Situated in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is comprised of some 7,100 tropical islands. With coastline in seas from Japan, the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Celebes Sea, the country has some of the best diving in Southeast Asia. There is something for everyone - from a novice to the expert.
The islands lie to the east of Vietnam, with The South China Sea to the west and The Philippines Sea to the east. The capital, Manila, is 2,400 kms northeast of Singapore. With such a multitude of islands, many extremely small, it is easiest to categorise them them into three main sections - Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. The climate is tropical, maritime with average temperatures of 27 degrees C.
With a total land area of 300,000 sq kms, The Philippines has 36,300 kms of coastline with 40,000 sq kms of coral reef supporting over 500 different types of coral and more than 2,400 types of fish. Unfortunately, large tracts of coral are dead or deteriorating, but conservation measures are slowing the decline. The key threats are destructive fishing methods using explosives and poisons, excessive fishing and pollution runoff from logging, agriculture and urban development.
The Philippines at a glance
Population: 88 million
Philippine Peso - (51 = 1 USD approx)
Geography: 300,000 sqm
Coastline: 36,300 km
Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English
Major airport in Manila with daily global flights. International
airport on Cebu for SE Asian airlines and their destinations. Several domestic airports.
Viz can be up to 50 metres, depths to unfathomable. Marine life
includes most common indo-pacific species.