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  • Alex Gillam

Where in the World: The Philippines

Known for its fabulous beaches, densely populated multi-cultural cities, jaw-dropping rainforests and its more than 7,100 islands, the Philippines is one of Southeast Asia’s most fascinating destinations.

The Philippines name can be traced back to the 16th Century, when the former Spanish colony was named after then-king Philip II; because the country has been under the tutelage of countries like Spain and the United States, the Philippines bares more Western cultural affinities than the traditional Southeast Asia destination, something most evident in the fact that it has the 5th largest English-speaking population in the world (in addition to being the 2nd most populated Asian country with English as its official language).

Beyond that, the country is often recognized for its volcanic activity – the legendary Taal Volcano is one of the world’s 17 Decade Volcanoes (volcanoes that need to be regularly look after to monitor their active state), and in the province of Camiguin, the island boasts the highest number of volcanoes per square kilometer in the world (not only that, but the province is home to more volcanoes than it is towns – 7 volcanoes compared to only 5 towns).

And finally, in 2002 the country made headlines for producing the world’s biggest pair of shoes ever made. Standing at a height of 6.6 feet, the shoes are nearly 17 ½ feet in length and almost 8 feet wide, and cost over $40,000 to produce.

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