The Philippines is a nation that is considered an archipelago because it has so many islands. Each of these islands is also divided into different groups.
The Philippines has over 7600 miles within its sovereignty. The Philippines is considered an archipelago nation because so many islands are within its territory. The Philippines is divided into many regions: Luzon in the north, the Visayas in the central area, and Mindanao in the south.
Philippines – The Nation of Islands
The Philippines is considered a nation of islands. The Philippines archipelago has 7.641 island that covers more than 300,00 square islands.
The official Philippines Government website says this about the number of islands that the Philippines has.
When you check on the Internet, there’s a lot of different numbers for exactly how many islands the Philippines has. Many websites will say that the Philippines has 7100 miles of islands. But according to the official Philippines government website, it states the Philippines have 7,641 islands.
With so many islands in the Philippines, this truly does make the Philippines a country of islands. And that is why the Philippines is referred to as an archipelago.
The Philippines archipelago and islands are located between the South China Sea on the west side and the Philippine Sea on the east side. Over 65% of the country’s landmass is from Luzon and Mindanao’s islands.
About the Philippines Islands
The Philippines islands are divided into three main island groups Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Each of these areas of located in different parts of the Philippines Archipelago from North, Central, and South. They all have different islands, provinces, and regions situated in their area.
Luzon Islands Area – Philippines
Luzon is the northernmost island and the largest island in the Philippines archipelago. The city of Manila is the largest city of the Philippines on Luzon’s island.
Luzon is also the most populated island in the Philippines; it is ranked the 15th largest island globally by land area. It is also located in the northern portion of the Philippine archipelago.
Luzon is the economic and political center of the Philippines. Manila is the home of the Philippines government, and Quezon City is the most populous city in the Phillippines.
This means that Luzon is a significant island group for the Filipino nation.
Here is what is included in the Luzon Island area:
- Luzon – Luzon is often referred to as the Luzon mainland. But in the Luzon there are also other smaller islands which are considered to be part of Luzon.
- Batanes – The Batanes is in the archipelago province in the Philippines that is considered part of the Cagayan valley region, it is the northernmost province in the country and it’s also considered to be part of the Luzon area.
- Babuyan – The Babuyan group of islands is located in the Luzon Strait and is north of the mainland of Luzon and south of Taiwan. The group of islands has five major islands and then a series of smaller islands.
- Polillo – The Polillo group of islands is a group of about 27 islands in the Philpppine seas and is located about 16 miles or 27 Kilometers east of Luzon.
- Catanduanes – The Catanduanes island is the 12th largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the Bicol region of Luzon.
- Marinduque – Marinduque is an island province that is located in the Luzon region. It is also considered to be part of the southwestern Tagalog region.
- Mindoro – Mindoro is the seventh largest island and the eighth most populated island in the Philippines. It has a land mass of 10,571 square kilometers and a population of over 1,400,000 people.
- Masbate – Masbate is located in the mid section of the Philippines archipelago and has about 3 major islands in the group.
- Palawan – Palawan is one of the largest provinces in the Philippine as far as the total area of 14,650 Square klilometers.
- Romblon – The Romblon is a group of islands also considered to be in Luzon area of islands.
Sometimes the Masbate, Palawan, and Romblon will be considered in the Visayas area, but they are technically in the Luzon area. Many people in the area identify more with the Visayas group of islands than Luzon as their culture and language are more closely aligned with the Visayas region than Luzon.
Visayas Islands Area – Philippines
The Visayas is one of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines. It is in the central part of the midsection of the Philippines.
When you look at a map, you can see the region is right in the middle of the Philippines archipelago.
The major islands in the Visayas area include:
- Panay – Panay Is the sixth largest and fourth most populous island in the Philippines. The island of Panay consist of about 4% of the entire population of the Philippines.
- Negros – Negros is the fourth largest and the third most populous island in the Philippines it is one of the many islands groups that is part Visayas in central part of the Philippines.
- Cebu – Cebu is a group of island located in the the central Visayas area of the Philippines. It has a main island and 167 surrounding islands.
- Bohol – Bohol is a group of islands that has one major island and then 75 smaller islands.
- Leyte – Leyte is an islands in the Visayas area of the Philippines. It is 8th largest and the 6th most populated island in the Philippines.
- Samar – Samar is the 3rd largest and the 7th most populated island in the Philippines archpelego. It is located in the eastern Visayas area.
Mindanao Islands Area Philippines
The Mindanao Island area of the Philippines is the southernmost part of the Filipino archipelago. Mindanao is also the second-largest island in the Philippines after Luzon, and it’s the seventh most populous island in the world.
Mindanao is considered the major breadbasket of the Philippines, with eight of the top 10 agricultural commodities exported from the Philippines coming from the Mindanao island. The Mindanao island is an essential island group within the Filipino archipelago.
Mindanao is divided into six major administrative regions which are:
- Zamboanga Peninsula – The Zamboanga Peninsula has three major provinces and at least four major cities in the area. The area was previously known as Western Mindanao.
- Northern Mindanao – Northern Mindeanao has five different provinces and several cities that are considered to be highly urbanized. The area is in the north central part of Mindanao.
- Caraga – Caraga is in the northeastern section of Mindanao. The region has five provinces and several major cities.
- Davao – The Davao region is in the southeastern most part of the Mindanao. It has five provinces and Davao City, a major city in the Philippines.
- Soccsksargen – Soccsksargen is in the central part of Mindanao. The area has four provinces and a major city.
- Bangsamoro – Bangsamoro is officially known as the Autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). For a long time several groups were fighting for automy in this area.
As you can see from this list, the Philippines has many island groups and areas within its archipelago and many different regions. Even though the island groups are divided up into the north, central, and south, there is still a lot of diversity within each of those island groups.
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Why is Filipino Spelled with an ‘F’ when the Philippines is Spelled with a ‘Ph’?
The word Filipino is spelled with an “F” instead of a “Ph” as it has to go back when the Spanish came to the Philippines. When the Spanish arrived on the Philippine Island, they named this group or archipelago islands Islas Filipinas. The term Filipino was leftover when the Spanish called the island Filipinas.
You can learn more by reading Why is Filipino Spelled with an ‘F’ when the Philippines is spelled with a ‘Ph’? by clicking here.
Is The Philippine Part Of Asia?
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