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The Bible Also Mentions the Philippines
It can be easily understood that no verse in the Bible carried the term Philippines, since the Bible was written two thousand years ago or centuries before the Spaniards came here. However, there are verses in the Bible that prophesy about the Philippine archipelago and other islands in the Pacific. In the chapter 24 of the Book of Isaiah, verses 15 to 16 read "Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: 'Glory to the Righteous One.'" The Philippines is the only Christian archipelago in the Pacific covering East Asia.

Arroyo and Sukarnoputri Share Similarities
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines and Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia have remarkable similarities. Both are 54-year-old women who had been vice-presidents before becoming presidents in place of their predecessors who were ousted in the year 2001. Both of them were daughters of former presidents of the world's two largest archipelagos who lost the presidency in 1965 to dictators. Both women have three children and their husbands were being pursued by controversy. Both visited Washington in their first year as presidents and met US President George W. Bush, another offspring of a former president who also assumed power in 2001.  Arroyo and Sukarnoputri are not entirely similar though. The former is a Catholic Christian from the world's fifth largest Christian country while the latter is a Muslim from the country with the world's largest Muslim population.

Bulacan Produced Queens
Marcelo del Pilar, the father of Philippine journalism; Francisco Balagtas, the father of Philippine literature; Jose Corazon de Jesus, father of balagtasan; Nicanor Abelardo, father of kundiman; Francisca Reyes-Aquino, mother of Philippine dances; Gerry de Leon, a father of Philippine movies; Guillermo Tolentino, one of the fathers of Philippine arts; Jose Reyes, a father of Philippine medicine; and Dely Magpayo, a mother of Philippine broadcasting, were all born in Bulacan province. Atang dela Rama, the mother of Philippine theater, lived in Bulacan. Aside from national fathers and mothers, Bulacan also produced queens, namely: Lydia de Vega, Asia's former sprint queen; Regine Velasquez, Asia's song bird; and Michelle Aldana, Miss Asia-Pacific beauty queen.

Babe Ruth Scored Homeruns in RP 
Babe Ruth, the American baseball legend who had over 200 homeruns in his professional career, once played in the baseball field of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. In 1934, Ruth and another baseball great, Lou Gehrig, selected an All-Star team that toured Asia where they played 18 games. The All-Star selection stopped in the Philippines and played at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex from December 2 to December 9. Gehrig beat Ruth when he scored the first recorded homerun at the Rizal complex on December 2. Ruth scored the 2nd homerun on the same day and 4th homerun on December 9. The other players of the same selection who also scored homeruns at the Rizal complex were Earl Averill and C. Gehringer. 

7 Cabinet Officials Were from Harvard
In a speech before an American delegation early in 2002, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has claimed that her Cabinet officials include seven Harvard graduates and three Wharton alumni. The 54-year-old president added that four of her economic managers had been top executives on Wall Street prior to joining government service in the Philippines. President Arroyo, herself, has a Ph. D. in Economics, which she earned from the University of the Philippines (UP). Before this, she had studied for two years at the Georgetown University where she had former US President Bill Clinton as a classmate.

Manila Played Host To Big Events
Manila served as a host to some of the world's biggest events in the past several decades. On November 22, 1995, the country hosted 21 world leaders, including former US President Bill Clinton, during the 4th Economic Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). In 1974, Former First Lady Imelda Marcos ordered the construction of the Folk Arts Theater to be the site of the 23rd annual Miss Universe beauty pageant on July 19. The prestigious beauty contest was held again in the country in 1994. On October 1, 1975, the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City was the venue of the infamous "Thrilla in Manila", the thrilling boxing match between Heavyweight champions, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Manila also hosted other international sports events such as the Asian Games in 1954 and the Southeast Asian Games in 1981 and 1991. In 1980, the Marcos administration ordered the construction of the grand Coconut Palace to host John Paul II during his Manila visit. The head of the Vatican state visited Manila again in January 1995.

Sabah Once Belonged to Sultan of Sulu
Sabah, an oil-rich region forming the northern part the great Borneo Island, used to be a property of the Sultan of Sulu. Its 73,620-square-kilometer land area is about twice the size of Switzerland and teems with incomparable natural resources. The territory is still being claimed by the Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram III. The Sulu sultanate was founded by Rajah Baginda in 1430. According to the present sultan, his claim goes as far back as 1704 when the Sultan of Brunei ceded part of then North Borneo which now comprises Sabah to the Sultan of Sulu in the southern Philippines for his help in suppressing a rebellion. There are about 500,000 Filipinos, most of them Muslims, living in Sabah. They fled to the territory in the 1970s during heavy fighting between Muslim rebels and the government troops. Sabah is only four hours by boat from the southernmost island-province of Tawi-Tawi in the Philippines.

Coconut Workers Own San Miguel Corp.
There are 3 million hectares planted to coconut trees, the second largest agricultural area after rice fields (4 million hectares). The coconut industry employs about 3.4 million Filipinos. Some 18 to 20 million more Filipinos depend on the industry for their livelihood, according to the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines (UCAP). About 90 percent of those employed in the coconut industry are small farmers, who earn P10,000 a year or P25 a day. 

Coconut farmers are among the most exploited segments of Philippine society. Driven to squalor by Marcos cronies who thrived on the so-called coconut levies, the coconut farmers represent the oldest sector of the domestic economy. In 1642, the Spanish colonial government forced each Filipino to plant 200 coconut trees, because Spanish shipbuilders had a large need for charcoaled coconut shells and coconut husks. Coconut products have gradually become the country's top export, accounting for 35 percent of all exports in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1970s, coconut products were the country's leading exports of raw materials. New economic policies initiated under the Aquino administration led to a slow-phased shift to industries, which eventually put the coconut industry at the tailend of government priorities. In 2001, coconut exports represented only 1.6 percent of the country's total exports.

In 1971, the dictatorial government of the late President Ferdinand Marcos established the Coconut Investment Fund (Cocofund) by imposing a levy of P15 per 100 kilograms of copra for nine years between 1973 and 1982. Supposedly, the fund should serve as subsidy to coconut products for domestic consumption. However, the cocofund, which amounted to a total of P9.695 billion by August 1982, was turned into a private fund used to finance three financial institutions, including the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB). The cocofund was also used to acquire the majority shares of San Miguel Corporation, the country's largest food and beverage conglomerate. A known Marcos crony, Danding Cojuangco, still retains the chairmanship of both UCPB and San Miguel until today. The fund, which is estimated at over P100 billion today, has yet to be transferred to the accounts of the coconut farmers. (Source: http://www.virtual-asia.com/ph)

A Mayor Held Office for 5 Decades
No other local official had the distinction of serving an elective post for almost half a century. Pablo Cuneta, the late mayor of Pasay City and father of popular actress, Sharon Cuneta, died at 90 on September 27, 2000 after serving the government for 50 years. In 1947, then President Elpidio Quirino appointed him vice mayor of Pasay City. In 1955, he was elected mayor, a post which he held until 1967 when he lost to Jovito Claudio in the mayoralty election. He emerged victorious in the 1972 elections and served his constituents in Pasay City until 1986 when he was ordered ousted by the Aquino administration. Cuneta won in the 1988 mayoralty election and served his post uninterrupted until 1997 when his health began to fail. He was awarded a golden trophy for his 50th year in public service in the same year. 

A Priest Took Up Arms Against Americans
From 1900 to 1902, Catholic priest Gregorio Labayan Aglipay took up arms against American soldiers in Batac, Ilocos Norte. Aglipay founded the Liwanag branch of the Katipunan in Victoria, Tarlac, attended the Malolos Congress and became the ecclesiastical governor of Nueva Segovia (Ilocos) in 1899.  In his religious role, Aglipay is considered as the Martin Luther of the Philippines for founding the Iglesia Filipina Independiente or the Philippine Independent Church, which celebrated its centenary on August 3, 2002. A century earlier, the Union Obrera Democratica, a confederation of 10 labor organizations headed by Isabelo de los Reyes, broke ties with the Vatican and designated Aglipay as the Obispo Maximo (supreme bishop) of their new religion. The Catholic Church then excommunicated Aglipay. An American general called Aglipay a better soldier than a bishop. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)

The Osmena Clan Is the Oldest Political Dynasty
The Osmena clan is perhaps the oldest and the most dominant political dynasty in the country. This political dynasty began when Sergio Osmena Sr. replaced Manuel Quezon as president of the Commonwealth government during the war. His son, Osmena Jr. became a senator and his grandson, Osmena III is now an incumbent senator. John Osmena, a former mayor of Cebu City, is also a senator today. Lito Osmena, a long-time governor of the province of Cebu, vied for the presidency in the 1998 presidential election. Tomas Osmena was a mayor of Davao City.

Six Vice-Presidents Became Presidents
Six former vice-president became presidents, namely: Sergio Osmena, Elpidio Quirino, Carlos Garcia, Diosdado Macapagal, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Three Senate Presidents Became Presidents
Three former senate presidents became presidents, namely Manuel Quezon, Manuel Roxas, and Ferdinand Marcos.

Two Speakers Became Presidents
Two former House speakers became presidents, namely: Sergio Osmena Sr. and Manuel Roxas.

Three Presidents Died in Office
Three Philippine presidents were not able to finish their terms of office. They were Manuel Quezon who died in New York City on August 1, 1944; Manuel Roxas who died of a heart attack on April 15, 1948; and Ramon Magsaysay who died in an air accident on March 17, 1957.

First 3 Beauty Queens Married Pinoys
The first Miss Universe, Armi Kuusela of Finland won the crown in 1952 and married Virgilio Hilario of Tarlac the following year. The first Miss International (1961), Maria Stella Marquez Zawadsky of Colombia, married Filipino millionaire, Jorge Araneta. The first Miss Asia (1965), Angela Filmer of Malaysia, married Jose Faustino, also a Filipino.

A Filipino Spread Love Bug Virus
In May 2000, the so-called "love bug" computer virus spread worldwide and infected millions of computer files. The virus, quickly infiltrated government and corporate computer systems around the world. Described as the worst computer virus ever created, the "love bug" wrought damages amounting to US$10 billion. It could not have been big news in the Philippines, if not for the fact that the suspected creator of the virus is a Filipino. He was identified as Onel de Guzman, a student of AMA Computer College in Quezon City.

Caloocan City Has Two Separate Parts
Caloocan City is the only city in the Philippines with two areas set apart from each other by other towns and cities. Its first area, known as the urban portion, covers Monumento and is bounded on the south by Manila, on the west by Navotas and Malabon and on the north by Valenzuela City. Its second area, known as Caloocan II, is a hilly portion between Bulacan province and Quezon City.

Orchids Breeds Were from RP
Waling-waling or Vanda sanderiana, is described as the "Queen of Philippine Orchids". One of the largest species in the world, waling-waling was discovered by German Taxonomist Heinrich Gustav Reicheinback in Mindanao in 1882. Since then, it has become the most sought-after flower in Mindanao and helped in the flourishing of the world's multibillion-dollar orchid and cutflower industry. The massive deforestation in Mindanao threatens the region's wildlife, including waling-waling which used to abound in the tropical forest of Mount Apo and its surrounding areas. Today, it is believed that Waling-Waling has more species abroad, particularly in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Hawaii.  Of the 9,000 flowering plants in the world, about 3,500 are endemic to the Philippines. Human activities, however, pose a great threat to their existence. 

Romulo Coined "I Shall Return"
It was Carlos P. Romulo, who coined the famous phrase "I shall return" by General Douglas MacArthur. Romulo was MacArthur's press officer at that time.

Romulo Put RP in UN Map
According to Beth Day Romulo, Carlos P. Romulo literally put the Philippines on the world map. "When the UN official seal which depicts the world was being selected, Romulo asked 'Where is the Philippines?' 

The answer came, 'It's too small to include. If we put the Philippines, it would be no more than a dot.' 

'I want that dot,' Romulo insisted." The UN seal now has a tiny dot for the Philippines.

MacArthur Was Field Marshall of Philippine Army
Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon appointed American four-star Maj. Gen. Douglas MacArthur as Field Marshall of the Philippine Army in 1935. Attached with the appointment was MacArthur's extra monthly pay of US$3,980 that made him the highest paid military officer in the world, according to American historian Carlos D'Este in his book "Eisenhower, A Soldier's Life".

Eisenhower Wrote Quezon's Speeches
In the book "Eisenhower, A Soldier's Life", American historian Carlos D'Este claimed that Dwight Eisenhower became an adviser and speechwriter of Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon in the Philippines. When Quezon sought an exile in the US, he met Eisenhower in Washington D.C. and offered him "a lavish stipend of some one hundred thousand dollars for services rendered the Philippines during his four years there, which Eisenhower courteously rejected." This was before Eisenhower was appointed as the supreme commander of all allied forces and planned the now infamous Normandy Invasion in Europe during World War II. Eisenhower later became a US president.

Filipinos Had Headed International Organizations
Carlos P. Romulo became president of the United Nations 4th General Assembly; Cesar Bengzon, president of the World Court Justice; Blas Ople, president of International Labor Organization; Jose Aspiras, president of World Tourism Organization; Jesus Tamesis, president of World Medical Association; Arturo Tanco, president of World Food Council; Florencio Campomanes, president of International Chess Federation; Justiniano Montano, president of World Boxing Council; Gonzalo Puyat II, president of International Amateur Basketball Federation; Ramos del Rosario, president of World Jaycee International; 

Jolly Bugarin, president of International Criminal Police Organization; Mercedes Concepcion, president of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population; Lolita Delgado-Fransler, president of Association of International College of Women; Modesto Farolan, president of International Union of Official Tourist Organizations; Florencio Moreno, president of World Highway Engineers Association; Quintin Gomez, president of the 8th World Congress of Anaesthesiologists; Cielito del Mundo, president of World Family Institute Inc.; 

Fe del Mundo, president of International Women's Medical Association; Amelito Mutuc, president of World Association of Lawyers; John Choa, president of Y's Men International; Roman Cruz, president of Orient Airlines Association; Manuel Nieto, president of Oriental Boxing Federation; Rufus Rodriguez, president of World Association of Law Students; Edward dela Rosa, president of World Association of Pharmaceutical Distributors; Esther Vibal, president of International Inner wheel; 

Antonio Delgado, chairman of Boy Scouts World Conference; Marcelo Fernan, secretary general of the Academy of American and International Law Alumni; Norman Certeza Sr., governor of Kiwanis International; Eduardo Chuidian, general manager of Association of International Shipping Lines; Rafael Salas, executive director of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities; and Dioscoro Umali, assistant director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Tolentino and Amorsolo Were Classmates
Guillermo Tolentino and Fernando Amorsolo, both national artists in arts, were classmates at the UP School of Fine Arts. Guillermo Tolentino was the one who carved the UP Oblation while Amorsolo was known for his paintings about barrio life and women.

15 National Artists Were from Manila
Aside from Manila, there is no other city or province, which owns the distinction of having produced 15 national artists. Three of these national artists - Levi Celerio, Cesar Legaspi and Rolando Tinio - were born in Tondo, the same district that produced Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto and yes, Juan Flavier. Other national artists who were born in Manila include Fernando Amorsolo, Francisco Arcellana, Ishmael Bernal, Gerardo de Leon, Nick Joaquin, Arturo Luz, Jose Maceda, Antonio Molina, Juan Nakpil, Andrea Veneracion, Jose Garcia Villa and Honorata "Atang" dela Rama. Coming far behind Manila in having produced a great number of national artists is Bulacan province, the birthplace of six national artists.

Bulacan Produced Great Musicians
Aside from producing heroes and poets, Bulacan is known as the birthplace of great Filipino composers, singers and dancers. Nicanor Abelardo, who is widely regarded as the father of kundiman, was born in San Miguel, Bulacan while Francisco Santiago, another pioneer of kundiman, grew up in Sta. Maria town. Noted composer Antonino Buenaventura was born in Baliuag town while contemporary composer Ernani Cuenco was born in the capital town of Malolos. Honorata "Atang" dela Rama, the great theater actress before the war, made Bulacan her home and married poet and national artist Amado Hernandez of San Miguel. 

The father of Levi Celerio, the poet of Philippine music, was from Baliuag. Francisca Reyes Aquino, the mother of Philippine dances, was born in the town of Bocaue. Composer and singer Rey Valera was born in Meycauayan town. At present, three divas from Bulacan - Regine Velasquez, Jaimie Rivera and Claire dela Fuente own the finest voices that this country has ever heard.

A Filipino Supervised a Russian Orchestra
Redentor Romero had served as the conductor of the 100-member Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, which received worldwide acclaim.

Pasyon Was a Poem
The long poem read and chanted by Catholic devotees during the Lent first appeared in 1704. Entitled Ang Mahal na Passion ni Jesu Christong Panginoon Nation, the poem was written in octosyllabic verse by Gaspar Aquino de Belen.

Balagtas Had Other Works
Francisco dela Cruz Balagtas, the 19th Century poet from Bulacan, wrote more than 100 plays, comedies, awits and koridos. Most of these works, however, were burned in a fire that gutted his house in Udyong, Bataan in 1892. Fortunately, copies of three of his works were found elsewhere. Aside from the well-known awit Florante at Laura, other existing works of Balagtas were a short farce entitled La India Elegante y e! Negrito Amante and a full-length komedya entitled Orosman at Zafira.

A Filipino was Declared Emperor
In 1926, Florencio Intrencherado was proclaimed emperor of Negros Occidental province. In the 1900s, the people of Negros declared a republic in Panay, which was later abolished by the US government.

A Filipino Refereed Muhammad Ali
In October 1975, Carlos Padilla Jr. served as the referee in the world-boxing match between Ali and Frazier in what was dubbed as thrilla in Manila.

A Brazilian Became Filipinos' Darling in 2000
Leila Barros, a fine-looking volleyball player from Brazil, became the Filipino crowd's darling in the staging of World Women's Volleyball Grand Prix in Manila in 1999 and 2000. Leila, a five-foot-eight player, led her team to the first runner-up finish in the 1999 event, which was won by Russia. Brazil won the crown in 1994, 1996 and 1998. The Filipino audience used to ignore the game of volleyball until they saw Leila spike the ball with the elegance and style no one else could show.

Inside the court, the 28-year-old Brazilian beauty was noted for her intensity and leaping ability, which enabled her to penetrate the stonewall defense of her six foot rivals. Behind the pretty face was her seriousness and sheer determination to win each game. She moves with the agility of Martina Hingis and the form of Anna Kournikova. Not a few Filipino men fell in love with her flash images on television. Some of those who were lucky to see her personally waved placards proposing marriage, not knowing that the young, otherwise innocent looking star player has been married for four years. How sad! Just the same, Leila moves and jumps with the charm of any 16-year-old girl "oozing with sensuality", as one sports columnist put it. At a time the Philippines was troubled by many problems, all it needed was a little inspiration from someone like Leila, who reminded the Filipino men of the beauty of life.

Intel Chips Were Manufactured in RP
Intel Corp., the world's largest corporation, has been operating in the Philippines for almost 30 years. Calling itself as the first multinational company that established a branch in the country, Intel manufactures processors and chips in its Philippine plant, which is expected to be Intel's biggest assembly and testing operations worldwide soon. Other foreign electronic and IT firms in the country are Texas Instruments, Toshiba, Trend Micro, Fujitsu, and America Online (AOL).

Marcos Was Last Lawyer President
Eight Filipino presidents were laywers. All former presidents from Manuel Quezon in 1935 to Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, except Ramos Magsaysay, had practiced law. Starting 1986, the next four presidents were non-lawyers, namely: Corazon Aquino, a housewife; Fidel Ramos, a military general; Joseph Estrada, an actor; and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, an economist.

A Filipino Ruled an Island
In 1956, Tomas Cloma, a Filipino explorer, discovered an island in the South China Sea. Cloma named the island as "Freedomland" which he tried to rule by establishing his own government.

A Planetoid was Named After a Filipino
The minor planet Biyo, which has a diameter of four to nine kilometers and was formerly called planet 13241, was named after Dr. Josette Biyo, a teacher at the Philippine Science High School in Iloilo City who won the International Excellence in Teaching Award during the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) held in Louisville, Kentucky in 2002. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory in the United States game the name.

Scientists Endorse Four Medicinal Plants
The country's Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAR) has included four medicinal plants - lagundi, sambong, yerba Buena and tsaang gubat - in its list of drugs. Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) also endorses the use of the four plants and six others to cure particular ailments or diseases. The use of lagundi is encouraged to cure cough; sambong, urinary tract stones; yerba Buena, muscle pains; tsaang gubat, intestinal colic; niyog niyugan, intestinal worms; bayabas, for wound wash; akapulko, skin infection; ulasimang bato, uric acid; garlic, high blood cholesterol; and ampalaya, high blood sugar.

There Were Mummies in the Philippines
A tribe in Kabayan town, Benguet province used to mummify the bodies of their dead. Until now, the mummified bodies of their ancestors are hung at the burial rocks in the area. 

Someone Made Magsaysay Famous
The person responsible for making the late President Ramon Magsaysay famous as the champion of the masses was Jose V. Cruz, a journalist. At 30 years old, Cruz first served as the press secretary of Magsaysay.

Filipino Doctors Apply as Nurses in the US
So enamored are Filipinos about working in other countries for higher income that 2,000 doctors are now taking up nursing examination for the possibility of working in the US. The Philippine Nurses Association disclosed that in June 2002 alone, at least 100 doctors took the nursing board examinations. A doctor applying for a nurse in the US said that he would earn in a month as a nurse in the US what he is earning in a year as a doctor in the Philippines. Some Filipino nurses earn up to US$5,000 monthly in New York and California. Reports said the US would need additional 600,000 nurses until 2010 while Japan would require 1.2 million nurses during the same period. Filipino nurses are also trooping to Europe, particularly United Kingdom. Ironically, the Philippines has one of the lowest ratios of doctors and nurses against the population.

Salaried Workers Carry Burden of Taxes
Citing data from the National Tax Research Center (NTRC), Finance Secretary Isidro Camacho said that in the year 2001, there were 2,605,505 individual taxpayers who filed their income tax returns and paid a total of P80.42 billion.

About 2,079,745 salaried workers, or 80 percent of the income tax payers, paid a total of P66.3 billion in income taxes, accounting for 82 percent of the total collection. Professionals or self-employed individuals contributed only P10.75 billion or only 13 percent of the income taxes while capital gains tax paid by individuals reached P3.18 billion.

In particular, self-employed individuals or single-proprietors paid P10.13 billion while professionals paid only P620 million. Based on these figures in 2001, professionals paid only P20,447 in income tax while salaried workers paid P31,879.

According to the DOF, this should not be the case since professionals are actually earning much higher than salaried workers. Citing a 1997 government survey, the DOF said that salaried workers earned only P582.7 billion while professionals received P1.159 billion during that year. Measured per capita, salaried workers earned an average of P223,642 while professionals earned P2.204 million in 1997.

In the year 2002, for example, only 2.8 million Filipinos of the total 30 million workers, businessmen and professionals paid their income taxes. As of October 2002, there were over 30 million Filipinos in the labor force, about 15 million of whom were salaried workers, 11 million were self-employed and 4 million were unpaid family workers.

One government study showed that over the past 11 years (1991 to 2001), leakage from the individual income tax amounted to P608 billion. This was on top of the P610 billion that were lost to leakage in the value added tax (VAT) scheme.

Americans Are 25 Times Richer
Equitable distribution of wealth would hardly resolve the poverty problem in the country. In reality, the country's per capita income or the imaginary figure referring to every Filipino's equal share in the country's total wealth, is below US$1,000. In comparison, countries like the United States, Germany, Japan and even Singapore have a per capita income of over US$25,000. This means that an ordinary American is 25 times richer than an ordinary Filipino. What would be needed to relieve poverty is to enlarge the economic pie by drawing more capital and resources into the country, so every Filipino would get a larger share.

Among Questionable Claims Are:

1. The Philippines is the world's second largest English-speaking nation. In reality, most Filipinos do not speak English on the street while the Department of Education is bothered by Filipino students' low English proficiency level. In comparison, English is the main language in the streets of United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and other British territories.

2. The Philippines has the largest Christian population in Asia. China actually has over 80 million Christians and is therefore the country with largest Christian population in Asia.

3. The Philippines was second to Japan in economic prosperity in Asia in the 1950s. Coming out of World War II, most East Asian countries, including the Philippines, were in still in recovery in the 1950s. Some of them had just won their freedom while economic prosperity was a strange phrase during that period. Even our parents would agree that life was harder in the 1950s. The Philippines never became rich and its golden age has yet to set in. Economic situation, however, was less burdening in 1996 and 1997 under the Ramos administration.

4. The Philippines is an agricultural economy. The Philippines is no longer an agricultural country. It cannot even produce enough rice, sugar or wheat to feed its entire population and has to import food from Thailand, Vietnam and the United States. The country's agricultural exports comprised less than 5 percent of its total outbound shipments in 2001. While the agriculture sector employed 37 percent of the workforce in 2001, it contributed only 21 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP). The industrial and services sectors contributed the remaining 79 percent to the domestic economy.

5. Filipinos are the happiest people in the world. The World Values Survey conducted by University of Michigan in 1998 ranked Iceland 1st and the Philippines 12th among 54 countries in happiness index. The Philippines was ranked first among Asian countries though. The truth is happiness cannot be measured.

6. Early Filipinos had a perfect socio-economic and justice system before the Spaniards came. There was never a perfect society in the world and tales about gold abounding in the Philippines five centuries ago remain to be proven. The fact is slavery, war, witchcraft, beheading and human sacrifice were already present in the country before the Spaniards came.

7. The Philippines is a favorite destination of foreign tourists. It could have the finest beach resorts in the world, but the Philippines gets only about 2 million foreign tourists annually. In comparison, smaller Asian countries like Singapore and Hong Kong receive over 8 million foreign guests every year.

8. The Philippines is one of the safest and most peaceful places on earth. That is what the Department of Tourism claims but according to the International Red Cross, the Philippines registered the world's fourth highest number of casualties and injuries as a result of natural disasters and man-made calamities from 1992 to 2001 - 5.8 million cases in all. It was behind China, India and Iran. China and India were expected in the accident list because they have the largest populations in the world.

9. Equitable distribution of wealth would resolve the poverty problem in the country. In reality, the country's per capita income or the imaginary figure referring to every Filipino's equal share in the country's total wealth, is below US$1,000. In comparison, countries like the United States, Germany, Japan and even Singapore have a per capita income of over US$25,000. This means that an ordinary American is 25 times richer than an ordinary Filipino. What would be needed to relieve poverty is to enlarge the economic pie by drawing more capital and resources into the country, so every Filipino would get a larger share.

10. Basketball is the dominant sports in the Philippines. Not any more. Because of the growing youth population and the lack of basketball courts, most Filipino children are now trooping to computer game shops and billiard halls.

11. Filipinos invented the fluorescent lamp that illuminated the world and the Lunar Rover used by American astronauts on the moon. The National Academy of Science and Technology disagrees.

Most Profitable Businesses Today Include:

1. Gambling in the form of online lottery or text games
2. Power generation and distribution, thanks to purchased power cost adjustment
3. Mobile phone networks, as long as the country is hooked to texting
4. Beer and wine production as always
5. Drug manufacturing and retail, because medicines here are twice as expensive
6. Computer training centers which promise instant jobs after graduation
7. Kindergarten schools with exorbitant tuition fees
8. Caregiver training centers for people wanting to go to Canada and US
9. Immigration consultancy which offers expensive seminars
10. Job placement agencies 
11. Pyramid selling
12. Laundry services for American troops
13. Importing ukay-ukay
14. Selling pirated VCDs and software
15. Kidney buy and sell
16. Smut publishing, as in yellow journalism
17. Billiard tables for rent
18. Computer game shops
19. Money exchange in Basilan
20. Bikini car wash as the one in Iloilo City

The lists of questionable claims and most profitable businesses today only reflect the author's opinion. The author does not in any way encourage anybody to engage in the most profitable businesses listed above. Both lists were made for satirical purposes.

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