4 Amazing Countries Near The Philippines

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China, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia are some beautiful countries near the Philippines. But if you wanna learn more today, keep reading!

The Philippines is indeed a gem in Southeast Asia. It is an island nation comprised of approximately 7,500 islands. From north to south, the Philippine archipelago stretches around 1,540 km (957 mi). Luzon, Mindanao, Leyte, Mindoro, Samar, Negros, and Panay are the main islands. The country’s capital is Manila which is located in National Capital Region. It is one of the most populous cities in the county, together with other cities in Metro Manila, like Quezon City, which is the most populous city in the country and is also the former capital city of the country.

The archipelago is located in the western Pacific Ocean, east of the South China Sea and West of the Philippine Sea. As an island nation, the South China Sea borders the West and the Philippine Sea to the east. The Celebes Sea borders the southwest region. The Philippines have maritime borders with China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Palau (the east).

The geographical location of the Philippines is also a reason for its diverse culture and influences. Today, we will talk about the countries near the Philippines and their relationships, similarities, and differences.

Countries Near The Philippines

Beautiful countries with rich histories and cultures surround the Philippines. Some of these countries greatly influence the Philippines, and that’s what we’re going to talk about in this part of the blog.

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North: China

The Philippines and China have maintained a relationship with one another for a very long time. They have shared inter-ethnic relations, maritime conflicts, territorial disputes, diplomacy and foreign policy, commerce, and economic alliances over the course of their long-standing historical relationships.

It is no doubt that the Philippines still carries heavy Chinese influence today. From food, traditions, and culture, the influence of the Chinese is very distinct and observable. If you wanna witness how rich Chinese culture is in the Philippines, visit Binondo, a district in Manila that is considered the Chinatown of the city.

China had been trading with the Filipinos for a very long time before the arrival of the Spaniards in the Philippines. It should not come as a surprise that we Filipinos have adopted some of their practices, as these have been established in our own Philippine culture. Let us investigate some of the Filipino customs that have their origins in Chinese culture, focusing mostly on superstitions and agricultural practices. Here are the Chinese traditions and customs that Filipinos still practice nowadays:

  • Always on the lookout for a deal
  • Lighting fireworks and firecrackers to celebrate the new year
  • Grafting of fruit trees
  • 12 spherical fruits are displayed during the new year.
  • Giving cash as gifts through Ang pao
  • Wearing red or bright colors for happy occasions

West: Vietnam

The Philippines and Vietnam have a rich history. The Philippines aided South Vietnam with humanitarian supplies during the Vietnam War. Both countries have cooperated in education, tourism, agriculture, aquaculture, trade, and defense. Both countries have overlapping claims in the Spratlys, but they’ve never gone to war because they’re ASEAN allies.

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South: Indonesia

Indonesia and the Philippines are indeed similar in many aspects. They are both filled with amazing beaches, green landscapes, and volcanoes. Indonesia and the Philippines are also the most populous countries in Southeast Asia. But, when you take a closer look, these two countries are very different even though they are closer to each other.

For starters, Indonesia is the World’slargest Muslim country, while the Philippines is the sole Catholic country in Southeast Asia. They are also colonized by different countries. Malaysia they are colonized by the Dutch, and for the Philippines, it’s the Spanish. This greatly affects their culture and identity up until today.

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South West: Malaysia

Malaysia and the Philippines have huge cities, many islands, and unique rainforest environments. When we compare each country’s culture, food, price, and more, we discover that they have many distinctions. Malaysian food is noted for its aromatic, spicy-sweet meals, whereas Philippine cuisine has been overshadowed by Thailand’s and Vietnam’s raucous dishes.

Religion is one of the most important differences between Malaysia and the Philippines. Malaysia is mostly a Muslim country, while the Philippines is mostly a Catholic country because of Spanish Colonization.

Other Countries Near The Philippines In Southeast Asia

Now that we have learned a brief introduction about the Philippine islands let us now discover the countries near the Philippines located in Southeast Asia. These countries are also members of Southeast Asian Nations like the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia, which were mentioned above.

Brunei

Brunei is located in the south of the Philippines. Although Brunei and the Philippines are somehow closer to each other, they don’t seem to share a lot of commonalities. One of the major differences is that Brunei is a Muslim country while the Philippines is a Catholic country. This opens a lot of differences between these two countries. But, just one fun fact about Brunei, their weekend are the days of Friday and Sunday.

Singapore

Singapore is located in the southwest of the Philippines. This is one of the top destinations for Filipinos when they travel. There are also many Overseas Filipino Workers working in Singapore. Even though Singapore and the Philippines are on opposite sides of the world, they are quite similar in many ways. First, both Singapore and the Philippines are very proud of their food. Both of these countries are known as great places to eat in the area because they have so many delicious foods that even the pickiest eaters can’t resist them.

Laos

Laos is also one of Southeast Asia’s farthest countries from the Philippines. But even so, these two countries have similarities. Both Laos and the Philippines put a lot of value on education as a way to get ahead in life. Family is also very important in both countries.

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Cambodia

Within the Asian country lie many cultures, beliefs, religions and much more. Cambodians are very superstitious and believe mostly in Buddhism. Filipinos are also very superstitious but have different folktales, and most Filipinos are Christian, Catholic, or some other type of religion. Both countries also have a lot of similarities in their cultures; they both respect their elders and take respect seriously.

Thailand

Because of the pageant world, we hear a lot from Thailand and the Philippines these days. But these countries have more in common than just beauty pageants. First, the beaches in Thailand and the Philippines are both beautiful. Also, they have a lot of beautiful islands.

The main difference between Thailand and the Philippines is that Thailand is primarily Buddhist, and the Philippines is mostly Catholic. The Philippines as a whole is very proud of being the only mostly Christian country in Southeast Asia. On the other hand, Thailand, where Buddhism is the official religion, is a popular place to learn about Buddhism.

Myanmar

Myanmar, or Burma, is one of the farthest countries from the Philippines in Southeast Asia. There are many differences and similarities between the Philippines and Burma (Myanmar). One difference is that most people in the Philippines are Christians, while most people in Burma are Buddhists. But in terms of culture, Filipinos and Burmese people have a lot in common. They are both warm, friendly, and religious. And they appear to be very similar. Outside of their capitals, most of the rural poverty in the two countries is in the agriculture sector, which is big in both countries.

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Other Countries Near The Philippines

After discussing the countries near the Philippines in Southeast Asia, let’s now go to other countries outside Southeast Asia. The proximity of these countries in the Philippines also influences the country in different ways.

Taiwan

Meteor Garden – This television series is indeed one of the major influences of Taiwan in the Philippines. Taiwan is located in the North of the Philippines. Even today, there are many Filipinos who are in Taiwan to work, study or go on vacation. There are also Taiwanese in the Philippines who are also doing business studies or just traveling.

Japan

This is a country in East Asia that Filipinos love to visit. It can also be found in the North of the Philippines. It is a popular tourist destination for Filipinos. Fun fact, there’s a famous Filipino film that was shot in Japan called “Kita Kita”.

South Korea And North Korea

Last but definitely not least, North and South Korea. The influence of Hallyu in the Philippines is really huge. Now, Filipinos are one of the biggest K-pop and K-drama fans and supporters. When you ask Filipinos nowadays, many will answer that they wanna go to South Korea. But, of course, North Korea is not the same. But still, it is somehow close to the Philippines.

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