Fun Fact Philippines
The Philippines is the number 2 producer and exporter of coconuts worldwide! Around 20 million tons of coconuts are shipped off each year to countries such as Japan, Germany and the US.
It makes coconuts one of the most important contributors to the local economy.
The coconut trees, also referred to as the tree of life, provide livelihoods for around a third of the Philippine population.
1. It is the most social media savvy nation on earth
Yes, when it comes to social media the Philippines are ahead of everyone else. The Filipinos are so enthusiastic about their Instagram and Facebook that they were ranked as the highest selfie-takers in the world by Time Magazine! Makati City (Manila) was crowned the selfie capital of the world.
2. The Philippines had the first LGBTQ political party in the world
Back in 2003 the Ang Ladlad (meaning: out of the closet) was created by writer Danton Remoto. He created the only LGBTQ political party in the world in that time, however due to lack of political funding their campaigning efforts have been limited. As a result of the poor turnouts, in accordance with the voting rules of the Philippines, Ang Ladlad was disqualified in the 2016 elections.
3. The worlds longest underground river can be found here
The Puerto Princes Subterranean River stands with 8.2km as the longest river of its kind across the globe. It is surrounded by gorgeous limestone karst and a completely diverse mountain-to-sea ecosystem. The river runs straight into the sea, meaning the lower half is impacted by the rising and falling of ocean tides. It also has a second floor full with small rushing waterfalls.
4. It is also the only Christian nation in Asia
The Philippines is the fifth largest Christian country on earth. Christianity was first introduced to natives of the Philippines by Arab traders, however, it wasn’t until the Spanish colonisation in the 1500s that the faith left its mark on the people. Nowadays, roughly 86% of the population is Catholic. Most of their Southeast Asian neighbours practice Buddhism.
5. The world’s largest supplier of nurses
The Philippines is the number one supplier of nurses worldwide, comprising about 25% of all nurses who work outside of their home country. The majority of Filipino nurses moved to the USA for work, this phenomenon can be explained due to the role of US colonisation. The Philippines have an Americanised education system that includes programs for nursing. However, the USA isn’t the only country nurses flock to. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Ireland and the Netherlands have seen an influx in Filipino nurses as well.
6. About 175 languages are spoken
Out of the 175 languages, it is estimated that 171 are still living languages while the remaining have no known speakers. Those 171 living languages come from groups with populations in the 1.000s! Incredible. However, English and Tagalog are the only two officially recognised languages for the whole nation. Back in the 19th century the Philippines was under Spanish rule and therefore taught the Spanish language. English only became popular due to the US colonisation around the 20th century. Other than colonialism, it is because of trade, tourism and time that there are so many languages spoken here.
7. They love basketball
Besides eating coconuts and scrolling through social media Filipino’s play a lot of basketball! It’s not uncommon to see a makeshift basketballhoop in the most rural villages. Their professional league is known as the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), which is also the second oldest in the world just after the NBA.
We stayed in the Philippines very short on our way back from Papua New Guinea. Hopefully we can explore a lot more of this cool country in the near future.
Welcome to chaos
When we thought we left chaos in Amritsar or at the border with Pakistan, nothing was less true. Chaos was either following us, or we following it, all the way to Kashmir.
The most ridiculous border crossing ever
While tensions along the Pakistan – Indian border are still as high as ever, the ceremony taking place at the Wagah border makes it seem like a game.
The heart of Pakistan
We end our beautiful Pakistan trip in the heart of the country. Let’s expLahore the city of culture, spicy food and history.