8 things I have learned about the Philippines so far

1. A group selfie is called a groufie.
2. The Commander of the Philippine Naval Forces West is called Rommel Jude (and he is not the only one)
3. Judging by TV programs, Filipinos love 3 things: basketball, cockfighting, and singing children contests. But Filipinos LOVE basketball most of all.
4. Filipinos are amazing musicians (and the singing kids are all impressive too).
5. The guy who stars in Tanduay Rhum ubiquitous ads is called Derek Ramsay, a half British, half Filipino seriously good looking actor who is apparently not Jango Fett’s little brother.
6. The Philippines are the only place where no one is surprised about Switzerland having 3 (ok, 4) national languages: they have around 135.
7. The third religion after Roman Catholicism and Islam is the Iglesa Ni Cristo, an indigenous dynastic church that considers all other churches to be apostates.
8. Jose Rizal was a kind of real life superhero who managed to be an ophthalmologist, sculptor, painter, educator, farmer, historian, playwright and journalist before he turned 35; he then sacrificed himself as revolutionary martyr, his execution by Spain eventually resulting in the (shortlived) first philippine independence two years later. Oh and he also won the lottery at some point. Seriously.

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