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Life Philippines

New Feature – Major Cities

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In this new feature we hope to highlight the major cities in each region of the Philippines. To do this we will present a fact based assessment of each city, including:

  • History
  • Cultural and Tourist Attractions
  • Things To Do, by Type
  • Places To Eat, by type
  • Places To Stay by price
  • How To Get There
  • How To Get Around
  • Expat safety by statistical data

Your opinions about any of these is welcome provided it is based on your own or other verifiable experience. Comments are moderated.
To start off we are going to provide a map of the three major areas of the Philippines with provinces and major cities highlighted.

Luzon Island Group

Is the most densely populated group and includes the Luzon mainland and the following islands in the group.

Palawan Island
Masbate Island
Romblon Island
Polillo Islands
Burias Island
Ticao Island
Tablas Island
Sibuyan Island
Busuanga Island
Culion Island
Coron Island
Balabac Island
Babuyan Group of Islands
Calamian Group of Islands
Cuyo Islands
Lubang Islands
Kalayaan Group of Islands

In this group of island there are enough major cities to keep you in valuable information for years, so I hope you will stay with us as we work our way through them.

Major Cities-Luzon Island Group

The Visayan Island Group

The Visayan group consists of six large and several hundred smaller islands clustered around the Visayan, Samar, and Camotes seas. The seven main islands are Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Negros, Panay, and Samar. These islands and their smaller neighbours make up the central group of the Philippine archipelago.

While Masbate is part of the Bicol Region (Region V) in Southern Luzon it’s historical and cultural role as the gateway to the Visayas means it is often claimed as the 7th large island in the group.

The islands comprising the Visayan group other than the six large island are as follows:
Bantayan Island
Camotes Islands
Semirara Group of Islands
Islas de Gigantes
Panaon Island

The major cities in this group are often separated by water or high mountain offering the uniqueness that often accompanies historical isolation.

Major Cities-The Visayan Islands Group

The Mindanao Island Group

Mindanao is the second largest Island in the Philippines and boasts the most significant population of Muslim Filipinos. Many of these live on the islands to the South of Mindanao. The other islands in this group include:
Dinagat Island
Bucas Grande
Sarangani Islands
Sulu Archipelago (includes Basilan, Jolo and Tawitawi)
Turtle Islands

Major Cities-Mindanao Island Group

Mindanao is also home of the AARM The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. It is the region, located in the Mindanao island group of the Philippines, that is composed of predominantly Muslim provinces, namely: Basilan (except Isabela City), Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The only region that has its own government, ARMM’s regional capital is Cotabato City, although this city is outside of its jurisdiction.

The region is composed of 5 provinces, 2 cities, 113 municipalities, 2,470 barangays and 8 congressional districts. As of 2010, its population reached a total of 3,256,140 residents.

ARMM has various dialects and languages. These include Banguingui, Maguindanao, Maranao, Tagalog, Tausug, Yakan, Sama, among them.

The Regional Governor is the chief executive of the regional government, and is assisted by a cabinet not exceeding 10 members. He has control of all the regional executive commissions, agencies, boards, bureaus and offices.

Major Cities-Areas comprising ARMM

We are going to try to make this a weekly feature, but bear with us as we are volunteers and sometimes life gets in the way.

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