The Philippines were claimed in the name of Spain in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer sailing for Spain, who named the islands after King Philip II of Spain. The islands are divided into three main areas: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Luzon is the major northern island; it is there that you will find the capital, Manila. The Visayas, is the middle cluster of islands featuring tropical beaches scattered throughout warm seas. Mindanao is the southernmost group of islands and has a diverse topography. There are five major mountain systems and the same number of peninsulas as well as valleys, lakes and regions of dense forests and swamps. A visit to the Philippines is a travel bargain. Your expenses are relatively low, and the offerings are varied with good facilities.