Philippines Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Philippines: population, cities


According to Countryaah website, the Philippines has a population of around 107 million.

Ethnic composition

The following figures are rounded up or down:

  • 28% Tagalog
  • 13% Cebuano
  • 9% Llocano
  • 7.5% Bisaya/Binisaya
  • 7.5% Hiligaynon Ilonggo
  • 6% Bikol
  • 3.5% Waray
  • 25.5% others

Religious affiliation

83% Roman Catholic (approx. 83 million).

The Catholic Church of the Philippines is divided into 16 archbishoprics with 62 dioceses. The largest diocese is that of the Archdocese of Cebu with almost 4 million Catholics.

9% Protestants

5% Muslims

3% Buddhists


languages Official languages: Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English;

English is the business language; numerous local languages and dialects are in use;

Spanish is hardly spoken.

In 1762, the English language was introduced by English settlers.

Today the Philippines is the third largest English speaking nation after the USA and the United Kingdom (UK).

Capital, other cities

The capital of the Philippines is Manila with a population of approx. 12 million. According to Abbreviation Finder, PHL stands for Philippines in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.

Other cities are:

  • With an area of 2,211 km², Davao City is the largest city in the Philippines and has around 1.5 million residents.
  • Quezon City is the second largest city in the Philippines with around 2.8 million residents.
  • Kalookan City has around 1.5 million residents.
  • Cebu City is the oldest city in the country and has a population of around 870,000. The city is the seat of the largest archdiocese in the Philippines

Philippines: geography, map

The Philippines are an island nation and are located in Southeast Asia. The country’s islands cover a total area of around 300,000 km², of which 298,170 km² are land and 1,830 km² are water. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Philippines.


  • ForestAround 35% of the country is forested.
  • Agricultural landAround 40% of the land is used as arable land or fields, particularly for growing rice, corn, cassava, sweet potatoes, coconuts, bananas, oranges, mangoes, sugar cane and tobacco.
  • Other areas 25% (e.g. cities, roads, airport ports, military sites)

Islands of the country

The Philippines are made up of the three island groups Visayas, Luzon in the north and Mindanao in the south with a total of 7,640 islands.

About 1,000 of the islands are larger than 1 km² and about 460 are larger than 2.5 km².

Only the following main islands are larger than 2,500 km²:

  • Luzon with an area of 108,172 km², on the island is the capital Manila
  • Mindanao with an area of 95,581 km²
  • Samar with an area of 13,080 km²
  • Negros with an area of 12,705 km²
  • Panay with an area of 12,297 km²
  • Palawan with an area of approx. 12,000 km²
  • Mindoro with an area of 9,700 km²
  • Leyte with an area of 7,214 km²
  • Cebu with an area of 4,000 km²
  • Bohol with an area of 3,900 km²
  • Masbate with an area of 3,300 km²
  • Limasawa Island, is the island where Ferdinand Maggellan first set foot on Philippine soil.The first Christian mass in the country was held here.

The Philippines claim the Spralty Islands, also called the Kalayann Islands. The islands are also claimed by China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam at the same time. The approx. 600 small islets are located northwest of Brunei and are rich in raw materials.


The Philippines has a coastline of around 36,290 km. The second deepest sea trench in the world is the Minanao Trench, also known as the “Philippine Depth”. It is 10,297 m deep.

In 1927 the German ship “Emden” sank here.

Longitude and latitude

The Philippines extend over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from around 05 ° to 21 ° north latitude Δλ = from around 117 ° to 126 ° east longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

For the Philippines, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time without summer time. A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δ t (CET) = + 7 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

Highest sun in Manila

Manila is located at a northern latitude of around φ = 14.5 ° (14 ° 30 ‘) and thus in the middle of the tropics.

If the declination δ of the sun has the value of 14 ° 30 ‘north and the image point of the sun is thus exactly above the city, the sun is perpendicular there. This happens exactly twice a year, roughly 35 days before June 21st and 35 days after June 21st.


If the image point of the sun and thus the declination δ is north of the latitude of Manila, the sun is not in the south at noon, as in our latitudes, but in the north. In this case, the sun moves from east to north to west, where, like us, it sets.


Mount Apo

The highest mountain in the country is Mount Apo, a dormant volcano on Mindanao with a height of 2,954 m.

It belongs to one of the volcanic chain called Central Mindanao Arc, which also includes the Latukan and the Ragang. The Latukan is a 2,338 m high stratovolcano that was probably active in the early Holocene period.

The Holocene began around 11,700 years ago and continues to this day..

Other high mountains are:

  • Mt. Pulog with a height of 2,928 m.
  • Mt Klatungan with a height of 2,896 m.
  • Mt Tabayog with a height of 2,842 m.

About 20 of the numerous volcanoes in the country are still more or less active.

Active volcanoes

About 20 of the numerous volcanoes in the country are still more or less active or have been in the last few centuries. Some are presented here:


The Pinatubo is located relatively centrally on the island of Luzon – about 95 km north-northwest of Manila. Before its last severe eruption in 1991, the mountain was 1,745 m high – today it is 1,485 m. Until its eruption in 1991, the volcano was considered extinct. When it erupted on June 15, 1991, around 900 people were killed and numerous houses and fields were destroyed by pyroclastic avalanches, ash rain and lahars. The last documented eruption before that occurred in 1380.


The Mayon is located in the southeastern part of the island of Luzon – approx. 325 km southeast of Manila. The volcano is a so-called stratovolcano with a height of around 2,465 m. The volcano erupted over 50 times in the past 500 years. The last serious outbreak took place in 1993 with around 80 deaths. A particularly devastating eruption in 1814 claimed around 1,250 lives – in addition, the city of Cagsawa was almost completely destroyed by lava flows. In 2006, over 30,000 people were temporarily evacuated out of fear of another outbreak.

Babuyan Claro

The Babuyan Claro is located on the Babuyan Islands in the Luzon Strait north of the main island of Luzon. The Babuyan Claro is a stratovolcano with a height of around 845 m.


The Taal volcano is located on the island of Luzon – approx. 65 km south of Manila – and lies in the lake of the same name. The volcano has a height of around 400 m.

Banahaw (Banahao)

With a height of around 2,160 m, the Banahaw is the highest volcano of the nearby San Christobal volcanoes and the 1875 m high Banahaw de Lucban.

Banahaw de Lucban

The Banahaw de Lucban has a height of 1,875 m and is located near the two volcanoes Banahaw (Banahao) and San Christobal near Manila

San Christobal

The San Christobal has a height of 1,480 m and is located near the two volcanoes Banahaw (Banahao) and Banahaw de Lucban near Manila


The Bulusan (Mount Bulusan) is located on the southern part of the island of Luzon – about 65 kilometers southeast of the Mayon volcano. The volcano has a height of 1,565 m. The last eruption of the volcano, which caused no known casualties, lasted from the end of July 2007 to October of the same year.


Mount Iriga is 1,195 m high and is located in the interior of the Bicol Peninsula – the southern part of Luzon, around 30 km northwest of Mount Mayon. In 1641 there was a major earthquake on Bicol, as a result of which parts of Mt. Iriga collapsed. It was created during the quake by the damming of a smaller river (Buhi), Lake Buhi.


The Canlaon (Kanlaon) is a 2,435 m high stratovolcano on the island of Negros, about 36 km southeast of Bacolod. Negros belongs to the Visayas archipelago. The mountain is part of Mt. Kanla-on National Park and is very popular with climbers from all over the world. In August 1996, three mountaineers (two Filipinos and one British) were fatally exposed to an unexpected outbreak – however 17 other mountaineers were rescued.


The Vukan is located on the 230 km² about 10 km north of Mindanao Camiguin Island. The name of the Vukansdem composed the sound that boiling lava is said to cause.

It had its strongest known active phase since records began from September 1948 to 1953. The small eruption in 1948 left no damage, but sulfur mining in the crater was stopped. In 1949, 79 people died in a more violent outbreak. On the morning of December 4, 1951, the volcano erupted unexpectedly again, lava flowed down the slope and triggered landslides. In particular, a pyroclastic current at 800 °C that struck Mambajao, charred or mummified over 500 people in seconds. The death toll has never been precisely determined, but is believed to be over 3,000. A total of almost 19 km² of land was devastated. Many fled the island, whose population halved dramatically and only almost returned to its old level in 1995.


The Rangang is located on the island of Mindanao. The approximately 2,815 m high stratovolcano had its last eruptions in 1873 and 1916.

The volcano belongs to one of the volcanic chains called Central Mindanao Arc, which also includes the Latukan and Mount Apo.


The Parker is a 1,824 m high stratovolcano, the last eruption of which occurred in 1641. It is located on the island of Minanao and was named after the US General Frank Parker.

It is located about 30 west of General Santos City. Worth mentioning is the large summit caldera (crater) with the approximately 3.04 km² Maughan Lake in its center.

on September 26, 1995, parts of the crater walls broke and about 30 million m³ of water poured over the north-western slope of the volcano with a 6 m high tidal wave. Around 100 people lost their lives in the process.



The longest river in the country is the Cagayan on the island of Luzon with a length of around 350 km. it flows into the Pacific at Aparri.

Abra River

The Abra River is around 178 km long and has its source near Mount Data in the Benguet province on Luzon.


The river is known for its white water rides

Pampanga River

The Pampanga River flows from the Pantabangan Dam through central Luzon until it flows into the approximately 1,995 km² large Manila Bay. For example, Manila Bay was the site of a naval battle during the Spanish-American War in 1898


The approximately 150 km long Bicol River rises at Mount Labo in the province of Bicol in the southeast of the island of Luzon and flows after approximately 150 km in a southeast direction into Lake Bato. The lake is located in the city of the same name in the southeast of Luzon.


Laguna de Bay

The largest lake in the Philippines is Laguna de Bay on Luzon with an area of 194 km². The lake is located in the southeast of Manila Bay. The lake’s outflow is the Pasig River, which flows into Manila Bay.

Lake Lanao

With an area of km², Lake Lanao is the second largest lake and also the deepest. He is on

Lake Taal

The sulphurous Lake Taal (Taalsee) is the third largest lake in the Philippines and is located on the island of Luzon – around 65 km south of Manila. The lake is located in a basin that was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption around 500,000 to 100,000 years ago. The lake covers an area of 234 km² – with a maximum depth of 171 m. in the middle there is a volcano of the same name.

Lake Sebu

The lake has an area of 3.54 km² – with a maximum depth of 34 m. It is located in the province of South Cotabato on the island of Mindanao.

Lake Bato

The lake is located in the city of the same name in the southeast of Luzon. The lake covers an area of 2.8 ha – at a depth of 10 m. The Bicol River flows into the lake.

Lake Danao

This lake covers an area of 1.48 km². The lake is located on Leyte Island in the middle of Lake Danao National Park. Leyte Island is about 70 km north of Mindanao.

Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea


Sea The Sulu Sea is located in the middle of the Philippine Islands, from which it is literally framed. In the north it borders on Mindoro, in the west on Visayas and Mindanao, in the south on the north of Malaysia on Borneo and in the west on Palawan. In the southeast it merges into the Celebes Sea. The greatest depth is 7,025 m. In the middle of the Sulu Sea are the Tubbataha Atolls, which form a large, continuous reef. The atolls, which only protrude from the water at low tide, were around 170 km southeast of the capital of the island of Talaban (Puerto Princesa) and around 360 km in a northeastern direction from the northern tip of Malaysia. Parts of the Sulu Sea are among the most dangerous sea areas in the world because of the pirates there.

Celebes Sea

The Celebes Sea, also known as Sulawesi Sea, is one of the numerous marginal seas of the Pacific Ocean. The sea is bounded in the south by the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, in the west by Borneo and in the northeast by Mindanao. In the south it is connected to the Java Sea by the Strait of Makassar. The name comes from the port city of Makassar in the south of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The Celebes Sea has an average depth of 5,000 m – with a maximum depth off the south coast of Mindanao of 6,220 m. Its area is approx. 280,000 km².

Philippine Sea, South China Sea

Philippine Sea

The Philippine Sea is an approx. 5 million km² large marginal sea of the Pacific. With a maximum depth of approx. 10,540 m in the Philippinengraben – which stretches along the western edge of the sea – it is one of the deepest seas in the world.

The Philippine Sea is bounded in the north by Japan, in the northeast the Ryūkyū Islands separate the Philippine Sea from the East China Sea, in the south Palau forms its border, in the east the Mariana Islands form the three volcanic islands belonging to Japan (main island: Iwojima) Japanese Ogasawara-guntō (Bonin Islands) and in the northeast the Japanese Izu Islands make the transition to the Pacific.

South China Sea

The Philippines borders the South China Sea to the west.

The South China Sea is part of the China Sea and one of the marginal seas of the Pacific Ocean. The sea includes the Gulf of Thailand and the Gulf of Tonkin. It covers an area of around 2,975,000 km “- with a maximum depth of 5,025 m.

In addition to Indonesia, the following states are located on the South China Sea: Brunei, Hong Kong (People’s Republic of China), Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Philippines Population