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Philippine Fun Facts

The Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7,107 islands and a population of over 90 million. These numbers definitely account for some interesting, if not fun facts, about our country as well as who we are. Here, we have gathered them under one file. Feel free to add your inputs and see your profile on it too.

  1. Luzon is the largest island in the archipelago.
  2. The capital of Philippines is Manila and the national language is Filipino. Note this because if you replace the 'F' with the 'P' you would be pertaining to us - people of the Philippines.
  3. On the islands of Philippines, there are more than 200 volcanoes, though only a few are active. This is because the country belongs to the Ring of Fire, but this doesn't mean that earthquakes visit us like the morning sun. It's still rare as finding a real nice guy.
  4. In the Tabon Cave Complex of Philippines, fossil evidence of Homo sapiens has been found. According to the studies, the area was inhabited around 50,000 years ago. We really have a rich heritage and history to unearth.
  5. Mount Apo, at an altitude of 2,954 m, in the island of Mindanao is the highest point in the Philippines.
  6. The people of the Philippines are from different ethnic origins such as Malay, Chinese, Spanish, American, etc.
  7. Its capital city Manila was named after a white-flowered mangrove plant, the nilad or Scyphiphora hydrophyllaces. It is a tree with white star-shaped flowers but yields dark blue dye that's why in other countries it is called 'indigo'.
  8. The Philippines was one of Spain's colony from 1521 to 1898. Subsequently, it went into the hands of the USA.
  9. It was the first Southeast Asian country to gain independence in 1946, following World War II.
  10. The Philippines stretches onto the area of 115,830 square miles, which makes it equal to the size of Italy.
  11. However, the land area of the Philippines is about 1/30th of the U.S.; it has a coastline of 36,289 kilometers while the U.S. coastline is just 19,924 kilometers.
  12. With more than 11 million Filipinos overseas, the Philippines has the largest diaspora networks in the world.
  13. The Philippines is regarded the “text capital of the world”. About 350 to 400 million SMS (Short Message Service) or 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.
  14. The karaoke was invented in the Philippines and not Japan. Karaoke means “singing without accompaniment” in Japanese was invented by Roberto del Rosario. The invention of “Sing-Along-System” was later called karaoke.
  15. Founded in 1595 by Spaniards, the University of San Carlos in Cebu City is older than Harvard and is the oldest university in Asia.
  16. University of Santo Tomas in Manila, established in 1611, is Asia’s second oldest.
  17. What is the world’s 3rd largest English-speaking nation, next to the USA and the UK? The Philippines.
  18. Los Angeles, California was co-founded in 1781 by a Filipino named Antonio Miranda Rodriguez, along with 43 Latinos from Mexico sent by the Spanish government.
  19. What antibiotic did Filipino doctor Abelardo Aguilar co-discover? Hint: Brand is Ilosone, named after Iloilo. Erythromycin.
  20. The first ever international Grandmaster from Asia was Eugenio Torre who won at the Chess Olympiad in Nice, France in 1974.
  21. Who invented the fluorescent lamp? Thomas Edison discovered the electric light and the fluorescent lighting was thought up by Nikola Tesla. But the fluorescent lamp we use today was invented by Agapito Flores (a Cebu man named Benigno Flores of Bantayan Island, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer), a Filipino scientist.
  22. Who is the personal physician of United States Pres. William 'Bill" Clinton? Eleanor “Connie” Concepcion Mariano, a Filipina doctor who was the youngest captain in the US Navy.
  23. The first Filipino-American in US Congress was Virginia Rep. Robert Cortez-Scott, a Harvard alumnus.
  24. Distinguished British traveler-writer A. Henry Savage Landor, thrilled upon seeing a Bicol landmark in 1903, wrote: “Mayon is the most beautiful mountain I have ever seen, the world-renowned Fujiyama (Mt.Fuji) of Japan sinking into perfect insignificance by comparison.” Mayon has the world’s most perfect cone.
  25. The first female president of the Philippines sworn into office in 1986 was Corazon Cojuangco Aquino.
  26. Who was the first Asian and/or Filipino to snatch America’s Pulitzer Prize? Philippines Herald war journalist Carlos P. Romulo in 1941. He was also the first Asian to become UN President.
  27. Filipino writer Jose Rizal could read and write at age 2, and grew up to speak more than 20 languages, including Latin, Greek, German, French and Chinese. What were his last words? “Consummatum est!” (“It is done!”)
  28. What’s still most impressive to me about the Philippines is the friendliness of the people, their sense of humor…,” wrote Honolulu journalist John Griffin in a 1998 visit to Manila.

References and credits:
Photo of indigo plant from cutelynne of IgoUgo

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