Geographical aspects of South East Asian countries – 7

Geography of Philippines

Philippines is an island nation located in Southeast Asia between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea, east of Vietnam. According to the geography of Philippines, the country is made up of 7,107 islands, with a total area of 300,000 sq km. The country’s land area occupies 298,170 sq km while water constitute only 1,830 sq km of the total area and has a coastline of 36,289 km. An important feature of the geography of Philippines is that the country is part of a western Pacific arc system which is characterized by active volcanoes. All the islands of the country are susceptible to earthquakes. The country’s closest neighbouring countries are Taiwan to the north and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south. The country’s capital city is Manila located on Luzon Island. The Philippine islands, positioned on the Ring of Fire, are subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The Mayon Volcano is the most active in the Philippines, and considered one of the most dangerous on the planet, however, it does not stand alone; in 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted, and proved to be one of the most significant volcanic eruptions in recorded history. Extending about 1,100 miles (1,770 km; north to south), its many islands (volcanic in origin) are mostly mountainous, with narrow coastal plains; many islands are covered by tropical rain forests. Luzon is the largest island, followed by Mindanao, and both have numerous volcanoes. The highest point in the Philippines is Mt. Apo at 9,692 ft. (2,954 m); the lowest, the Philippine Sea at 0 m.

The longest river is the Cagayan (Río Grande de Cagayan) on Luzon, 217 miles (350 km) long. Other significant rivers (on Luzon) include the Abra, Bicol, Chico, and Pampanga. On Mindanao, important rivers include the Mindanao River and the Agusan. Laguna de Bay, just southeast of Manila, is the largest lake of the Philippines. Lake Taal, also south of Manila, occupies a huge volcanic crater and contains an island that is itself a volcano. Lake Lanao is the largest lake of Mindanao and the source of the Agusan River.