The Philippines is an Asian country that has an area of approximately 300,000 square kilometers. The Philippines has the seventh highest number of islands in the world after Sweden, Finland, Norway, Canada, Indonesia, and Australia. For quite a long time, the number of islands in the Philippines was estimated to be 7,107. However, a recent report by the National Mapping and Resource Information (NAMRIA) has discovered 534 more islands, increasing the number of islands to 7,641. The discovery of these new islands has increased the geographic area and the coastal economic zone of the Philippines.
The Major Islands In The Philippines
As stated earlier, the Republic of the Philippines is made up of 7,641 islands, of these islands, only 2,000 are inhabited. Most of the islands have not yet been named. To clearly define these islands, they have been subdivided into three major groups, i.e., Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
The Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines and fifteenth largest island in the world. Luzon is also the most populous island in the Philippines with a population of about 53 million people according to the 2015 census. Luzon also hosts the capital city of the country, making it a political and economic center.
This term is also used to refer to the three principal islands of the Republic of Philippines, i.e., the Luzon mainland, the Babuyan and the Batanes islands. The Batanes group of islands is located around 162 kilometers to the north of the Luzon mainland. The Balintang Channel separates the Batanes islands from the Babuyan Islands. The Babuyan Islands are located in the Luzon Strait north of the main Luzon Island. Some of the major islands of Babuyan include the Calayan, Camiguin, Didicas Island and Balintang islands.
This island is the second largest Philippines’ island after the Luzon Island. The Mindanao is the major producer of agricultural-commodities in the country. Its peninsulas and the Moro and Davo gulfs that are situated to the south of the Mindanao Island define this island. This group of islands is composed of volcanic and faulted mountains. The Mindanao Island also consists of the bird sanctuary and the marsh-game refuge. Some of the major islands of the Mindanao include Ilanum, Maranao, Sangil, and the Maguindanao Island.
The Visayan Islands are made of several islands with the majority of them surrounding the Visayan Sea. Some of the main islands of the Visayan Islands include the Cebu, Negros, Panay, Samar, and the Bohol islands. The majority of the population of this group of the islands are the Visayan people. The Visayan Islands consists of three administrative divisions, i.e., Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, and Western Visayas. The group of these islands together with their neighboring islands make up the central group of the Republic of Philippines. High and green mountains characterize the majority of the Visayan Islands except for Masbate Island and the Samar islands, which are remarkably hilly. The islands are densely populated with the majority of its inhabitants being the Hiligaynon, Waray-Waray and the Cebuano.
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