The Philippines officially known as the Republic of the Philippines is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia situated in the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of about 7,641 islands. that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila.
The Philippines' location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world's greatest biodiversity. The Philippines has an area of approximately 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 sq mi). Population is more than 100 million and still growing faster than any other East Asian country. It is the seventh-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands.
The Philippines has a tropical maritime climate that is usually hot and humid. There are three seasons: tag-initor tag-araw, the hot dry season or summer from March to May; tag-ulan, the rainy season from June to November; and tag-lamig, the cool dry season from December to February. The southwest monsoon (from May to October) is known as the Habagat, and the dry winds of the northeast monsoon (from November to April), the Amihan.
The travel and tourism sector is a major contributor to the economy. The country's rich biodiversity is one of the main tourist attractions with its beaches, mountains, rainforests, islands and diving spots among the most popular tourist destinations. As an archipelago consisting of about 7,500 islands, the Philippines has numerous beaches, caves and other rock formations.
Ethnologue lists 186 individual languages in the Philippines, 182 of which are living languages, while 4 no longer have any known speakers. Most native languages are part of the Philippine branch of the Malayo-Polynesian languages, which is itself a branch of the Austronesian language family. Filipino and English are the official languages of the country.
The Philippines is an officially secular state, although Christianity is the dominant faith. Catholic Church data from 2015 found that about 82.9% of the population professed Catholicism. Around 37% regularly attend Mass and 29% identify as very religious. Protestants are estimated to be less than 5% of the total population. Islam is the second largest religion. The Muslim population of the Philippines was reported as about 5% of the total population. An unknown number of Filipinos are irreligious but may form as much as 10% of the population.
Philippine culture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. The Philippines exhibits aspects found in other Asian countries with a Malay heritage, yet its culture also displays a significant number of Spanish and American influences. Traditional festivities known as barrio fiestas (district festivals) to commemorate the feast days of patron saints are common. These community celebrations are times for feasting, music, and dancing and the Moriones and Sinulog festivals are a couple of the most well-known.