About Iloilo and Philippines

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The Philippines consists of 7,107 islands, of which only 2,000 are inhabited. Only about 500 of the islands are larger than a square kilometer and 2,500 of them are not even named. The total area of the Philippines is 299,404 square kilometers. The highest mountain is Mt. Apo, near Davao in Mindanao, at 2,953 metres.

The islands of the Philippines can be conveniently divided into three groups. First, there is Luzon, the largest and northernmost island and the site of the capital, Manila. The nearby islands of Mindoro and Marinduque are generally included with Luzon. At the other end of the archipelago is the second largest island, Mindanao. Third, there is the tightly-packed island group known as the Visayas. There are
seven major islands in this group - Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Samar and Masbate. Cebu is the central island of the group and Cebu City is a major tourist destination.

There are over 30 volcanoes in the Philippines, 10 of which are classified as being active. The longest rivers are the Cagayan River, the Rio Grande de Pampanga and the Agno in Luzon; the Rio Grande de Mindanao and the Agusan River in Mindanao.



The Philippines was one of the earlier landfalls of the Western Voyagers. The Spaniard Ferdinand Magellan sighted Homonhon Island in the Western Visayas less than a generation after Vasco da Gama's breakthrough to southwestern India in 1498. From the time the conquistadores set up their capital in what is now Manila in 1571, the western presence in the archipelago was constant and pervasive.

After ruling for over three centuries, the Spaniards were displaced by the Americans in 1898, who themselves stayed for 48 years. This protracted colonial experience imprinted itself deeply on Filipino religion, language and mass culture.

The experts now concede that the state of Philippine culture at the coming of the Spaniards was generally higher than had
been believed. There is evidence of Chinese trade. Hindu
influences have been traced in Agusan and Palawan, while
Islam had been introduced into the southern islands almost 200 years before Miguel de Legazpi's arrival at Manila Bay.


Today, there are about 79.3 million Filipinos; approximately 8 million of whom live in Metro Manila. Filipinos are basically of Malay stock with Chinese and Spanish ancestries. Although an ever growing number of Filipinos are becoming urbanized, a great majority of Filipinos still till the land and live off it comfortably. Known for their hospitality, Filipinos are a warm and friendly people. Visitors are welcomed like members of the family and it is no surprise to find house guests being offered the best room in a Filipino home. Smiles are abundant in the islands


There are 111 linguistic, cultural and racial groups in the
Philippines speaking a total of about 70 languages. The major linguistic groups are the following: Tagalog, Cebuano,
Ilocano,Hiligaynon, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, Pangasinan and
Maranao. While the Philippines has a national language called Pilipino (also referred to as Tagalog), English remains the language of instruction in the secondary and tertiary schools and is spoken and understood throughout the country, in varying levels.The Philippines is the third largest English-speaking nation in the World.


Philippine education is patterned after the American system,
with English as the medium of instruction. Schools are classified into public (government) schools or private
(non-government) schools.The general pattern of formal
education follows four stages:Pre-primary level (nursery and
kindergarten) offered in most private schools; 6 years of
compulsory and free primary education in public schools (7
years in some private fee-paying schools) followed by 4 years of secondary education. College education usually takes 4, sometimes 5 and in some cases, as much as 8 years.
Graduate study is an additional 2 or more years.

There are more than 600 private and public colleges and
universities in the Philippines, such as the University of The Philippines, Ateneo De Manila University, University of Santo Tomas, and De La Salle University. The Asian Institute of Management, a graduate school of business, offers high-quality management education specifically designed to meet Asian needs.

Arts & Culture:

The casual visitor to Manila commonly sees the Philippines as the most westernized of Asian countries, and in many ways, it is. But there is also a rich underlay of Malay culture beneath the patina of Spanish and American influence.

National cultural life is a happy marriage of disparate influences, as the indigenous Malay culture assimilated and adjusted to different strains, in a practice typical of the eclectic Malay temperament.

An upsurge of Philippine nationalism in the 1970s may have
stimulated a desire to conserve the ancient heritage, but it has never restrained Philippine culture from becoming attuned to the finest international influence in the arts.


In general, the Philippines has a maritime and tropical climate with relatively high humidity, mild temperature, abundant rainfall and gently winds. Three main seasons describe the overall climatic pattern. The wet or rainy season is from June to October, the cool dry season is from November to February and the hot dry season is from March to May.

Most visitors prefer the period from November to March to enjoy the natural beauty of the country.

Filipino Characters:

Fatalistic :

Rather than trying to solve problems, Filipinos take a "What will be, will be" attittude. Bahala Na is uttered only after every effort has been expended toward achieving a particular goal. Roughly translated, this means "Leave it to Fate" or "Leave it to God".

Too Eager to Please :

"Yes" even when they mean "No" or not sure of their
commitment. In Philippine sociey, Hospitality is an essential feature. Filipinos hate turning down visitors, since doing so would not only disrupt social harmony but also reflect negatively on their capabilities as hosts.

Thin Skinned :

Filipinos are very sensitive to critism, insults, and hurt feelings. As elsewhere in Asia, the concept of "face" remains crucial in social interaction, whether in business or pleasure. amor propio, a Spanish phrase that means "self esteem" is the local expression for it. Westerners who insists on offering on confrontational, "tell it like it is" criticism, either in business or social settings, will find their approach counter-productive. And criticizing a Filipino colleague or subordinate in front of someone
else, especially on front of another Filipino, is like to be viewed as as attempt to humiliate.

"Utang Na Loob" and "Pakikisama" :

Filipinos are sticklers for pakikisama - smooth personal
relations, camaraderie, togetherness -- and it's taught at an early age to all. Pakikisama means avoiding arguments, when possible, and settling differences amicably. Without
pakikisama, a person will be looked upon as worthless.

Utang na Loob is another trait Filipinos invoke as a sign of good character. It means "debt of the inner self" or "debt of gratitude". This attitude binds people together, and Filipinos will avoid being bound by utang na loob outside his or her own group.

Respect for elders :

Respect for elders is one Filipino trait that has remained in the book of unwritten laws. The Filipino parent exercise almost absolute powers over the children. It is unthinkable for a Filipino to do an important thing without consulting his parents. The latter do not condone children talking back not only to them, but also to those older than they are. The particle "OPO" and "PO" maybe innocent to you but those little word shows respect for one another. In no other language it is respect for another carried to higher point than in Philippine language. Are you speaking to an older man or woman? Then use the second person plural, which is kayo, inyo, or ninyo. Always remember the particle "PO". It is a sign of good breeding! The elders believe and demand that they be obeyed. Right or wrong. That if you have a
string of degrees to your credit that does not impress the elders, they know for certain that your academic degrees cannot compare favorably with their experience. Yours is the knowledge; theirs is the wisdom-they say they have drunk more water than you have!

Respect for the elders includes respect for the elder brother or sister. It is the responsibility of the elder brother to perform the duties of the father and mother to the younger members of the family. One finds that among the Filipino family the elder brother or sister sacrifices his career for the sake of the young ones, who must have an education. And the later in turn is expected to look up to them with awe and respect. Kissing of the hands of the parents and old relatives or neighbors is a sign of respect is extended to the elder brother or sister.

The Filipino people have strong close family ties. The family has been the unit of society and everything revolves around it. The Filipino consists of grandparents, parents, and the children. The father is the head of the family but while he rules, the mother governs. For it is the mother that reigns in the home, she is the educator, the financial officer, the laundry woman and the cook. But over all and above the 'ruler' and the governor are the grandparents, whose opinion and decisions on all-important matters are sought. The grandparents are consulted and what they say carries much weight. Ignore them and you risk their stinging rebuke and they always say they have reached their ripe old age.

Possessiveness :

Possessiveness is another trait of the Filipino; he does not look with favor on a woman who flirts with several men. To him the sweetheart or the wife eyes are meant only for him. Even his close friend cannot kiss his wife with impunity on the pretext that is "brotherly kiss". The Filipino therefore requires complete faith and loyalty of his wife or sweetheart. To kill or to be killed is an easy way to avenge his honor.

More Ancient Characteristics :

Filipinos has many more bad "habits" and archaic idiosyncrasies. For instance, Filipinos are known to foster the ningas cogon attitude and the colonial mentality. They often also exhibit the "mababaw ang kaligayahan" character flaw by allowing themselves to be Easily influence by the western world and the corrupt practices of traditional politicians. Filipinos has also this crab mentality ancient characteristic which most of the time make a downfall of an individual



Provincial Frofile

Iloilo is the largest province on Panay and occupies the fertile alluvial plains of the southeast. High mountains form natural boundaries with the provinces of Antique to the west and Capiz to the north.There are many small islands that lie along its irregular coast along the Guimaras Strait. There are two pronounced seasons, wet from July to November and dry from December to June

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