The Philippines (/ˈfɪlɪpiːnz/ (About this sound listen); Filipino: Pilipinas [ˌpɪlɪˈpinɐs] or Filipinas [ˌfɪlɪˈpinɐs]), officially the Republic of the Philippines (Filipino: Republika ng Pilipinas)[a] is a unitary sovereign state and 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. Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.
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 343,448 square kilometers (132,606 sq mi) and, as of 2015, had a population of approximately 101 million. As of January 2018, it was the eighth-most populated country in Asia and the 12th most populated country in the world. Approximately 10 million additional Filipinos lived 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. They were followed by successive waves of Austronesian peoples. Exchanges with Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Islamic nations occurred. Then, various competing maritime states were established under the rule of Datus, Rajahs, Sultans or Lakans.
Rice production in the Philippines has grown significantly since the 1950s. Improved varieties of rice developed during the Green Revolution, including at the International Rice Research Institute based in the Philippines have improved crop yields. Crop yields have also improved due to increased use of fertilisers. Average productivity increased from 1.23 metric tons per hectare in 1961 to 3.59 metric tons per hectare in 2009.
The Philippines is the 8th largest rice producer in the world, accounting for 2.8% of global rice production. The Philippines was also the world’s largest rice importer in 2010. In 2010, nearly 15.7 million metric tons of palay (pre-husked rice) were produced. In 2010, palay accounted for 21.86% percent of gross value added in agriculture and 2.37% of GNP. Self-sufficiency in rice reached 88.93% in 2015
Filipinos were told as children not to waste the food on their plates because farmers’ blood and sweat are the reason why Filipinos’ stomachs are full. That is how valuable farmers are: they spend hours under the scorching sun and cold rains just to ease one’s appetite and to finance only their basic daily needs.
The Black Nazarene was carved by an unknown Mexican from a dark wood in the 16th century in Mexico and then transported to the Philippines in 1606.It depicts Jesus en route to his crucifixion. Pope Innocent X granted recognition to the lay Confraternity of Santo Cristo Jesús Nazareno in 1650 for the promotion of the devotion to Jesus through the icon. It was housed in several churches near Manila in the early decades, arriving in Quiapo Church in 1787 where it has been enshrined ever since. The icon is renowned in the Philippines and is considered by many Filipino Catholics to be miraculous; its mere touch reputed to cure disease. It attracts homage by numerous devotees and major processions every year.
The image (in recent years a composite replica) is brought out of its shrine in procession three times a year: January 9 (the anniversary of the icon’s translation), Good Friday (the Nazarene’s liturgical feast, commemorating the culmination of the Passion), and December 31 (New Year’s Eve, the first day of its annual novena). The January 9 procession reenacts the image’s Traslación (literally “transfer”) in 1787, or “solemn transfer” to the Minor Basilica from its original shrine inside Intramuros. The January 9 Traslación is the largest procession, drawing millions of devotees thronging to touch the icon and lasting 20 hours at the most.
The Black Nazarene (Spanish: El Nazareno Negro, Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno, Filipino: Poóng Itím na Nazareno, Hesus Nazareno) is a life-sized image of a dark-skinned, kneeling Jesus Christ carrying the Cross enshrined in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in the Quiapo district of the City of Manila, Philippines.