About the Philippines
The Philippines is an archipelago of 7,107 islands located in Southeast Asia. Its 36,289 kms of coastline makes it the country with the 5th longest coastline in the world. It is categorized into three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Various ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands with a combination of eastern and western cultures. Filipino and English remain to be the official languages of the country, which are both widely used in government, education, print, business and broadcast media. Predominantly Roman Catholic, more than 90% of the population are Christians.
Literacy and Education
English is the main language of instruction, although Filipino and local dialects are also being used. English is also mainly utilized in business. The educational institutions in the country are continuously striving to remain updated with the latest technologies in order to produce a competent workforce.
BPO Industry in the Country
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is an emerging industry in the Philippines and was regarded as one of the fastest growing industries in the world. With more and more businesses realizing the potential of the Filipino workforce, the Philippine's BPO industry grew 26% in 2010 to US$ 8.9 billion, becoming a global powerhouse not limited to customer services but other business sectors as well such as medical transcription, software development, game development, animation, and shared services such as human resources, accounting, and payroll outsourcing.
Many companies realize the advantage of the Filipinos. The low cost, high availability of skilled experts, and excellent communication skills are only some of the qualities that Filipino workers posses. The Philippines is one of the largest English-speaking countries in the world. In addition, the country has an excellent labor quality and high availability of knowledge-based workers. This is the reason behind the country's unique competitive advantage in the realm of IT. Aside from holding the right skills and competencies, the country has also the sophisticated infrastructure that can adapt to clients preference. Thus naming the country as the "E-Services Hub of Asia."
How to Get In and Transportation
International gateways in the Philippines are Manila, Cebu, Davao, Clark, Subic, and Laoag. The leading gateway is the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila. It is attended by more than 30 airlines which fly to different cities around the world. Philippine Airlines, the country's flag carrier, has 32 international and 20 domestic points.
Its unique location has made the Philippines the commercial, cultural, and intellectual hub of Asia from the dawn of history. Communications and getting around the country is easy as most Filipinos understand and speak English. Mobile phones are used throughout the archipelago. Foreigners can buy "pre-paid" SIM cards for their cell phones for temporary use in the country to avoid costly roaming charges. Also, foreign currency can easily be converted into Philippine Peso and all major credit cards are accepted at department stores, restaurants, bars and major establishments.
Filipinos are a fun-loving and friendly people. Throughout the islands, there are festivals celebrated throughout the year and foreign guests are always welcome in their homes. Among the most frequently visited tourist spots in the Philippines are the capital city of Manila, Boracay Beach; Baguio - the summer capital of the Philippines, Bohol Island; Corregidor Island, Cebu City; Davao City, the Islands of Palawan, the Hundred Islands of Pangasinan, Puerto Galera Beach, the old Spanish colonial city and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vigan in Ilocos Sur, and the breathtaking Banaue Rice Terraces.
Tour packages, from day trips to five-day programs, are special ways of discovering the Philippines and its wealth of culture. Special interest activities include golfing, game-fishing, diving, white-water rafting and other aqua sports, trekking, spelunking, and safari trips.
You may check out http://www.tourism.gov.ph for more destination tips.
It's more fun in the Philippines!