Philippine Fun Facts

Think you know everything about your country?

You’d be surprised at what you don’t know about the Philippines!

It is amazing how much we have learned at school and in life which turns out to be incorrect.

This list will shock and stun you and will make you ask what you really know about your beautiful country.

Here are some 7 Fun facts about our motherland that you likely never knew:

1) The English Language

The English language was actually brought to us by the British when they invaded Manila and Cavite back in 1762. The British had a short occupation in the Philippines (1762 – 1764) and this started with the Battle of Manila. Some historians say that this was not really a Philippine occupation but rather an isolated invasion even though it was the capital that was stormed. (Wikipedia articles are here and here)

2) The First Book

Doctrina Cristiana was the very first book published in the Philippines and it was published in 1593 by the Dominican clergy owned Dominican Press. Because religious organizations had the power and means to have a book printed at that time, the book was of a religious nature. It had prayers written in Spanish, Tagalog and Baybayin or Alibata.

3) Filipino?

The term Filipino that refers to the people of the Philippines was initially used to describe the pure blood Spaniards that were born in the Philippines. The exact term is Espanoles-Filipinos. The locals or the natives were called Indios or “uncivilized heathen”. As more and more “natives” garnered wealth and education, they started calling themselves Filipinos as well. (Source: Pinoy Trivia Vol. 1 by Bong Barrameda)

4) Divers Paradise

One of the reasons the Philippines is a world-class diver’s paradise is that of the 500 known coral species in the world, 488 or 97% are found in the Philippines; Of the eight known species of giant clams in the world, seven are found in the Philippines; and the rarest and most expensive shell in the world, the Conus Gloriamaris (Glory of the Sea), is among a massive 12,000 species of seashells found in Philippine waters.

5) Tectonic Activity

The Philippines is located right smack at the Pacific ring of fire. That being said, we have 25 active volcanoes and more potentially active ones. Check out this page from the PHIVOLCS to see the complete list.

6) Banana Ketchup?

Two words: Banana. Ketchup. Yes, we are the proud inventors of the Banana ketchup. This invention came about when there was a lack of tomato production and an influx of bananas in the Philippines during the time of the American occupation. This proves the creativity and ingenuity of Filipinos. (Source)

7) Philippine Flag

Here’s a shocker for me, personally. The three stars on our flag that is supposed to represent the three major island groups Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao is actually Luzon, Mindanao and Panay. On the Declaration of Independence in 1898, it states that the three principal islands were in fact, Luzon, Mindanao and Panay. Read the full translated declaration here.

If these facts surprised and amused you, you’d be more surprised and amused with this video that was shown about the Philippines in the 40’s.



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