The Spanish arrived in the Philippines in the sixteenth century ready to conquer the country. They found a land of unequaled beauty, rich and also dangerous. They remained in it for more than three centuries; in 1898 the country came under the orbit of the USA. and did not recover its sovereignty until 1946, once the Second World War ended. In its culture there are many traces of that Spanish colonial past, united to the ancestral traditions that never left. In Supercurioso we have told you about some of the fantastic beings that populated their legends as Manananggal, the terrifying vampire of the Philippines or Aswang . This time we bring you 50 Curiosities of the Philippines to deepen a little more in the knowledge of that beautiful country.
The Philippines is a beautiful country with one of the greatest biodiversities on the planet and a population that combines tradition and modernity. Being one of the most populated countries on the planet, it is not surprising that almost 12% of its citizens live outside it. The Hispanic legacy is easily observable since the majority of its inhabitants have surnames of Spanish origin.
Curiosities of the Philippines
1. The name of the Philippines derives from the name of the Spanish Prince of Asturias when the conquest began: Felipe, who would later become Felipe II.
2. The oldest human remains found in the Philippine Islands correspond to the so-called "man of Callao" and are more than 67,000 years old.
3. The country is divided into three different geographical areas. The largest island that is Luzon, where is Manila, the capital, an intermediate zone known as Visayas, formed by multiple islands and the third zone is the great island to the south: Minadanao.
4. One of the curiosities of the Philippines It's in your flag. The division into 3 zones is reflected in the Philippine flag that has 3 stars that represent each of these geographical areas.
5. In addition, the Philippine flag is divided into two bands; a blue that represents the unity of the nation and its ideals and another red one for the blood shed during independence. On the side of the mast is a white triangle symbolizing purity and peace. In its interior a sun of eight rays that are the 8 provinces that rose against the Spanish domination and the 3 stars already mentioned.
6. The capital, Manila , is the center of the great metropolitan region of Manila or Metro Manila and has 11 million inhabitants.
7. The name of Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, also has an interesting origin. It receives its name from a Philippine bush of more than two meters with white flowers in the shape of a star called Nilad. The old name of the city was "Maynila" and comes from the Tagalog "May nilad" which means "(where) there is nílad", because in the area this shrub abounded. This tree is sometimes called "indigo tree" since it produces a blue tint.
8. Manila is considered one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Its center has less than 43 km2 and almost 1.5 million people live there.
9. One of the curiosities of the Philippines is that its population, unlike its neighbors, is mostly Catholic. The Spaniards carried Christianity, however Islam reached the Sulu archipelago in the 15th century and in the 17th century it was already in Mindanao, the Visayas and Zulón.
10. During the Second World War the country was invaded by Japan and until its liberation by the allies died more than one million Filipino citizens, many of them in acts considered war crimes.
11. One of the symbols of the Philippines is its national bird: the Philippine eagle, also called "eagle eats monkeys" or "eagle monera" since it was said that it only fed on monkeys. It is in danger of extinction and its hunting is punished with up to 12 years in prison.
12. The Philippines is an island country that is made up of 7,107 islands.
13. It is located in the area known as "Pacific Fire Belt", which is why it is frequently affected by earthquakes.
14. Its tropical climate and its geographical situation make it prone to typhoons of great intensity.
15.Other of the curiosidade of the Philippines is that there is an average of 20 seismic movements in the country every day, although most of them are not noticed because they are very low intensity.
16. In the Philippines there are hundreds of volcanoes. The three with more activity They are Mount Pinatubo, the Taal Volcano and the Mayon Volcano.
17 The country suffered in 1991 one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history. The Pinatubo erupted and not only killed 847 people and left 1 million homeless, but produced a cloud of sulfuric acid that covered the planet for two years and caused global temperatures to fall by 0.5º C.
18. As it is an island country it has "0 kilometers" of border, but it is the 5th country in the world in terms of length of coastline.
19. Mount Apo is the highest height in the Philippines and measures 2,954 m. It is located on the island of Mindanao and is a stratovolcano. It is one of the curiosities of the Philippines since it is crowned by three peaks and at its top there is a huge volcanic crater that measures more than 500 m. diameter.
20. The Apo is also called "the grandfather", "the teacher" or "the lord".
21. The "Puerto Princesa Underground River National Park" was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1999 and in 2011 one of the 7 natural wonders of the world.
22. It is the 12th most populous country in the world: it has 102 million inhabitants.
23. Approximately 11 million Filipinos live outside their country.
24. The Spanish legacy, in addition to architecture, is evident in the religion of the population that is mostly Catholic.
25. One of the curiosities of the Philippines is that you can not talk about "a" language of the Philippines since more than 170 languages are spoken in the country! Although only two are official: English and Tagalog.
26. A mixture of English and Tagalog is often used, which is known as "taglish".
27. The Philippine food traditional is a mixture of traditions and the most typical dishes are the suckling pig, the "kare-kare" which is based on a peanut broth, the dishes with adobo, the "tapa" which is a dry meat, the "pancit", similar to yakisoba or "halo-halo" which is a dessert based on ice, milk and fruits.
28. The Filipino food It's not as spicy as those in neighboring countries and they do not use toothpicks. Formerly it was eaten with the right hand and this procedure was called "Kamayan".
29. Many Filipinos spice up their food with " banana ketchup " or " banana sauce " It is made with crushed banana, vinegar, sugar and some spices.
30. Filipinos love fast food. The most important fast-food chain in the country is called Jollibee and specializes in breakfasts and dishes such as fried chicken or hamburgers, but also rice and noodles.
31. The customs of the Philippines They are very varied as they are a compendium of Malay-Polynesian and Hispanic culture with Chinese, Arab, Indian, other Asian and even North American influences.
32. Filipinos, especially men, are very fond of cockfighting called "sabong" which was practiced before the Spaniards arrived.
33. The most popular sport is basketball.
34. One of the curiosities of the Philippines is that its inhabitants are big boxing enthusiasts, in such a way that apparently when there is a boxing match on television, crime goes down.
Between the Filipino traditions most entrenched are:
35. That the family is the center of the social structure and extends to relatives not only in the first degree, but includes the extended family.
36. The Hand Po It is the way young people greet the elderly. They bring the old man's right hand to his forehead with his own right hand. It is like a blessing.
37. Another of the curiosities of the Philippines they are his dances. In the country there are two popular traditional folk dances. They are the "sigil" and the "tinkle".
38. The traditional costumes of the country, which only dress on special occasions, include for the woman "el charran" which is a long dress with butterfly sleeves and the "tagalong barong" for men.
39. The tagalong barong is a formal shirt, embroidered, that is made with fiber extracted from the pineapple tree leaf mixed with other materials such as silk or polyester.
40. In the traditions of the Philippines There is a concept that is the "Bayanihan". Represents the spirit of unity to make a joint effort an entire community to achieve an end.
41. If you travel to the Philippines and are invited to a big party, keep in mind that among the customs of the Philippines the normal thing is to arrive between 15 and 30 minutes after the time indicated in the invitation.
42. Despite the fact that due to its geographical situation it frequently suffers earthquakes and typhoons, the area is one of the most biodiverse on the planet.
43. Much of the Philippine waters, like those of other Southeast Asian countries, are part of the so-called "Coral Triangle". It is home to 76% of the coral species that are known and is the place with the most marine biodiversity in the world. The "Tubbataha" reef in the Sulu Sea was declared a World Heritage Site in 1993.
44. In its extensive forests and jungles, more than 1,100 terrestrial vertebrates can be found, including more than 170 birds and 100 species of mammals that are endemic to the country.
45. Another of the curiosities of the Philippines related to its fauna is that in its jungles you will see the Philippine Tarsier, one of the smallest primates that exist in the world. In the last ten years, 16 new species of mammals have been discovered in its forests.
46. Among the tourist attractions of the country are the so-called "Chocolate Hills" of Bohol. There are more than 1,200 cone-shaped geological formations covered with grass that, when the winter arrives, dries up and gives the hills a brownish color from which their name derives.
47. Another spectacular area, named in 1995 a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is the Rice Terraces of Banaue.
48. The "yipnis" or "jeepneys" in English are one of the most popular public transport in the Philippines. They are profusely decorated and are an exponent of Filipino art and culture. Originally they were made with the Jeeps that the Americans abandoned in the country after the Second World War.
49. In the Philippines you can find 3 of the 10 largest shopping centers in the world. In them you will find everything. In addition to shops there are churches, gyms, clinics, parks ... and above all: air conditioning. Maybe that's why Filipinos like them so much!
50. As the last of these curiosities of the Philippines , we will talk about the yo-yo. Although they already existed since the fifth century BC, it was a Filipino-American named Pedro Flores who in 1928 re-launched the toy and gave it the current name. Yo-yo means in Tagalog "comes-comes".
Other Curiosities of Asia | By Countries
Have you been surprised by these curiosities of the Philippines , a cozy and traditional country with one of the greatest biodiversities on the planet? If you're fascinated by Asian countries, you can not miss the following curiosities of Asia in general, distributed by countries. Surely you will be interested and surprised as much as the previous ones! Discover them!
- Curiosities of Jordan
- Curiosities of Georgia
- Curiosities of Thailand
- Curiosities of Turkey
- Curiosities of China
- Curiosities of Japan
- Curiosities of North Korea
- Curiosities of South Korea
- Curiosities of Russia
- Curiosities of Mongolia
- Curiosities of India
- Curiosities of Nepal
Did you know these curiosities of the Philippines ? Have you been surprised to learn that they water their food with banana ketchup or that they speak a mixture of Tagalog and English? We really want to visit the country! If you know some curious data from the Philippines that we have not mentioned, share it with us and we can expand the list!