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The official count of islands that form the Republic of the Philippines is 7,107 islands. However, of these islands, only 2,000 are inhabited. The biggest islands are Luzon and Mindanao which cover roughly 66% of the country's total land area of 307, 055 sq. km. From north to south, the nation's archipelago stretches for 1,840 km while spanning 1,100 km from east to west.

This island nation can be divided into four main groups. The first group is Luzon, the largest and northernmost island, which is also the site for the country's capital, Manila. Mindanao, the second largest island at the other end of the map together with Sulu form the second group. The third group is the tightly packed island group called the Visayas, which is made up of seven major islands namely Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Samar and Masbate. Finally, to the west, lies the province of Palawan with over 1,700 islands.

With a make up of as many as 7,107 islands in the Western Pacific Ocean, it is not surprising that traveling in the Philippines archipelago can tax your flexibility and patience. Don't be surprised if you were told that it would take 20 years to cover all 7,107 islands even if you only spent a day on each of the island.



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