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Philippines Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of the Philippines consists of an archipelago of over seven thousand islands in Southeastern Asia, to the south of Taiwan.

Manila, on the island of Luzon, is the capital city. Other main islands include Mindanao and Visayas.

The country is mountainous with coastal lowlands. The longest river is the Cagayan on Luzon.

The climate of the Philippines is tropical with the rainy season between June and October.

Environment
The Philippines has a number of World Heritage sites. These include the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, a nesting place for birds and marine turtles, and Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park featuring karst landscape and forests.

The two thousand years old Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras are listed on the World Heritage Cultural Properties.

Parks and sanctuaries on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance are Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, Naujan Lake National Park, Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary and Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park.

Architecture
Two Cultural Properties on the World Heritage List date back to the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. These are the Baroque Churches of the Philippines built in Manila, Miag-ao, Paoay and Santa Maria and the Historic Town of Vigan, a well preserved colonial town.

Population
The population of the Philippines was estimated at 101,833,938 in 2011.

Languages
Filipino and English are both official languages of the Philippines. Many dialects are also spoken.

Religion
The majority of the people are Christians; there are also Muslims and Buddhists.

Food
Filipino food has been influenced by Spanish and Chinese cuisine.

Rice is the staple food and eaten with most meals. Noodle dishes are also very popular.

Filipino cuisine is unusual as meat (pork and poultry) and seafood may be combined in a single dish. Recipes often use ingredients such as coconut milk, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, tamarind and vinegar.

Desserts include rice cakes, leche flan and sweets dishes made from fresh fruit (guavas, mangoes, papayas and pineapples). Ice cream is used in desserts or eaten on its own.

Fruit juices are available and green lemons are used to make drinks. Beer and rum are produced locally.

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