It helps that most of these workers speak Surprisingly Good English, a mark of the nation's colonized past.
The islands were settled as early as 67,000 years ago, evidenced by the metatarsal of a man found in Cagayan valley in 2007.
The capital is Manila (which is actually a combination of 17 cities and towns, all centered around the eponymous Spanish-era city).
Owing to its position at the crossroads of several foreign trade routes, the country has earned a vast diversity of cultures and religions, of which Christianity predominates, a legacy of over 300 years under the Spanish Empire and 40 under the United States (in fact, the Philippines is the largest Christian-majority country in Asia and, until East Timor's independence, the only one), with Islam a distant second and Buddhists, animists and others filling the gaps.
The Spanish East Indies, however, also saw many a threat from within (local insurgents and Muslim warlords in Mindanao) and without (Chinese pirates and fellow colonists from the Netherlands and Portugal), including a three-year occupation by the British as a Spin-Off of the Seven Years' War (1762-1764).