No place along the Pacific Ocean's so-called Ring of Fire gets battered quite as hard by natural disasters as the islands of the Philippines. Quakes are commonplace, but the country lacks the infrastructure to deal with them the same way that places like Japan and Taiwan do. The islands also often find themselves in the crosshairs of the powerful typhoons that sweep across the ocean. Time Magazine recently called the Philippines the most storm-exposed country on earth. Winds and storm surges are a danger along the coastline, but virtually everywhere in the country is vulnerable to flooding. Even central Manila, the teeming capital of the Philippines, finds itself underwater from time to time.
On the positive side, the islands have some of the world's most beautiful beaches. Also, most Filipinos, even those you come across on the street, can speaks English very well, making getting around easier than virtually anywhere else on the Asian continent.