World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of countries
Map of South East Asia

Philippines Travelling Guide
Philippines Travelling Guide

General background: The Philippines were ceded by Spain to the US in 1898 following the Spanish-American War. They attained their independence in 1946 after Japanese occupation in World War II. The 21-year rule of Ferdinand MARCOS ended in 1986 when a widespread popular rebellion forced him into exile. In 1992, the US closed its last military bases on the islands. The Philippines has had two electoral presidential transitions since Marcos' removal by "people power." In January 2001, the Supreme Court declared Joseph ESTRADA unable to rule in view of mass resignations from his government and administered the oath of office to Vice President Gloria MACAPAGAL-ARROYO as his constitutional successor. The government continues to struggle with ongoing Muslim insurgencies in the south.

Area comparative: Slightly larger than Arizona.

Climate: Tropical marine; northeast monsoon (November to April); southwest monsoon (May to October)

Terrain: Mostly mountains with narrow to extensive coastal lowlands.

Population: 84,525,639 (July 2002 est.)

Ethnic groups: Christian Malay 91.5%, Muslim Malay 4%, Chinese 1.5%, other 3%

Religions: Roman Catholic 83%, Protestant 9%, Muslim 5%, Buddhist and other 3%

Language: Two official languages - Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English; eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocan, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense

Government type: Republic

Capital: Manila

Legal system: Based on Spanish and Anglo-American law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations.

Economic overview: In 1998 the Philippine economy - a mixture of agriculture, light industry, and supporting services - deteriorated as a result of spill-over from the Asian financial crisis and poor weather conditions. Growth fell to 0.6% in 1998 from 5% in 1997, but recovered to about 3% in 1999 and 4% in 2000. The government has promised to continue its economic reforms to help the Philippines match the pace of development in the newly industrialized countries of East Asia. The strategy includes improving infrastructure, overhauling the tax system to bolster government revenues, furthering deregulation and privatisation of the economy, and increasing trade integration with the region. Prospects for 2002 depend heavily on the economic performance of two major trading partners, the US and Japan.

Communication/Telephone system: Good international radiotelephone and submarine cable services; domestic and inter-island service adequate.

Places of interest:

Travel tips: In addition to bombings, the guerrilla fighters are infamous for kidnapping foreign tourists. Be cautious and at high alert in the Philippines.