eastern beliefs and practices and resulted to a culturally conservative but socially dynamic people who has always preserved the rich native culture but opened its arms to the influences of the west.
The National Statistics Office (NSO) of the Philippines reported that its population is at 88.57 million as of August 2007. The National Capital Region (or more popularly called Metro Manila), where the capital city of Manila is situated has 11.55 million, the second largest populated region while the two regions adjacent to the National Capital Region are the 1st and the 3rd largest. The combined number of residents of these three regions already comprised more than one third of the entire population at 37.3% (Ericta, 2008).
The Philippine economy had been sluggish compared with its other south east Asian neighbors, however the year 2007 showed indications of a stronger economy when it posted an average real growth rate in gross domestic product (GDP) of 7.3%, by far the highest in 31 years (WHO regional office, 2009). However, poverty statistics showed a 2.5 percentage points increase in poverty rate from “4.7 million poor families in 2006 compared with 4.0 million estimated in 2003” (WHO, 2009) thus the World Health Organization regional office in the western pacific surmised that the economic challenge is to trickle down the signs of economic progress to the poor sector of the population in order to alleviate poverty (WHO, 2009).
Henderson reported that “poverty in the Philippines is most acute and widespread in rural areas (2002)” but Metro Manila, has the lowest occurrence of this nationwide phenomenon, where there are only 5% of the nations poor. He also conveyed how worse the situation is especially when translating the conditions in monetary value. The Filipino below the poverty line earns “less than $276 a year (...) considered the minimum required to meet basic living requirements” (Henderson, 2002).
Culturally, the Filipinos adhere to