Major Island Groups

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The Philippines is divided into three island groups.

The Philippines is divided into three island groups of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Luzon and Mindanao are named after their main islands of the same names, while the Visayas (the Visayan Islands) is an archipelago.

The different islands are grouped into separate island groups by virtue of their regions: Regions I to V, CAR and NCR are for Luzon, Regions VI to VIII are for Visayas, and Regions IX to XIII and ARMM are for Mindanao. If a province is reassigned into a new region, it can also be reassigned to a new island group, as is the case with Palawan, when it was reassigned from MIMAROPA (now renamed MIMARO, Region IV-B) to Western Visayas (Region VI).<ref>Palawan now part of Western Visayas Kathy Villalon-Cinco, SunStar Iloilo. Published June 07, 2005, accessed January 2, 2007.</ref> The island groups themselves do not have governments of their own, but are instead divided into provinces, cities, municipalities and barangays, which do have their own local governments.

Although the island groups do not have local governments, hence capitals, certain cities have become the political, economic and cultural centers of the island groups. Manila is the national capital and is the de facto capital of Luzon. Cebu is the largest city of the Visayas. Mindanao's main city is Davao.

A portmanteau of the names of island groups, Luzviminda, is a popular name for girls.<ref>The Philippine name game Sarah Toms, BBC News. Published Saturday, 14 January 2006, 13:29 GMT, accessed January 2, 2007.</ref>

Island groups

Island group Largest city Area (sq. km.) Population (2000 census)
Luzon Manila 125,863 32,122,900
Visayas Cebu 71,503 16,275,564
Mindanao Davao 101,763 18,262,611

References

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