The Philippines is a string of islands that is home to 95 million people, located near Taiwan, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Travelers find themselves surrounded by breathtaking ocean and bright green landscape as soon as they step off the plane. The country is filled with national parks that are filled with amazing caves and intricate rock formations. With over 7000 islands, the Philippines boast white sand beaches, coral reefs, and beautiful mountains. Performing arts flourish throughout the region and help give this island nation its rich culture. Music is an integral part of the lives of most residents, from gong music to the lyrical Harana and Kundiman to Filipino pop songs (called Original Pinoy Music or OPM). Choral music is also very prevalent in the Philippines and traditional ethnic music has become more popular in recent years.