Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Interesting Facts About The Philippines

- The best time to visit The Philippines is during the dry season. In most of the tourism areas, it runs from about October to May. The first half of this season is the coolest, making it ideal for traveling. The second half is hotter.

- Humans from the Malayan Peninsula settled parts of the Philippine Islands at least 30,000 years ago.

- The first to set foot on the islands were the explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew in 1521. Some people erroneously believe that Magellan was the first to circle the globe. He was killed by the native chief Lapu Lapu six weeks after he landed in the Philippines. It was Magellan's crew who completed the historic journey.

- The Spanish colonial period spanned over three centuries, ending in 1898. Native uprisings periodically occurred.

- Spain sold the Philippines to the USA in 1898 for 20 million US dollars. American control lasted virtually a half-century, not without protests. During that time, the Japanese invaded the Philippines in 1941, but were defeated by the Americans and Filipinos several years later.

- In 1946, America relinquished its sovereignty, and the Philippines became an independent nation.

- The Philippines has over 7,107 islands (second only to Indonesia). The collective coastline - if stretched out - would almost encircle the equator.

- The Philippines was named for the 16th century Spanish King Felipe II. The nation's official English name is "Republic of the Philippines". However, "Philippines" and "Philippine Islands" are also widely and acceptably used. Misspelling"Phillipines" is a somewhat common writing mistake by foreigners.

- Many Filipinos have Spanish names. They were urged upon most urban Christianized Filipinos by the Spanish colonists. However, some families have proudly kept their ancestral names. Dumaual, Macapagal and Magsaysay are examples.

- The population of the Philippines is roughly 90 million. Five out of six Filipinos are Roman Catholics. About 5% are Muslims, who are concentrated mainly in the south in Mindanao.

- Filipino (also called Pilipino and Tagalog ) is the official and most widely spoken language.

- The Philippines is the world's third-largest English-speaking country (after the USA and Great Britain).

- There are many languages/ dialects (around 100) spoken in the Philippines. You likely won't be able to understand many people in some parts of the Philippines even if you are fluent in Filipino and English.

- Filipino national hero Jose Rizal could read and write at age 2, and grew up to speak more than 20 languages, including Latin, Greek, German, French and Chinese. What were his last words? "Consummatumsst!"("It is done!"). The Spanish killed him by firing squad because of his writings and alleged conspiracy with some Filipinos to overpower the then existing Spanish Government.

No comments: