The Philippines is an archipelagic nation located in Southeast Asia, with Manila as its capital city. The Philippine archipelago comprises 7,107 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The major island groupings are Luzon in the north, the Visayas in the center, and Mindanao in the south. Tourist facilities are available within population centers and the main tourist areas. The Philippine coastline adds up to 17,500 km. Three prominent bodies of water surround the archipelago: the Pacific Ocean on the east, the South China Sea on the west and north, and the Celebes Sea on the south. Beaches can be found aplenty on this nation of 7,107 islands. These beaches come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and fineness of sand.The original people of the Philippines were ancestors of the people known today as Negritos or Aeta. They are very small people with a dark skin and curly brown hair. Before the Spanish explorers came, Indo-Malays and Chinese merchants had settled here. In 1521 the Spanish period started with the arrival of a small fleet in the coastal waters of Mactan Island, just east of Cebu Island. It was Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese in service of the Spanish King. He claimed the country for the Spanish King. The long period of Spanish rule was marked by numerous uprisings. Towards the latter half of the 19th century, European-educated Filipinos began to criticize the excesses of Spanish rule and instilled a new sense of national identity. This movement gave inspiration to the final revolt against Spain that began in 1896 under the leadership of Emilio Aguinaldo. The Philippine Revolution was an attempt to gain independence from Spain, and many years later from the US. The Philippines ultimately gained its independence from the United States on July 4, 1946. Over a hundred ethnic groups, a mixture of foreign influences and a fusion of culture and arts have enhanced the uniqueness of the Filipino race and the wonder that is the Philippines.The City of Manila is the cosmopolitan capital of the Philippines located in the west coast of the island of Luzon. The modern capital-city considered as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world with a population of over 1.5 million people. Historic, bustling, awe-inspiring, Manila is a blend of cultures and flavors that offers an endless serving of places to see, sights to behold, and experiences to never forget. The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7100 islands. Most of these islands are of volcanic origin. There are 37 volcanoes in the Philippines, of which 18 are still active volcanoes. It means that an eruption occurred in the last decennia and that a new eruption can be expected in the future. All the other volcanoes are ‘sleeping’ or 'dead' volcanoes. The most known volcanoes in the Philippines are Mount Pinatubo, Mount Mayon and the Taal volcano. They are all located on the Northern island Luzon. The highest mountains are found in Mindanao and Luzon, with the altitudes varying from 1,790 to 3,144 meters. Most of the smaller islands are mountainous in the interior, surrounded by narrow strips of discontinuous flat lowlands which constitute the coastal rims.The Philippines is a tropical country with a 'Tropical rainforest climate'. There are more than 3500 species of plants and animals. In the waters of the Philippines there are more than 2000 different kinds of fish. The country counts about 200 different kinds of reptiles and 25000 different insects. The smallest monkey and the biggest fish in the world, they both live in the Philippines. The best possibilities to explore tropical rainforest in the Philippines are on the islands Bohol, Mindanao and Palawan. These are the islands where still a big part of the original jungle is conserved Spectacular is the colorful underwater-world. Every year many tourists come to the Philippines to one of the islands, where scuba diving brings them to this amazing underwater-world.The Philippines offers plenty of regional festivals, often linked to the feast of the patron saints of the town or city holding the festival. Parades and processions, marching bands, floats and dance displays are usual activities.