diving spots among the most popular tourist destinations. As an archipelago consisting of about 7,500 islands, the Philippines have numerous beaches, caves and other rock formations. Boracay has glaring white sand beaches and was named as the best island in the world by Travel+Lesiure in 2012. The Banuaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, the historic town of Vigan in Ilocos Sur, the chocolate hills in Bohol, Magellan’s cross in Cebu and the Tubbataha Reef in Visayas are other highlights. The Philippines is also one of the favourite retirement destination for the foreginers due to its warm climate all year around, beaches and low cost of living.