Friday, September 1, 2017

Philippines Friday: Fun Facts

My wanderlust heart is so full right now. For the past few months I've been hinting at a once in a lifetime trip I'm soon to take, and the month is finally upon me: the trip is only 25 days away! Towards the end of September my husband and I will be taking our first ever international trip, to the Philippines.

My husband's best friend is getting married to his lovely Filipino bride to be and since none of his immediate family will be able to attend, he wanted my hubby there to be his best man. I will be forever grateful for him inviting us and giving us this incredible opportunity by helping with travel costs.

Anyway I have decided that here on the blog every Friday will be "Philippines Friday," where I will share info about traveling to the Philippines. I thought for my first Phillipines Friday I would share some fun and interesting facts I gleaned from my research about this majestic country I will soon feast my eyes upon.

  • The Philippines is made up of a chain of 7,107 islands, but only about 2000 of them are inhabited and nearly 5000 are not names on global maps.
  • Manila, the capital of the Philippines, ranks as the city with the highest population density in the world (and some of the worst traffic congestion!). In fact, Manila spans only 24 square miles but has 1,660,714 residents, giving it a population density of 55,446 people per square mile.
  • Ferdinand Magellan arrived in the Philippines in 1521, marking the start of the archipelago's colonization under Spanish rule, a 377-year period that lasted until 1898. The islands were dubbed "the Philippines" after King Philip the 2nd of Spain. As a result of the Spanish influence, the country is predominantly Christian with about 90% of the population practicing some mode of Christianity, the vast majority being Roman Catholic.       
  • There are between 120 and 175 individual languages spoken in the Philippines, 171 of which are living while the other four no longer have any known speakers. English and Filipino, based on Tagalog, are the country’s two officially recognized languages.
  • The Philippines is considered the text capital of the world. Every day, 35 million Filipinos send about 450 million SMS messages. This is more than the total number of daily text messages sent in the U.S. and Europe combined.
  • Politeness is an art form in the Philippines. Most foreigners will be referred to as “sir” and “mam” no matter their age. You’ll see younger people refer to the women and men a little bit older as “ates” and “kuyas” (sort of like older sister or brother, respectively). Filipinos respect and cherish their elders, and that shows in many ways in everyday life. Elderly, disabled, and pregnant women even have their own line at banks, restaurants and taxi queues, allowing them to bypass the crowd. However, their politeness can go a little too far, as you’ll rarely hear a Filipino come out with a direct “no” answer when you ask them a question, a trait that can create many challenging and hilarious situations for the foreigner! Filipinos are warm, happy, and have a great sense of humor. In fact, the Philippines is one of the happiest countries in the world, ranking near the top on Gallup’s index. Filipinos also have an uproarious sense of humor, as joking, lighthearted banter, and even singing makes every day in their presence a true blessing. As some Filipino friends have pointed out to me, it’s an inherent trait that helps them cope with such poverty, hardship, and natural disasters. No matter the reason, life in the Philippines is all about smiling, laughing and enjoying every moment with those around you.
  • Although the Philippines can experience warm tropical weather all year round, they do have two seasons. The dry and wet season alternate and is dependent on where you are in the country. Generally speaking, from January to June it’s safe to come while monsoon season starts from July to December.
  • The Philippines are quite cheap to travel in. 1 Philippine Peso (PHP) equals about 0.02¢ USD. You can often get alcoholic drinks for around .50¢, street food meals for a couple of dollars and decent room accommodations for as little as $10-$20 per night.
  • Of the top 10 largest shopping malls in the world, three are found in the Philippines: SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, and SM Mall of Asia.

Stay beautiful, Philippines. I'm coming!

1 comment:

  1. Girl, you are giving me some serious wanderlust as well. My father was born in the Philippines, and I've always wanted to visit the country to get an (albeit touristy) appreciation of the place my father's family comes from.

    All of the congratulations to your husband's best friend! I look forward to reading all of your Philippines and travel-related posts in the weeks to come.