Did You Know?


“All I know is that I’m proud to be Filipino” – Nonito Donaire

It’s clear that the Philippines is an incredible country, what with its exquisite cuisine, exotic plants and wildlife, and an incredibly diverse, but unified, culture throughout. Whether you’re Filipino or not, you definitely know a few things about the Philippines and Filipinos, whether it be Jollibee, Manny Pacquiao, or the fact it’s comprised of about 7500 islands. If not, it’s okay, because here’s a compilation of 17 fun facts that you may or may not have known about the Philippines!

  1. The Philippines has a population of more than 100 million people, which makes it the 12th most populous country in the world. Its annual growth rate of around 2% makes it one of the fastest growing countries in the world.
  2. The Philippines is the only country in the world whose flag is placed upside down when the country is at war.
  3. The Philippines is the world’s largest supplier of nurses, supplying roughly 25% of all overseas nurses worldwide.
  4. Jellyfish Lake in the Philippines has more than 13 million jellyfish.
  5. Basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines. The Philippines Basketball Association (PBS) is the first and oldest league in Asia and the second oldest in the world after the NBA.
  6. The Philippines is the world’s leading producer of coconuts, having produced 19.5 million tons of coconuts in 2010.
  7. Three of the ten largest shopping malls in the world are found in the Philippines (SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, and SM Mall of Asia).
  8. The world’s largest Christmas lantern was illuminated in San Fernando, Pampanga on December 24, 2002. The structure was 26.8 meters in diameter and cost five million Philippine pesos.
  9. Today’s yo-yo takes its name from a word in the Philippine language Ilocano, “yóyo.”
  10. There are 125 to 170 languages in use in the Philippines, such as Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Bicolano, Hiligaynon, and Kapampangan.
  11. The Philippines is considered the text capital of the world. With more than 450 million SMS messages sent by the residents daily, they surpass the daily texts sent in Europe and the U.S. combined.
  12. The Philippines’ capital city of Manila gets its name from the Nilad, a tree with star-shaped white flowers sometimes called the Indigo tree because it yields blue dye.
  13. Two of the country’s largest islands, Luzon and Mindanao, comprise two-thirds of the entire Philippine land area.
  14. Robert del Rosario, a Filipino, was the first person to ever patent the karaoke music box in 1975. No wonder it’s such a popular item among Filipinos.
  15. In the Philippines during WW2, there was a shortage of tomatoes, so bananas were used instead, leading to what is known as banana ketchup. It’s made from mashed bananas, sugar, vinegar, and spices.
  16. The Philippines accounts for 43% of the world’s gin consumption.
  17. Manila Envelopes are named so because they were originally made from the hemp of bananas native to the Philippines.