An image of Philippines Where Philippines is in the world.

The Philippines is mountainous and tropical, made up of over 7,000 islands. Most people living there live on only 11 of these islands.

The Philippines gets its name from King Philip II of Spain, who ruled during the 16th Century when the Philippines was controlled by the Spanish.

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Currently, there are more than 70,000 Compassion children in the Philippines.


There are many languages in the Philippines. Tagalog is the national language and here are some basics:

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Magandang umaga
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Magandang hapon
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Magandang gabi

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The flying lemur

Although called a flying lemur, it cannot fly and isn’t a lemur!

Houses are often built from wood, bamboo and straw.

Living conditions

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105 million

There are 340 Compassion projects in the Philippines.

The dictator Ferdinand Marcos ran the country for 21 years but he was forced out when people refused to listen to him.

The country is extremely poor because of bad leadership, war and natural disasters. Typhoon Haiyan struck in November 2013, causing even more damage, especially to the poorest areas. There are 20 active volcanoes and regular earthquakes, typhoons and other tropical storms hit the islands.

The Philippines is becoming a popular place for people to go on holiday, mainly because of the amazing beaches and warm weather. Tourism has helped to bring in some much-needed money to the country, but still many live in terrible poverty.

Flick through our photo story to find out what life is like for children living in the Philippines.

The Philippines is a mountainous, tropical nation made up of more than 7,000 islands located between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea.

Corruption, war and natural disasters have all made the Philippines poor.

5,000 people move to the capital, Manila, each day looking for work but many end up living in slums built on the city’s rubbish dumps.

Instead of going to school, many children need to work to earn a living.

Many parents are so poor they struggle to provide for their families.

Compassion’s Child Survival Programmes are helping to care for babies and toddlers living in poverty, to help them and their parents to stay healthy.

Parents come to these programmes and are given advice and practical support to make sure their babies stay healthy as they grow.

Through the Compassion programme, children are able to go to school and learn lots of useful things that will help them to get jobs in the future.

As well as learning, they get to play with friends.

These children have been learning about what the Bible says about how much God cares for them.

Here, the children are writing letters to their sponsors.

This is Mary and she’s reading a letter from her sponsor. Your letters are a wonderful encouragement to your sponsored child!

You are making a huge difference by sponsoring a child. That child will be able to break free from poverty and become all that God created them to be. Thank you!

Pray for the people of the Philippines as they recover after the terrible typhoon. Pray that they will be able to rebuild their homes and lives.

Pray for God to show children in the Compassion projects just how much He loves them.

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Philippine peso

The peso is subdivided into 100 centavos.

Compassion began working in the Philippines in 1972.

How can you encourage your sponsored child?

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Why not write to them and mention some of the facts you’ve found here. Ask them questions about what it’s like to live in the Philippines.

Filipinos eat rice, sweet potatoes, vegetables, bananas, bread, soup, fish and chicken.

Recipe: leche flan

leche flan Ingredients (adult help needed)
  • 2 cups of evaporated milk
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ½ cup of caramel sauce
  1. Beat the egg yolks in a bowl, adding milk, sugar and vanilla essence.
  2. Pour into a mould or a pie dish.
  3. Place the dish in a large pan filled with water below the rim of the dish and bake for one hour at 190oC.
  4. Cool, slice and enjoy!

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According to the customs and traditions in the Philippines, it is not considered good manners to open gifts immediately after they are given.

What’s brown and has two wheels?

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A lemur on a bicycle

Information sources: The CIA World Fact Book 2011, Compassion International, Human Development Report, BBC, Wikipedia