This month, we’re setting our sights on the Philippines—a beautifully diverse country. Expand your understanding of this complex island nation by checking out the interesting facts below.

  1. The Philippines have one of the highest literacy rates in Southeast Asia. The country prioritizes education, and it shows. As of 2008, the adult literacy rate was 95 percent.
  2. One-fifth of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day. Despite the Philippines’ heavy emphasis on education, 18.4 million people live in extreme poverty, according to a USAid report from 2012. (Support a project that serves underprivileged communities in the Philippines.)
  3. The Philippines got its name from a Spanish king. While under Spanish rule in the 16th century, the nation was named after colonizers’ King Philip II of Spain.
  4. The Philippines are the second-biggest producer of coconut in the world. Coconut production may be at risk, however, since many of the coconut trees on farms today were planted at the end of World War II and may not produce for much longer.
  5. There are more than 170 languages and dialects spoken in the Philippines. The main language is Filipino, which is based on Tagalog. English is used for government, business and tertiary education.
  6. The Philippines has one of the fastest-growing economies and one of the slowest Internet connections in Southeast Asia. During one financial quarter in 2016, the Philippines outpaced its Asian counterparts, including China, in economic growth. And yet, web connections aren’t enjoying quite the same speed as the economy.
  7. The country is made up of more than 7,100 islands. The Philippine islands, together with the islands of Indonesia, comprise the Malay Archipelago – the largest collection of islands in the world.
  8. Roughly 10 of its 50 volcanoes are considered active. In a major plot twist, one of the Philippines’ supposedly “extinct” volcanoes, Mount Pinatubo, erupted in 1991. It was considered one of the largest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century.
  9. The country has a sizeable Muslim population – roughly 5 million in 13 ethnic groups. Before Islam came to the nation in the 13th century, many Filipinos had been animists. Animist influence is still evident in the Folk Catholicism practiced by much of the country today.
  10. OMF sends missionaries TO and FROM the Philippines. OMF is investing in indigenous church leaders and pioneering among unreached people groups. We’re simultaneously sending out Filipinos with a heart for mission. (Explore opportunities to serve with campus ministry or cross-cultural church planting in the Philippines.)

Did any of these facts surprise you? Spread some love for the Philippines by sharing this post with your friends!

Sources: UNICEF Global Database / / USAID / CNN News / BBC News / Encyclopedia Britannica / OMF Philippines Profile

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