All the Philippine islands are of volcanic origin and, as a result, the country is very mountainous. The northern part of the island of Luzon is extremely rugged. Luzon's highest peak, Mount Pulog, rises to 9,626 feet (2,934 m). The island has three mountain ranges that run roughly parallel in a north-south direction.
In the eastern part of Luzon, there is the longest mountain range in the Philippines, the Sierra Madre, which extends from the province of Quezon in the south to Cagayan in the north. The mountain range serves as the eastern wall of the island of Luzon and protects the inhabitants from tropical cyclones that usually come from the Pacific Ocean. The interior of the country is generally mountainous, with several mountain peaks that reach nearly 10,000 feet. In addition, the Philippines has extensive fertile plains along the coast and in the center of the country.
It also has lush and picturesque rolling hills, with rich valleys crossed by rivers. There are numerous volcanoes in the country and some are frequently active. The most recent and infamous example was the eruption of the mountain. Pinatubo on June 12, 1991, which was the biggest volcanic eruption of the century.
The Pinatubo eruption permanently altered the topography of northern Luzon and continues to cause flood control problems. The very complex and volcanic origin of most of the Philippine Islands is visible in their varied and rugged terrain. The largest industries in the Philippines include electronic product assembly, clothing, footwear, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, oil refining, and fishing. As part of the Western Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines has thirty-seven volcanoes, of which eighteen are active.
Nowadays, the Philippines is considered a republic with an executive branch composed of a head of state and a head of government, both occupied by the president. There are four wetlands of international importance in the Philippines, designated under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. In 1521, European exploration of the Philippines began when Fernando de Magallanes claimed the islands for Spain. Eleven islands represent 95 percent of the Philippine landmass, and two of them, Luzon and Mindanao, measure 105,000 square kilometers (40,541 square miles) and 95,000 square kilometers (36,680 square miles), respectively.
The eastern coast of the Philippines faces the Philippine Sea, where the Philippine depression (Emden depth) sinks to 10,430 meters (34,219 feet). The largest of the Philippine islands, Luzon, has an area of 104,687 square kilometers (40,420 square miles). The Philippines is an archipelago comprising 7,641 islands with a total area of 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 square miles). The country's largest plain is located in the Central Luzon region and produces most of the national rice supply, earning it the nickname Rice Bowl of the Philippines.
The Philippine archipelago contains some 7,100 islands and extends for 1609 kilometers (1000 miles) from north to south. In the 19th century, there were numerous uprisings against Spanish control by the local population of the Philippines. The Philippines, officially called the Republic of the Philippines, is an island nation located in the western Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia, between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea. Tropical rainforests also offer a privileged habitat for more than 500 species of birds, including the Philippine eagle (or monkey-eating eagle), some 1,100 species of orchids and some 8,500 species of flowering plants.