The Philippines consists of 7107 islands in Southeast Asia, with
only 2000 of them inhabited. To its north is Taiwan, while on its
Southwest is Eastern Malaysia and Brunei, and Indonesia is to its
The populated, mountainous islands are divided into four groups.
Luzon is the largest and northernmost island whereas to the south
is Mindanao, the second largest island. Together, Luzon and Mindanao
account for 65% of the land mass.
About two-thirds of the population make their living from fishing,
agriculture, and forestry. Most of the country's rain forests are
lost due to tree-felling and slash-and-burn agriculture.
The country has a volcanic topography, with eighteen of its 37 volcanoes
active. Almost 900 people were killed and thousands more lost their
homes when Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991. It is also subjected
to earthquakes because of its frequent seismic activity.
The Philippines has a tropical marine climate with relatively high
humidity year-round, mild temperature and abundant rainfall. There
are three main seasons - the wet season (June to October), the cool
dry season (November to February) and the hot dry season (March
The average annual temperature is 25°C (77°F). The northeast monsoon
is from November to April while the southwest monsoon happens from
May to October.