Philippines Map & Geography


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Philippines Map & Geography

philippines map geography

Positioned on the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, along the Ring of Fire, the Philippines is the second-largest archipelago on the planet, with over 7,100 individual islands counted within its borders.

For hundreds of years the Philippines were a Spanish colony, but then were ceded to the U.S. in 1898, following the Spanish-American War.

One of the main focal points of battles between Japan and the U.S. during World War II, at the end of that war (in 1946) with the U.S. victory in the South Pacific, the Philippines attained total independence.

philippines map geography philippines map geography

The Philippine islands are subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The Mayon Volcano is the most active in the Philippines, and considered one of the most dangerous on the planet, however, it does not stand alone; in 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted, and proved to be one of the most significant volcanic eruptions in recorded history.

Extending about 1,100 miles (north to south), its many islands (volcanic in origin) are mostly mountainous, with narrow coastal plains; many islands are covered by tropical rain forests. Luzon is the largest island, followed by Mindanao, and both have numerous volcanoes.

The longest river is the Cagayan (Río Grande de Cagayan) on Luzon, 217 miles, (350 km) long. Other significant rivers (on Luzon) include the Abra, Bicol, Chico, and Pampanga. On Mindanao, important rivers include the Mindanao River and the Agusan.

Laguna de Bay, just southeast of Manila, is the largest lake of the Philippines. Lake Taal, also south of Manila, occupies a huge volcanic crater and contains an island that is itself a volcano. Lake Lanao is the largest lake of Mindanao and the source of the Agusan River.

The tropical country Philippines is replete with fascinating landscapes, active volcanoes, splendid beaches, coral waters and tropical rain forests. In addition, transportation between islands is very affordable, and for the most part, functional.

Not to be missed is the frantic pace of Manila’s nightlife, its many museums, and World War II markers; the incredible Banaue rice terraces; the world-famous White Beach on Boracay Island, widely considered the most beautiful tropical beach in the world; Cebu and Palawan Islands, and their world class diving spots; the white beaches of Mindoro Island; the Taal Volcano and its volcanic lake, and the Spanish-Chinese colonial structures of Vigan in Ilocos – to truly name but a few.

Add to that mix the indigenous colorful festivals that cover the calendar, and the smiling and welcoming Filipino people, and well, the Philippines are waiting.

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