is home to a population estimated at 68 million people (growth rate of
2.5% annually), of whom 11 million people live in Metro Manila area. Filipinos
are predominantly descendants of Malays, however, there is evidence of
Chinese, Indian, Spanish, Arab and North American as well as Mestizos
(Filipino-Spanish/Filipino-Americans). For a country with over 7,000 islands,
one would expect the existence of many different ethnic groups spread
all across the Philippines. Of those that represent an important part
of the population structure are Ifugao (found in Banaue), Bontoc (live
in the Central Cordillera), Mangyan (found in Mindoro), Pala'wan (live
in the highlands of south Palawan) and Negrito (found in eastern Luzon),
to name a few.
fact that there are many different races, ethnic groups and religions
in the country, nevertheless, the Filipinos are a friendly and helpful
bunch. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that tourists are often reminded
of the Philippines as the place 'where Asia wears a smile'.