Official Name: The Republic of the Philippines (Spanish explorer Ruy López de Villalobos named the two islands east of Cebu Las Islas Filipinas to honor Spain’s King Philip II, and the entire archipelago was soon called the Philippines.)
National Athem: Lupang Hinirang (Chosen Land) [Link to the national anthem—https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FUBJY6nco0]
National Motto: For God, People, Nature, and Country (Maka-Diyos, Maka-Tao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa)
A white triangle—representing liberty, equality, and fraternity.
Eight rays of the sun—representing eight provinces that fought for independence from Spain
Three gold stars—representing the three major island groups where the Philippine revolution began: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao
A blue stripe—representing peace, truth, and justice
A red stripe—representing patriotism and valor
Fun Flag Fact: The flag of the Philippines is unique in that it can be flown with either the blue or red stripe on top, depending on the circumstances. The blue stripe, representing peace, is typically displayed on the top. However, in times of war, the flag is flipped, and the red stripe is above the blue stripe.
In 2010, during a summit in New York City between the US and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), the flag of the Philippines was flown in error red-side up! Fortunately, war did not break out, and the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs accepted the apology of the US embassy in Manila.
Flag Day: May 28, the anniversary of the 1898 Battle of Alapan (battle for independence from Spain), is National Flag Day in the Philippines. Some Filipinos fly the flag from May 28 through June 12—Independence Day.
Color the Philippine Flag: Crayola.com has a printable color-by-number flag of the Philippines you might like to try: http://www.crayola.com/services/printService.aspx?i=1b1ce352-7415-403c-a820-4b90e908182d
The Country: https://www.google.com/maps/place/philippines
The Philippines is an archipelago, which simply means a group of islands. More than 7,000 islands make up the nation (variously from 7,100 to more than 7,600). That’s a lot of islands!
Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch (HHCR), where the Willifords live and work, is on the island of Cebu. Can you locate Cebu on the map of the Philippines?
Kelli Williford reports that a pod of white sharks often visits the waters just off shore of their island. On one beach in particular, fishermen have been feeding the whale sharks for years, so they visit the beach every morning. Says Kelli, “If you came to visit HHCR, we would definitely have to go swimming with the whale sharks!”
The Ring of Fire: The Philippines is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire—an area that experiences many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. More than 75% of the world’s volcanoes are in the Ring of Fire, and about 90% of the world’s earthquakes happen here. This can cause frequent problems in the Philippines, such as earthquakes, typhoons, and even tsunamis. It’s also the reason for the Philippines’ rich natural resources and great variety of plant and animal life.
Science Project: Research the Ring of Fire and write a paper reporting your findings. Include information about what causes the Ring as well as how it affects people and countries within the Ring.
Capital: Manila—sometimes called the Pearl of the Orient, or the Paris of Asia (population 1,780,148 [2015 census])
Largest City: Quezon City, population 2,936,116 (Quezon City is part of Metro Manila, which has a population of 12,877,253)
Area: 115,831 square miles (That’s slightly larger than the state of Arizona.)
Population: 100 million (That’s almost 1/3 of the population of the United States—and three times the population of Canada, which has an area of 3.855 million square miles! The Philippines is the twelfth most populous nation; approximately 10 million Filipinos live overseas—many in the United States—making it one of the world’s largest diasporas.)
History or Social Studies Project:
Research the largest historical diasporas in the world, including the Filipino diaspora. What are some of the causes and consequences of these diasporas? How are they alike or different from the Jewish diaspora?
Advanced Bible Study Projects:
• Research the Bible’s use of the term diaspora from a linguistic perspective.
• Research and summarize various historical diasporas recorded in the Bible.
Money: the Philippine Peso
Convert the US dollar to the Philippine Peso: https://themoneyconverter.com/PHP/USD.aspx
Time and Weather in Cebu:
Cebu is 12 hours ahead of the time on the East Coast of the United States.
Official Languages: Filipino (a standardized version of Tagalog) and English
However, 182 individual languages are spoken in the Philippines.
Speaking of Language—Kelli Williford Says:
“In Cebu, the most commonly spoken language is Bisayan (also known as Visayan or Cebuano), followed by English and Tagalog. Tagalog is the national language, but Cebuano people only learn a little Tagalog during their school years.”
“Filipinos use a lot of body language and facial expressions to communicate. So they may tell you they agree with something, but if their eyes aren’t looking into yours when they say it, they actually don’t agree at all. If you really want to understand someone, you HAVE to look into their eyes and see their facial expression while you’re talking.”
Here are a few of the MANY ways to talk about rice:
Bugas—rice that hasn’t been cooked yet
Mum-hu—rice that has spilled
Lata—rice that is too soft/watery
“You may find different spellings for these words. That’s because Bisayan has many different dialects (because of the many different islands), so everyone’s opinion is different!”
“Anytime you go to a Filipino’s house, they will automatically ask you to sit down and eat something. The proper response for a guest is to say, ‘I’m so full already.’ Then the hostess will ask you again to sit and eat. At that point, it’s polite to sit and eat a very small portion—two or three bites—of whatever they are serving, then claim that you are too full to eat more.”
How to Count to 10 in Bisayan (Cebuano) and Tagalog (Filipino)
Number - Bisayan, Tagalog
0 - wala, wala
1 - usa, isa
2 - duha, dalawa
3 - tulo, tatio
4 - upat, apat
5 - lima, lima
6 - unom, anim
7 - pito, pito
8 - walo, walo
9 - siyam, siyam
10 - napu’o, sampu
Religion: 80% Catholic (due to the influence of Spanish colonialism for more than 300 years)
11% Protestant (mostly Evangelical)
The Philippines is officially a secular society.
Iring Iring (translation: go round and round)
This game is similar to Duck, duck, goose. One child is “it”; the others sit in a circle facing in.
The child who is “it” walks around the outside of the circle holding a handkerchief, dropping it stealthily behind one child’s back. When that child realizes that the handkerchief is behind him, he jumps up and chases “it,” who must run around the circle and try to reach the newly empty seat and sit down before the tagged child catches and touches her. If the tagged child does not catch the tagger, he picks up the handkerchief and becomes the new tagger.
Declan Ruki (translation: I declare; do it!)
This game is very much like Simon Says. The leader says, “Declan Ruki…” and tells the others what to do (e.g., Declan Ruki clap your hands… Declan Ruki run in place… Declan Ruki hop on one foot… etc.). If the leader does not say “Declan Ruki” before a command, the other players should not obey. Those who do are out of the game until the next round. The last person remaining in the game becomes the next leader.
According to the Willifords, one of the favorite games of the Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch kids is jackstone, a variation of Jacks that is played with one rubber ball and as many small stones as you can pick up.
They also play pretty much any game involving a ball, but if no ball is available, they just use a rubber flipflop.
Filipino Food Favorite
Here’s a favorite dessert enjoyed by the Happy Horizons Children’s Ranch kids as well as the Willifords.
Layer graham crackers in a dish.
Add a layer of peeled, sliced mangos.
Drizzle on sweetened condensed milk, followed by cream.
Here are some currently famous people with Filipino heritage. How many do you recognize?
Enrique Iglesias (Musician)
Bruno Mars (Musician)
Lou Diamond Phillips (Actor)
Mark Dacascos (Iron Chef)
Tia Carrere (Actress)
Rob Schneider (Actor)
Vanessa Hudgens (Actress)
Michael Copon (Actor)
Reggie Lee (Actor)
Brandon Baker (Actor)
Roshon Fagan (Actor)
Jose Liana (Actor)