Philippine Quick Facts and Figures

Official Name: Republic of the Philippines

Local Official Name: Pilipinas

Capital: Manila

Time Zone: GMT plus 8 hours

When it is midday, 12:00, in Manila, it is…..

23:00 in New York City, the night before.

20:00 in Los Angeles, the night before.

04:00 in London.

14:00 in Sydney.

13:00 in Tokyo.

The same time in Beijing.

11:00 in Bangkok

Population: 92,681,453 (2008 estimates)

Population Density:

311 persons per sq km (2008 estimate)

805 persons per sq mi (2008 estimate)

Total number of islands: 7,107

Islands with names: 3,144


Two official languages – Filipino and English. Filipino which is based on Tagalog, is the national language. English is also widely used in business, government, schools, legal transactions and everyday communication.

Major Dialects: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Pampango, Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray and Pangasinense

Independence: 1898 July 12 (from Spain)

Total Land Area: 300,000 sq km.

Comparative Area of Philippines: slightly larger than Arizona


With its numerous islands, the Philippines has a total coastline of about 36,289 km (22,549 mi). The coastline is irregular, with numerous bays, gulfs, and inlets. Manila Bay, with its superb naturally sheltered harbor, is the most commercially important. Also significant is the wide, unsheltered Davao Gulf of southeastern Mindanao.

Largest cities, with population:

Quezon City 2,390,688 (2005 estimate)

Manila 1,673,000 (2000) Caloocan 1,499,069 (2008 estimate)

Davao 1,400,000 (2007 estimate)

Cebu 662,000 (2000)

Principal cities:

Manila is the capital of the Philippines and the country’s chief port, main commercial and cultural center, and largest city. Other important cities include Quezon City, which is part of the Manila metropolitan area, and served as the country’s capital from 1948 to 1976; Davao, a provincial capital and a seaport; Cebu, a seaport and the trade center for a farming and coal-mining region; and Zamboanga, also a seaport.

Port and Harbor: Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iligan, Iloilo, Manila, Surigao, Zamboanga

Ethnic Groups:

Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon Ilonggo 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4%, other 25.3%

Primary Religion: Roman Catholic

Other Religions: Roman Catholic 80.9%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, Aglipayan 2%, other Christian 4.5%, Muslim 5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1%


Philippine education is patterned after the American system, with English as the medium of instruction. Schools are classified into public (government) or private (non-government).

Classes in Philippine schools start in June and end in March. Colleges and universities follow the semestral calendar from June-October and November-March.

Life Expectancy:

Female 73.8 years (2008 estimate)

Male 67.9 years (2008 estimate)

Literacy Rate:

Total: 96.3 percent   (2005 estimates)

Female 96.2 percent (2005 estimate)

Male 96.3 percent (2005 estimate)

Form of Government:

The Philippines is a republic with a presidential form of government, which has three co-equal branches: executive, legislative, and judiciary. The Executive branch headed by the President and elected by direct popular votes and serve for a term of six years. The President appoints his Cabinet to help him administer the functions of the government. The Cabinet is made up of various departments with specific functions and headed by secretaries. The Legislative branch, which has the primary responsibility for enacting laws, consists of the Upper House (the Senate) and the Lower House (the House of Representatives). The Senate President is the head of the Upper House; while the Lower House is led by the Speaker. The Judiciary branch consists of the systems of courts, with the Supreme Court as the highest and headed by the Chief Justice.

Characteristics of the Philippine Government:

The Philippines has a democratic form of government. This means that the people’s will is sovereign. Officials are elected by the people to run the government.

Head of State: President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino Jr.

Administrative Division:

79 provinces

117 cities

1530 municipalities

41,945 barangays

Philippine National Flag

The flag of the Philippines consists of two horizontal stripes and a white horizontal triangle on the left side of the flag facing the middle. The top stripe is blue and the bottom is red. In each corner of the triangle is a five pointed gold/yellow star. In the center of the triangle there is a large gold/yellow sun.

Philippine Flag Meaning:

The blue stripe symbolizes patriotism and justice. The red represents valor and the blood spilt for freedom and independence and the white stands for peace and purity. The white triangle represents equality and the Katipunan nationalist organization. The three stars represent the three main geographical regions of the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas and  Mindanao. The sun represents independence and its eight rays represent the eight provinces that led the Philippine uprising against Spanish rule.

Philippine Flag History:

The flag was originally adopted in 1898 after the Philippines gained independence from Spain but it was banned in 1907 after the USA took control of the country. Public pressure saw the ban lifted in 1920. Japan invaded the Philippines in 1942 and the flag was again banned until 1943. The USA regained control of the islands in 1945 and granted the Philippines independence on July 4, 1946. The flag underwent minor alterations in 1997. The Philippine flag was first designed by General Aguinaldo in 1897 during his exile in Hong Kong.

Interesting Philippine Flag Facts:

The national flag of the Philippines is also the country’s war ensign, when the Philippines are at war it is flown upside down, with the red stripe on top of the blue.


GDP Gross Domestic Product – 126 billion U.S. dollars (2008)

GDP per capita – 1380 U.S. dollars (2008)

Agricultural Products:

Corn, mangoes, tobacco, rubber, coffee, abaca (Manila Hemp) coconuts and copra, sugarcane, bananas, pineapples and livestocks. Coconuts are the most important export crop, accounting for 23% of world production. Copra production, in which the Philippines leads the world, produced 2.3 million metric tons in 2007.


Forestry industries remain viable because their products are based on more easily renewable sources than hardwood, such as bamboo, rattan, and the ceiba (kapok) tree. Bamboo and rattan are used in making furniture, baskets, floor mats, and other household goods. The ceiba tree, also known as the silk-cotton tree, is cultivated and harvested for its fiber, which is used in the manufacture of finished goods such as insulation and upholstery.


Fishing is an important industry in the Philippines. The average annual fish catch exceeds 2 million metric tons. The surrounding and inland seas of the Philippines yield crab, sardines, anchovies, tuna, scad, and mackerel. Shrimp, milkfish, and tilapia are raised in artificially created fishponds, in the fish-farming industry known as aquaculture.

Natural Resources:

The Philippines has extensive deposits of valuable metallic and mineral ores, including copper, gold, silver, chromium, lead, cobalt and nickel. Timber and petroleum are also on the list. Copper is the country’s leading mineral product. In 2004 the Philippines produced 6,000 metric tons of copper. The country has resources of


Nondurable goods such as processed food, textiles, and tobacco products make up the largest percentage of manufacturing output. Other major products include refined petroleum, chemicals, construction materials, and clothing. The Philippines has increased its production of durable items, especially electrical and electronic equipment and components, nonelectrical machinery, transport equipment, and furniture. The manufacture of electronic items, especially computer components such as microchips and circuit boards, increased substantially in the 1990s.

Foreign Trade:

The leading imports are petroleum, machinery, transportation equipment, metals, chemicals, foodstuffs, and textiles.

The principal exports electronics assembly, garments, footwear, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, petroleum refining, coconut products, fish.

Import Partners:

US 19.2%, Japan 17%, Singapore 7.9%, Taiwan 7.5%, China 6.3%, South Korea 4.8%, Saudi Arabia 4.6%, Hong Kong 4.1%

Export Partners:

US 18%, Japan 17.5%, China 9.9%, Netherlands 9.8%, Hong Kong 8.1%, Singapore 6.6%, Malaysia 6%, Taiwan 4.6%