50 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Phillipines | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- The Philippines are named after King Philip II of Spain. Explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the Eastern Visayas Felipenas first, and then the name was applied to whole country. The country’s official name is the Republic of the Philippines.
- The Philippines consists of 2,100 islands. The Philippines is the second largest archipelago (extensive group of islands) in the world after Indonesia and is made up of 7,107 islands located in the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, and the Luzon Strait.
- The Philippines has a population of more than 100 million people having annual growth of about 2% making it one of the fastest growing countries in the world.
- Manila is considered to be the world’s most densely populated city with a population of 1.7 million with a population density of 43,000 per square km.
- 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 of these shells sold at auction for about US$5,000.
Flora & Fauna
- The Philippine, or monkey-eating, eagle is the largest of all eagles and was declared the national bird of the Philippines. It is the largest of all eagles having a wingspan of almost 7 feet (2 m). It is critically endangered with only about 500 left.
- The Philippines is home to the world’s longest snake, the Reticulated Python which also happens to be the world’s longest reptile. It can grow to 28.5 feet (8.7 m) in length.
- Jellyfish Lake in the Philippines contains more than 13 million jellyfish.
- The Philippine capital city of Manila was named after the white-flowered mangrove plant, the Nilad. It is a tree with white, star-shaped flowers yielding dark blue dye. It is called the Indigo tree by other countries.
- Of the eight known species of giant clams (the largest living bivalve mollusk), seven are found in the Philippines.
- The Philippines is home to the world’s smallest hoofed animal, the Philippine mouse-deer standing about 15.8 inches (40 cm) tall at the shoulder level.
- 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.
- After Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda fled the Malacañang Palace in 1986 after 20-year rule, 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.
Places / Architecture
- The University of Santo Tomas was founded in Manila, Philippines, by Dominican monks in 1611. It is the world’s largest Catholic university in terms of population. Later the University of San Carlos in Cebu City was founded in 1595. Both these are older than the Harvard University founded in 1636.
- The Mindanao Trench near the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean is the second deepest spot under the world’s oceans at 34,440 feet (10,497 m) explored by the German ship Emden in 1927.
- In the Philippine island province of Camiguin, there are more volcanoes (7) than towns (5) though there hasn’t been an eruption since the mid-1950s. The island has the most number of volcanoes per square km in the world.
- Mt. Pinatubo on the Philippine island of Luzon erupted on June 15, 1991, and created the largest mushroom cloud in the world. Its eruption ejected 10 billion metric tons of magma and 20 million tons of Sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere.
- The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River in Palawan, Philippines, is 5 miles (8.2 km) long. Until the discovery of a 6.2 mile (10 km) underground river in Mexico, it was the longest subterranean waterway in the world.
- The Philippines is prone to earthquakes experiencing 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.
- The largest school in the World is K-12 in Philippines with an enrollment of 25000 students.
- Of the top 10 largest shopping malls in the world, three are found in the Philippines: SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, and SM Mall of Asia.
People Customs & Culture
- The Philippines is the only majority Christian nation in Asia having 80% Roman Catholic population.
- There are about 175 individual languages spoken in the Philippines, 171 of which are living while the other 4 have no speaker left.
- English and Filipino, based on Tagalog, are the country’s two officially recognized languages. The Philippines has more than 1,000 regional dialects.
- Over 11 million Filipinos work overseas constituting about 11% of the entire population of the Philippines making them the second-largest Asian group in the United States, next to the Chinese.
- Filipinos observe the world’s longest Christmas season beginning in September and officially ends in January. 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.
- San Fernando, Philippines, is known as the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines” most famous for its parols (giant Christmas lanterns) which can rise 20 feet (6 m) in the air. Only about 10 giant parols are made each year produced each year for competition costing around US$15,000 each.
- 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.
- According to Filipino custom, it is considered rude to open gifts immediately after they are given.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Philippines is considered the text capital of the world as every day 35 million Filipinos send about 450 millions SMS messages more than the total number of daily text messages sent in the U.S. and Europe combined.
- The Philippines was the first country in Southeast Asia to gain independence after World War II, in 1946.
- The Philippines is the only country in the world whose flag is hoisted upside down when the country is at war.
- Philippines has a problem of human trafficking with about 375,000 girls in the sex trades, mostly between the ages of 12 and 20.
- Even though the first elected Filipino president, Ferdinand Marcos, has been dead for more than two decades, his body has never been properly buried and it remains “on ice” while officials quibble about whether he should buried in the cemetery reserved for Filipino heroes and past presidents as his regime was riddled with corruption.
Economy & Corporates
- The Philippines is the world’s largest exporter of coconuts and tropical fruits, such as papaya.
- The Philippines is the world’s largest supplier of nurses, supplying roughly 25% of all overseas nurses worldwide.
- The Philippines is the world’s second biggest geothermal producer after the USA with 18% of the country’s electricity needs being met by geothermal power.
- 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.
- Cockfighting is a centuries old blood sport still very popular, and the country has hosted several events in Manila’s Araneta Coliseum twice a year.
- Basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines and the Phillipines Basketball Association is the first and oldest basketball in Asia and second oldest after USA.
- Manny Pacquiao is one of the best boxers having 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.
- The world record for most women breastfeeding simultaneously was 3,541, set in Manila, Philippines, on May 4, 2006.
- The antibiotic erythromycin was invented by Filipino Dr. Abelardo Aguilar in 1949 for his company the Eli Lilly. Erythromycin is used for people who are allergic to penicillin.
- A Filipino named Roberto del Rosario patented the first working karaoke machine in 1975 meaning “singing without accompaniment” which was later made famous by Japanese.
- The world’s biggest pair of shoes was made in Marikina City, Philippines, in 2002 which measured 17.4 feet (5.3 m) in length, 7.9 feet (2.4 m) in width, and almost 6.6 feet (2 m) in height costing 2 million Philippine pesos.
- The world’s largest pearl was discovered by a Filipino diver in the Palawan Sea in 1934. Known as the “Pearl of Lao Tzu,” the gem weighs 6.35 kg and measures 9.5 inches long and 5.5 inches in diameter valuing over US$40 million.
- War journalist Carlos Peňa Rómulo was the first Asian to win the American Pulitzer Prize for Correspondence in 1942. He was also the first Asian to become president of the United Nations.
By Amazing Facts 4U Team