It has three major island groups which are the Luzon, the largest island and where the capital is located; Visayan, and Mindanao. Eleven islands make up 94 percent of the Philippine landmass, and two of these--Luzon and Mindanao--measure 105,000 and 95,000 square kilometers, respectively. They, together with the cluster of the Visayan Islands that separate them, represent the three principal regions of the archipelago (many scattered islands in a large body of water) that are identified by the three stars on the Philippine flag.
The climate is dry and hot from March to May and wet during typhoon season from June to October. The national language of the Philippines is Filipino although there are several other dialects. As with many formerly colonized nations English is the language used for most business and legal transactions. Cantonese, and Mandarin are spoken by older members of the Filipino-Chinese community. Most Filipinos belong to the Roman Catholic faith. Filipinos also practice Islam and Buddhism. Of the 70 million people residing in these islands, 70% are farmers making agriculture the most important economic activity.
Many of the farmers do not own their own land and have to rent. A great portion of individual harvest are used to pay landlords. Typhoons, monsoons and volcanoes are among the natural disasters which greatly affect farmers in this region. There are 37 volcanoes in the Philippines 28 of which are active. Three of the most known volcanoes are found in the northern island of Luzon, Mount Pintaubo, Mount Mayon, and the Taal volcano. In 1992, although its citizens had many reasons to hope for a brighter future, the Philippines was a nation plagued with many economic and political problems. These problems had been aggravated by a series of natural disasters. In July of 1990 in northern Luzon a massive earthquake struck. Later that year there was a... [continues]
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