The Philippine islands are inhabited by a number of different ethnic groups. The majority of the population is composed of ethnolinguistic groups whose languages are Austronesian also known as Malayo-Polynesian in origin. Many of these groups converted to Christianity, particularly the lowland-coastal groups, and adopted many foreign elements of culture. These ethnic groups include the Cebuano, Ilocano, Pangasinense, Kapampangan, Tagalog, Bicolano, Waray, Surigaonon and Hiligaynon also called Ilonggo.
In Mindanao, there are indigenous groups who practice Islam. The Spanish called them Moros after the Moors (despite no resemblance or cultural ties to them apart from their religion). In some highland areas of Mindanao, there are mountain-dwelling ethnic groups collectively known as lumad. These people do not practice Islam, and maintain their animistic beliefs and traditions.
The Negrito are a pre-Mongoloid people who migrated from mainland Asia and were one of the earliest human beings to settle the Philippines, around 30,000 years ago. (The known first being that of the people of the Callao Man remains) The Negrito population are estimated to number around 30,000. Their tribal groups include the Ati, and the Aeta. Their ways of life remain mostly free from Western and Islamic influences. Scholars study them to try to understand pre-Hispanic culture.
The Philippines (i/ˈfɪlɨpiːnz/; FI-lə-peenz; Filipino: Pilipínas[ˌpɪlɪˈpinɐs]), officially known as the Republic of the Philippines (Filipino: Repúblika ng Pilipinás), is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam. The Sulu Sea to the southwest lies between the country and the island of Borneo, and to the south the Celebes Sea separates it from other islands of Indonesia. It is bounded on the east by the Philippine Sea. Its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and its tropical climate make the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons but have also endowed the country with natural resources and made it a megadiverse country. Covering almost three hundred thousand square kilometres (over 115,000 sq mi) makes it the 73rd largest independent nation and an archipelago comprising 7,107 islands, the Philippines is categorized broadly into three main geographical divisions: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Its capital city is Manila.