• The population of the Philippines was estimated to be just under one hundred million in 2014; half reside on the island of Luzon.

• The Philippines officially comprises 7107 islands, though the actual figure varies depending on the definition of “island”, with reef tips and shoals numbering in the tens of thousands.

• The Philippines has the largest diaspora in the world, with 11–12 million Filipinos living and working overseas, mostly as nurses, maids or on cruise ships.

• The richest individual in the Philippines is thought to be mall tycoon Henry Sy (SM group), with a US$12 billion net worth – this in a country where the average wage is less than US$300/month.

Tanduay rum dates back to 1854, and today remains the nation’s spirit of choice. Made with sugar cane milled in Negros, it’s frequently cheaper than bottled water.

• Most Filipinos have at least one uncle or aunt named Boy, Girlie or Baby.

• Filipino and English are the official languages of the Philippines (Filipino is just a standardized version of Tagalog), but there are at least 171 languages spoken throughout the archipelago, with Cebuano following Filipino in popularity.

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