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The Philippines is a group of over 7,100 islands. The capital is Manila. Main islands are Visayas, Luzon, and Mindanao. They have two official languages - Filipino and English. Filipino is based on Tagalog, and is the national language of the islands. English is also used as the medium of instruction in schools, used in offices and tourist related activities. At the same time there are eight major dialects spoken in the Philippines are Tagalog, Cebuano, Waray, Pampango, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, and Pangasinense.

Its history is a mix of European, Asian, and American influences. Manila is a prospering sea port and is a destination for all South East Asia bound cruises. It is a major stop over as well as tourist area for yachters and sailing crews.

Mindanao is the second largest island in the Philippines and has tropical forests and high mountains. It’s a great spot for trekking, jungle safaris, mountain climbing and other adventure sports. World’s longest underground river system is at the St. Paul National Park in Palawan. A few of the smaller islands have a certain number of indigenous tribes living within their jungles. Tourists and travellers are allowed to visit their houses and occupational surroundings and get to know about their life, traditions, customs and other interesting details.

Dinagyang, Ati Atihan, Sinulog, and Panagbenga are some of the hundreds of festivals celebrated on the different islands. Tourists are welcome to join the fests, fiestas and celebrations of the locals.

Of the 500 known species of coral in the world, 488 are found in the Philippines. Of the eight species of marine turtles worldwide, five are reported to be found in the Philippines: the Hawkbill, Leatherback, Olive Ridley, Green Turtle, and Loggerhead. The marine and wildlife of the islands are varied and distinct. And so, the scope for eco-tourism is large here.

Travellers to this country come here for the beaches, diving, adventure sports, and of course to have a serene vacation.


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