The Philippines (Filipino: Pilipinas), officially the Republic of the Philippines (Filipino: Republika ng Pilipinas), is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia, situated in the western Pacific Ocean.
It consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Better avoid the capital city of the Philippines, Manila, and the most populous city, Quezon City. Both are part of Metro Manila. Too busy, noisy, and not as safe as the rest of the country. Carry your baggage yourself for security reasons.
You'll find some of the best diving and snorkeling reefs around the islands. Friendly locals take you out there on boats you can hire complete with crew.
Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.
The Philippines' location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons,
but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world's greatest biodiversity.
The sunshine in the Philippines is intense, especially between 10am and 3pm when it it more than 45° up in the sky. If your shadow is shorter than you, its time to cover up. The white sand reflects up to 80% of the sunlight, so you get a total of 180% of sunburn risk.
A hooded swimsuit made from thin and soft nylon is your ideal swimming outfit. It dries quickly and is well ventilated. Pockets with zips let you carry keys and money securely.
When you go snorkeling, put the hood up and secure it with the mask strap. That way your neck and ears are protected.