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About the Philippines
The Republic of the Philippines is an island country in Southeast Asia situated in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north is Taiwan; west across the South China Sea is Vietnam, southwest is the island of Borneo, and to the south are the islands of Indonesia.
The climate is tropical, with March to May (summer) being the hottest months. The rainy season starts in June and extends through October with strong typhoons possible. The coolest months are from November to February, with mid-January to end of February considered the best for cooler and dryer weather. Locations exposed directly to the Pacific Ocean have frequent rainfall all year.
Philippine culture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. The Philippines exhibits aspects found in other Asian countries with a Malay heritage, yet its culture also displays a significant amount of Spanish and American influences.
As of 2010, the Philippines has a population estimated at 93 million and growing very rapidly. From its long history of Western influence, 377 years by the Spaniards and 49 years by the Americans, its people have evolved as a unique blend of East and West in both appearance and culture. Filipinos are largely Austronesian (more specifically Malayo-Polynesian) in terms of ethnic origin. Many Muslims in the Sulu archipelago near Borneo have Arab, Indian and Chinese mixtures.
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