The Philippines is bordered by the Philippine Sea to the east, the South China Sea to the west, the Luzon Strait to the north, and the Celebes Sea to the south. The Philippines is southeast of China and consists of 7,250 islands. 11 of these islands contain the vast majority of the population, while more than 700 are inhabited.
Population: 102.6 million
Ethnic Groups: Tagalog (28.1%), Cebuano (13.1%), Ilocano (9%), Bisaya/Binisaya (7.6%), Hiligaynon Ilonggo (7.5%), Bikol (6%), Waray (3.4%), Other (25.3%)
Languages: Filipino (Official; based on Tagalog) and English (Official); Eight major dialects - Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinan
Religions: Catholic (82.9%), Muslim (5%), Evangelical Christian (2.8%), Iglesia ni Kristo (2.3%), other Christian (4.5%), Other (1.8%), Unspecified (0.6%), None (0.1%)
CIA: The World Factbook - Last Updated July 12, 2017
In Canada: 837,130
In the GTA: 274,670
In Toronto: 162,600
Primary Areas of Settlement in the GTA (Social Atlas):
Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Ajax, Markham, and the City of Toronto (Scarborough).
Philippines was a Spanish colony from 1565 to 1898, and was ruled by USA until independence in 1946. Today, the Philippines is a democracy, and its standard of living is about average compared to the rest of the world. English is, along with Filipino, an official language. Many Filipinos in the Philippines and all over the world are fluent in English. Most Filipinos are Catholics (largely a result of hundreds of years of Spanish rule) and the Catholic Church has a lot of influence. There is separation of church and state, as well as freedom of religion in the Philippines.