The Philippines is a fascinating country! With about 100 million people, it is the only Christian nation in Southeast Asia, and after the US and Great Britain it boasts the world’s third largest native English-speaking population.
- The Philippine archipelago comprises 7,107 islands. It stretches about 1,850 km (1,149 mi) from north to south, and is about 1,000 km (621 mi) wide.
- Up to 171 different living languages are spoken in the Philippines.
- The Philippines’ population of 100 million is one third that of the USA, twice that of the UK, and nearly equal to that of Russia.
- The University of Santo Tomas, in the capital city of Manila, was established in 1611 – twenty-five years before Harvard, the oldest university in the United States.
- Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is one of the world’s most densely populated cities, with 43,079 people per square kilometer.
- The Philippines gained independence in 1946. It was the first Southeast Asian country to gain independence after World War II.
- 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.