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The oldest human remains in the Philippines date back 67,000 years.

The Philippines was colonized first by Spain and then by America. Both these countries, and also China, have had a major influence on Filipino culture. 

Cebu City is the oldest city in the Philippines. It also has Asia’s first school, founded in 1565. 

José Rizal, the Philippine national hero, was a writer, painter, economist, architect, and martial arts expert. He was a multi-linguist who could speak more than twenty languages, including Latin, Spanish, German, French, Japanese and English. He was executed by the Spanish on 30th December, 1896. There are monuments in his honour in many countries, including Germany, the USA, Spain, the Czech Republic and Mexico. 

The Philippines is a founder member of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. 

52 million people in the Philippines speak English, making it the fifth largest English-speaking nation after USA, India, Pakistan and the U.K. 

12 million Filipinos live abroad. The largest number of nurses in the world come from the Philippines. In Cebu, women on average have a higher level of education than men. 


Women have a more powerful role in Philippine society than in most countries. The country has had two women Presidents since 1986. 


In 2013, Cebu was voted the third best island destination in Asia by readers of Condé Nast Travel magazine, surpassed only by Bali and Ko Samui. 


The Philippines is considered the text message capital of the world. Filipinos send more text messages per day than Europe and the USA combined. 

The Philippines can also claim to be the mall capital, with three of the largest in the world. 

At the maximum security prison in Cebu, the prisoners are Youtube stars. Their ‘Thriller’ routine has received more than 53 million hits. 

The Philippines is the only country in Asia where the majority of the population is Christian. 

Cebu is home to the country’s largest airline, Cebu Pacific. 

Unlike other Asians, Filipinos do not often use chopsticks. They prefer a fork and spoon, but rarely use a knife. 

Filipinos love Christmas so much that they usually start celebrating it in October (at the latest!). 

According to an analysis of Instagram posts, the Philippines was the eighth happiest country in the world last year. In fact, Filipinos regularly come in the top ten of various international 'happiness' lists.