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The archipelago, formally known as the Republic of the Philippines, is composed of 7,107 islands located in the western Pacific Ocean in Southeast Asia, between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea. The country’s estimated population in 2010 was 99,900,177. The Filipino people are of a Malayo-Polynesian ethnic background. The islands’ original inhabitants, Negritos, arrived about 30,000 years ago via land bridge and/or boats from Sumatra and Borneo. This settlement was followed by migration waves from Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and mainland China. As a result, more than 180 different languages and dialects are spoken throughout the Philippines, with Tagalog and Cebuano being the most common. Currently, Filipino (based on Tagalog) and English are the country’s two official languages, and public education is offered in ...

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