The Republic of the Philippines in the western Pacific Ocean, made up of the Philippine Islands and a part of the Malay Archipelago. It is at 13 degrees North and 122 degrees East. Situated about 750 mi (about 1210 km) east off the coast of Vietnam, the Philippines is separated from Taiwan to the north by the Bashi Channel. The country is made up of 7100 islands, and only about 460 are more than 1 sq mi (2.9 sq km) in area. Eleven islands have an area of more than 1000 sq mi (more than 2600 sq km) each and have a huge amount of the population. These islands are Luzon, Mindanao, Samar, Negros, Palawan, Panay, Mindoro, Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, and Masbate. The total area of the Philippines is about 120,000 sq mi (about 300,000 sq km). Manila is the capital and largest city of the Philippines.
The Philippines are the most northern group of islands in the Malay Archipelago, extending about 1150 mi (about 1850 km) north and south between Borneo and Taiwan, and the eastern and western size is almost 700 mi (almost 1100 km). The islands are of volcanic origin. In general the Philippine mountain ranges extend north to south. Earthquakes are common in the islands, which includes about 20 active volcanoes. On the smaller islands the mountains form a backbone. The larger islands have more geographical features, with broad plains and level fertile valleys in the interior. In the southeast peninsula it is a mountainous region with some volcanoes. Mayon Volcano, an active volcano that erupted without warning in February 1993, is on this peninsula just north of Legaspi. Dormant for about 600 years, Mount Pinatubo, a volcano located in central Luzon, erupted in late June 1991 and again in July 1992.
Large rivers, some of which are passable, pass through the principal islands of the Philippines. The longest river on Luzon is the Cagayan; other important rivers on the island include the Chico, Abra, Pampanga, and Bicol. The Mindanao and the Agusan are the principal rivers of Mindanao.
The Philippine Islands are within the Tropics and have an annual temperature of about 80°F (about 27°C). Rainfall averages about 80in (about 203cm) a year in the lower lands. In most of the Philippine Islands the rainy season occurs during the summer monsoon, from May to November, when the wind blows f...
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...e units include 60 chartered cities and more than 1500 municipalities.
In northern Luzon the valley of the Cagayan River is a plain about 50 mi (about 80 km) wide, surrounded by the mountains of the Sierra Madre on the east, the Cordillera Central on the west, and the Caraballo Mountains on the south. To the south of the Caraballo Mountains is the Central Luzon Valley, which extends from Lingayen Gulf to Manila Bay, and Laguna de Bay, the largest lake of Luzon. The plain is drained by the Agno River in the north and by the Pampanga River in the south. On the southwestern coast are the Zambales Mountains. Luzon has a narrow, mountainous extension to the southeast called the Bicol Peninsula.
On Mindanao, the largest island of the Philippines after Luzon, the Diuata Mountains border the Pacific coast, and west of them lies the valley of the Agusan River. In southwestern Mindanao is a large lowland area, the valley of Mindanao. One of the southern Mindanao ranges contains Mount Apo (2954 m/ 9692 ft), which is the highest point in the Philippines. The coastlines of all the islands are extremely irregular, measuring 22,550 mi (36,290 km) in length.
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