Have you ever wondered how countries, cities and streets gain their names? Sometimes, places are given descriptive names. The Snake River that runs through the western United States was named because it winds like a snake. Many times, locations are named for people. Ferdinand Magellan landed in the Philippines in 1521, claiming the islands for King Philip II of Spain.
Philippines Facts For Kids
- The Philippines is an archipelago with over 7,600 islands.
- Manila is the capital city.
- It’s the 12th most populated country worldwide.
- Filipino and English are official languages.
- The currency used is the Philippine Peso.
- It’s the world’s largest exporter of coconuts.
- The Philippines was a Spanish colony for over 300 years.
- Rice terraces in Ifugao are a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- They celebrate the longest Christmas season.
- “Jeepneys” are a popular mode of transportation.
The lively city of Manila, the Philippines’ capital, is steeped in a vibrant history and culture that engages the curiosity of younger generations. As one of the oldest cities in the nation, notable landmarks like the ancient walled city of Intramuros and the stunning Rizal Park are central to its identity. In addition to being a densely populated city with over 1.7 million inhabitants, Manila stands as a global metropolis, acting as a hub for both commerce and politics.
It equally excels in the realms of arts and education, with numerous museums, theaters, and universities scattered across the city, fostering a sense of fascination among children. Known for hosting colorful festivals and boasting an energetic street food scene, Manila is also characterized by the warm and welcoming nature of its residents.
The Tagalog language, also recognized as Filipino, serves as the Philippines’ national language and is deeply intertwined with the country’s rich cultural fabric. Almost a quarter of the entire population communicates in this language, which intriguingly incorporates words from Spanish, English, and Malay, creating a unique linguistic fusion.
It’s not merely a medium for everyday conversation but also the primary language of instruction in schools, guaranteeing that all Filipino children are proficient in speaking, reading, and writing in Tagalog from a tender age. Moreover, children can engage with the Filipino culture more profoundly by learning a few simple Tagalog phrases, making it an enjoyable learning experience.
Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao (island groups)
The Philippines, a diverse and beautiful country, is partitioned into three primary island groups; Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Luzon, the largest of the trio, hosts the vibrant nation’s capital, Manila, a city teeming with historical significance, a myriad of cultures, and numerous museums.
Nestled in the country’s central region, Visayas is an archipelago renowned for its breathtaking beaches, abundant biodiversity, and the globally recognized Chocolate Hills situated in Bohol. Mindanao, the country’s second-largest island, boasts of a rich cultural tapestry and traditional practices, complemented by its verdant forests, towering mountains, and unique wildlife species. The collective beauty and diversity of these three island groups exemplify the Philippines’ charm.
Filipino cuisine offers a delectable fusion of influences from Spain, China, Mexico, and America, combined with distinct Filipino flavors. A much-loved dish among Filipino children is the Adobo, typically prepared with chicken or pork marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, and a variety of spices.
Sinigang, a tangy soup brimming with vegetables and frequently featuring pork or shrimp, is another local favorite. Sweet-toothed Filipinos delight in Halo-Halo, a vibrant dessert comprising crushed ice, evaporated milk, and an assortment of ingredients such as sweet beans, jellies, and fruits. An interesting tidbit for kids is that the Philippines is renowned for its exotic fruits like mangosteen, durian, and rambutan, which often find their way into traditional Filipino desserts.
Renowned for its tropical climate, the Philippines is frequently subjected to an average of 20 typhoons annually. These powerful natural weather phenomena, akin to hurricanes elsewhere in the world, are characterized by strong winds and heavy rainfall which can lead to flooding and landslides.
Despite the inherent challenges, the Filipino community has adapted and prepared for these recurrent events, with typhoon safety measures being taught to children from a young age. This regular occurrence has become a fundamental aspect of life in the Philippines, instilling resilience and adaptability in its citizens from an early age.
Rizal (José Rizal)
José Rizal, an esteemed Philippine national hero, was a man of many talents, including writing, poetry, linguistics, medicine, and art. His significant contributions to the Philippine independence movement against Spanish colonial rule were pivotal. He authored two impactful novels, ‘Noli Me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo,’ illuminating the oppressions endured by Filipinos under Spanish domination, which ignited a nationalist fervor leading to the Philippine Revolution.
Despite his pacifist stance, he was executed by the Spanish in 1896. His life and significant works form an integral part of academic study throughout Philippine schools, and his execution is solemnly remembered nationwide on Rizal Day, every December 30th.
Boracay (beach destination)
Nestled in the Philippines, Boracay is a small yet breathtaking island renowned for its pristine white sand beaches, making it an internationally acclaimed beach destination and a must-visit spot for every traveler. The island is not just a paradise for beach enthusiasts but also a favorite among families and kids, offering a plethora of entertaining activities.
Children can delight in constructing sandcastles on the glittering white sands, snorkeling in the crystal-clear turquoise waters, or participating in thrilling water sports such as paddleboarding and banana boat rides. Besides its beach activities, Boracay also houses a butterfly garden and a bat cave, offering educational experiences for youngsters.
Despite its petite size, Boracay’s wide-ranging offerings and stunning beauty have earned it global recognition as one of the world’s top beach destinations.
Jeepney (mode of transportation)
The iconic Jeepney, a captivating means of transportation unique to the Philippines, is an integral part of Filipino culture and daily living. Known for their striking and lively aesthetic, Jeepneys are often decorated with a variety of symbols, decorations, and even religious imagery.
Their origins trace back to the post-World War II era, when they were fashioned from surplus U.S. military jeeps, they have since transformed into larger, bus-like vehicles that can accommodate up to 20 passengers. Serving as a primary mode of transport for many locals, Jeepneys also provide a fun and economical way for both children and adults to traverse various regions of the country.
The Sinulog Festival, a vibrant and colorful event held in Cebu City, Philippines every third Sunday of January, is a cultural spectacle that children would absolutely enjoy. It represents the conversion of Filipinos to Christianity and pays homage to the Santo Niño, or the child Jesus. The festival’s centerpiece is a grand parade filled with individuals from diverse backgrounds, all joyously dancing in the streets to the beat of drums, trumpets, and local gongs while wearing eye-catching attire.
The dancers perform the Sinulog dance, a traditional dance involving forward and backward movements that mirror the current (Sulog) of Cebu’s Pahina River. This festival is not just a feast for the eyes, but also an educational experience where kids can participate in various activities, savor local cuisine, and gain insights into Filipino history and culture.
Ifugao Rice Terraces
The Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Philippines, often heralded as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, provide an awe-inspiring educational experience for children. This stunning man-made marvel, sculpted into the mountains of Ifugao by the indigenous people over two millennia ago, boasts not only its grandeur and beauty but also showcases an exceptional ancient farming system. Ingeniously built from mud and stone, the terraces mimic the natural curves of the mountain, blending aesthetics with functionality.
They serve as the lifeblood of the Ifugao people, supplying their primary food source – rice. An astounding fact that kids would find intriguing is that the cumulative length of these terraces if stretched out, would envelop half the Earth!
The Philippines belonged to Spain until 1898, when it was given to the United States. It gained its freedom in 1946. It formed a democratic government similar to ours. Since then, the country has endured dictatorship and conflict. In 1986, the widow of a rebel leader, Corazon Aquino, was made president.
The Philippines is an archipelago, or string, of over 7,000 islands. People live on only one-third of the islands. The Philippines have beautiful beaches and coastal areas, as well as hills, valleys and mountains. Many animals live here and thousands of birds flock here every year.
Farmers grow crops, such as sugar cane, bananas, mangoes, coconuts, rice and corn. The Philippines enjoys a higher standard of living than many other countries in Southeast Asia.
Fun Facts about the Philippines for Kids
- 84,765,000 people live in the Philippines.
- The country has 115,831 square miles of land.
- People speak Filipino, English and local dialects.
- Most people are Roman Catholic. People also belong to the Protestant, Buddhist or Christian faiths.
- People in the Philippines can expect to live to be 70.
- 96 percent of adults can read.
- Descriptive: a word that describes
- Archipelago: a chain of islands
- Dictatorship: Ruler governs with absolute power
Learn More All About Philippines
This is the best video we found for kids to learn about the Philippines:
This video is all about the Philippine’s geography, history and politics.
Question: Why do many people in the Philippines have Spanish names?
Answer: When the Spanish government ruled the Philippines, it made a rule that all people must have Spanish last names.
Map of the Philippines
Here’s a map of the country of Philippines and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around the Philippines! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of the Philippines, as though you are actually there!
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