The Philippines

General Information:

  • Officially known as The Republic of the Philippines
  • The Philippines is made up of 7,641 total islands, but only about 2,000 are inhabited
  • There are three major island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao
  • The capital of the Philippines is Manila, and it's actually made up of 16 cities
  • Population: about 100 million

Language & Culture:

  • Official languages: Filipino and English
  • Filipino is commonly called 'Tagalog', the name of the country's previous national language
  • English is used throughout the education system and many professional fields
  • Over 90 million Filipinos are English speakers; this country is one of the top English speaking countries in the world
  • 'Taglish' is a combination between the Tagalog and English languages, informal conversations often take place using this language
  • Around 80% of the population is Catholic; the Philippines is the nation with the third most Catholics in the world
  • There are are more than 100 different groups of indigenous peoples

Business & Relocation:

  • The Filipino way of doing business combines both Eastern and Western business cultures
  • Expect business meetings to occur over lunch, afternoon snack called 'merienda', or dinner because food is very important in Filipino culture
  • Be cognizant of 'Filipino time'; timeliness is not seen as very important so it is likely meetings will start a good bit later than the set time
  • Makati City, Bonifacio Global City and Alabang are popular areas for expatriates to live
  • Always consider your commute when deciding on a residence in the Philippines; traffic in Metro Manila can be unpredictable


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