1st Largest Island in The Philippines

1st Largest Island in The Philippines

The Philippines claims ownership of approximately 7,641 islands in the Philippine archipelago. Only about 2,000 islands have people, and the Republic’s total population is estimated to be 100 million. The islands are divided into three geographical groups: Luzon, Mindanao, and the Visayas. Indonesia, Taiwan, Palau, Vietnam, and Malaysia share maritime borders with the 1st Largest Island in The Philippines.

1st Largest Island in The Philippines

1. Bohol

The island is the main island of the province of Bohol and is located in the southern part of the Visayas region. Bohol is the tenth largest island in the Philippines, with an area of 3,269 km2.

The Chocolate Hills are a unique geological formation on the island. This natural wonder, designated as a National Geological Monument, draws visitors from both within and outside the country. The Philippine Tarsier, a tiny primate endemic to the Philippines, is another draw in Bohol.

2. Rice Terraces in Ifugao

The Ifugao Rice Terraces are yet another example of the stunning scenery found throughout the Philippines. For thousands of years, the mountains of Ifugao province have been cultivated with terraced rice fields. The rice terraces are not only beautiful to look at, but they are also an example of an industry working in harmony with nature.

3. Cebu

Cebu Island, affectionately known as the “Queen of the South,” is the largest island in the Visayas region and the 126th largest island on the planet. This sun-kissed island is a plethora of dramatic coastlines, beautiful beaches, limestone hills, and glorious coral atolls just offshore, stretching for over 120 miles from top to bottom.

Cebu, home to over 3.5 million people, is a tropical paradise. It is made up of large pockets of developed areas, particularly around Cebu City, which has an interesting mix of Spanish colonial history, leaving the rest of the island largely undeveloped. Cebu island, once the 17th-century country capital, makes up the bustling province of Cebu, along with hundreds of other smaller islands.

4. Leyte

Photo credit: operativeinfo.com

Leyte is a Philippine island in the Visayas group. The island is politically divided into two provinces: (Northern) Leyte and Southern Leyte. Southern Leyte Province includes the island of Panaon to the south. Biliran Island, located to the north of Leyte Island, was previously a sub-province of Leyte but is now a separate province known as Biliran Province. Tacloban City, on the eastern shore at the northwest corner of Leyte Gulf, and Ormoc City, on the west coast, are the major cities of Leyte.

Today, Leyte is notable for the geothermal power plants near Ormoc. Leyte, on the other hand, is best known for its role in the reconquest of the Philippines during World War II. General Douglas MacArthur waded ashore on Leyte on October 20, 1944, declaring, “I have returned.” The Japanese, however, were not so easily defeated, as the subsequent Battle of Leyte demonstrated, and the convergence of naval forces resulted in the four-day Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history.

5. Soils

Luzon and Mindoro’s alluvial plains and terraces have dark black cracking clays as well as younger soils that are ideal for rice cultivation. Much of the land in the hilly and mountainous regions are made up of moist, fertile soils, often laced with volcanic ash, that supports fruit trees and pineapples. Oil palms, vegetables, and other crops are grown in peat-like areas as well as younger, sand-based soils in coastal plains, marshes, and lake regions. Coffee, bananas, and other crops are grown in the dark, organic, mineral-rich soils of the undulating terrain of the Bicol Peninsula, much of the Visayas, and the northwest tip of Luzon.

In the central and southern Philippines, highly weathered, often red or yellow soils are common and are typically planted with cassava (manioc) and sugarcane; these soils also support forests for timber harvesting. The poor, precipitation-leached soils of Palawan and the eastern mountains of Luzon are mostly covered with shrubs, bushes, and other secondary growth that typically emerges in areas cleared of their original forest cover.

6. Mindoro

Mindoro, the seventh largest island in 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.

Because of its proximity to Luzon, White Beach in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, is a popular weekend destination for many Filipinos from Metro Manila. Mindoro is also famous for the tamaraw, an endemic island species related to the water buffalo. It is now listed as an endangered species.

7. Panay

Panay, a triangular-shaped island in the central Philippines, is the most western of the Visayan Islands. It is the fourth most populous island in the vast archipelago, with nearly 4.5 million residents as of the last count. To put it into perspective, that equates to 4.4% of the total population of the country.

While Panay Island is beautiful in its own right, with countless mysterious caves and rivers, it is frequently used as a stepping stone to the more popular Boracay and its celebrated White Beach.

8. Manilla

The capital city of the country is Manila, also known as the “Pearl of the Orient.” There are museums, parks, theaters, shopping malls, and a plethora of restaurants to choose from in this bustling historic city. The Philippines is quickly becoming a foodie destination, and Manila is well known for its diverse cuisines and street food markets, such as the Legazpi Sunday Market, Quiapo Market, and the country’s own Chinatown, Binondo.

9. Palawan

Palawan Island is the largest island in the Philippines’ Palawan Province. The island’s northern coast runs along the South China Sea, while its southern coast runs along the northern limit of the Sulu Sea. This island is very traditional and undeveloped. Many tourists come to see the abundant wildlife, jungle mountains, and white sandy beaches. Palawan, the only Philippine island mentioned, was named the best island destination in East and Southeast Asia by National Geographic Traveler magazine in 2007, and the 13th best island in the world overall “Natural seascapes and landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful. 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 support for conservation and sustainable development “.

The island is home to Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm, one of the Bureau of Corrections’ seven operational units. A fishing vessel carrying illegally poached animals ran aground on a coral atoll off the coast of Palawan Island in April 2013.

10. Chocolate Hills 

The famous Chocolate Hills on the island of Bohol appear to be from another world, as they seem to tumble out one after the other for as far as the eye can see. The stunning scenery is actually a natural formation that evolved over eons. When the 1,200+ peaked and rounded mounds aren’t covered in green vegetation in the summer, they’re said to resemble — you guessed it — chocolate. The Philippines has designated the majestic Chocolate Hills as a National Geological Monument.

11. Negros

This Island was founded on May 29, 2015, and it covers an area of 5,139 square miles. It has a population of 4,414,131 people, the majority of whom are Negrenses. This is bordered by the Visayan Sea, the Bohol Sea, the Sulu Sea, the Guimaras Strait, the Panay Gulf, and the Tanon Strait. The active Kanlaon Volcano is the highest point on the island. The island’s volcanic activity is used to generate electricity. The provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, as well as the city of Bacolod, make up the island. Sugar production, along with hardwood, cotton, and gamefowl breeding, is the island’s primary economic activity.

12. Samar

This is the most easterly of the Visayas group of islands in the central Philippines, bounded by the Samar Sea, the Philippine Sea, and the San Bernardino Strait.

It Island Natural Park protects about a third of its land, which is made up of three provinces and connected to Leyte by the San Juanico Strait. It is the largest connected section of old-growth forest in the Philippines. While it lacks the iconic mountains that the rest of the archipelago is known for, it is still a hilly island with scenic coastal plains and flood lands.

13. Mindanao 

Mindanao has a total land area of 37,657 square miles. Mount Apo, the nation’s tallest mountain at 9,692 feet above sea level, dominates the island’s landscape. 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. Sulu, Samal, Basilan, and Dinagat are part of the larger Mindanao island group. Mindanao is home to an estimated 21,968,174 people, with Davao City housing 1,632,991. Mindanao accounts for 14% of the nation’s GDP, and its main economic sectors are agriculture, fishing, industry, service, and forestry.

14. Calauit Island

Calauit Island, known for its crystal-clear waters, offers eco-tourists the opportunity to swim with dugongs. These animals, which are related to manatees, are thought to have inspired mermaid legends. Locals on Calauit Island lead conservation-focused tours, teaching tourists about dugongs and how they can help ensure their survival.

15. Luzon

Luzon is the Philippines’ largest island, covering 104,688 square kilometers. It is the main island of the Luzon group of islands and is located in the northern part of the archipelago. Luzon is home to 30 of the Philippines’ provinces. Manila, the country’s capital, is also located here.

The Mayon Volcano, located in the province of Albay, is one of the island’s most majestic icons. It is an active volcano known for its perfect cone shape. 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, which is known as the best spot to swim with whale sharks.

16. Land

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 its southern base (from west to east, respectively) and the Batan Islands to the north of Luzon forming its apex.

Historically, the archipelago’s total number of islands was estimated to be 7,107, but in 2016, the Philippines’ National Mapping and Resource Information Authority announced the discovery of more than 500 previously uncharted islands. The archipelago stretches about 1,150 miles (1,850 km) from north to south, and its broadest east-west extent is about 700 miles at its southern base (1,130 km). Taiwan is to the north of the Batan group, the Malaysian portion of Borneo is to the south of Palawan, and the eastern Indonesian islands are to the south and southeast of Mindanao. Only about two-fifths of the islands and islets are named, and only about 350 have an area of one square mile (2.6 square kilometers) or more.

The large islands are divided into three groups: (1) the Luzon group, which includes Luzon, Mindoro, and Palawan in the north and west; (2) the Visayas group, which includes Bohol, Cebu, Leyte, Masbate, Negros, Panay, and Samar in the center; and (3) Mindanao in the south.

17. Vigan

which dates back to the Spanish colonial era, and is located on the western coast of the island of Luzon, near Manila. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site with unique architecture reflecting a fusion of Asian and European design, as well as cobblestone streets.

18. National Parks 

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 Minalungao National Park are among the top-rated national parks in the Philippines. Zip lining, boating, camping, hiking, river cruising, wildlife spotting, snorkeling, and kayaking are among the activities available in the parks.

19. Masbate Island

20. Catanduanes Island

21. Basilan Island

22. Marinduque Island

23. Busuanga Island

24. Jolo Island

25. Dinagat Island

26. Polilio Island

27. Tawi-Tawi Island

28. Guimaras Island

The Philippine Islands’ Tourism

The country’s numerous islands provide rich biodiversity for the region’s flora and fauna. In 2012, 4.27 million tourists visited the country. The islands have beaches, mountains, and rainforests, as well as some of the most popular diving spots in the world. The many islands of the Philippine archipelago also have a rich cultural and historical heritage.


Following a weekend trip to Puerto Galera on January 5-6, 2013, Pinas Muna is proud to announce that it has finally visited the Philippines’ Top 10 Largest Islands. If you want to learn more about the Philippines, why not start with these ten islands?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about 1st Largest Island in The Philippines

What is the name of the Philippines’ second largest island?

Mindanao is an island in the southern part of the Philippines, the second largest (after Luzon), surrounded by the Bohol, Philippine, Celebes, and Sulu seas.

What are the Philippines’ three largest islands?

Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are the three (3) major island groups that comprise the Philippines. The islands of Luzon and Mindanao are named after the largest island in their respective groups, whereas the Visayas (also known as the Visayan Islands) is an archipelago.

What are the current Philippines’ two largest islands?

The capital is Manila, but the country’s most populous city is Quezon City, which is located nearby. Both are part of the National Capital Region (Metro Manila), which is located on the largest island, Luzon. Mindanao, the Philippines’ second largest island, is located in the southeast.

What is the name of the Philippines’ fourth largest island?

Negros is the Philippines’ fourth largest and third most populous island, with a total land area of 13,309 km2 (5,139 sq mi). It is one of the many islands of the Visayas region in the country’s center.

What is the name of the Philippines’ seventh largest island?

#07 Mindoro Island — Mindoro, the seventh largest island in 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, located 365 miles south of Manila, is the capital of Cebu Island Province. Cebu, the Philippines’ oldest city and first capital, has a population of 2.5 million people.

What is the Philippines’ largest and most populous island?

Luzon is the largest of these islands, covering approximately 105,000 square kilometers (40,541 sq mi). Mindanao, at approximately 95,000 square kilometers, is the next largest island (36,680 sq mi).

What is the Philippines famous for?

The Philippines is well-known for its beautiful beaches and delicious fruit. The group of islands, which is located in Southeast Asia, was named after King Philip II of Spain.

Which country has the greatest number of islands?

According to the website worldatlas.com, Sweden has the most islands on the planet, with 221,800, the majority of which are uninhabited. Stockholm, the capital, is built across a 14-island archipelago with more than 50 bridges.

What is the nickname for the Philippines?

The Philippines’ sobriquet is Pearl of the Orient/Pearl of the Orient Seas (Spanish: Perla de Oriente/Perla del mar de Oriente).

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