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Books on The Philippines


The Philippines consists of more than 7,100 islands, with a total land area of 115,707 square miles, almost as large as Italy and much larger than Britain.

A rugged land of mountains and plains, bays and lakes, rivers and waterfalls, valleys and volcanoes, its irregular coastline is 10,850 statute miles long, twice as long as the coastline of the USA.

The fascinating "Onli in da Pilipins" web site explains the surprising wealth (in every sense of the word) of the Philipinnes. Did you know that the lowest spot in the world is the "Philippine Deep"? Or that the Philippines is one of the most beautiful lands on earth? Both the largest and the smallest fish in the world are found in the Philippines. The world's rarest and most expensive shell, the world's largest shell, the smallest shell in the world and the world's largest pearl all come from the Philippines.

The largest eagle, the largest flower, the smallest falcon and the smallest monkey are all found in the Philippines. The people are famed for their linguistic skills and bravery, and the womenm for their independence and their beauty.

This site has long since disappeared so to read the full story of this unique and wondeful nation, you will need to visit:
Finding information about the nightlife of Manila is relatively easy, but on this site from the World Wildlife Fund you can learn about the true natural Philippines and the more than 12,000 species of plants and fungi in the Philippines Moist Forests.

As the opening paragraph explains "If you were to sail a ship from Taiwan south to the islands of Indonesia, you would pass by an archipelago of large and small islands known collectively as the Philippines. The wet forests that grow on many of these islands -- including Luzon, the Central Islands, and Mindanao -- together make up the Philippines Moist Forests ecoregion."

There is a fully descriptive section for each of the main ecoregions:
  • Mindoro rain forests
  • Mindanao-Eastern Visayas rain forests
  • Mindanao montane rain forests
  • Luzon rain forests
  • Greater Negros-Panay rain forests
  • Luzon tropical pine forests
  • Luzon montane rain forests
and each contains, in addition to a comprehensive description, a small "Did Youy Know?" item such as. "Flying lemurs donít fly but rather glide from trees on wide flaps of skin stretched between their legs. As they soar, their young cling tightly to them."

If you want to know more than the location of the bars in Manila, and understand a little about the wonderful natural habitats of the islands and the dangers that face them, you must see this site, which is at:
Rather different from the World Wildlife Fund approach is this Country Study carried out in 1991 by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress. The study is an effort to present an objective and concise account of the major social, economic, political, and national security concerns of the Philippines in the 1990s, using an historical framework. Sources of information include scholarly books, official reports from government and international organizations, and foreign and domestic newspapers and periodicals. Brief commentary on some of the more useful and readily accessible sources appears at the end of each chapter. Full references to these and other sources used by the authors are listed in the Bibliography.

The report can be found on
There are 22 active volcanoes in the Philippines, one of which is Pinatubo. Having slept for 450 years (after a million years of activity) the sleeping giant awoke on 2 April 1991. The resulting eruption, in June 1991, is well documented with text and photographs on this interesting site. There is also a final page (after the glossary) briefly cataloguing the other volcanoes of the Philippines.

This site, which is part of the Philippine pavilion at the Internet 1996 World Exposition can be found at:
"Life isn't a destination--it's a journey." So says Bob Gardner at the start of this excellent and very comprehensive site which Bob says "is my contribution to the ever expanding virtual world."

He covers, in a large and easily navigable site, a huge range of areas and experiences. If you are thinking of visiting the Philippines, this site is a must. It is split into 5 main sections:
  • Photo Journeys
  • Places
  • Shared Journeys
  • Culture and Environment
  • Mountaineering and Trekking
Within each section are several sub-sections, each one with its own text written in a light and amusing but very informative style, plus lots of excellent photographs. Forget the traditional travel guides - this site has all you really want to know to enjoy this marvellous country.

Well written, well illustrated and comprehensive, you can browse to your heart's content at:
Of the many travel books covering the Philippines, we would recommend thoroughly these two which are available from Amazon Books:

Where to stay: Hotels

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East Asia in Focus
Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional This document was last updated 29 January 2010
© 2010 Graham G Hawker