Yes, the Philippines is the archipelago in Southeast Asia which is often visited for its beaches. It is also where strongest typhoon, Haiyan, landed in November 2013. However, there are more about this country. If you are a tourist who is planning to visit the Philippines soon, or a Filipino who wants to know more about your country, then spend some time to go through these facts about this tropical country.
1. It is the 64th largest country in the world with approximately 300,000 square kilometers (115,831 sq. mi.).
2. It is composed of 7,107 islands.
3. The most populated city in the country is Quezon City.
4. It has around 100 million population.
5. It ranks 12th among the most populous countries in the world, while it is 7th in Asia.
6. Three of the top 10 biggest malls in the world are found in the Philippines. These are the SM Mall of Asia, SM North Edsa, and SM Megamall.
7. The Philippines is considered to be the world’s top producer of coconuts.
8. Before the 10 kilometer Mexico underground river was discovered, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River (located in Palawan) was the world’s longest underground waterway.
9. Based on the 2000 census, the Philippines is the 5th largest English-speaking country in the world.
10. There are more than 200 volcanoes in the Philippines, but not all are active.
11. The Rice Terraces in the Cordillera Region is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
12. 80% of the population in the country is Roman Catholic.
13. The highest peak in the Philippines is Mt. Apo (2,954 meters) which is located in Mindanao.
14. The first Spanish to be the governor-general of the Philippines is Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.
15. The Philippines was named after King Phillip II of Spain.
16. The country was a colony of Spain for more than 300 years (1565-1898).
17. The Philippines is considered to be the “text capital of the world”. Around 450 million of text messages are sent daily by the 35 million mobile users in the country.
18. Mindanao Trench, which is located near the Philippines, is one of the deepest ocean trenches in the world, with depth reaching 6.5 miles.
19. The first Filipino who received a heart transplant is Rainier Lagman.
20. The University of San Carlos in Cebu (founded in 1595) and the University of Santo Tomas in Manila (founded in 1611) are older than the Harvard University (founded in 1636).
21. Eugenio Torre, a Filipino, is the first International Grandmaster from Asia. He won the Chess Olympiad in Nice, France in 1974.
22. Two Filipino beauty queens won the Miss Universe Title: Gloria Diaz (1969) and Margie Morgan (1973).
23. Abelardo Aguilar, a Filipino doctor, discovered the antibiotic erythromycin.
24. The highest court in the Philippines is the Supreme Court. It is headed by the Chief Justice.
25. The official Filipino language is based on the Tagalog language.
26. 5% of the Philippine population is Muslim. Most of them occupy the Mindanao islands.
27. The first people to migrate to the Philippines are the Negritos (around 30,000 years ago).
28. Jose Rizal is considered widely as the national hero of the Philippines. However, the Philippine government has not yet explicitly proclaimed Rizal as the official national hero of the Philippines. The term national hero can also be used to refer to Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino and Gabriela Silang – the other national hereos recommended by the National Heroes Committee recommended on November 15, 1995.
29. The original Philippine flag was sewn in Hong Kong.
30. President Ferdinand Marcos ran the Philippines for 21 years (1965-1986).
31. The country was planned to be fully independent in 1945 through the Commonwealth government, but the Second World War happened.
32. Aside from the GOMBURZA, the Philippines had another three martyr priests. These are the secular priests from Bicol, namely Fr. Gabriel Prieto, Fr. Severino Diaz, and Fr. Inocencio Herrera.
33. The first World War II American hero, Capt. Colin P. Kelly Jr., was killed during a Philippine combat against Japan.
34. The first Muslim senator is Hadji Butu.
35. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the second woman president of the Philippines. She is also the daughter of another former president, Diosdado Macapagal.
36. The jeepney is a mode of transportation that is unique to the Philippines.
37. The tarsier, one of the smallest primates in the world, is found in the Philippines alone. It can be seen in the provinces of Bohol, Leyte, Samar, and parts of Mindanao.
38. The Mindoro dwarf buffalo, commonly called tamaraw, is a critically endangered mammal that can be only found in Mindoro, Philippines.
39. Sinarapan, the world’s smallest food fish, can be only found in the Philippines, particularly in the Bicol River, and in Lakes Manapao, Katugday, Bato, and Buhi in Camarines Sur.
40. Halo-halo is a popular Filipino dessert that is a favorite during summer.
41. Filipinos are fond of nicknames that repeat syllables like Nene and Jun-jun.
42. Among the Philippines’ most popular local superheroes are Darna and Captain Barbel.
43. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino is the 15th and current president of the Philippines.
44. The national anthem of the Philippines is entitled “Lupang Hinirang” (“Chosen Land”). The music was composed by Julian Felipe, while the lyrics was from Jose Palma’s poem, “Filipinas”.
45. Philippine Peso is the unit of currency in the country.
46. The San Juanico Bridge that connects Leyte and Samar is the longest bridge in the Philippines that connects two islands. It is 2.162 km. in length and 10.620 m. in width. More interesting facts about the San Juanico Bridge can be found here.
47. The mangoes in the Philippines are considered to be among the sweetest.
48. When the Philippine flag is raised with the red side on top, it means the country is under war.
49. The longest snake in the world, the Reticulated Python, can be found in the Philippines. This snake is native to Asian countries and can grow up to the length of 22.8 ft. It can be distinguished by the “net-like” patterns on its skin.
50. The first European to reach the Philippines is Ferdinand Magellan.
51. The waling-waling is called the “Queen of Philippine Orchids” since it is endemic to the Philippines, particularly Mindanao. It is being pushed to be the national flower of the country, alongside with sampaguita.
52. The Glory of the Sea, which is found in the Philippines, is among the most expensive shells in the world.
53. The Saltwater Crocodile, found in the Philippines, is the biggest reptile in the world. The largest crocodile ever captured was Lolong, measuring 20.3 ft. It was caught in Agusan del Sur, Philippines. He died in captivity on February 10, 2013.
54. The pisidium, the smallest shell in the world, is found in the Philippines.
55. The largest bamboo organ in the world is the one at St. Joseph Church in Las Pinas City, Philippines.
56. The smallest hoofed animal in the world is no other than the Philippine mouse deer, commonly known in the country as pilandok. It is only found in the island of Balabac in Palawan, Philippines.
57. Palawan, with 1,769 islands and totaling to 14,896.3 sq. km., is the largest province in the Philippines.
59. Laguna de Bay is the largest lake in the Philippines. It is located between Laguna and Rizal, and measures 900 sq. km.
60. Boracay, Siargao, and Dakak are among the world’s best beaches, and they are in the Philippines.
61. Average Filipinos eat rice meals three times a day.
62. Among the internationally known Filipino personalities, or those who have Filipino-blood, are Lea Salonga, Bruno Mars, Charice, Vanessa Hudgens, and Apl .de.Ap.
63. The Mayon Volcano in Albay, Philippines, has a perfect cone shape.
64. Carlos P. Romulo is the first Filipino and Asian to be a UN President.
65. Jose Rizal, a national hero of the Philippines, could write and read at the age of two.
66. The Philippines was bought by the US from Spain in 1898 through the “Treaty of Paris” in 1898. At the cost of $20 million, the Spain surrendered the archipelago and other colonies including Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam, and some parts of the Spanish West Indies to the United States.
67. Corazon Aquino is the first female president in the Philippines.
68. The Maria Cristina Falls, which is located in Lanao del Norte, is the largest falls in the country.
69. Cebu City, known as the ‘Queen City of the South’, is considered the oldest city in the country. Colon Street in Cebu is the shortest and oldest national road in the country.
70. Before the Americans, the English language was first introduced by the British invaders to the Filipinos in 1762.
71. The longest river in the Philippines is the Cagayan River (also called Rio Grande de Cagayan). It measures up to 505 km. in length.
72. The Philippine Eagle is the largest eagle species in the world.
73. The Doctrina Christiana is among the first books to be published in the Philippines. It was written by Juan de Plasencia in 1593.
74. The first Filipina commercial plane pilot is Aimee Carandang.
75. The first Filipina elected twice as a senator is Eva Estrada Kalaw.
76. San Miguel Corporation is Southeast Asia’s largest food, beverage, and packing company that is listed publicly.
77. The first airconditioned building in the country is Manila Hotel.
78. Clarke’s Café in Binondo is the first ice cream parlor in the Philippines, which opened in 1899.
79. Marikina City is considered the Shoe Capital of the Philippines.
80. The Philippines was called Archipelago de San Lazarus by Ferdinand Magellan upon discovery.
81. The Negros Occidental province has the largest number of chartered cities. It has 13 cities all in all.
82. The first Miss Philippines is Evangeline de Castro from Baguio.
83. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago is known as the “Iron Lady of Asia”.
84. The first Filipina to bag the Miss International title is Gemma Cruz.
85. Luneta Park was originally called Bagumbayan.
86. Mi Ultimo Adios is the most translated poem in the Philippines.
87. The province of Aurora is named after the first lady of Pres. Manuel Quezon.
88. Centro Escolar University, established in 1907, is the oldest women’s university in the Philippines.
89. The Philippine Pearl is the country’s national gem.
90. El Hogar (means The Home) is the first women’s magazine to be published in the Philippines. It came out in 1893.
91. The largest restaurant in the Philippines is the Farmer’s Market Foodome which is located in Quezon City.
92. The Philippines is famous for the Chocolate Hills in Bohol.
93. The last American who served as a governor-general in the Philippines is Frank Murphy.
94. The Republic of the Philippines was established on July 4 1946. This was officially marked by Manuel Roxas’ becoming the country’s president.
95. The Philippines is the first Southeast Asian country which became independent after the World War II.
96. The 100 millionth Filipino was born on July 27, 2014. The baby girl, named Chonalyn, was delivered in Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital.
97. The Crystal Arcade, which is located in Escolta, is considered the first modern building in the country.
98. Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, is named after a mangrove tree that has white flowers called nilad.
99. The last rajah or king of Cebu is Rajah Tupas, who was baptized as Felipe Tupas in 1565 after defeat to Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.
100. Andres Bonifacio is considered the “Father of Philippine Revolution” as he founded the Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK) which sought to free the country from the rule of Spain.
101. The Battle of Leyte Gulf is said to be the biggest naval battle in the history.
The Philippines is rich both in history and natural resources. There are a lot to be known about this country, and if you want to find out more, just keep on browsing FAQ.ph.