From Pangaea to 7,641 Islands: The Geologic Journey of the Philippines

From Pangaea to 7,641 Islands: The Geologic Journey of the Philippines

According to scientific research and geological studies, the formation of the Philippines as a collection of 7,641 islands can be attributed to various geological processes and plate tectonics that have occurred over millions of years.

Around 60 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous period, the first Philippine landmass emerged. This landmass included parts of present-day Mindoro and Palawan, which were situated in close proximity to the island of Taiwan. This emergence was a result of geological and tectonic activities in the region.

Over time, the Philippine Mobile Plate began to take shape due to the movements and interactions of different tectonic plates. The Pacific Plate and the Australian Plate moved towards the Asian Plate, leading to a series of complex collisions. Luzon and Mindanao started to form as a result of these interactions, becoming part of the Philippine Mobile Plate.

Approximately 30 million years ago, the Indian Plate began colliding with the Asian Plate. This collision caused a tear in the Earth's crust, leading to the formation of the West Philippine Sea. As a consequence, the previously isolated islands of Mindoro and Palawan were pushed closer to Luzon and Mindanao. The continued movement of the Pacific, Australian, and Indian plates towards Asia eventually resulted in the formation of the 7,641 islands that comprise the Philippines today.

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)

Palawan and the Calamianes region have experienced a unique geological situation. They have been caught between the southward movement of the Sunda Plate and the northern push of the Philippine Mobile Belt. This has made Palawan relatively more stable, experiencing fewer earthquakes compared to other parts of the Philippine territory.

Furthermore, ongoing geological processes continue to shape the Philippines. The Pacific Plate continues its westward movement, leading to the emergence of an undersea rise east of Dinapigue, Isabela. Over the course of millions of years, this rise will contribute to the expansion of Philippine territory, eventually adding an island comparable in size to Luzon. This area is now known as the Philippine Rise, formerly referred to as the Benham Rise.

These scientific explanations are supported by studies conducted by geologists, seismologists, and other experts in the field of geology and plate tectonics. They provide a deeper understanding of the geological history and formation of the Philippine archipelago, enabling us to appreciate the natural processes that have shaped Philippines over vast periods of time.


Hall, R., Spakman, W., & Wortel, M. J. (2003). "Mega-Island Indonesia-Australia-Australia in the Neogene." Geology, 31(6), 561-564.
Hamilton, W. B. (1979). "Tectonics of the Indonesian Region." US Geological Survey Professional Paper 1078.
Solidum, R. U., & Cabato, F. L. (2014). "Geology of the Philippines." In Lee, C. S., White, W. H., & Morin, R. L. (Eds.), The Geology of East Asia: The Philippines. Geological Society of America.

Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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