We all know that the Philippines is an adventurer’s paradise, but do you know how the city of Manila got its name, or what makes the country’s rice terraces so special? Here are five interesting fun facts about the Philippines that you might not know of this tropical island country.
1. There’s an Underground River
The Puerto Princesa Palawan river is arguably the most famous river of the Philippines. It runs under spectacular caves that travellers can kayak through for an unforgettable experience. But did you know that the Palawan river is the second largest subterranean river in the world after Mexico’s Sac Actun river. In 2012 it was deemed as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
2. Cuckoo for Coconuts
When you think of coconuts you probably think of Hawaii. But it turns out that the Philippines is one of the world’s leading producers of coconuts. In 2016, they harvested and exported roughly 16 million tons of the fruit. That’ll make anybody go cuckoo for coconuts!
3. What’s in a Name?
Manila is known for its bustling city life and dense urban core, but do you know how the city got its name? Nila refers to a flowering mangrove tree and the phrase May nila translates to “the place where there are nilas.” Because these beautiful trees were wildly abundant in the Manila region, that’s how the city got its name. Next time you’re there, see if you can spot a nila.
4. Fields of Rice
Nothing compares to the rice terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras. But did you know that they have remained untouched by urbanization due to their rocky and uneven terrain, making them some of the oldest rice fields in the world (built over 2000 years ago!)? Fittingly, the Philippine Cordilleras won the title of a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, forever to remain stunning and beautiful until the end of time.
5. Volcanoes for Days
The Philippines is one of the island nations with the most volcanoes in the world. Its most famous volcano is Mount Pinatubo. When it erupted in 1991 it released enough sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to drop temperatures globally by 0.5 °C. If there was ever a need for a sulfuric acid eruption, it’d be now more than ever.
Now that you know these cool factoids, try sharing them on your next Island Hopping Adventure in the Philippines. You’ll definitely impress your friends and maybe even surprise some locals. ;D