The Philippines is a fascinating country with a grand history and plenty of amazing aspects – here are just a few.
Basic Philippine Info
The country was named after King Philip II of Spain after it’s ‘discovery’ by explorer Ruy Loez de Villalobos. The country is divided into three distinct island groups that are composed of 17 official regions and 80 different provinces that sport 138 cities and nearly 1,500 separate municipalities. There are somewhere between 170 and 175 different languages spoken throughout the Philippines, with the two official languages being English and Filipino. Filipino is really just a version of Tagalog, but they changed the language name from Tagalog to avoid preference for the Tagalog ethnic group. There are about 100 million people living in the Philippines, and the country enjoys the largest linguistic diaspora in the world with about 11 million Filipino speakers outside the country. Many of these expats are in the nursing profession, as the Phlippines is the largest exporter of nurses in the world.
The Philippines was the first Southeast Asian country to win its independence after World War II, doing so in 1946. Since then the country has thrived; Manila, the capital city, is a bustling and crowded city – one the most densely populated in the world, in fact, with over 43,000 people per kilometre. The people of Manila and the Philippines at large have also embraced a lot of modern technology – the Philippines are often referred to as the “Texting Capital of the World” because 350-400 text messages are sent every day. That’s more than the United States and Europe put together!
The Philippines is also quite culturally advanced. The University of Sto. Thomas in Manila, pre-dates Harvard University by 25 years, having been founded by the Spanish in 1611. Should it be included in the Ivy League? Probably!
Finally, a curiosity to pique your interest: Throughout the world, only one country changes the way its national flag is displayed depending on circumstance: The Philippines. Normally the Philippines flag is displayed with the blue on top. In times of war, it’s reversed so the red is on top. No other country in the world does anything similar!
As you can see, small countries often contain plenty of interesting stuff. If you’re considering a trip to the Philippines, hopefully these interesting facts have pushed you over the edge!