The Philippines Uncovered: 14 Tidbits About the Pearl of the Orient Seas


About The Philippines

The Philippines is a tropical paradise that’s just waiting to be explored! From the pristine beaches of Boracay to the bustling streets of Manila, the Philippines is a place that’s full of adventure. Whether you’re a beach lover, a foodie, or a nature enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in the Philippines.

One of the best things about the Philippines is its food. From adobo to lechon, Filipino cuisine is famous for its bold flavors and unique ingredients. Don’t forget to try the halo-halo, a refreshing dessert that’s perfect for a hot day.

And let’s not forget about the beaches! The Philippines has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with crystal clear waters and powdery white sand. Whether you’re into swimming, snorkeling, or just lounging in the sun, the beaches in the Philippines are a must-visit.

But the Philippines isn’t just about beaches and food. The country is also home to stunning natural wonders like the Banaue Rice Terraces and the Chocolate Hills, as well as vibrant cities like Cebu and Davao.

So pack your bags, put on your sunscreen, and get ready to experience the tropical paradise that is the Philippines!

Capital City

Manila (Luzon Province)

Head of State

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr. (President – June 2022-present)

NOTE: He is the son of former president/dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos.


presidential republic

Official Language(s)

English (official language) Tagalog (official language) plus eight major dialects – Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan


Philippine Peso ₱


116,434,200 (2023 est.)

National Holiday

12 June (1898) Independence Day commemorates the Philippine Declaration of Independence, ending the 300-year Spanish Colonial rule.


total: 300,000 sq km land: 298,170 sq km water: 1,830 sq km

one time zone, Philippine Time (PHT), which is 8 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

Life Expectancy

70.48 years (2023)  Male 66.97, Female 74.15


The Philippines is located in Southeastern Asia; an archipelago between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam.

Regions first came to existence on September 24, 1972.

17 Regions

Region Island Group  Capital
National Capital Region
Luzon Manila
Cordillera Administrative Region
Luzon Baguio
Ilocos Region
(Region I)
Luzon San Fernando
Cagayan Valley
(Region II)
Luzon Tuguegarao
Central Luzon
(Region III)
Luzon San Fernando
(Region IV-A)
Luzon Calamba
 Southwestern Tagalog Region
Luzon Calapan
Bicol Region
(Region V)
Luzon Legazpi
Western Visayas
(Region VI)
Visayas Iloilo City
Central Visayas
(Region VII)
Visayas Cebu City
Eastern Visayas
(Region VIII)
Visayas Tacloban
Zamboanga Peninsula
(Region IX)
Mindanao Pagadian
Northern Mindanao
(Region X)
Mindanao Cagayan de Oro
Davao Region
(Region XI)
Mindanao Davao City
(Region XII)
Mindanao Koronadal
(Region XIII)
Mindanao Butuan
Mindanao Cotabato City



The Philippines takes its name from Philip II, who was king of Spain during the Spanish colonization of the islands in the 16th century. Because it was under Spanish rule for 333 years and under US tutelage for a further 48 years, the Philippines has many cultural affinities with the West.

In 1935 the Philippines became a self-governing commonwealth. In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence.

The US closed its last military bases on the islands in 1992.

Australian Flag

note: in wartime the flag is flown upside down with the red band at the top

Philippine Flag

The design of the flag dates back to 1897. The blue stands for peace and justice, red symbolizes courage, the white equal-sided triangle represents equality; the rays recall the first eight provinces that sought independence from Spain, while the stars represent the three major geographical divisions of the country: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms of the Philippines was adopted on 3 July 1946. “Pale ways of two pieces, azure and gules; a chief argent studded with three golden stars equidistant from each other; in point of honor, ovoid argent over all the sun rayonnant with eight minor and lesser rays; in sinister base gules, the Lion Rampant of Spain; in dexter base azure, the American eagle displayed proper. Beneath, a scroll with the words ‘Republika ng Pilipinas’ inscribed thereon.” The three gold stars represent the major island groups of Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. The rays of the sun represent the provinces of the Philippines. The American eagle and Lion of Spain represent the nations colonial past.


National Anthem

“Lupang Hinirang” (Chosen Land)

lyrics/music:Jose PALMA (revised by Felipe PADILLA de Leon)/Julian FELIPE

NOTE: music adopted 1898, original Spanish lyrics adopted 1899, Filipino (Tagalog) lyrics adopted 1956; although the original lyrics were written in Spanish, later English and Filipino versions were created; today, only the Filipino version is used


Roman Catholic 79.5%, Muslim 6%, Iglesia ni Cristo 2.6%, Evangelical 2.4%, National Council of Churches in the Philippines 1.1%, other 7.4%, none <0.1% (2015 est.)

Iconic Food by Region

Ilocos Region: Bagnet (deep-fried pork belly), Pinakbet (vegetable stew), Empanada (fried or baked pastry with meat and vegetable filling)

Cagayan Valley: Pancit Batil Patong (noodle soup with meat and egg), Buko (young coconut) salad, Tuguegarao Longganisa (local sausage)

Central Luzon: Sisig (chopped and grilled pig head), Adobo (stewed meat in vinegar and soy sauce), Tocino (cured pork)

Calabarzon: Bulalo (beef bone marrow soup), Kapeng Barako (strong coffee), Buko Pie (young coconut pie)

Mimaropa: Kinilaw (raw fish salad), Laing (taro leaves cooked in coconut milk), Binagol (sweet potato and coconut jam)

Bicol Region: Bicol Express (spicy pork and coconut milk stew), Pinangat (taro leaves with coconut milk and chili), Pili nuts

Western Visayas: Chicken Inasal (grilled chicken), Kadyos Baboy Langka (pork and jackfruit stew), Piaya (sweet flatbread)

Central Visayas: Lechon (roasted pig), Chorizo de Cebu (spicy sausage), Puso (rice cooked in woven palm leaves)

Eastern Visayas: Binag-ong (coconut milk and ginger stew with meat or fish), Moron (sticky rice cake with chocolate), Balut (fertilized duck egg)

Zamboanga Peninsula: Curacha (seafood with spicy sauce), Satti (chicken or beef skewers with peanut sauce), Knickerbocker (fruity ice cream dessert)

Northern Mindanao: Suman (sticky rice cake wrapped in banana leaves), Tinolang Manok (chicken soup with ginger and vegetables), Bukayo (sweetened coconut strips)

Davao Region: Durian (tropical fruit with pungent odor), Kinilaw na Tuna (raw tuna salad), Mangosteen (tropical fruit)

Soccsksargen: Tuna Kinilaw (raw tuna salad), Beef Sinina (spicy soup with ginger and chili), Marang (tropical fruit)

Caraga: Dinuguan (pork blood stew), Binaki (steamed corn cake), Saging Turon (banana and caramelized sugar roll)

Bangsamoro: Piaparan (chicken in spicy coconut sauce), Palapa (spicy condiment), Pastil (rice with meat or fish wrapped in banana leaves)

Cordillera Administrative Region: Pinikpikan (chicken dish with ritualistic preparation), Etag (smoked meat), Pinuneg (blood sausage)

National Capital Region: Sinigang (sour soup with meat and vegetables), Adobo (stewed meat in vinegar and soy sauce), Lumpia (spring rolls)

Postcards from the Road

Irresistibly Crispy Chicken Wing Recipe

Irresistibly Crispy Chicken Wing Recipe

Unleash the secret to irresistibly crispy chicken wings with our baking powder revelation. This recipe takes your wings to new heights, providing a healthier alternative to deep-fried indulgence. Get ready to satisfy your cravings with these crunchy and flavorful delights.

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