10 surprising things you didn't know about the Philippines

It is illegal to get a divorce in the Philippines 

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Makati Skyline

Makati Skyline (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Being one of the most visited countries by the Taiwanese as well as having a significant amount of Filipinos residing in Taiwan, Taiwan News has compiled a list of interesting facts about the island nation to help our Taiwanese friends know more about the neighboring country. 

Here are some interesting and fun facts of the Philippines not many are aware of:

1. The Philippines has 7,641 islands, but only around 2,000 are inhabited.

2. The Filipinos are the most enthusiastic about their social media accounts, and were also ranked as the highest selfie takers in the world by Time Magazine in 2014.

3. Manila, the capital is actually comprised of 16 cities and the greater metropolis area, which is mostly referred to by people, is actually called Metro Manila.

4. Spain, the United States and Japan all three colonized the Philippines at a point with the British briefly occupying Manila for 18 months through 1762 and 1764.

5. The Philippines is home to the third largest population of Catholics in the world after Brazil and Mexico with more than 80 percent of the population being Catholic.

6. The Philippines is the only country in the world where it is illegal to get a divorce because of its deep religious beliefs. Couples can get what is called 'annulment' of their marriage but it is often a long, expensive and complicated process. 

7. A 1940s styled World War II jeep is one of the main modes of transportation, also known as 'jeepney'. President Rodrigo Duterte recently signaled that his administration would begin to phase out the jeepneys as reported by the New York Times.

8. The karaoke singing also known as KTV in Taiwan was actually a Filipino invention. The karaoke was first invented by Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue in 1971, but it was a Filipino, Roberto del Rosario, who first patented the Karaoke Sing Along System in 1975 and subsequently commercialized it.

9. The Philippines is home to the three largest shopping malls in the world:  SM Megamall, SM North ​Edsa, and SM Mall of Asia.

10. The Philippines flag is the only flag in the world that indicates whether the country is in a state of war or not. If the flag is positioned with the red stripe on top, it indicates the country is at war, otherwise the blue stripe is positioned on top. 

Fact sources Buzzfeed, Business Insider, New York Times, Time Magazine, BBC News and Touropia