The Philippines, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is a sovereign island country in Southeast Asia situated in the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of about 7,641 islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The capital city of the Philippines is Manila and the most populous city is Quezon City, both part of Metro Manila.
The Philippines’ location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world’s greatest biodiversity. The Philippines has an area of approximately 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 sq mi). Population is more than 100 million and still growing faster than any other east Asian country. It is the seventh-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. An additional 12 million Filipinos live overseas, comprising one of the world’s largest diasporas. Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands. In prehistoric times, Negritos were some of the archipelago’s earliest inhabitants.
Cuisine of the Philippines
The Filipino cuisine combines Spanish-Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Japanese and even American influences that have affected the regional cuisines of different ethnic groups in the Philippines.
Seafood is one of the staple foods of the Philippines. Fish and vegetables are the simplest case and is often part of every meal. Fish is simply roasted and eaten with rice. For larger fish, it is usually prepared as sinigang na isda (a sour soup), paksiw (simmered fish with pepper and vinegar) or inihaw (grilled fish). Shrimp, crab and lobsters are expensive, while shellfish is traditionally considered as poor man’s food. The equally popular bagoong (fermented shrimp paste) is a dish that is rejected by European visitors because of its intense smell.