(CMR) Today, the Philippines celebrates 123 years of the Declaration of Independence. This day is a special day for all in the Philipines, and we join in celebrating with the Filipino community in the Cayman Islands. Below are some interesting facts about the Philippines.
-The PRoclamation of Philippine Independence took place on a Sunday between 4 and 5 pm. On this day in 1898, a public reading of the Philippine Declaration of Independence in Cavite el Viejo (modern-day Kawit) proclaimed the archipelago a sovereign nation.
-Philippines' independence was declared several times before 1898, including in 1895 and 1986.
-The Philippine archipelago is made up of 7,641 islands.
-The Philippines is the world’s second-largest archipelagic state by population after Indonesia and the third-largest by area after Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
-Despite being made up of over 7,000 islands, the majority of the population lives on just 11 of them.
– The Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia that was subjected to European colonialism before it developed a dominant culture or a centralized government of its own.
-Many Filipinos have Spanish names because of a 19th-century Spanish decree that required them to use Spanish surnames. Parents often name their children after the saint whose feast day was on the day of their birth.
-The Filipino flag is made up of blue and white horizontal stripes and a white triangle featuring a golden sun and three stars. The blue stands for the willingness to sacrifice oneself for freedom, the red for courage, and the white for liberty. The stars and the sun and its rays represent various regions of the country.
-When the flag is inverted or flown upside down, it signals the nation is in a state of war. In 2010, the US had to apologize for accidentally flying the Philippine flag upside down during a presidential event in New York.
-The Philippines is located along the Ring of Fire, a belt of active volcanoes and earthquake epicenters bordering the Pacific Ocean. Up to 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 75% of the world’s volcanoes occur within the Ring of Fire.
-The Philippines is home to Taal Volcano, one of 16 Decade Volcanoes. Decade Volcanoes have been identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) as the most dangerous volcanoes on the planet due to their history of destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas.
-The Philippines also straddles the Pacific typhoon belt. Annually, an average of nine typhoons hit the Philippines, with around five of these classed as destructive. As such, the country is the most exposed in the world to tropical storms.
-Filipinos love karaoke, and almost every Philippine home has a karaoke machine. In fact, it was Filipino inventor Roberto del Rosario who developed the Karaoke Sing-Along System in 1975.
-The Philippines set the world record for simultaneous breastfeeding when almost 4,000 mothers fed their babies at the same time. The event was organized to highlight the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding.
-The Philippines is one of 17 megadiverse countries in the world. Megadiverse countries are the world’s most biodiversity-rich countries.
– The Philippines are home to the world’s longest snake. The reticulated python typically weighs 75kg (165lb), grows longer than 7m (23ft), and is known to attack humans.
-In 2016, the world’s natural giant clam pearl was discovered in the Philippines. Weighing 34kg, the pearl was actually found 10 years ago by a fisherman who was unaware of its value. It easily surpassed the previous record-holder, the Pearl of Lao Tzu, which weighed 6.4kg and was found in the Philippines in 1934.