The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country in the Western Pacific, comprising more than 7,000 islands. Its capital, Manila, is famous for its waterfront promenade and centuries-old Chinatown, Binondo. Intramuros, a walled city in colonial times, is the heart of Old Manila. It’s home to the baroque 17th-century San Agustin Church as well as Fort Santiago, a storied citadel and military prison.
North of Manila, the Cordillera Central Mountains are popular for hiking, while the Ifugao province is famous for the rice terraces carved into its landscape. Remote Palawan province and its offshore Calamian Islands have palm-fringed beaches and turquoise lakes, plus coral reef diving. Cebu island is another celebrated diving destination. The tiny island of Boracay offers upscale beachfront resorts and a range of water sports. Bohol province is known for its cluster of more than 1,000 uniform Chocolate Hills and tiny Philippine tarsiers. Sports such as whitewater rafting and zip-lining are available throughout the country.
Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is a densely populated bayside city on the island of Luzon, which mixes Spanish colonial architecture with modern skyscrapers. Intramuros, a walled city in colonial times, is the heart of Old Manila. It’s home to the baroque 16th-century San Agustin Church as well as Fort Santiago, a storied citadel and former military prison.
•Highly Urbanized City: December 22, 1979
•City Charter: July 31, 1901
•Area code: 2
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