The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands with a total land area, including inland bodies of water, of approximately 300,000 square kilometers (116,000 square miles). Its 36,289 kilometers (22,549 miles) of coastline makes it the country with the 5th longest coastline in the world. Most of the mountainous islands are covered in tropical rainforest and volcanic in origin. The highest mountain is Mount Apo. It measures up to 2,954 meters (9,692 feet) above sea level and is located on the island of Mindanao. The Galathea Depth in the Philippine Trench is the deepest point in the country and the third deepest in the world. GEOGRAPHY OF PINAS
The culture of the Philippines reflects the complexity of the history of the Philippines through the blending of many diverse traditional Malay heritage mixed with Spanish,American and other Asian cultures. Pre-Hispanic, and non-Christian Philippine cultures are derived from many native traditions of the Austronesian people called Malayo-Polynesian or the Malay people. The prehistoric Philippine Mythology and Philippine indigenous culture was later influenced by the Malay cultures of Southeast Asia, accompanied by a mixture of Western-Christianity, Eastern-Islamic, Hinduism and Buddhismtradition. PHILIPPINE CULTURE
POPULAR SPORTS Various sports and pastimes are popular in the Philippines including basketball, boxing, volleyball, football, badminton, taekwondo, billiards, ten-pin bowling, chess, and sipa. Motocross, cycling, and mountaineering are also becoming popular. Basketball is played at both amateur and professional levels and is considered to be the most popular sport in the Philippines. In almost every corner of the cities, there is a basketball court
RELIGION More than 90% of the population are Christians: about 80% belong to the Roman Catholic Church while 10% belong to other Christian denominations, such as the Philippine Independent Church, Iglesiani Cristo, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Seventh-day Adventist Church, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Orthodox Church. The Philippines is one of two predominantly Roman Catholic countries in Asia, the other being East Timor.
ECONOMY The national economy of the Philippines is the 46th largest in the world, with an estimated 2010 gross domestic product (nominal) of $189 billion. Primary exports include semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, and fruits. Major trading partners include the United States, Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Germany, Taiwan, and Thailand. Its unit of currency is the Philippine peso(₱ or PHP).
COMMUN ICATION The Philippines has a sophisticated cellular phone industry and a high concentration of users. As of 2008, there are about 67.9 million cellular phone subscribers in the Philippines.Text messaging is a popular form of communication and has fostered a culture of quick greetings and forwarded jokes among Filipinos. In 2007, the nation sent an average of one billion SMS messages per day. Out of this growing number of avid text message senders, over five million of them use their cellular phones as virtual wallets, making it a leader among developing nations in providing financial transactions over cellular networks.