What comes into your mind when you hear the name of the Philippines? Is it the warm tropical weather? Is it the white sand beaches? Or is it the hospitable people? Yes, this Southeast Asian country is popular because of these things, but there are so many facts about Philippines that are still worth knowing.
Mostly because of its interesting and fun-filled people, the Philippines is such a good country to know more. A lot of tourists do not know that the Philippines hold some surprising records, and its people are quite fond of superlatives.
Interesting Facts About Philippines
Here are some fun & interesting facts about Philippines that are quirky and may surprise you. Knowing these facts about the Philippines will make you appreciate the country and its people even more, and will make you feel like an insider in this beautiful nation.
1. ‘Text’ Capital of the World
In the Philippines, locals do not make phone calls to communicate, no matter how urgent things are. They rely on short message service (SMS) or text messaging, and an interesting fact about Philippines is that it is considered the “text capital of the world.” It is because of the fact that there are about 106 million mobile phone users in the Philippines, and 270 billion text messages are sent in the country just in a span of one month. Whenever you visit the Philippines, you know what to do: text messaging is the way to go.
2. ‘Selfies’ Cities
Here’s another interesting fact about Philippines: the people here are crazy about taking selfies. As a matter of fact, a study conducted by Time Magazine a few years back identified two cities in the Philippines—Makati and Pasig—as the urban areas with the most number of people taking selfies. For every 100,000 people in these cities, 258 are taking photos of themselves using their mobile phones.
With this number, these Philippine cities eclipse other urban areas in the United States such as Manhattan in New York and Miami in Florida in terms of the sheer volume of selfies being taken. When you go to the Philippines, do not hesitate to take selfies, because other people around you are definitely taking them.
3. Crazy About Beauty Pageants
In the Philippines, beauty pageants are such major events, that some locals skip work to be able to watch the country’s representatives join these contests. It is widely known that the current Miss Universe, Pia Wurtzbach, is from this country, but here’s another interesting fact about the Philippines: it has won at least 10 major international beauty pageant titles. Aside from Wurtzbach, two candidates from the Philippines has also won the Miss Universe crown: Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Maria Margarita Moran in 1973.
The Philippines has also taken home the Miss International crown six times, most recently last year by Kylie Versoza. It has also won the Miss World pageant once, courtesy of Megan Young in 2013. Truly, the Philippines is a country of beautiful people.
4. Pacquiao Knocks Out Crimes
Another source of pride for the Philippines is international boxing champion Manny Pacquiao. However, there is a little known fact about the Philippines and Pacquiao that is worth sharing. During the Filipino boxing champ’s boxing matches, the police in the Philippines observes few to zero crimes happening on the streets. For instance, during Pacquiao’s bout against American boxer and his rival Floyd Mayweather in 2015, not a single crime in the Philippines happened during the day of this epic boxing match.
The same zero crime rate was also observed during Pacquiao’s fights against Chris Algeiri in 2014 and Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez in 2008 and 2011. Indeed, all is well and peaceful in the Philippines whenever Pacquiao is in the boxing ring.
Related Article: Most Expensive Celebrity Houses in the Philippines
5. The ‘My Way’ Curse?
A lot of people, especially those from the older generation, are familiar with Frank Sinatra’s song “My Way,” but only a few know that it is involved in a fun fact about the Philippines. In this Southeast Asian nation, it is believed that singing this song in the karaoke can be dangerous. Some estimates state that there have been 10 to 12 people killed in the Philippines in a decade, while singing this song in the karaoke. Of course, this can well be just an urban legend, and the killings can be attributed to the fact that most of the people singing “My Way” were drunk and were prone to fights.
6. Biggest Malls
In the Philippines, you can shop ‘till you drop because of the relatively lower prices of goods. Here’s another interesting fact about Philippines for the Shopaholic: three of the biggest malls in the world can be found in this small country. SM Megamall, located at the center of the capital region, is considered to be the third largest mall in the world, occupying a land area of about 10 hectares. SM City North EDSA, located in Quezon City, is meanwhile the fourth largest, while SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City is the 10th largest. Therefore, a visit to the Philippines will not be complete without going shopping.
Related Article: Best Souvenirs from Philippines
7. War and Peace
Another cool fact about Philippines that history buffs might find interesting is the versatility of its flag. The Philippine flag is the only one in the world which can denote whether the country is in a state of war or peace, depending on its placement. When the blue color is placed on top, this means that the Philippines is in a peaceful statement, but if the red color is the dominant one, then this signifies that there is war in the country.
8. Amazing Biodiversity
When it comes to natural resources, the Philippines is a stand-out. It is an interesting fact to know about the Philippines that it has the most number of species and birds in the world. Some 352 butterflies are considered to be native to the Philippines. Aside from this, the waters of the Philippines are considered to be the most diverse in the world. Some 400 to 500 species of corals are said to be found in this archipelago.
Related Article: Best Places to Visit in Philippines
9. Giant Pearl
An interesting trivia about the Philippines made news last year, when Philippine officials confirmed that the biggest pearl in the world has been found from its waters. A local fisherman from the province of Palawan discovered the gigantic pearl 10 years ago, but decided to keep it, unaware of its value. The precious gem weighs a whopping 34 kilograms.
10. Record Breakers
Locals in the Philippines seem to have gotten fond of breaking Guinness World Records, and these record-breaking moments add to the interesting facts about the Philippines that visitors should know. For instance, the Philippines hold these absurd current records: Most number of women breastfeeding simultaneously, most number of people brushing their teeth at the same time, and the most number of people washing their hands at the same time, to name a few. Indeed, Filipinos are record breakers.
This country really is a land of wonder, and there are just countless facts about Philippines that will constantly pique your curiosity. The best way to discover the beauty and wonder of the Philippines, however, is to see this country for yourself.