The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands located in the Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia. It is a democracy of 95 million people whose unique character has been formed from a combination of influences from its Spanish and American colonisers, its Asian neighbours and native people.
This is best exemplified in the way the Filipinos talk about their national identity. The bayanihan, the spirit of kinship and camaraderie that they are famous for, Filipinos say they get from their Malay ancestors. Their close family relationships are from the Chinese and their piousness from the Spanish.
The Spanish ruled the Philippines for 350 years and left their mark in architecture, religion – most Filipinos are Catholic – the fiesta culture and the passionate nature of Filipinos.
When the Americans took control in 1898, education was a priority, which has resulted in high literacy rates across the country. Today, English is one of two official languages of the Philippines, making it the third-largest English-speaking country in the world.
The islands of the Philippines contain all the ingredients of an island paradise: jungle interiors, sandy coastlines, aquamarine waters and coral reefs. It is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and is rich in natural resources.
In recent years, the Philippines has experienced high levels of economic growth. Government strategies to stamp out corruption, relieve poverty and encourage investment have been received favourably by global investors.
When to go:
January to May are the best months to visit the Philippines, although some places, such as Cebu City, are pleasant year round.
The Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu provides deluxe accommodation with incredible city and Mactan Canal views. Enjoy plush, comfortable rooms with thoughtful amenities including Free Wireless High-speed Internet access. Dine at the hotel’s delicious Feria restaurant, and take advantage of on-site parking. For fun and relaxation, take a dip in the 800-square-metre, free-form pool.
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