The Philippines claim approximately 7,641 of the archipelago’s islands. Only about 2,000 islands are inhabited, and the Republic’s total population is estimated to be 100 million. 1st Largest Island in The Philippines there are three geographical divisions of the islands: Luzon, Mindanao, and the Visayas. The Philippines’ maritime borders include Indonesia, Taiwan, Palau, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
Philippine islands with the most land area
1. 1st Largest Island in The Philippines: Bohol
The island is the principal island of the province of Bohol, which is situated in the southern portion of the Visayas. With a surface area of 3,269 km2, Bohol is the tenth largest island in the Philippines.
The Chocolate Hills, a unique geological formation, have made the island famous. This natural wonder, designated a National Geological Monument, attracts tourists from inside and outside the country. The Philippine Tarsier, a small primate native to the Philippines, is an additional attraction in Bohol.
2. Ifugao Rice Terraces
The Ifugao Rice Terraces are another example of the Philippines’ beautiful landscapes. Rice has been cultivated on terraced fields in the mountains of the province of Ifugao for thousands of years. Not only are the rice terraces aesthetically pleasing, but they also demonstrate how the industry can coexist with nature.
3. 1st Largest Island in The Philippines: Cebu
Cebu Island, affectionately nicknamed “Queen of the South,” is the largest island in the Visayas region and the 126th largest island on Earth. This sun-drenched island stretches over 120 miles from top to bottom and is comprised of dramatic coastlines, beautiful beaches, limestone hills, and magnificent coral atolls.
The island of Cebu, home to more than 3.5 million people, is a tropical paradise. It consists of large pockets of developed areas, especially in and around Cebu City, which has an interesting blend of Spanish colonial history, while the rest of the island remains largely undeveloped. Cebu island, along with hundreds of smaller islands, comprises the province of Cebu, which was once the nation’s capital in the 17th century.
4. 1st Largest Island in The Philippines: Leyte
Leyte is an island in the Philippines’ Visayas group. The island is politically divided into two provinces: (Northern) Leyte and Southern Leyte. Southern Leyte Province includes the island of Panaon on its territory. Biliran Island, located to the north of Leyte Island, was formerly a subprovince of Leyte and is now its own province, Biliran Province.
Tacloban City is located on the eastern shore at the northwest corner of Leyte Gulf, and Ormoc City is located on the west coast. Near Ormoc, the geothermal electric power plants on Leyte are notable today. Leyte is most well-known for its role in the reconquest of the Philippines during World War II.
General Douglas MacArthur landed on Leyte on 20 October 1944 and declared, “I have returned.” The subsequent Battle of Leyte demonstrated that the Japanese did not give up so easily, and the convergence of naval forces resulted in the four-day Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history.
5. 1st Largest Island in The Philippines: Soils
The alluvial plains and terraces of Luzon and Mindoro contain cracking black clays as well as younger soils that are particularly suitable for rice cultivation. Much of the land in the hilly and mountainous regions consists of moist, fertile soils, frequently with a high concentration of volcanic ash, which are suitable for growing fruit trees and pineapples.
Oil palms, vegetables, and other crops are cultivated in peat-like regions, as well as in the younger, sand-based soils of the coastal plains, marshlands, and lake regions. Dark, organic, mineral-rich soils are used to cultivate coffee, bananas, and other crops on the undulating terrain of the Bicol Peninsula, the majority of the Visayas, and the northwest tip of Luzon. In the central and southern Philippines, cassava (manioc) and sugarcane are typically grown on highly weathered, typically red or yellow soils; these soils also support forests for timber harvesting.
The poor, precipitation-leached soils of Palawan and the eastern mountains of Luzon are predominantly covered with shrubs, bushes, and other secondary growth that typically emerges in areas where the original forest cover has been removed.
6. 1st Largest Island in The Philippines: Mindoro
Mindoro, the seventh largest island of the Philippines, is located between the islands of Luzon and Palawan. The island is divided into two provinces, Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro, with a total land area of 10,572 km2.
Due to its close proximity to Luzon, White Beach in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, is a popular weekend destination for many Metro Manila residents. Mindoro is also renowned for the tamaraw, an island-endemic animal closely related to the water buffalo. It is currently classified as an endangered species.
Panay, a triangular-shaped island in the central Philippines, is the most westerly of the Visayan Islands. It is the fourth most populous island in the vast archipelago, with an estimated 4.5 million inhabitants. In context, this represents 4.4% of the entire country’s population.
Panay island is frequently used as a gateway to the more popular Boracay and its renowned White Beach.
8. 1st Largest Island in The Philippines: Manila
Manila, also known as the “Pearl of the Orient,” is the capital city of the Philippines. This bustling historic city is filled with things to see and do, such as museums, parks, theaters, shopping malls, and a multitude of restaurants. Manila is famous for its diverse cuisines and street food markets, such as the Legazpi Sunday Market, Quiapo Market, and Binondo, the Philippines’ very own Chinatown.
The largest island in Palawan Province, Philippines, is Palawan Island. The island’s northern coast is adjacent to the South China Sea, while its southern coast is part of the northern limit of the Sulu Sea.
This island is very traditional and underdeveloped. Numerous tourists are drawn to the abundant wildlife, jungle mountains, and white sand beaches. National Geographic Traveler magazine ranks Palawan, the only Philippine island mentioned, as the best island destination in East and Southeast Asia in 2007 and the thirteenth best island in the world with “awe-inspiring natural seascapes and landscapes.
One of the Philippines’ most biodiverse (terrestrial and marine) islands. Since the early 1990s, the island has been designated as a Biosphere Reserve, demonstrating local concern for conservation and sustainable development “. On the island is Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm, one of seven operating units of the Bureau of Corrections. A fishing vessel carrying poached animals ran aground on a coral atoll off the coast of Palawan Island in April 2013.
10. Chocolate Hills
On the island of Bohol, the renowned Chocolate Hills appear to be from another planet, as they appear to cascade out in succession for as far as the eye can see. The breathtaking scenery is actually a natural formation that formed over eons. In the summer, when the 1,200+ rounded and pointed mounds are devoid of green vegetation, they are said to resemble chocolate. The Philippines has designated the majestic Chocolate Hills as a National Geological Monument.
The island of Negros was established on May 29, 2015, and it is 5,139 square miles in size. The majority of Negros’s 4,414,131 inhabitants are Negrenses. Negros is bordered by the Visayan Sea, the Bohol Sea, the Sulu Sea, the Guimaras Strait, the Panay Gulf, and the Taon Strait.
The island’s highest peak is the active Kanlaon Volcano. The island’s volcanic activity is utilized to generate electricity. The island consists of the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental and the city of Bacolod. In addition to the production of hardwood, cotton, and gamefowl breeding, sugar production is the island’s primary economic activity.
12. 1st Largest Island in The Philippines: Samar
Samar is the most easterly island of the Visayas group in the central Philippines. It is surrounded by the Samar Sea, the Philippine Sea, and the San Bernardino Strait.
Samar Island is comprised of no less than three provinces and is connected to Leyte by the San Juanico Strait. Approximately one-third of its land is protected by Samar Island Natural Park, the largest connected old-growth forest in the Philippines. Even though it lacks the iconic mountains of the rest of the island archipelago, it is a hilly island with scenic coastal plains and flood plains.
The island of Mindanao is 37,657 square miles in size. Mount Apo, which is the nation’s tallest mountain at 9,692 feet above sea level, dominates the island’s mountainous terrain. Mindanao is bounded to the north by the Mindanao Sea, to the east by the Philippine Sea, to the west by the Sulu Sea, and to the south by the Celebes Sea.
The larger island group of Mindanao includes islands like Sulu, Samal, Basilan, and Dinagat. Mindanao is home to an estimated 21,968,174 people, of which 1,632,991 reside in Davao City. Mindanao’s primary economic sectors are agriculture, fishing, industry, services, and forestry, which account for 14% of the country’s gross domestic product.
14. Calauit Island
Calauit Island, renowned for its crystal-clear waters, offers eco-tourists the opportunity to swim with dugongs. It is believed that these animals, which are related to manatees, inspired mermaid legends. Locals on Calauit Island conduct conservation-minded tours and educate tourists about dugongs and how they can aid in ensuring their survival.
15. 1st Largest Island in The Philippines: Luzon
Luzon is the Philippines’ largest island, with a total land area of 104,688 km2. It is situated in the northern portion of the archipelago and is the largest island in the Luzon group. Luzon is home to thirty of the Philippines’ provinces. Manila, the country’s capital, is also located here.
Active and renowned for its perfect cone shape, the Mayon Volcano, located in the province of Albay, is one of the most majestic symbols of the island. Other well-known destinations in Luzon include two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Hispanic Town of Vigan in the province of Ilocos Sur and the Rice Terraces in Batad and Bangaan in the region of Ifugao; as well as the Walled City of Intramuros in the capital Manila and the town of Donsol in the province of Sorsogon, the best place to swim with whale sharks.
The Philippine archipelago is bounded to the east by the Philippine Sea, to the south by the Celebes Sea, to the southwest by the Sulu Sea, and to the west and north by the South China Sea.
The islands form a triangle, with those south of Palawan, the Sulu Archipelago, and Mindanao forming (from west to east, respectively) its southern base and the Batan Islands to the north of Luzon forming the triangle’s apex. Historically, it was believed that the total number of islands in the archipelago was 7,107, but in 2016 the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority of the Philippines announced the discovery of more than 500 previously uncharted islands.
The archipelago stretches approximately 1,150 miles (1,850 km) from north to south, and its widest east-west extent is approximately 700 miles at its southernmost point (1,130 km). Taiwan is located north of the Batan group, the Malaysian portion of Borneo is south of Palawan, and the eastern Indonesian islands are located south and southeast of Mindanao. Approximately two-fifths of the islands and islets have names, and only about 350 are larger than 1 square mile (2.6 square kilometers).
The large islands are divided into three groups: (1) the Luzon group in the north and west, which includes Luzon, Mindoro, and Palawan; (2) the Visayas group in the middle, which includes Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Masbate, Negros, Panay, and Samar; and (3) Mindanao in the south.
17. 1st Largest Island in The Philippines: Vigan
Vigan, a former Spanish colonial settlement, is located on the western coast of the island of Luzon, close to Manila. Historic Vigan is a UNESCO World Heritage site with cobblestone streets and distinctive architecture that reflects a fusion of Asian and European design.
18. National Parks are the number
There are over 30 national parks in the Philippines, including the following highly regarded ones: Calauit Safari Park, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Aurora Memorial National Park, Biak-na-Bato National Park, Caramoan Peninsula National Park, Libmanan Caves National Park, Mounts Iglit–Baco National Park, Fuyot Springs National Park, and Minlungod National Park. The parks provide activities such as ziplining, boating, camping, hiking, river cruising, wildlife observation, snorkeling, and kayaking.
19. Masbate Island (3,268 km²)
20. Catanduanes Island (1,523 km²)
21. Basilan Island (1,265 km²)
22. Marinduque Island (920 km²)
23. Busuanga Island (890 km²)
24. Jolo Island (869 km²)
25. Dinagat Island (769 km²)
26. Polilio Island (629 km²)
27. Tawi-Tawi Island (581 km²)
28. Guimaras Island (560 km²)
The Philippine Islands’ Tourism
Numerous islands provide the region’s flora and fauna with an abundance of biodiversity. Alone in 2012, 4.27 million tourists visited the country. The islands feature beaches, mountains, and rainforests, as well as some of the most popular diving spots in the world. The numerous islands of the Philippine archipelago boast a thriving cultural and historical legacy.
Pinas Muna is pleased to announce that after a weekend trip to Puerto Galera on January 5-6, 2013, it has finally visited the top 10 largest islands in the Philippines. Why not start with these ten islands if you intend to explore and learn more about the Philippines?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about 1st Largest Island in The Philippines
Which island is the second largest in the Philippines?
Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines (after Luzon), is located in the southern portion of the archipelago and is surrounded by the Bohol, Philippine, Celebes, and Sulu seas.
What are the three largest Philippine islands?
Three (3) major island groups comprise the Philippines: Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. Luzon and Mindanao are named after the largest island in their respective island groups, whereas the Visayas (also known as the Visayan Islands) is an archipelago.
What are the two largest islands in the Philippines today?
Manila is the nation’s capital, but Quezon City is the most populous city. Both are located within the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) on the largest island, Luzon. Mindanao is the second largest island in the Philippines, located in the southeast.
Which island is the fourth largest in the Philippines?
Negros, with a total land area of 13,309 km2, is the fourth largest and third most populous island in the Philippines (5,139 sq mi). Negros is one of the numerous islands of the Visayas in the heart of the Philippines.
Which island is the seventh largest in the Philippines?
#7 The Island of Mindoro Mindoro, the seventh largest island of the Philippines, is located between the islands of Luzon and Palawan. The island is divided into two provinces, Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro, with a total land area of 10,572 km2.
What is the Philippines’ oldest city?
Cebu City is the capital of the province of Cebu Island, 365 miles south of Manila. Cebu has a population of 2.5 million and is the Philippines’ oldest city and first capital.
Which island is the largest and largest in the Philippines?
Luzon is the largest of these islands at approximately 105,000 square kilometers (40,541 sq mi). Mindanao is the second largest island at approximately 95,000 square kilometers (36,680 sq mi).
What is the Philippines known for the most?
The Philippines are renowned for their beautiful beaches and delicious fruit. The group of Southeast Asian islands was named after King Philip II of Spain.
Which nation contains the most islands?
According to the website worldatlas.com, Sweden has the most islands on the planet with 221,800, the majority of which are uninhabited. Even Stockholm, the capital, is constructed across a 14-island archipelago with over 50 bridges.
What is the nickname for the Philippines?
Pearl of the Orient/Pearl of the Orient Seas is the nickname for the Philippines (Perla de Oriente/Perla del mar de Oriente in Spanish).