The Philippines is a state and archipelago with 7,107 islands in the western Pacific Ocean and belong to Southeast Asia. They form the fifth largest island nation in the world (after Indonesia, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea and Japan). With 101 million inhabitants, the Philippines is the 12th largest country in the world. In addition to East Timor, the Philippines is the only Asian state with a catholic population. They got their name from the discoverer Ruy López de Villalobos, who called the islands in honor of the Spanish Infanta Philipp Las Islas Filipinas.
The South China Sea separates the island group in the west of Vietnam, the Sulu sea in the southwest of Malaysia, the Celebes Lake in the south of Indonesia. To the east is the Philippines Sea.
The archipelago extends from 5 to 21 degrees north latitude and 117 to 125 degrees east longitude.
The Philippines consists of a total of 7,107 islands, of which 3144 are named with a name and about 880 are inhabited. Of the 7107 islands, 13 islands have an area of more than 1000 km², 47 islands have an area of more than 100 km² and 357 islands are larger than 2.5 km². Of the 7107 islands, only eleven have an area of more than 2500 km²; The largest are Luzon, Mindanao, Samar, Negros, Mindoro, Panay and Palawan. A total of 421 larger rivers flow along the islands and there are 79 natural lakes. The coast length of the Philippines is 36,289 kilometers.
The archipelago is divided into three main regions:
The island group Luzon in the north and west, which consists mainly of the islands Luzon, Masbate, Mindoro and Palawan
The island group of Visayas in the center, which includes the islands of Panay, Negros, Cebu, Leyte, Samar and Bohol
The island group Mindanao in the south, among other things from the island Mindanao, the island Basilan as well as the Sulu archipelago with the island Jolo.
In essence, the islands are the tops of submarine mountain chains rising above sea level, on the border of two continental plates, the Philippine and the Eurasian. The Philippines is part of the Pacific fire ring with earthquakes and volcanism as a frequent companion to this location on the plate boundary. There are currently around 20 active volcanoes, of which the Pinatubo and the Mayon – both located on Luzon – have shown particular activity in recent years. The highest elevation of the Philippines is Mount Apo. To the east of the island group is the Philippines Graben, with a depth of up to 10.540 m one of the deepest deep-sea trenches on the earth. As a result of seaquakes, huge tidal waves, the tsunamis, can occur on the outbreaks of the Philippines.
Between the islands is a variety of inland seas and golfing, which are connected by sea roads. The most important inland waters are Lake Sibuyan, Lake Samar, Lake Visayas, Mindana Lake and Camotes Lake.