Top 20 Facts about Philippines You Probably Don't Know

With over 8.2 million tourists visiting the Philippines every year, it has slowly become one of the best travel hotspots for the world. Tourists love to experience the beautiful islands of the Philippines and enjoy its urban lifestyle, delicious cuisine, and fruits, there are some facts that the tourists are still not aware of!

Given below Are Some of the Top Facts about the Philippines-

1. The Philippines is an Archipelago of over 7600 Islands

The Philippines consists of 7641 islands that cover it geographically. The interesting fact is that about 534 islands were founded and added just in 2017, making the total count - 7641. Out of these islands, only 2000 are inhabited! The discovery of the new islands sparked a lot of controversies, but they are said to have large rocks, sandbars and would not be favourable for human habitation.

Many of them are not even traceable on global maps. Even if you had to take an estimate, the people there say that for an adventure enthusiast, travelling to all of these islands will take at least 21 years!

2. Karaoke Is a Popular National Activity

Regarded as a social activity, karaoke forms an integral part of the native people’s daily life. You can find the karaoke machines even in the most remote and rural parts of the country! Though the first karaoke machine was built by a Japanese musician, it was only patented by Roberto del Rosario, a Filipino inventor back in 1975. Ever since then, this karaoke sing-along tradition has become an essential part of the Filipino lifestyle.

3. About 400 Million Text Messages are Exchanged Daily

The people of the Philippines are very social and always try to be in touch with all the important people in their lives. This habit of theirs has made the entire country’s annual text message count jump up to a whopping 142 billion! Yes, a daily total of the messages sent by the people amounts to about 400 million. They must really love talking to one another!

4. Philippines has the 3rd Largest Catholic Population

The Philippines have the third-largest population of Catholics in the world, right after Brazil and Mexico. With about 80% of their population being Roman Catholic, this religion is deeply ingrained in the daily lives of the common people of the country. In regards to this, the people in the Philippines are not allowed to take divorce and not allowed to have gay marriages. Even abortions are considered illegal.

5. The Second Oldest Basketball Association is the Philippines Basketball Association

It is surprising to know that the professional league for basketball, the Philippines Basketball Association was started after the NBA, the National Basketball Association of North America, and it happens to be the second oldest basketball association in the whole world! The people of the Philippines love basketball, so much so that you can spot makeshift basketball hoops even in the most unusual rural and remote areas of the country.

The Philippines holds the renowned Guinness World Record for the longest game of Basketball ever played! Yes, back in March of 2014, a charity event of basketball was held and was played for a duration of an unbelievable 120 hours and 1 minute and 7 seconds!

6. Philippines has 5 of the Largest Shopping Malls in the World

The people of the Philippines love shopping and the malls and they have evidence to prove that! With just one visit to this phenomenal country, you will be able to understand how much the people of the Philippines love hanging out at the shopping malls. This explains why the country holds the record for having 5 of the largest shopping malls in the world! The malls are - SM Seaside City Cebu, SM City North, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, and SM City Cebu.

7. Jeepneys are a Popular Vehicle

Jeepneys are a mode of everyday transportation for people in the capital city of Manila and other places in the Philippines. What is interesting is that these jeepneys were made out of all the army jeeps that the U.S Military left after World War II! From this rich and nostalgic origin, now the jeepneys are made creative, colourful and make an important source of transport for over 20 people jam-packed at a time!

As an estimate, it is said that in the capital city of Manila alone, over 55,000 jeepneys operate on a daily basis. This resourcefulness of the Filipinos and their conversion of these army jeeps have successfully embedded the jeepneys to be an iconic symbol for representing the culture of the Philippines.

8. The People of the Philippines are some of the Most Polite in the World

Filipinos are warm, fun-loving people with a great sense of humour! This paired along with a good culture and respect for all the elders makes it one of the happiest countries in the world. In the Philippines, you can see every visitor being greeted as ma'am or sir and the children addressing them as “kuyas” and “ates”, for elder brother and sister respectively. This politeness and respect span over a wide range of situations, where even when asked for help, it would be surprising to find one single Filipino saying a direct harsh “no” to any request you make.

They have separate lines for the elderly, pregnant women, or the disabled for various facilities such as the taxi stations, banks, and others. These guidelines are obeyed by all the citizens hence ensuring peace and harmony in the country.

9. The Largest Volcanic Eruption in the Last 50 Years Occured Here

The Philippines has also served as a spot for the world’s largest volcanic eruption that took place in the past 50 years! The eruption of Mount Pinatubo, on the 15th of June, 1991 was the most horrid experience in the history of time. The eruption made the volcano emit tonnes of volcanic ash that fell up to the Indian ocean. The hot magma roared down the mountain to the deep valleys making deposits of fresh volcanic deposits.

As a result of this volcanic eruption, over 20,000 people had to be evacuated and the clouds of gases released by the volcano caused a global cooling by 0.5 degrees celsius. This incident killed 800 people and over 10,000 of the native countrymen were left homeless. This truly makes it one of the worst chapters in the history of the country.

10. Christmas in the Philippines Starts in September

The people of the Philippines celebrate Christmas not just as a day but as a holiday season that starts from the month as early as September! Christmas is the longest holiday in the Philippines and the people love to start shopping and decorations in September. The shopping bazaars and sites are crowded with people.

An important practice from various of their religious customs is their night mass that happens for 9 straight days leading up to Christmas eve! So, if you are a fan of the Christmas holiday and are planning to travel to the Philippines, Christmas would be the best time.

11. Manila is Actually a Collection of 16 Smaller Cities

The country of the Philippines has its capital as the Metropolitan Manila, also called the National Capital Region (NCR). Metropolitan Manila is one of the hippest and happening cities to travel and stay at. Only a few people know that although Manila is the capital city of the Philippines, on its own Manila itself is made of 16 small cities! It has 16 cities and 1 municipality with 4 districts. Being the small city that it is, yet Metropolitan Manila is the most densely populated city in the country.

12. The Yo-Yo was Invented by a Filipino Businessman

What you might not know is that the yo-yo toy is the second oldest toy which dates its origin back to 440 BC. According to recent studies, the person who patented the invention of the toy was Pedro Edralin Flores, a Filipino businessman. The name yoyo comes from the Filipino language which means ‘ come back’.

13. A Major Portion of the Population Migrate to Other Countries for Work

The current population of the Philippines is 110 million. According to recent surveys, about 11% of the people of the Philippines migrate to foreign countries in order to make a good living and improve their state of life at home. It is surprising to find, Filipinos are the second-largest population of Asian Americans in the United States, following the population of the Chinese people residing there.

14. Cordillera is Listed as a World Heritage Site

The Administrative Region of Cordillera is the least populated region of the Philippines. The rice terraces of this region were made more than 2000 years ago. They are listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

15. The Philippines was Discovered by Ferdinand Magellan

The islands of the Philippines were discovered by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who sailed on the behalf of Spain. He found the islands while looking for Spain, and claimed the islands of the Philippines in the name of Spain. The archipelago of the islands thus got its name from King Philip II of Spain.

16. The Buko Fruit is Exported the Highest by the Philippines

The Philippines is the largest explorer of the fruit - Buko, which is a kind of coconut. It is recorded out that the country exports a whopping 19.5 million tons of this coconut every year.

17. Philippines has the Most Variety of Clams on Earth

The  Philippines has the most number of varied species of clams in the world. There are 8 different species of giant clams known to the world. Out of all the 8, 7 of them are found in the Philippines.

18. The Largest Supplier of Trained Nurses is the Philippines

Along with being the world’s largest exporter of coconuts, it also is the world’s largest supplier of nurses. It is found that 25 % of all the overseas nurses working in other countries are native to the Philippines.

19. World Renowned Boxer Manny Pacquiao is Idolised Here

Boxing is one of the crucial passions of the people of the Philippines. This has made boxing a loved sport throughout the country. What is unknown is the fact that the eight-division world champ, Manny Pacquiao, is native to the Philippines. The people of the country cherish Manny, or ‘PacMan’ as he is called so much that whenever he has a boxing fight, the crime rate on the streets of Metro Manila drops to zero!

20. The Island of Camiguin has More Volcanoes than Towns

Camiguin, an island province in the archipelago Philippines, has more number of volcanoes than the number of towns the region has. The region has 7 volcanos and just 5 towns. None of the volcanoes has erupted since the 1950s.

This post was published by Kiran Kulkarni

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