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3. location, size, and shape


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3. location, size, and shape

  1. 1. The geographical setting of any region is of great importance in evaluating its resource endowment. The nature of the resources, the character of the people, the socio-economic activities, and the national security of the state are influenced by its location, size and shape. These three elements must first be analysed as distinctive features of any region, before the physical and socio-economic aspects are considered.
  2. 2.    The location of any place is one of the most important factors that determine its economic, social and political well-being. Location fixes the permanent position of the place on the surface of the globe. It can be expressed in terms of latitude and longitude or in relation to its vicinity or its nearness to land and water bodies. Latitudes are angular distances measured north or south of the equator. The equator which divides the globe into the northern and southern hemispheres, is at zero latitude, and is the reference line.
  3. 3.   The longitudes are angular distances measured east or west of the Prime Meridian. The longitudes are great circles passing through the poles. The Prime Meridian which at zero longitude, passes through Greenwich, England, and divides the globe into the eastern and western hemispheres.
  4. 4.    Geographically, the Philippines is a part of Southeast Asia. It is situated between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer. It is bounded on the north by the Bashi Channel, on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Celebes Sea, and on the west by the China Sea.
  5. 5.  The vicinal location of the Philippines places the country some 965 kilometers from the southeast coast of the mainland of Asia. The neighboring countries in the north are the following:  Taiwan  China  Japan      The neighboring countries in the west are the following: North and South Vietnam Laos Cambodia Thailand Malaysia
  6. 6. The neighboring countries in the south are the following:  Borneo  Indonesia    Y’ami of the Batanes province is the northernmost island and is only some 97 kilometers from Taiwan. The Saluag of the Sibutu group of islands is the southernmost island while Omapoy island of the same Sibutu group of islands is the nearest island to Borneo which is only some 32 kilometers from the northeastern coast of North Borneo (Sabah). North Borneo which was included as part of the state of Malaysia was once claimed by the Republic of the Philippines.
  7. 7.   The Philippines is strategically located with the reference to Southern Asia and the regions of Indonesia and Australia. The archipelago of the Philippines guards the approaches to these regions from the north and from the east. This makes the country politically important among the nations of the world and an ideal distribution center of goods within the region. This is also the meeting ground of diverse cultures.
  8. 8.  The region between the mainland of Asia and the continent of Australia is an area of potential conflict. To safeguard the national interest and security, the Republic of the Philippines entered into a mutual defense pact with the United States and joined the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization and the ASEAN. The latter is an association of Southeast Asian nations which advocates that the region of Southeast Asia be declared a zone of peace, freedom, and neutrality.
  9. 9.    From Dr. Pedro L. Baldoria (1953) The Philippines is centrally located in the region where the conflict between communism and democracy appears to be coming to a head. This country, being the most “oriental of orientals” is the show window of democracy in Asia. It stands on the crossroad of the competition for power in the orient. Low in population pressure, rich in resources in proportion to its size, strategically located, and surrounded by countries with tremendous population to support and suffering from economic problems, the Philippines is an economic vacuum which attracts the whirlpool of a sweeping power moving southward from the mainland of Asia.
  10. 10.     The Philippines has a maritime or insular location. It is similar to that of Japan or Great Britain. Insular location has an advantage over continental location in the sense that the insular state does not have a common land boundary with its neighbour. The common land boundary is a sensitive spot where conflict of interest usually originates. Because of its insular location, the Philippines is enjoying a peaceful relation with its neighboring countries. The physical location of the country from the Asian mainland gives us a distinct security advantage.
  11. 11.    The Philippines lies on the major oceanic trade route and airline plying between the United States and Asia. The Pacific trade route, which originates from western United States, passes through Hawaii and upon reaching Honolulu, the route splits into three branches – one branch goes to Japan; the second to the Philippines, and the third to Australia and New Zealand. Manila is also an important port of call for ships to other southeastern countries.
  12. 12.   The air route follows closely the oceanic trade routes. The Philippines is one of the terminals of air lanes that starts from the west coast of the United States and passed through Hawaii and the island chain dotting the Pacific Ocean. Manila lies on another air route which starts from North America, passes through Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, Japan, and Taiwan.
  13. 13.   Culturally, the Philippines is the center of the blending of east and west. By virtue of our location, we have contacts with the countries of Asia from which many of our customs, industries, writings, and words in the Philippine languages were derived. Our location has placed us on the routes of the European colonizers. The geographical location of the Philippines in the tropics is greatly responsible fro the climatic conditions prevailing in the country. The uniformly high temperature and abundant amount of rainfall that prevails in the archipelago have a direct bearing on our soil, agricultural, forest and water resources.