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
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
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
Geographically, the Philippines is a part of
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.
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
The neighboring countries in the west are the
North and South Vietnam
The neighboring countries in the south are the
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Philippines has a maritime or insular
location. It is similar to that of Japan or Great
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
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.
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
Manila lies on another air route which starts
from North America, passes through Alaska,
the Aleutian Islands, Japan, and Taiwan.
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
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.