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The Philippines ([1]i/ˈfɪlɨpnz/fi-lə-peenzFilipinoPilipinas [ˌpɪlɪˈpinɐs]), officially known as the Republic of the Philippines (FilipinoRepúblika ng Pilipinas), is a sovereign island country 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 theCelebes 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 amegadiverse country. The Philippines is the 73rd largest independent nation,[12] covering almost 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 sq mi) and an archipelago comprising 7,107 islands, and is categorized broadly into three main geographical divisions: LuzonVisayas, and Mindanao. Its capital city is Manila.

With a population of more than 98 million people,[6] the Philippines is the seventh most populated Asian country and the 12th most populated countryin the world. An additional 12 million Filipinos live overseas.[13] 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 who brought with them influences from MalayHindu, and Islamic societies. Thus, establishing various nations either ruled by DatusRajahsSultans or Lakans. Trade and subsequent Chinese settlement also introduced Chinese cultural elements which remain to this day.

The arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 marked the beginning of an era of Spanish interest and eventual colonization. In 1543, Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the archipelago Las Islas Filipinas in honor of Philip II of Spain. The Spanish Empire began to settle with the arrival ofMiguel López de Legazpi from New Spain (present day-Mexico) in 1565 who established the first Spanish settlement in the archipelago, which remained a Spanish colony for more than 300 years. During this time, Manila became the Asian hub of the Manila–Acapulco galleon fleet.

As the 19th century gave way to the 20th, there followed in quick succession the Philippine Revolution, which spawned the short-lived First Philippine Republic; the Spanish–American War; and the Philippine–American War. In the aftermath, the United States emerged as the dominant power; aside from the period of Japanese occupation, the United States retained sovereignty over the islands. After World War II,[14] the Treaty of Manilaestablished the Philippine Republic as an independent nation.[15] Since then, the Philippines has had an often tumultuous experience withdemocracy, with popular "people power" movements overthrowing a dictatorship in one instance but also underlining the institutional weaknesses of its constitutional republic in others.


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A clickable map of the Philippines exhibiting its 17 regions and 80 provinces.
Metro ManilaSouth China SeaSouth China SeaPhilippine SeaPhilippine SeaSulu SeaMalaysiaCordillera Administrative RegionIlocos RegionCagayan ValleyCentral LuzonCALABARZONMIMAROPABicol RegionWestern VisayasCentral VisayasEastern VisayasZamboanga PeninsulaNorthern MindanaoDavao RegionSOCCSKSARGENCaraga RegionAutonomous Region in Muslim MindanaoAutonomous Region in Muslim MindanaoBasilanLanao del SurMaguindanaoSuluTawi-TawiAgusan del NorteAgusan del SurSurigao del NorteSurigao del SurCotabatoSaranganiSouth CotabatoSultan KudaratCompostela ValleyDavao del NorteDavao del SurDavao OrientalBukidnonCamiguinLanao del NorteMisamis OccidentalMisamis OrientalZamboanga del NorteZamboanga del SurZamboanga SibugayBiliranEastern SamarLeyteNorthern SamarSamarSouthern LeyteBoholCebuNegros OrientalSiquijorAklanCapizGuimarasIloiloNegros OccidentalAlbayCamarines NorteCamarines SurCatanduanesMasbateSorsogonMarinduqueOriental MindoroOccidental MindoroPalawanRomblonBatangasCaviteQuezonRizalLaguna (province)Aurora (province)BataanBulacanNueva EcijaPampangaTarlacZambalesBatanesCagayanNueva VizcayaQuirinoIlocos NorteIlocos SurLa UnionPangasinanAbra (province)ApayaoBenguetIfugaoKalingaMountain ProvincePh regions and provinces
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Region Designation Regional center
Ilocos Region Region I San Fernando, La Union
Cagayan Valley Region II Tuguegarao, Cagayan
Central Luzon Region III San Fernando, Pampanga
CALABARZON Region IV-A Calamba, Laguna
MIMAROPA Region IV-B Calapan, Oriental Mindoro
Bicol Region Region V Legazpi, Albay
Western Visayas Region VI Iloilo City
Central Visayas Region VII Cebu City
Eastern Visayas Region VIII Tacloban
Zamboanga Peninsula Region IX Pagadian[1][2]
Northern Mindanao Region X Cagayan de Oro
Davao Region Region XI Davao City
SOCCSKSARGEN Region XII Koronadal, South Cotabato
Caraga Region XIII Butuan
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao ARMM Cotabato City
Cordillera Administrative Region CAR Baguio
National Capital Region NCR Manila

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