Fun Facts about the Philippines

Foreign Service LifeMisc.
June 4, 2009
The Rice Terraces

The Rice Terraces

Today we’re going to learn some fun facts about the Philippines, so that you can be as knowledgeable as I am about this great country!  Here we go:

  • The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,107 islands.
  • Luzon is the largest island in the archipelago and includes Manila.
  • Tagalog is the National language (with English also being spoken widely.
  • Adult literacy is over 95% in the country, as education is highly valued.
  • The average temperature is 90 degrees.
  • The capital of Philippines is Manila.
  • With a population of about 90 million people, the Philippines is the 12th most populous country in the world.  Manila’s population currently sits at around 12 million.
  • The Philippines is a democratic nation with a President, Senate and House of Representatives.  The current President is a female, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
  • The currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP or P are the abbreviations)
  • There are more than 200 volcanoes, though only a few are active.  In 1991, Mount Pinatubo (100 miles from Manila) erupted killing 900.  Earthquakes are common as well and 30 typhoons pass through the country between May and December each year.
  • The Philippine flag is the only flag in the world which is hoisted upside-down when the country is in war.
  • The Philippines is home to the Rice Terraces in Northern Luzon, often called the 8th wonder of the world. (pictured above)
  • Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese explorer, was the first European to visit the Philippines.
  • About 85% of the country’s total population are Roman Catholics.
  • The people of the Philippines are from different ethnic origins such as Malay, Chinese, Spanish and American.
  • This nation was baptized the Philippines, after King Philip the 2nd of Spain.
  • Its capital city Manila was named after a white-flowered mangrove plant, the nilad.
  • The Philippines was a Spanish colony from 1521 to 1898.  After that, it was a US territory until 1946 when it gained independence.
  • It was the first Southeast Asian country to gain independence in 1946, following World War II.
  • The Philippines covers an area of 115,830 square miles, making it equal in size to Italy.
  • With more than 11 million Filipinos overseas, the Philippines has the largest diaspora network in the world.
  • The Pacific Ocean is known to contain the deepest ocean trenches in the world, which makes for great diving.
  • The Philippines is regarded the “text capital of the world”. About 350 to 400 million text messages are sent daily by 35 million cell phone subscribers in the country, which is more than the total daily text messages sent in the U.S. and Europe together.
  • The “Conus Gloriamaris”, which the rarest and most expensive seashell in the world, is one of the 12,000 species of seashells found in the Philippines. And about 488 coral species, out of the 500 coral species known worldwide, are found in the archipelago.

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  1. kalyespeak says:

    Thanks so much for spreading the beauty of the Philippines! :) Salamat!!

  2. minnesotagal says:

    My pleasure – I can’t wait to get there!

  3. Sara Roy says:

    Your making the Philippines sound very appealing. I’m really hoping that there’s a JO Con position open in a couple of weeks when we get our bid list.

  4. minnesotagal says:

    It’s an awesome first post. It’s one of the largest embassies, so there’s a good chance it’ll be on the list! We’re so pumped!

  5. topher says:

    just to clarify and be precise Filipino is not a language it is our nationality and Tagalog is the national language and not a dialect although there are tons of dialect that are being spoken they sometimes refer to language as well. But thank you very much for your appreciation of our country. God bless you always.. Mabuhay!

  6. minnesotagal says:

    Thanks for the email – I have corrected the post! Sorry about that…

  7. pilosopo tasyo says:

    Just to clarify and be precise, Topher, Filipino is a language. It is THE national and the official language of the Philippines. Tagalog was the basis for the evolution and adoption, but Filipino is the language. Get your facts straight.

  8. akur says:

    thanks 4 the information on philippines i got an A+ thanks to this website hope u have websites like this but also about other countrys

  9. Keana says:

    thanks for the info it will help me for my nation notebook i am doing on school

  10. philippines13 says:

    I lived in the Philippines for 12 years but i moved to the US and i am a true Filipino….it is fun knowing that people love sharing what they loved in the Philippines..Salamt and Mabuhay kayo lahat!!

  11. minnesotagal says:

    Thanks for reading! I LOVE the Philippines! It’s such a vibrant country.

  12. fe sa says:

    You make it sound that philippines is a paradise. Thank you! God Bless you!

  13. Rebecca says:

    Thank you!
    Needed this for my Philippines project :D

  14. minnesotagal says:

    Awesome, glad I could help! The Philippines ROCKS!

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