Partner Countries-The Philippines


The Republic of the Philippines is an archipelago nation comprised of over 7,100 tropical islands. The Philippine Islands are bordered by the Celebes Sea on the south, the South China Sea on the west and north, and the Pacific Ocean on the east and are divided into three island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The country’s location along the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire at the junction of three different tectonic plates has been theorized as one of the reasons for the high marine biodiversity found in the region.

Filipino culture is a unique blend of different influences, including Spanish and American, that reflect a long history of Western colonial rule. After World War II, the Republic of the Philippines regained its independence and in 1987 the new Philippine Constitution was ratified signaling the country’s return to democracy. Filipino (the national language based on Tagalog) and English are the two official languages of the Philippines.

From May 2008-2009, researchers from De La Salle University in Manila and the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute in Quezon City teamed with researchers from Old Dominion University and Boston University to work on the Coral Triangle PIRE Project. Fifteen different locations in the Philippine Islands were sampled for an assessment of genetic diversity.

Between 2017-2022, researchers from Silliman University in Dumaguete, Philippines will join researchers from Old Dominion University, Arizona State University, Rutgers University, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History to work on the Philippine PIRE Project. This Project will investigate the changes in evolution, connectivity, and community-composition that have taken place in marine fishes of the Philippines over the past century during the course of substantial human impacts.

Historical information and more courtesy of:

Research Information

Research Team

  • Dr. Angel C. Alcala, Senior Personnel
  • Dr. Mudjekeewis D. Santos, Senior Personnel
  • Dr. Richard N. Muallil, Collaborator

Collaborating Institutions

  • Silliman University, Dumaguete, Philippines
  • National Fisheries Research & Development Institute, Quezon City, Philippines
  • Mindanao State University, Tawi-Tawi, Philippines

Travel Resources

US Embassy in Manila
Philippine Embassy in the US

Public Health Information

It is important to be aware of the public health risks you undertake when traveling to a foreign country, especially for extended periods of time. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides information regarding both the vaccine requirements for entry into other countries and basic public health practices.

All PIRE personnel traveling to the Philippines should visit the CDC’s website for public health guidelines and healthy travel practices:

In addition to over-the-counter medication and basic first aid items, the CDC suggests bringing the following items with you:

  • Prescription medications you take every day (keep them in their original bottles and make sure you have enough to last your entire stay
  • Anti-malarial drugs (if deemed necessary)
  • Medicine for diarrhea
  • Portable water filters and iodine tablets if bottled water is not available
  • Sunblock and sunglasses

Protection from insect bites. Insects are an important vector for disease, including malaria. Protect yourself by bringing lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, a hat to wear outside, and insect repellent. Bed-nets treated with permethrin are recommended if you will not be sleeping in an air-conditioned or well-screened room and will be in malaria-risk areas.

The government of the Philippines requires travelers arriving from countries where yellow fever is present to present proof of yellow fever vaccination. If you will be traveling through Africa or Central or South America before going to Indonesia, you may need proof of vaccination. Visit the CDC’s website for a list of the countries within the yellow fever endemic zone.