7 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About the Philippines

Made up of 7,107 islands with the Pacific Ocean facing east, the Philippines is a beautiful country with even more beautiful people. Many tourists come to the country to immerse in our diverse culture and natural attractions which are known around the world. While the nation might be in the spotlight in a bad way because of politics but, regardless, we love the Philippines. If you plan on visiting the country, here are some facts that you may want to read about the oh-so-lovely Pearl of the Orient:

We Love “Spokening” English

Aside from the fact that we were colonized by the Americans after the Treaty of Paris, we Filipinos love to speak English. This is so because during the American occupation in the country,  they decided that it was best for Filipinos to learn English. In the end, they decided to incorporate the language within the education system and it hasn’t changed since! Today, almost everyone can speak English, especially if they’re drunk. Documents, job interviews, and even newspapers use English to convey news and information. So, if you are hesitant to come to the Philippines because of language barriers, don’t be… We spokening English here.

The So-Called Filipino Time 

Basically, the Filipino time is coming to an event or a gathering one or two hours behind schedule. We Filipinos have become so accustomed to being late that we rationalize it to “Filipino time”. If you want to meet up with your friends for a nightout, set it at 7pm and they’d be in just in time at 10pm. It’s not that we are proud of it, it’s just that we have grown numb to our lack of punctuality that we purposely do it; not exactly our proudest moment but it’s a fact.

You can Live the Island Life in the Philippines

The Philippines is known for their beautiful coast lines with white-sand beaches and clear waters. You can find that type of scenery almost everywhere in the Philippines. You can live off the local market or grow your own produce near the beach, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, you can learn how to fish or gather seashells to eat, and mingle with the locals. While the Philippines is slowly developing into a progressive industrial and economic country, many foreigners are still attracted to the simple island life that one of 7,107 islands can offer.

We Basically Live in Social Media

According to GulfBusiness.com, the Philippines is the number one country with the most social media users. The average Filipino spends 3.7 hours on social media sites our of 5.2 hours of internet time per day with 47% of the population being active users. Facebook is the most-used social network in the country and almost everything is done through that platform. From communication, news and info, to e-commerce and trade, you can do everything on Facebook because everybody is on Facebook! Checking our social media accounts is the first thing we do in the morning and the last thing we do at night; don’t even deny it.

We Love our Street Food

Nothing connects you with the common folk better than indulging yourself in Filipino street food. If you’re a little less adventurous, you can try kwek-kwek which is basically hard-boiled egg coated in orange batter and fishball. If you want to take it up a notch, isaw is an all-time favorite. It’s made of chicken intestines that’s etiher grilled or fried (depending on your preference) and lathered with sauce or vinegar. If you want some fear-factor stuff, balut would definitely suit your palete. It is a delicacy made from boiled duck egg that’s halfway through its term, so when you eat it, you can feel the crunchy texture from the bones and feathers, plus it doesn’t look all appealing. However, many Filipinos love it and your visit to the country would never be complete without a swig of balut!

Karaoke is Love, Karaoke is Life

Singing is part of the Filipino culture as a means of celebration, as a form of art, and as a way to express their feelings. In almost every occasion in the Philippines, a karaoke or videoke machine is present. Singing in public, even if you’re bad at it, is widely encouraged, so if you’re a foreigner who’s invited to sing at a karaoke, don’t be intimidated or embarrassed; just go with it. Chances are your companions are equally as bad and you’re just going to laugh it out and have a good time, especially after a few shots of Red Horse.

Christmas is Celebrated as Early as September

Filipinos look forward to Christmas that we start preparing and celebrating the Yuletide season in as early as September and continuous on until middle or late January. During the start of the “-ber” months, radio stations would play Christmas songs every once in a while and begin the countdown to Christmas. Not just that, even decorations are beginning to be displayed in malls and other establishments. Aside from the fact that the Philippines is the only Catholic country within Southeast Asia, we are also a family-centric. Christmas is so important for Filipinos because it is a time where families can spend time together.

The Philippines is a gorgeous country filled with breath-taking sights and sounds. Although, we may be dysfunctional at times, we are a friendly bunch!

 

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This post was written by MJ Mendoza from iPrice group, a price comparison and meta-search engine based in MalaysiaSingaporePhilippinesThailandVietnamIndonesia and Hong Kong.

 

About MJMendoza

Marjorie Mae Mendoza is a Filipino-freelance writer currently based in Kuala Lumpur and have been writing professionally since 2010. On top of her superb writing skills, her great command of the English language paved way to enrich her career in radio broadcasting, working with some of the biggest names in radio. To enhance her skills, Marjorie is continuously working as a creative writer who constantly improves and develops her own style.
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