Considered to be one of the world’s largest archipelagos, the Philippines has 7,641 islands. It is loved for having over 36,000 gorgeous white seashores, but interestingly enough, it has more to offer than these sandy stretches.
Whether you’re visiting its frenzied capital (Manila), its deteriorating colonial towns, or island hopping to see different volcanoes, the Philippines offers tourists culture, nature, adventure, and history in spades.
For a deeper look of this breathtaking country, we’ve assembled some of the most interesting Philippines facts.
Staggering Philippines Facts
1. They Love Basketball
Don’t get surprised if you see makeshift hoops and courts even in the most remote and rural villages across the country.
For a Filipino, basketball is a way of life mainly because it is a team sport.
Their professional league is known as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), the second oldest basketball league in the world after the NBA.
2. It Has the World’s Longest Underground River
Beneath St. Paul’s mountain range, you’re going to find the island of Palawan. In it is the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River Park.
This space was created millions of years ago, and it stretches up to 24 km under the mountains. It is the world’s longest navigable underground river, and it has also become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You can visit different parts of the cave system by entering the cave to meet the sea.
3. It Is One of the World’s Largest Producers of the Coconut
Millions of coconuts are shipped every year to different countries worldwide from the Philippines.
Some of those countries are China, Germany, Japan, and America. This makes coconuts one of the most prominent elements of the economy, and this sector employs millions of Filipinos.
Filipinos call the coconut tree the tree of life as it provides a livelihood to one-third of the population.
4. There Are More Than 170 Languages in the Country
More than 170 languages are spoken in the country, and approximately 165 of them are considered “living languages.”
If you speak English, you won’t have any trouble understanding since more than 50 million people speak English.
This also makes it the fifth-largest English-speaking country in the world. Some other languages that are spoken are:
Apart from these, four other tribal dialects are spoken, too.
5. Filipinos are Highly Sociable
We mean extremely sociable. Their habit of using their mobile phone to stay in touch with family and friends has earned them the nickname “the world’s texting capital.”
While this may be an unusual fact, a Filipino will not hesitate to send a text message! They send more than 400 million text messages each day, accumulating 142 billion sentences annually. Do you know how big that number is?
That means the Philippines sends more text messages than the USA and Europe combined. More importantly, this number is only growing since more people will access mobile phones with time.
6. It Has Three of the World’s Largest Shopping Malls
Shopping is one of the most preferred ways of passing the time in the Philippines. It has three of the ten largest shopping malls in the world, which are:
- SM North Edsa
- SM Mall of Asia
- SM Megamall
The biggest mall amongst these three is SM North Edsa. To put that into context, this mall is larger than Vatican City.
This mall is located in Quezon City, Manilla. Even if you’re not looking for some retail therapy, you should still visit to check out the cinema complex, the sky garden, or the simulated river.
7. Filipinos Love Food!
Who doesn’t, you’d say. But to explain what we mean, the Philippines officially have four meals in a day.
The locals love dining, and if you’re thinking of visiting, this is one fact you should know.
After breakfast, you’ll usually see people enjoying a morning break for bread and coffee, followed by lunch and then an afternoon snack. Rice is an important part of Filipino cuisine, so don’t be surprised if you see people having rice with almost every meal!
8. An Island Full of Volcanoes
The island of Camiguin is only 8.5 miles wide and 14 miles long; however, it is the only island globally that has more volcanoes than the number of towns. It has more volcanoes per square mile than any other island on the planet, too.
You don’t need to be scared, though. The volcanoes on this island have been dormant since the 1950s, so there’s no need to avoid them.
The island’s bubbling hot springs, jolly locals, and white-sand beaches make it a famous tourist spot.
9. A Monkey Eating Bird?
The national symbol of the Philippines is also their national bird: the majestic monkey-eating eagle, which is also called the Philippine eagle.
It is considered the largest eagle breed globally, and its wingspan can be seven feet wide.
Sadly, this bird is endangered, and catching or killing one can hand a person a prison sentence of 12 years. According to recent estimates, there are only 500 birds left in the country.
10. They Love to Sing!
Karaoke is an integral part of Filipino culture, too. Karaoke bars are immensely popular hangout spots for all ages, but you may also see karaoke setups in people’s homes as well.
Even if one doesn’t know how to sing, karaoke is a loved activity dominant in provincial and rural areas. It is so popular that even families who live in bamboo or nipa huts have karaoke setups, too!
Another interesting information is that the first karaoke machine was built by a Japanese inventor called Daisuke Inoue.
However, Roberto Del Rosario, a Filipino inventor, has the machine patented. On the other hand, he came up with a sing-along machine in 1975.
11. Jeepneys Are a Common Mode of Transport
Jeepneys are popular in the Philippines. After the Second World War, American forces left behind several Jeeps.
Resourceful Filipino people cobbled these jeeps together and then converted them into vehicles that could hold up to 20 people at one time. These jeeps are easy to find since they’re painted in vibrant colors with different slogans painted on them.
However, Jeepneys are slowly starting to phase out because of traffic congestion in the cities of the Philippines.
The country is trying to replace these vehicles with more environmentally friendly options. However, several scouring the streets, so you still have time to hop on to an iconic part of history.
12. The Philippines is a Great Place to Buy Pearls
Three of the largest pearls in the world have been found in the Philippines. The biggest one is Lao Tzu, who was found in Brooke’s Point, Palawan, back in 1934 by a diver. This pearl is 9.45 inches in diameter, and it weighs 14 pounds!
13. Filipinos Love Boxing!
Whenever world-famous fighter Manny Pacquiao has had a televised fight, the country seems to go on a holiday since the roads are empty, and you won’t find too many people in the mall either (even though they’re huge).
That is because the Filipino people are glued to their television sets, excitedly waiting for their favorite fighter to come on screen.
Believe it or not, even the police have reported that there’s a drop in crime every time Manny Pacquiao fights!
14. Jollibee is the Filipino McDonald’s
Filipinos love Jollibee. It is a fast-food chain that is loved so much across the country that different branches have opened up in other countries with overseas workers.
The chain started back in 1975 as a humble ice cream joint run by a man called Tony Tran.
Over time, this spot evolved to become a fast-food restaurant that has been famous for its signature burgers, spaghetti, and hot dogs. Their mascot is a bright red bee that seemingly represents the spirit of the Filipino people: jolly and free (we agree).
10 Best Places to Visit in the Philippines
The Philippines are an island country in the western Pacific. Because of the country’s seven thousand tropical islands, the region has one of the longest and largest combined coasts.
From pristine beaches and magnificent natural wonders to fascinating historic sites and lovely coral reefs, the Philippines offers a wealth of engaging things to see and do. Here are some of the top places in the Philippines to visit.
Did you know that the Philippines also ranks as one of the happiest countries in the world?
According to the Filipino people, staying positive throughout their day helps them cope with hardship, natural disasters, and poverty.
Regardless of what makes them happy, living in the Philippines is all about laughing, smiling, and enjoying life with all those who make your life worth living.
The facts that we’ve stated above are just some of our favorites, but opinions vary greatly. We recommend you go visit and explore this happy and beautiful country.
Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.