Philipines consists of 7,100 islands and islets with a
total land area of 115,000 square miles. The two largest
islands which are at the same time principal regions are
Luzon and Mindanao. The former has a total land area of
54,000 square miles and the latter has 37,000 square miles.
The third principal region is the gorup of islands and
islets called the Visayas in the central part of the
archipelago. The irregular coastline of the whole country
extends to a little less than 11,000 miles. All the islands
are seasonally inundated by river systems flowing from
mountains. The plains and valleys are well-populated.
The mountains, many of which are volcanic in origin, the extensive river sytems and the tropical climate endow the Philippines wiht extremely fertile agricultural lands suitable for a wide variety of crops for food and industrial use. It has vast forest, mineral, marines and power resources. Its forests cover a little over one-third of the land. Its mineral resources include iron, gold, copper, nickel, oil, coal, chrome, and so many others. its principal rivers can be controlled to irrigate fields continuously and also to provide electricity to every part of the country. It has rich inland and sea fishing grounds. Numerous fine harbors and landlocked straits are available for building up the maritime industry.
If the natural wealth of the Philipines were to be tapped and developed by the Filipino people themselves for their own benefit, it would be more than enough to sustain a population that is several times bigger than the present one. However, U.S. imperialism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism prevent the Filipino people from making use of their natural resources to their own advantage. As of now, U.S. imperialism and all of its lackeys exploit these natural resources for their own selfish profit and according to their narrow schemes at the expense of the toiling masses.
The Filipino people have been generated by several racial stocks. The main racial stock is Malay, which accounts for more than 85 per cent. Other significant factors in the racial composition of the people are Indonesian and Chinese. The Arab, Indian, Spanish, American and Negrito factors are present, but only to a marginal degree.
The national minorities of today comprise at least 10 percent of the population. They inhabited the greater part of the archipelago until a few decades ago when landgrabbers started to dispossess and oppress them. They have been set apart from the rest of the people principally by Christian chauvinism employed by Spanish colonialism and U.S. imperialism, as in the case of the Muslims in Mindanao and the non-Christian mountain tribes all over the country. There is also Malay racism bred by foreign and feudal exploiters of the people. This is often directed against the Chinese and the Aetas.
To this day, there are more than 100 languages and dialects. The nine most widely spoken are Tagalog, Ilocano, Hiligaynon, Subuhanon, Bicol, Pampango, Pangasinan, Samarnon, and Maguindanao. Tagalog is the principal base of the national language which can now be spoken by the majority of the people in varying degrees of fluency.#
[Excerpted from Philippine Society
and Revolution by Amado Guerrero]