There’s no denying how wonderful the Philippines is as a country. With its white sand beaches, abundant agricultural harvests, diverse culture, and hospitable locals, it is of no surprise why tourists from far-off places around the world would flock to the ‘Pearl of the Orient’. Because of these characteristics, the country has earned several nicknames from international magazines and prestigious award-giving bodies.
Many Filipinos are unaware that there are a lot of beautiful things that one can be proud of as a citizen of the Philippines. With humor deeply ingrained in our system, Filipinos have been noted to have a great sense of humor – much so that we’re able to generate tons of memes and even laugh at ourselves even in trying times. Aside from that, our tropical beaches, vibrant urban life, delicious delicacies, and hospitable countrymen have become a distinguishing feature of the country.
Why is the Philippines so Popular? 10 Things the Philippines is Most Known For
Here are some interesting facts about the Philippines – and what is it most known for.
- Philippines is one of the largest archipelagos in the world.
Located near the equator, the Philippines is one of the countries in the world with the greatest number of islands—that’s 7,641 tropical islands strategically distributed near the Pacific Ocean. The Philippines has grouped together these islands into three main groups: Luzon (where the capital city, Manila, is), Visayas (mostly made up of world-renowned islands including Boracay, Cebu, Bohol), and Mindanao (located at the southern end of the archipelago known as the ‘Land of the Promise’ because of its rich biodiversity and resources).
- Philippines is regarded as one of the world’s friendliest countries.
In a survey conducted by HSBC and reported by Forbes Magazine, the Philippines ranked 8th as the world’s friendliest country—and 1st in Asia. The country trails behind the United Kingdom, with New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa leading the list. Joining them are the United States, Turkey, Spain, Malaysia, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, and France.
- The Philippines is the world’s second-largest producer of coconut products.
With the continuously rising demand for coconut-based products, the Davao Region in the Philippines remains one of the top coconut producers, contributing 14.4% to the country’s total coconut production. Producing around 14.77 million metric tons, the Philippines became the second largest producer of coconuts after Indonesia.
- The Philippines remains as the world’s text capital.
While most communications are channeled through online means of communication, 20 years since the Philippines was hailed as the “Text Capital of the World”, it still holds the title as a large volume of text messages are still sent throughout the country even to this day.
- The Philippines is tagged as the “Selfie Capital of the World” by TIME Magazine.
After an extensive study conducted by TIME magazine – with 400,000 Instagram photos analyzed – the cities of Makati and Pasig were tagged as first and second place in the ranking made by the prestigious magazine. According to the data gathered, around 258 selfies were taken per 100,000 within the geographic coordinates. Not only that, the “Queen City of the South”, Cebu City, also made it to the top ten.
- The Philippines is the only country where divorce is illegal.
Except for the Vatican, the Philippines is the only country in the world that does not allow its citizens to get divorced. As a Catholic country, it has been the last to hold out and continues to fight for its views on the sanctity of marriage. In fact, even with the enactment of the Reproductive Health Law, contraceptives are still subjected to fierce scrutiny as the country holds firm to its extremely socially conservative laws.
- Philippines is home to four of the biggest malls in the world.
For most, malls are just places to purchase essential things. But for Filipinos, it is a structure that serves as a lifestyle hub to do shopping, meeting with friends, doing entertainment activities, bonding with family members, and simply passing time. Out of the 15 biggest malls in the world, four are specifically located here in the Philippines. This includes SM Mall of Asia, SM Seaside Cebu, SM Megamall, and SM City North EDSA.
- Philippine Basketball Association was the first professional basketball league in Asia and the second oldest after the NBA.
Every place in the Philippines, no matter how populated or remote always has a basketball corner. It can be a movable basketball ring or simply a hoop attached to a tree. Yes, that’s how fascinated the Filipinos are when it comes to basketball. That’s why it is no wonder why it founded Asia’s first basketball league, the PBA.
- The three biggest pearls in the world were found in the Philippines.
Surrounded by so many bodies of water, the Philippine archipelago holds treasures underwater. In 2016, the 34kg pearl was found by a Filipino fisherman who kept it hidden under his bed for ten years. Believed to be a good-luck charm, the pearl was identified to be much bigger than the “Pearl of Lao Tzu” (also called as “Pearl of Allah) which was also found in the Philippines in 1934. It can be recalled that the Palawan Princess was also found in Palawan in 2009 – and currently ranks as the third biggest pearl in the world.
- The Philippines is the world’s biggest supplier of nurses.
What started as a temporary measure to address the country’s concern about the unemployment of many young Filipinos during the time of former president Ferdinand Marcos has turned into a survival strategy. Aside from the limited job opportunities made available in the country, many of these Filipino nurses have seen how stable and secure the healthcare system abroad is; hence, the decision to join the labor force of other countries such as the United States and European countries. In 2021, the Philippines has raised the annual cap to 6,500 from 5,000 annually – and up to 10,500 this 2022 as announced by the Department of Labor and Employment.