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Philippines (Pilipinas)

If you’re planning to travel to the Philippines, and we hope you are, there may be certain helpful information that you might want to know about this archipelagic nation composed of 7,107 islands. We shall be discussing these tips and reminders in this category from time to time.

The Philippines is known in the national language, Filipino, as Pilipinas. The term Filipino could refer to the national language or the citizens of the Philippines. If you want to be picky about it, Filipino refers to the male citizens, while Filipina refers to the ladies. If you’re using the national language, which, again, is Filipino, a Filipino is Pinoy, while a Filipina is Pinay. And if all that discussion gives you a headache, just refer to everyone as Filipino.

Now, it’s likely that you’ll meet a Pinay named Luzviminda, and if you do, ask her why the name. She may answer you, as Filipinos are known for their hospitality, but if she doesn’t, let me tell you that Luzviminda stands for the 3 main island groups of the Philippines — Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Luzon is to the north, Visayas is at the middle and Mindanao is to the south. The capital of the Philippines, Manila City, is in Luzon, while the Queen City of the South, Cebu City, is in Visayas.

Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are not political subdivisions, by the way. The smallest political unit is called the barangay, which, incidentally, also refers to the boats used by the early settlers to reach the Philippines. A number of barangays compose a municipality or city, and a number of municipalities and cities comprise a province. These are the political subdivisions. Provinces, on the other hand, are also grouped into administrative regions. There are 14,995 barangays, 1,494 municipalities, 136 cities, 81 provinces and 17 regions.

This is just a basic introduction of Pilipinas. Let’s get to know this beautiful country in the next discussions. (Map below courtesy of Google maps. Here’s how to use map).

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