Saturday, October 09, 2010

About the Philippines

Interesting Facts:

  • The Philippine islands are an archipelago of over 7,000 islands lying about 500 mi (805 km) off the southeast coast of Asia. The overall land area is comparable to that of Arizona. Only about 7% of the islands are larger than one square mile, and only one-third have names. (It is debated by some that the Philippines has more islands than any other country in the world)

  • Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese navigator in the service of Spain, explored the Philippines in 1521. Twenty-one years later, a Spanish exploration party named the group of islands in honor of Prince Philip, who was later to become Philip II of Spain. Spain retained possession of the islands for the next 350 years.
  • The Philippines were ceded to the U.S. in 1899 by the Treaty of Paris after the Spanish-American War.
  • On Dec. 8, 1941, the islands were invaded by Japanese troops. Following the fall of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's forces at Bataan .
  • It was the first Southeast Asian country to gain independence in 1946, following World War II.
  • About 80% people of the country’s total population are Roman Catholics (because of the Spanish influence)

  • Philippine culture is a combination of Eastern and Western cultures. Traditional festivities known as barrio fiestas (district festivals) to commemorate the feast days of patron saints are common due to it's Spanish and American influences.

  • The Philippines' rainforests and its extensive coastlines make it home to a diverse range of birds, plants, animals, and sea creatures.[76] It is one of the ten most biologically mega-diverse countries .
  • Around 1,100 land vertebrate species can be found in the Philippines including over 100 mammal species and 170 bird species not thought to exist elsewhere.
Money eating Eagle

Tarsier, a nocturnal bug eater

The elusive mouse deer
  • Due to the volcanic nature of the islands, mineral deposits are abundant. The country is estimated to have the second-largest gold deposits after South Africa and one of the largest copper deposits in the world.
  • The Philippines is the world's second-biggest geothermal producer behind the United States, with 18% of the country's electricity needs being met by geothermal power.

  • After World War II, the country was for a time regarded as the second wealthiest in East Asia, next only to Japan.
  • The economy stagnated under the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos
  • The two official languages of the Philippines are English and Tagalog, recently renamed Filipino. Most people however don't speak one or the other but a mixture of the two nicknamed Tag-lish. Here is an example of taglish in the "Philippines got talent" Taglish video.

More Facts & Trivia About the Philippines
  • There are more than 10 million Filipinos living overseas, of this, about 8 million are OFWs or Overseas Filipino Workers. Their remittances account for 10.8% of the country's GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
  • Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines can read and write at the age of 2. He grew up speaking 20 foreign languages including French, Greek, Chinese, Latin and German.

  • The karaoke is a Filipino invention, not Japanese. Karaoke meaning "singing without accompaniment" in Japanese was invented by Roberto del Rosario. He called his invention "Sing-Along-System", which was later called karaoke.
  • The Philippine flag is the only flag in the world that is displayed upside-down when the country is in war (red on top and blue at the bottom when in war).

  • The Philippines is considered the "text capital of the world". They text more than the total daily text messages sent in the U.S. and Europe combined.
  • However, China has overtaken the Philippines by sheer volume of users. Even though the Chinese sent more text messages in total, they send an average of only 3 text messages per cell phone per day, while Filipinos sends on average 20 text messages per cell phone user per day.

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