We’ve compiled 10 fascinating facts about the Philippines that you may already know some of, but others will surely surprise you. Enjoy the read!
Languages Spoken in the Country
The Philippines is an archipelagic nation consisting of 7,107 islands. There are over 100 dialects spoken here. To communicate across different islands and tribes, people often use English or Tagalog.
Evolution of Religion in the Country
Until 1595, the country was peacefully ruled by Muslim sultanates. Over the next 333 years, it was converted to Christianity through Spanish imperial and Catholic oppression, making it the only Christian nation in Asia.
In 1947, the Philippines angered Islamic countries by voting in favor of recognizing Israel. In 1957, they upset Jews by supporting Egypt in a vote concerning the Suez Canal.
El Nido, Philippines
The United States bought the Philippines, including its land, underground resources, living creatures, and inhabitants. In 1896, the Kingdom of Spain sold it to the U.S. for $20 million. This remains the only instance in history of one nation buying an entire people and of a nation being sold as a whole.
Birthplace of New Christian Sects
The Philippines has been the birthplace of hundreds of new Christian denominations, some boasting millions of followers. One example is Iglesia ni Cristo, a sect with nearly 10 million members. They forbid the use of crosses, images, and sculptures, and they gather on Friday evenings. They consider themselves a modest community, believing that besides Muslims, no one else follows pure monotheism and that their leaders are prophets.
Moro Muslims are a tribal collective with a history spanning nearly three centuries, marked by a heroic struggle in the last quarter-century. In 2017, they declared autonomy with Cotabato as their capital. They have their own parliament, army, police force, and Sharia courts.
The Philippines boasts a vast diaspora workforce. Millions of Filipinos work as nurses, nannies, caretakers for the elderly, laborers, teachers, engineers, and more in Arab countries, Europe, and the United States. Remittances from overseas Filipino workers make up around 10% of the country’s GDP.
Rich Underground Resources
The Philippines is rich in underground minerals, although inadequate infrastructure and high costs have hindered mining operations or led to foreign companies controlling them. Despite these challenges, the Philippines ranks among the top countries in terms of copper and chromium reserves.
Unique Political Structure
The Philippines showcases a unique political landscape. It features elements of federalism, a parliamentary system, a presidential system, and an imitation of the Spanish local government structure. The President, who also serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, is directly elected by the people for a single six-year term. The restriction on re-election has occasionally paved the way for leaders like Ferdinand Marcos to govern with an iron fist.
Moro Fighters and Autonomy
Moro fighters have fought valiantly for human rights and freedom for nearly three centuries, facing Spanish, American, Japanese, and, in the past half-century, central government oppression. As a result, they have earned autonomy. Throughout this journey, it’s undeniable that the Turkish government and various non-governmental organizations played a significant role in completing the final puzzle piece.
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