• Nepal!

    Nepal: Phewa Lake. Go Now!

    Nepal
    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

  • Japan!

    Japan: Traditional foods. Go Now!

    Japan
    Japan has a rich culture that is visible today in the country's dress, architecture, language, food (pictured), and lifestyle. Begin Your Journey!

  • Bahrain!

    Bahrain: Desert. Go Now!

    Bahrain
    This tiny country has overcome the desert and has found a way to thrive, like this tree on al Jazair Beach. Explore Bahrain!

  • Kyrgyzstan!

    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Mountains. Go Now!

    Kyrgyzstan
    The mountains, including the Tian Shan Mountains (pictured), give Kyrgyzstan a unique culture, partially formed from this isolation from the mountains. Go Now!

  • Laos!

    Laos: Karst peak. Go Now!

    Laos
    The simplicity and natural beauty of the countryside make Laos a hidden gem in Southeast Asia overlooked by most travelers. Begin Your Journey!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of the Philippines

WARNING: Terrorist threats continue in the Philippines, please read this travel warning before going!

Geography

Filipino Geography - Chocolate Hills
Chocolate Hills

The Philippines is an island archipelago in Asia's Far East, somewhat connecting the Far East with Southeast Asia. This island nation borders the South China Sea to its west and the Philippine Sea to its east. Although it has no land borders, the Philippines is close to Malaysia and Indonesia in the south and to Taiwan in the north.

Filipino Geography - Boracay
Boracay

Although the Philippines consists of hundreds of islands and great diversity, they can be grouped into three groupings. In the north is the island of Luzon, which is one of the largest and most densely populated islands in the chain. This volcanic island is fairly low-lying in the southwest, which is home to Manila, while the northern part of the island contains a number of plateaus and good living conditions. From Luzon in the north to the large island of Mindanao in the south, there are numerous smaller islands. These islands vary in size and elevation, however all are volcanic in origin so are generally mountainous. The final island, Mindanao, in the far south is also heavily populated and the island's south and southeastern coasts are fairly flat.

Weather

Filipino Geography - Mayon Volcano
Mayon Volcano

What the Filipinos call their "Cold Season" may be laughable to most foreigners, but their hot and rainy season are definitely as advertised. Hot season runs from about March to May as temperatures are regularly in the 80s-90s°F (30-35°C) and have high humidity, although the mountains may be 10-20°F (6-10°C) cooler. The rainy season (June-November) is also very humid, but it rains more, as temperatures remain fairly consistent with those of the hot season. The Cold Season rarely experiences temperatures lower than 75°F (25° C) except in the mountains when they are again 10-20°F (6-10°C) degrees cooler. During this time humidity remains high so it still feels hot. Manila has an average low of about 70°F (21°C) in the cold season, but with high humidity most people still feel hot.

Wildlife

Filipino Wildlife - Saltwater crocodile
Saltwater crocodile

The Philippines has a huge wildlife population and variety. Among the mammals, there are water buffaloes, goats, horses, monkeys, anteaters, mongooses, and many smaller mammals like mice and squirrels. The sea life is more diverse as the waters surrounding the island nation have thousands of fish and shellfish. Some of the more common species include the tuna, mackerel, squid, shrimp, lobster, oysters, and crab.

Among the many birds that call the islands home or migrate to and from, are hundreds of species, many of which are water fowls. Among the more common birds are kingfishers, herons, pigeons, peacocks, pheasants, doves, eagles, and quails. There are also numerous reptiles on the islands, including crocodiles, turtles, and snakes. There are also a few amphibians, like frogs. A final group to note is the insect population, which is diverse and populous.

This page was last updated: November, 2013