Like Indonesia, the Philippines is a chain of islands, of which Mindanao in the south, and Luzon in the north, are the largest, between them making up rather more than half the total land area of the republic. The central part consists of eight larger and thousands of smaller islands, collectively known as the Visayas. Most of the others are tiny islets — some 4000 of them so small they are not even named. Off to the west is the long, narrow Palawan, grouped around which are 200 more islets, many no more than barely visible coral reefs.
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