Facts about the Philippines

Facts about the Philippines

Facts about philippines

1. The entire landmass of the Philippines is made up islands, making it the second-largest archipelago in the world.

2. The Philippines has 7,107 islands during high tide and approximately 7,500 islands during low tide

3. Only 2,000 of them inhabited and nearly 5,000 still unnamed on global maps.

4. There are about 175 languages spoken in the Philippines

5. 171 of them considered “living”

6. Filipinos are the fifth largest English-speaking nation behind the U.S., India, Pakistan, and the U.K.

7. About 11% of the population of the Philippines – more than 11 million people – work overseas.

8. The Philippines is the top supplier of nurses in the world, with about 25% of all overseas nurses coming from the country.

9. In the United States, Filipinos are the second-largest Asian-American group behind only Chinese.

10. The Philippines Basketball Association (PBS) is the second oldest in the world after only the NBA!

11. Filipinos are so supportive of Manny Pacquiao “PacMan” that every time he has a boxing match, the Philippine National Police report that street crime drops to zero in Metro Manila, and the same is true in most of the country.

12. The Philippines produces and exports more coconuts than any country in the world, shipping off about 19.5 million tons of the fruit (called “buko”) every year.

13. the Philippines is the only Asian nation that’s predominantly Christian, with 90% practicing that religion

14. Filipinos send about 400 million text messages every day, more than the total number of daily text messages sent in the U.S. and Europe combined., adding up to about 142 billion texts per year, earning them the designation “the texting capital of the world.”

15. the Taal Volcano consists of an island (Luzon) that contains a lake (Taal Lake) with a smaller island in the lake (Volcano Island) with a lake on that island (Main Crater of Taal Volcano) with another tiny islet (Volcano Island) inside!

16. The Philippines is ranking as the 12th most populous country in the world. With an annual growth rate of about 2 percent, it’s also one of the fastest growing countries in the world.

17. Manila, the capital of the Philippines, ranks as the city with the highest population density in the world. Manila spans only 24 square miles but has 1,660,714 residents, giving it a population density of 55,446 people per square mile.

18. Metro Manila, comprising several other conjoined cities, stands at more than 12,877,000 people, making it one of the most populated metropolitan areas in the world.

19. The island of Palawan has been named one of the best islands in the world by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, and other publications, thanks to its natural beauty.

20. the underground river in the capital, Puerto Princesa, a UNESCO world heritage site is the second longest underground river in the world.

21. on June 15, 1991, when Mt. Pinatubo erupted only a couple hours from Manila. The blast was so powerful that it shot 10 billion metric tons of magma and 20 million tons of toxic sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere, 25 miles high. it created a haze of sulfuric acid all around the world for two years, causing global temperatures to drop by 1 degree Fahrenheit!

22. Unique jeepneys were born from the thousands of army jeeps that the U.S. military left after World War II. Filipinos extended the cabs to accommodate about 18 passengers.
23. about 50,000 jeepneys run daily in Manila alone

24. the Philippines is home to three of the ten largest shopping malls in the world, The Mega Fashion Hall of SM Megamall (third-largest in the world, encompassing 5,451,220 sq ft), SM City North EDSA (fourth largest) and SM Mall of Asia (tenth largest).


25. the island of Camiguin stands out since it’s home to the most volcanoes per square mile of any island on Earth. Only about 14 miles long and 8.5 miles wide, Camiguin holds the distinction as the only island on the planet with more volcanoes (7) than towns (5).


26. island of Boracay, known for having one of the best beaches in the world with powder-like white sand. Only 3.98 square miles, the island still receives about 1.5 million visitors from home and abroad every year


27. Super Typhoon Haiyan (called Yolanda locally) that ripped through the archipelago, brought the strongest winds ever recorded at landfall as well as the strongest one-minute sustained wind speed of 195 mph.

28. it was also the deadliest typhoon in Philippines history, killing at least 6,100 people and displacing millions according to government reports

29. Most foreigners will be referred to as “sir” and “mam” no matter their age.

30. younger people refer to the women and men a little bit older as “ates” and “kuyas”

31. seniors are addressed as “po” after please, thank you, and other exchanges,

32. younger person taking the elder’s hand and touching it to their forehead in a charming display of reverence called “mano.”

33. Elderly, disabled, and pregnant women even have their own line at banks, restaurants and taxi queues, allowing them to bypass the crowd.

34. Filipinos are warm, happy, and have a great sense of humor! In fact, the Philippines is one of the happiest countries in the world, ranking near the top on Gallup’s index.

6. The Philippines are named after King Philip II of Spain. Explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the Eastern Visayas Felipenas first, and the name was later applied to the entire archipelago. The country’s official name is the Republic of the Philippines.[7]

8. The world's largest Christmas lantern was illuminated in San Fernando, Pampanga on Dec. 24, 2002. The structure was 26.8 meters in diameter and cost five million Philippine pesos.

9. Pope John Paul II offered a mass to about five million Filipinos on Jan. 18, 1995, at Luneta Park in Manila. The event went into the Guinness Book of World Records as the Biggest Papal Crowd at the time.

15. A Filipino named Roberto del Rosario made the karaoke machine in 1975, but a Japanese musician invented it four years earlier. Del Rosario, however, was the first to patent the product, which makes him the first patented producer of the karaoke.

17. The positioning of the Philippine flag's colors indicate a message. If it is flown with the red stripe on top, the nation is in a state of war. Otherwise, during peacetime, the blue is on top.

18. The yo-yo had its beginnings as an ancient Filipino studded hunting weapon attached to a 20-foot rope. The modern yo-yo was invented by a Filipino American, and its name yóyo comes from the Filipino language Ilocano and means “come back.”[2]


19. The University of San Carlos in Cebu City was founded by Spanish Jesuits in 1595, making it the oldest school in the Philippines.

20. Then in 1611, the University of Santo Tomas (or, lovingly, "Usté") was founded in Manila by the Dominican Order. It is the world's largest Catholic university in terms of population. Both it and University of San Carlos are older than Harvard, which was not founded until 1636.

22. In 2002, the world's biggest pair of shoes were made in Marikina City. The wingtips clock in at about 5.3 meters in length, 2.4 meters in width, and almost 2 meters in height. They cost two million Philippine pesos.

23. Manila, the capital city of the country, takes its name from a white flower that grew on mangrove trees, locally known as nilad. 'May nilad' can be translated to mean 'there are nilad there.'

24. The rice terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The terraces were built about 2,000 years ago and — thanks to the rough terrain keeping settlers out — remain as they would have been in pre-colonial times.

25. The Philippines has won at least eight major international beauty pageant titles: two for Miss Universe; five for Miss International; and at least one for Miss World, the current titleholder being Megan Young.

26. About 25 years before the first book was printed in the United States, the Tagala, the first Filipino-Spanish dictionary, was printed in 1613.

29. This gives the country 36,289 kilometers (22,549 mi.) of coastline and puts the Philippines at fifth place for the longest discontinuous coastline in the world.

The Philippines was the first country in Southeast Asia to gain independence after World War II, in 1945.[18]

The Philippines has the highest rate of discovery of new animal species with 16 new species of mammals discovered just in the last 10 years.[18]

Human trafficking is a problem in the Philippines. The country has the fourth largest number of prostituted children in the world. There are estimated to be 375,000 women and girls in the sex trades, mostly between the ages of 15 and 20, though some are as young as 11.[18]

The Conus gloriamus, the rarest and most expensive seashell in the world, is one of the 12,000 species of seashells found in the Philippines. The first examples of these shells sold at auction for about US$5,000.[18]

The world record for most women breastfeeding simultaneously was 3,541, set in Manila, Philippines, on May 4, 2006.[11]

The world’s largest pearl was discovered by a Filipino diver in the Palawan Sea in 1934. Known as the “Pearl of Lao Tzu,” or “Pearl of Allah,” the gem weighs 14 pounds (6.35 kg) and measures 9.5 inches (24 cm) long and 5.5 inches (.4 cm) in diameter. It has a value of over US$40 million. It is believed to be 600 years old.[2]

Some Filipinos are wary of the number 13 and will avoid having 13 people at a table. Also, steps to the main entrance of a house should not fall on a number divisible by three. Superstitious Filipinos will not travel or bathe on Holy Thursday or Good Friday during Holy Week, the week before Easter.[16]

The national symbol of the Philippines is the Philippine, or monkey-eating, eagle. It is the largest of all eagles and was declared the national bird of the Philippines in 1995. It stands up to 3.3 feet (1 m) in height and has a wingspan of almost 7 feet (2 m). It is critically endangered; there may only be around 180–500 eagles remaining. Killing one is punishable by Philippine law by 12 years in jail and a heavy fine.[18]

According to Filipino custom, it is considered rude to open gifts immediately after they are given.[3]

The Philippines is home to the world’s longest snake, the Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus), which also happens to be the world’s longest reptile. It can grow to 28.5 feet (8.7 m).

The antibiotic erythromycin was invented by Filipino Dr. Abelardo Aguilar in 1949. He sent a sample to his employer, the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company, which promptly patented it. Erythromycin is used for people who are allergic to penicillin and has saved millions of lives.[16]

Jellyfish Lake in the Philippines contains more than 13 million jellyfish.[9]

The Mindanao Trench, which is near the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean, is the second deepest spot under the world’s oceans at 6.5 miles, or 34,440 feet (10,497 m). It was first explored by the German ship Emden in 1927.[18]

Filipinos observe the world’s longest Christmas season. It begins with the playing of carols in September and officially ends in January with the Feast of the Three Kings. As part of the festivities, they celebrate Simbang Gabi, or Night Mass, where Catholics attend nine services in a row leading up to Christmas Eve. If a person attends all nine masses, it is said their wish will be granted. Filipinos’ Christmas feasts are called Noche Buena and compare to America’s Thanksgiving.[18]

Filipino-American Eleanor “Connie” Concepcion Mariano was the personal physician to President Bill Clinton. She was also the youngest captain and first female to be named Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy.[1]

War journalist Carlos Pena Rómulo was the first Asian/Filipino to win the American Pulitzer Prize for Correspondence in 1942. He was also the first Asian to become president of the United Nations.[16]

Even though the first elected Filipino president, Ferdinand Marcos, has been dead for almost two decades, his body has never been properly buried—it remains “on ice” while officials quibble about whether he should buried in the cemetery reserved for Filipino heroes and past presidents.[16]

Of the eight known species of giant clams in the world, seven are found in the Philippines.[13]

The Philippines is home to the world’s smallest hoofed animal, the Philippine mouse-deer. Locally known as the Pilandok (Tragulus nigricans), this creature stands about 15.8 inches (40 cm) tall at the shoulder level.[18]

One of the most interesting and traditional Philippine dishes is balut, which is essentially a boiled, fertilized duck egg with a half-formed chick inside. It is said to be an aphrodisiac. Other unique dishes include camaro, which are field crickets cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar; papaitan, which is a goat or cow innards stew flavored with bile; Soup #5, which is a soup made out of bull testicles; and asocena, or dog meat.[18]

The Philippines experiences one large-magnitude earthquake (7.75 or higher on the Richter scale) every 10 years, seven earthquakes of major magnitude (7.0 to 7.4) every 10 years, and five earthquakes of moderate magnitude (6.0 to 6.9) every year.[18]

The Philippines is the world’s second biggest geothermal producer after the United States with 18% of the country’s electricity needs being met by geothermal power.[18]

The most active typhoon season for the Philippines was 1993, when 19 moved through the country. A typhoon is a strong tropical cyclone equivalent to a hurricane in North and Central America. The highest wind velocity for a typhoon that crossed the Philippines was recorded in Virac on November 30, 2006, when Typhoon Reming had a peak gust of 198 mph (320 kph).[18]

After Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda fled the Malacañang Palace, she famously left behind 15 mink coats, 508 gowns, 1,000 handbags, and 1,060 pairs of shoes—from a collection rumored to contain around 3,000 pairs.[18]

Pop singer Bruno Mars is half Filipino and half Puerto Rican. His childhood nickname was “Little Elvis.” His real name is Peter Gene Bayot Hernandez. His stage name was inspired by the chubby wrestler Bruno Sammartino.[6]

The anti-lock braking systems (ABS) used in Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Volvo cars are made in the Philippines. Ford, Toyota, and Nissan are the most prominent automakers manufacturing cars in the country.[18]

The traditional embroidered Filipino male garment, the barong Tagalog or baro, is woven from piña, pineapple plant fibers, or jusi, banana tree fibers, and worn on formal occasions.[18]

In the rural Philippines, most women give birth at home and then have the baby’s placenta buried beneath the house, often with an object symbolizing what the parents hope the child will grow up to be. In the cities, this practice is prohibited by the health authorities.[16]

Santelmo, or Santo Elmo, is a fireball seen by dozens of Filipinos, especially those who live in the Sierra Madre Mountains. It was scientifically explained as electrical fields that have diverged from the power lines. However, sightings have been reported since the Spanish era (16th–19th centuries). There have also been similar sightings in the Alps and Himalayas.[18]

Cockfighting is a centuries-old blood sport, popular since the times of ancient Persia, Greece, and Rome. In the Philippines, it is still very popular, and the country has hosted several “World Slasher Cups,” staged in Manila’s Araneta Coliseum. The world’s leading game fowl breeders gather twice a year for this event.[18]

Manny Pacquiao could currently be regarded as the world’s best boxer pound per pound. He has four major titles under his belt: the WBC International Super Featherweight Title, the RING Featherweight Title, the IBF Super Bantamweight Title, and the WBC Flyweight Title. Out of 45 fights, “Pacman,” as he is called, has won 40, with 31 by knockout.[16]

Tanduay rum dates back to 1854 and today remains the Philippines’ spirit of choice. Made from sugar cane milled on the island of Negros, it’s frequently cheaper than bottled water.[8]

The Aswang, a mythical female vampire-like figure in Filipino folklore who eats unborn children, has been the subject of at least one American horror film and was featured in an episode of the CW television hit Supernatural called “Fresh Meat."[2]

The Filipino national dish may very well be the adobo, which is a dark stew of chicken and/or pork cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, crushed garlic, bay leaf, and black peppercorns. In Spanish, adobo originally meant “sauce” or “seasoning.” The Filipino version is actually indigenous to the islands, dating back to a dish cooked up long before Magellan’s arrival.[8] Other popular dishes include singing, halo-halo, lumpier, fish sauce and milkfish.

Meals are typically eaten three or four times each day. Besides breakfast, lunch and dinner a family might have “merienda” which is a late afternoon dessert or snack time. Rice is important in the Filipino diet and may be eaten at every meal.
As part of the settlement of the Spanish-American war, Spain cedes the Philippines to the United States in 1898. The U.S. begins to incorporate the islands’ Muslim areas by force.

Filipino culture has been influenced by both the East and the West with significant influences by Spain and the U.S. also. It owes much to its Malay heritage as well.

From their Austronesian ancestors Filipinos are their famous “bayanihan”; a warm spirit of camaraderie and kinship they exhibit as a culture.

Traditional Philippine folk dances like the “sigil” and the “tinkling” (featuring clashing bamboo poles and jumping patterns) are being preserved by the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company. Filipinos still dress up and wear their national costumes of special occasions, with women dressed in a “tern” (a long dress with flared skirt and butterfly sleeves) and men wearing slacks and a “barong tagalong”, which is a special shirt with sleeves made out of pineapple pulp.

The Filipinos celebrate secular holidays as well as Christian, Chinese and Muslim ones. Some notable ones are the Day of Valor, in which Boy Scouts re-enact and honor those on the Bataan Death March; Independence Day on June 12 and National Heroes Day on August 30, in addition to all the religious holidays.

There are no large predator animals in the Philippines except for snakes (cobras and pythons), birds of prey (like the monkey-eating eagle), and salt water crocodiles.

On these volcanic islands, mineral deposits are abundant but remain largely untapped presently. The Philippines is believed to have one of the largest copper deposits in the world and the second- largest gold deposits after South Africa. It also has a supply of chromite, zinc and nickel. The country is, however, the world’s second-largest geothermal energy producer (after the U.S.).

The Philippines is one of the world’s ten most biologically megadiverse countries due to its huge and diverse range of flora and fauna, including more than 170 species of birds and 100 species of mammals not found to exist anywhere else on earth so far. (Megadiverse indicates a country that harbors a high number of endemic species.) This country has one of the highest rates of discovery in the world; sixteen new mammal species have been discovered in the last decade.

The Filipinos are so enthusiastic about their Instagram and Facebook that they were ranked as THE highest selfie takers in the world by Time Magazine in early 2014.

Makati City (in Metro Manila) was crowned the selfie capital of the planet, with 258 selfies taken per 100,000 people. The full breakdown of Time Magazine’s list shows Cebu City ranked 9th place, Quezon City (also in Metro Manila) at #59 and Iloilo City at #72.

Two of the largest naval battles in history were fought in the Philippine seas. The Battle of the Philippine Sea (June 19–20, 1944) and the Battle of Leyte Gulf (October 23–26, 1944) both hold a mind-blowing record for being the largest naval battle in history for some criteria.

Spider fighting in the Philippines is extremely popular with the youth, it’s like a form of high stakes Pokemon.

The Philippines celebrates July 4 to commemorate that day in 1946 when it ceased to be a U.S. territory and the United States officially recognized Philippine independence.

In the Philippines, there’s banana ketchup. During WW2 there was a shortage of tomatoes and had to use bananas as a replacement to replicate ketchup. It’s made from mashed banana, sugar, vinegar, and spices

The Cagayan Battles of 1582 in the Philippines was the only recorded battle between European infantry and samurai.

In 1993 Pepsi ran a contest in the Philippines in which it promised 1 million pesos, roughly $40,000, to the person who found the number 349 inside his bottle cap. Pepsi went on to mistakenly print 800,000 winning caps, leading to outrage and death threats to Pepsi executives.

The Philippines is one of the deadliest places in the world for politicians, with over 1200 political assassinations in the last decade.

Every nation in the world except the Philippines (though Muslims in the Philippines have the right to divorce) and the Vatican City allows some form of divorce.

In 1894 Japan offered to buy the Philippines from Spain for 40 million pounds.

A 40-year-old violent feud between villages in the Philippines was solved after the women of the villages threatened to withhold sex from the men if they continued fighting. The villages returned to peace within two weeks.

The Philippines accounts for 43% of the world’s gin consumption.

40 million people simultaneously lost electricity in the Philippines, including the presidential palace, sparking fears of a possible coup, only to find out that the power grid was compromised by the cooling pipes of one power plant which sucked 50 dump trucks’ worth of jellyfish.

San Miguel Beer actually originates from the Philippines and not Spain. SMB is the largest producer of beer in the Philippines.

American soldiers would wrap suicide attackers from the Moro Muslim group in the Philippines in pig skin to make them unfit to go to heaven and deter potential future attacks by them.

In the Philippines, License plates ending in 1 and 2 are prohibited from driving on Mondays, those ending in 3 and 4 cannot drive on Tuesday, 5 and 6 on Wednesday, 7 and 8 on Thursday, and 9 and 0 on Friday.

There is a tribe in the Philippines (Agta), where a quarter of men have been attacked by giant snakes.

In 1844, the Philippines moved from one side of the International Date Line to the other, which means that December 31, 1844, did not exist for them.

In 1965 a one megaton nuclear bomb fell into the Philippine Sea when the fighter was attached to rolled off the deck of a carrier. It’s still missing.

Whang-Od is the last Mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist) and the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines.

In 1999, a farmer got sentenced to death in the Philippines for growing seven plants of cannabis.

When the Beatles toured the Philippines in 1966, they accidentally insulted the dictatorship. Public opinion swiftly turned on the Beatles, and their police escorts were removed. They barely escaped.

The Philippines has a 13th-month pay law where employees get 1/12 of their yearly salary every December.

The Philippine emergency telephone number “117” is the only emergency telephone number in the world that is accessible through both voice and text communication.

Roselle helped develop the first Windows Mobile® screen reader for touch-screen smartphones and PDAs which converted screen content into synthesized speech, magnified text, and Braille output

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