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The Philippines is made up of 7,107 islands covering a land area of 115,739 sq. m ( 299,764 sq km.) Main island groups are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The capital of the Philippines is Manila. Time zone is GMT + 8 hours.
The average temperate in the Philippines is between 78 degrees Fahrenheit / 25 degrees Celsius to 90 degrees Fahrenheit / 32 degrees Celsius.
The country is marked by a true blend of culture, truly in the Philippines, East meets West. The background of the people is Indonesian and Malay.
There are Chinese and Spanish elements as well. The history of American rule and contact with merchants and traders culminated in a unique blend of East and West, both in the appearance and culture of the Filipinos, or people of the Philippines.
Hospitality, a trait displayed by every Filipino, makes these people legendary in Southeast Asia.
Seldom can you find such hospitable people who enjoy the company of their Western visitors.
Perhaps due to their long association with Spain, Filipinos are emotional and passionate about life in a way that seems more Latin than Asian.
There are a total of 76.5 million Filipinos as of the latest national census in May, 2000. Population growth is estimated at 2.36 percent annually.
Luzon, the largest island group, accounts for more than half of the entire population.
Two official languages - Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog, is the national language. English is also widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education.
Like any living language, Filipino is in a process of development through loans from Philippine languages and non-native languages for various situations, among speakers of different social backgrounds, and for topics for conversation and scholarly discourse.
There are about 76 to 78 major language groups, with more than 500 dialects.
Some 80% of Filipinos are Catholic. About 15% are Muslims. The rest are made up of smaller Christian denominations and Buddhist.
The Metric System is used in most trade and legal transactions.
220 volts a/c is the ocmmon standard in the Philippines. 110 volts a/c is also used, especially in major hotels.
The Philippines's monetary unit is the peso, divided into 100 centavos.
Foreign currency may be exchanged at any hotels, most large departmental stores, banks, and authorized money changing shops accredited by the Central Bank of the Philippines.
International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Bank Americard, Master Card, and American Express are accepted in major establishments.
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