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This resulted in Roman Catholicism becoming the dominant religion.

Bounded by the South China Sea on the west, the Philippine Sea on the east and the Celebes Sea on the southwest, the Philippines shares maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Vietnam to the west, Palau to the east and Malaysia and Indonesia to the south.

The Philippines' location on the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator makes the Philippines prone to earthquakes and typhoons, but also endows it with abundant natural resources and some of the world's greatest biodiversity.

Before that became commonplace, other names such as Islas del Poniente (Islands of the West) and Magellan's name for the islands San Lázaro were also used by the Spanish to refer to the islands.

The official name of the Philippines has changed several times in the course of its history.

The Philippines has an area of 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 sq mi), comprising one of the world's largest diasporas.

Multiple ethnicities and cultures are found throughout the islands.

From the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the name Philippines began to appear and it has since become the country's common name.