Welcome to the Philippines

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 27 2021
Scribbler Welcome to the Philippines

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage

Ceylon Today Features

Today, we’re talking about another land of many islands, more than 7,600 to be exact. The Philippines is another archipelago located in South-East Asia, in the Pacific Ocean.

Out of the many thousands, the three islands Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are the biggest, with the capital city, Manila being located on the biggest island of the three; Luzon. The Philippines is home to a massive population of over 100 million people. Although Tagalog is the most commonly spoken language, there are more than 180 languages spoken by the people, with each language found in specific regions of the country. 




Geography

 The Philippines is a tropical archipelago. While many of the islands are too small for human habitation, the larger islands are more often than not densely populated. These islands have everything you would expect from a tropical country; warm, humid climate, with seasonal rain that nourish dense rainforest. The country has a number of mountain ranges as well, with most of them being inactive volcanoes. This is because the country is located in the Pacific ring of fire (you might have heard of that when we visited Japan).

 Because of that, the area is high in volcanic activity, and a lot of active volcanoes can be found in many of the islands. Earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons and tropical storms that cause flooding and landslides are also some of the natural disasters that affect the country, which happens each year. But it’s not all bad. The country is known to have lush biodiversity in its forests, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. 

Economy 

Tourism is a major industry in the country, with many people from around the world visiting to enjoy all the natural beauty found in the country. But the constant occurrence of national disasters has really hurt the growth of the country’s economy. The Philippines used to be a country that had an agriculture-based economy, but that is now slowly changing as industrialisation continues within the country, which is slowly becoming a global manufacturer and business hub for international trade. But poverty is still a major problem for the people. Even today, many still live without basic necessities for life and many more unemployed, without a proper job. 

The people and culture

 Even so, the people of the Philippines are known for their hospitality and rich cultural background. The country is a multi-ethnic nation which has had cultures unique to each region, but were soon diluted with the arrival of Spanish colonists. The country was a colony of Spain for close to three centuries, before taken over by the Americans, subsequently the Japanese during the Second World War, and were later liberated with the help of the American military and given independence in 1946. 

During this time period, most of their endemic language was replaced with Spanish influence. The same goes for their culture as well, which takes heavy influence from the Roman Catholic faith (introduced by the Spaniards) as well as American popculture. In fact, it would be very rare to find people with ethnic Filipino names in the country, as the use of Spanish names is prevalent throughout the country. But that doesn’t mean endemic Filipino traditions haven’t survived. Some of their cultural heritage has survived and exists today. There’s a lot more to learn about the Philippines, but sadly, you’ll have to do all that with your family and friends.

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage | Published: 2:00 AM Nov 27 2021

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