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Ten Interesting Facts About the Philippines

1. The Philippine flag is the only flag in the whole world that is displayed differently in times of peace and war. In peace time, the blue side is put on top; in war time, the red.

2. The country was named by Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos. It was named “Philippines” in honor of King Philip II of Spain.

3. The Philippines gained independence in 1946. It was the first Southeast Asian country to gain independence after World War II.

4. The country is the “texting capital of the world,” as 350 to 400 million text messages (SMS) are sent daily by 35 million cellular phone users – more than that of the United States and Europe combined.

5. There are 175 languages and dialects in the Philippines, and 171 of these are actively used in the country.

6. The University of Sto. Tomas, which is located in the city of Manila, Philippines, was established in 1611 – twenty-five years before Harvard, the oldest university in the United States.

7. Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is one of the world’s most densely populated cities, with 43,079 people per square kilometer.

8. The Philippines is divided into three island groups, 17 regions, 80 provinces, 138 cities, and 1,496 municipalities.

9. The Philippines has the largest diaspora network in the world, with 11 million Filipinos living and working overseas.

10. The country is the world’s largest supplier of expat nurses.