PHILIPPINE GEOGRAPHYA. Origin of the Philippines1. Legends• The story of the bird, the sky, and the sea2. Theoriesi. Part of a lost continent• It was believed that the Philippines was a remnant of a vast continent in the pacificwhich had sunk during pre- historic times like the fabled Atlantis lost somewhere in theAtlantic Ocean.• This lost pacific continent was called “Lemuria” or “Mu”.• Its remnants aside from Philippines were Borneo, Celebes, Java, Sumatra, and otherislands of the pacific.ii. Volcanic Origin• It was proposed by Dr. Bailey Willis.• According to this theory, Philippines was born due to the eruptions of sea volcanoes inremote epochs.iii. Land Bridge Theory• This theory suggests that Philippines was once a landmass bridging China and theAsian Mainland, to Borneo, Indonesia, New Guinea, and even Australia. The presentChina Sea was an exposed dry land known as the Sunda Shelf which covered an areaof 1, 800, 000 square kilometers. During the post glacial age, about 250, 000 yearsago, the world’s ice melted, causing the sea level to rise. Consequently, the lower landregions including the land bridges linking Asia and the Philippines were submerged,thus, Philippines archipelago was formed.• This theory is supplied by the following plausible reasons;a. Similarity of fauna and flora in Asia and the Philippinesb. Similarity of rock structurec. Existence of the shallow China Sea between the Asia Mainland andthe Philippinesd. The presence of a fore deep at the eastern margin of the Philippinesindicating the archipelago was once the edge of the Asia continentalPlatformB. Archipelago’s Name1. Filipinas• The name given to Philippines in 1543 by the ill- starred Spanish explorer, Ruy Lopezde Villalobos, in honor of Prince Felipe of Austria who later became Philip II, thegreatest king of Spain.• This name first appeared on a rare map published at Venice in 1554 by GiovanniBattista Ramusio.2. Philippine Islands• The anglicized name of Filipinas during the American colonial regime.3. Republic of the Philippines• The name given to Philippines after the decolonization in 1946.4. Ma-yi/ ma-i• The name given to Philippines by the early Chinese traders such as Chau Ju Kua andWang Ta- Yuan.• Same names such as Mintolang for Mindanao, Makilu for Manila, and Pishoye forVisayas were also dubbed to Philippines by the Chinese.• Ma- i is generally accepted to refer to the island of Mindoro in Luzon because of itsgold and proximity in the Chinese mainland.5. Rizaline Republic• The name proposed by the Katipunan General Artemio Ricarte in honor of Dr. JoseRizal.6. Maharlika• It was proposed by former President Ferdinand Marcos after his dream of making thePhilippines great again.7. Pearl of the Orient Seas• The most romantic name of the Philippines.• It was originally given in 1751 by father Juan J. Delgado as a name of Manila (Pearl ofthe Orient) and was also mentioned by Manuel De Azcarraga y Palmero.• It was also grunted by Dr. Jose P. Rizal in his published article in the Hong KongTelegraph.“Dahil sa tayo’y nilikha na mgarasyonal na nilalang, marapat lamangna matuto tayo sa bawat pangyayaringating dinanas, dinaranas, atdadanasin.”Herbert S. Corpuz
C. Geography and Resources1. Location• The Philippine Archipelago sprawls a little above the equator in Southeast Asiabetween latitude 4 degree 23” and 21 degree 25” north and longitude 116 degree and127 degree east.• Philippines has a very strategic location due to the following;a. It serves as a bridge between the cultures of the East and the West.b. It lies at the crossroad of international air and sea routes.c. It looms as bastion of democracy in an area where dictators andcommunism hold sway over Asian Nations.d. It is the citadel of Christianity between the largely Christian west andlargely non- Christian east. Hence, its role as “Christian Light of theWorld”.2. Area• The Philippines is an archipelago of 7, 107 islands of which 2, 773 are named.• It has a total land area of 115, 707 sq. miles or 299, 681 sq. km.• Luzon has an area of 40, 814 sq. miles while Mindanao has 36, 906 sq. miles.• Y’ Ami Isle is the northernmost point of the Philippines.3. Shape• Philippines is an inverted Y- shaped archipelago of numerous islands, islets, coralreefs, abundant rivers, lakes and bays, mountains and valleys, cool plateaus, andscenic volcanoes.• Christian Scholars commented that Luzon is like a Helmet, Visayas and Mindanao isthe Arms and Legs, and Palawan is Spirit Sword.4. Climate• The Philippine climate is tropical and monsoonal in character.• The two distinct seasons are dry season and wet season.• The temperature varies from 21 degree Celsius to 32 degree Celsius.• The coldest month is January and the Hottest is May.5. Regions• Region 1- Ilocos Region• Region 2- Cagayan Valley• Region 3- Central Luzon• Region 4A- CALABARZON• Region 4B- MIMAROPA• Region 5- Bicol Region• Region 6- Western Visayas• Region 7- Central Visayas• Region 8- Eastern Visayas• Region 9- ZamboangaPeninsula• Region 10- NorthernMindanao• Region 11- Davao Region• Region 12-SOCCSKSARGEN• Region 13- CARAGA• CAR- CordilleraAdministrative Region• NCR- National CapitalRegion• ARMM- AutonomousRegion of MuslimMindanao6. Natural Resources• Soil is the most important natural resources in the Philippines primarily of most peopleearn a living from tiling the land. Filipinos are fortunate of having a highly fertile land.• The country has rich plant life. Agricultural experts believed that 8,120 species ofplants grow in the country, that is, about 1,000 varieties of orchids, 1,000 species ofrice, and 3,000 species of trees.• 850 species of birds are found in the Philippines. Carabao is the most useful animal forit serves as farmer’s best friend.• At least 2,000 species of fish are found in the waters of the Philippine archipelago.• Philippine forest lands have a total area of 16,633,000 hectares which represents 55percent of the total land area. The Philippines rank third in forest reserves.• Philippines is one of Asia’s great gold producing regions.• Energy in the Philippines is used to supply electricity and fuel to run factories, lighthomes, and offices.7. Beauty Spots• The Banaue Rice Terraces was built more than 2,000 years ago by hardy Ifugaosusing only their bare hands and crude stone tools.• The Mount Mayon is the Crowning Glory of the Philippine Natural Wonders.• Manila Bay is one of the Enchanting Wonders of the Country.
• Other beauty spots are being rediscovered.8. Historical Places• Luneta Park- It was a beautiful setting built in honor of the Philippines greatest hero,Dr. Jose P. Rizal. It is used to be called Bagumbayan Field where Rizalwas executed by a Spanish military firing squad at early dawn ofDecember 30, 1896.• Corregidor- It is a national shrine nicknamed as “The Rock”. This was the vlastbastion to fall to the invading Japanese in 1942. Such made it the symbolof the determined resistance of its Filipino and American defenders.• Paoay Church- It was built in 1694 commissioned by the Augustinian friars led by Fr.Antonio Estavillo. It was declared as one of the national treasures byformer president Ferdinand Marcos.• Intramuros (Fort Santiago)- It was the old capital of Manila which was built in 1571. Itwas used to be the seat of colonial powers of both Spain and the UnitedStates of America. It was also a dreaded prison under the Spanish regimeand the scene of countless military police atrocities during the Japaneseoccupation. Here, too, Dr. Jose Rizal spent his last hours before hisexecution at Bagumbayan.• Aguinaldo Shrine- It was here where Emilio Aguinaldo declared Philippineindependence from Spain on June 12, 1898. This was where thePhilippine flag first raised.• Cavite Shrine- It was in this place where Emilio Aguinaldo was declared the firstpresident of the Philippine republic. The republic of which the first in Asia.• Barasoain Church- It was here where the constitution of the republican governmentwas drafted on September 15, 1898. this constitution was also known asthe Malolos Constitution because the church is located in Malolos,Bulacan.• Mount Samat- It is situated at Pilar, Bataan. It is in this mountain that the giganticcross named as “Dambana ng Kagitingan” (Altar of Valor) was erected onApril 1942. the cross symbolizes the heroic and courageous defensemade by fatigue, hungry, and sick Filipino and American soldiers inregaing our freedom during world war II.