Wednesday, July 8, 2020

2020 Travel the World - Week 27

I started a Travel the World Series last year. (It should be noted that I did a similar thing in 2018, only it was the 50 states.) For 50 weeks in 2019, I visited a different country (virtually) and shared facts about that country. I then selected one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. Fifty weeks; fifty countries... BUT there are 195 countries in the world so that was just a little over 25% of them. Of course I couldn't stop, so this year I'm continuing with fifty more countries, one per week.

This week's country is...


The entire landmass of the Philippines is made up islands, making it the second-largest archipelago in the world. In fact, the Philippines has approximately 7,500 islands with only 2,000 of them inhabited and nearly 5,000 still unnamed on global maps.

The Philippines is the second largest archipelago in the world and is made up of 7,107 islands located in the South China Sea, Philippine Sea, Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, and the Luzon Strait.

Typhoons wreak havoc in the Philippines nearly every year.

There are about 175 languages in the Philippines.

The Philippines is the only country in the world whose flag is hoisted upside down when the country is at war.

The Conus Gloriamus, the rarest and most expensive seashell in the world, is one of the 12,000 species of seashells found in the Philippines. Some of these shells sold at auction for about US $5,000.

Of the eight known species of giant clams in the world, seven are found in the Philippines.

Jellyfish Lake in the Philippines contains more than 13 million jellyfish.

Filipinos are very social, spending as much time as possible with family and friends. But they also stay in touch these days by exchanging a whole lot of text messages. In fact, it’s estimated that Filipinos send about 400 million text messages every day, adding up to about 142 billion texts per year, earning them the designation “the texting capital of the world.” That’s more than the total number of daily text messages sent in the U.S. and Europe combined.

Some Filipinos are wary of the number 13 and will avoid having 13 people at a table. Also, steps to the main entrance of a house should not fall on a number divisible by three.

The Philippines produces and exports more coconuts than any country in the world, shipping off about 19.5 million tons of the fruit (called buko) every year.

They are also the world’s largest exporter of other tropical fruits, such as papaya and mangosteen.

Filipinos are crazy about basketball! You’ll see makeshift hoops erected on every street corner, young men commonly wearing NBA jerseys, and local teams playing in every community hall. Their professional league, The Philippines Basketball Association (PBS) is the second oldest in the world after only the NBA.

They also love boxing with a passion.

Manila, the capital of the Philippines, ranks as the city with the highest population density in the world (and some of the worst traffic congestion!). 

Jeepneys are a unique form of transportation that many people in Manila and other places in the Philippines use every day. In fact, Jeepneys were born from the thousands of army jeeps that the U.S. military left after World War II. Resourceful Filipinos extended the cabs to accommodate about 18 passengers for hot, bumpy and dusty rides through the streets. As time went on, drivers adorned the Jeepneys in colorful and creative designs to help them stand out, with flashing neon lights, paintings of favorite superheroes, basketball stars, cartoon characters, religious sayings, and just about every other gaudy decoration you can imagine. They don't have set routes, so passengers just jump on a Jeepney going in their direction, pass a coin forward to the driver, and ring a bell when they want to get off.

The Philippines is home to three of the ten largest shopping malls in the world. Filipinos LOVE their shopping malls! In fact, they serve as community hubs since they’re clean, safe, and, most importantly, air-conditioned. Aside from the usual stores they also have countless food venues, gyms, grocery stores, banks, health clinics, nightclubs, parks, concert amphitheaters, and even churches inside their malls.

The national symbol of the Philippines is the Philippine, or monkey-eating, eagle. It is the largest of all eagles and was declared the national bird of the Philippines in 1995. It stands up to 3.3 feet in height and has a wingspan of almost 7 feet. It is critically endangered; there may only be around 180–500 eagles remaining. Killing one is punishable by Philippine law by 12 years in jail and a heavy fine.

The Philippines is home to the world’s smallest hoofed animal, the Philippine mouse-deer. Locally known as the Pilandok, this creature stands about 15.8 inches tall at the shoulder level.

Filipinos are warm, happy, and have a great sense of humor! In fact, the Philippines is one of the happiest countries in the world.

Filipinos observe the world's longest Christmas season with begins with the playing of carols in September and officially ends in January with the Feast of the Three Kings. As part of the festivities, they celebrate Simbang Gabi, or Night Mass, where Catholics attend nine services in a row leading up to Christmas Eve. If a person attends all nine masses, it is said their wish will be granted. Filipinos’ Christmas feasts are called Noche Buena and compare to America’s Thanksgiving.

The yo-yo had its beginnings as an ancient Filipino studded hunting weapon attached to a 20-foot rope. The modern yo-yo was invented by a Filipino American, and its name yóyo comes from the Filipino language Ilocano and means “come back".

A Filipino named Roberto del Rosario patented the first working karaoke machine in 1975, calling it the “Sing Along System.” The Japanese later translated its name to “karaoke,” which means “singing without accompaniment.”

The world’s biggest pair of shoes was made in Marikina City, Philippines, in 2002. The wingtips measured about 17.4 feet in length, 7.9 feet in width, and almost 6.6 feet in height. Their cost was 2 million Philippine pesos.

The Philippines is the only majority Christian nation in Asia. Eighty percent of its population identifies as Roman Catholic.

Politeness is an art form in the Philippines. Most foreigners will be referred to as “sir” and “mam” no matter their age.

Filipinos respect and cherish their elders, and that shows in many ways in everyday life. For instance, the younger person often takes the elder person's hand and touches it to their own forehead in a charming display of reverence.

Elderly, disabled, and pregnant women even have their own line at banks, restaurants and taxi queues, allowing them to bypass the crowd.

You’ll rarely hear a Filipino come out with a direct “no” answer when you ask them a question, a trait that can create many challenging and hilarious situations for the foreigner.

According to Filipino custom, it is considered rude to open gifts immediately after they are given.

The only place in the world where skunks are found other than America is Indonesia and the Philippines, where they are called stink badgers.

I decided to let this Philippines fact be the inspiration for this week's card... About 11% of the population of the Philippines – more than 11 million people – work overseas. In fact, the Philippines is the top supplier of nurses in the world, with about 25% of all overseas nurses coming from the country. 

Here's the inside:

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamps: Penny Black Wishing You Well and Technique Tuesday Lots of Sentiments stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Accent Opaque 120# White and SU Just Jade CS

Die: MFT Wonky Stitch Rectangle

Embellishment: Enamel Dot from an unknown vendor


Aracelli Merla said...

Another country with some very interesting facts. I really like the amazing things you have highlighted for us. Thank you so much for sharing your research and knowledge. Love your card with its soft colors.

Beth Norman-Roberts said...

Such a sweet image and card. Very fitting for all those nurses working overseas.

kiwimeskreations said...

A wonderful report on the Philippines Jeanette - we have Filipinos working in the area, and a couple of families attending our church, so it was good to learn more of their country of origin. Thank you.
Loving that fabulous card = you have taken a wonderful fact as your inspiration
Stay safe

Lynn McAuley said...

Love this adorable nurse, Jeanette, and what an interesting fact!!