10. Mickey Mouse Was A Currency
During the Japanese occupation, the Japanese government ordered the issuance of fiat money. It was locally known as “Mickey Mouse” money because the very first issue of the currency had a faint Mickey Mouse watermark on it. It was reported to have been placed by a subversive printing worker.
9. The Philippines Had its Own Schindler
During the Holocaust, when most countries in the world turned their backs against the persecuted Jews, one nation opened its doors- the Philippines. President Manuel L. Quezon implemented the “Open Door Policy” that helped some 1,200 European Jewish refugees. Quezon granted thousands of working visas to accommodate the refugees. He even built a housing community in Marikina and allotted a settlement area in Mindanao. The initial target of 10,000 refugees was not met because the Japanese forces invaded the Philippines in 1941.
8. A Filipino King Was Buried In China
In 1417 A.D, in the 15th year of the Ming Dynasty, Sultan Paduka Batara, an ancient king of Sulu, with his delegate composed of 340 members went to China “to establish a friendship between the two countries”. They were welcomed by Emperor Xhu Li. While Sultan Paduka Batara was in Dezhou, he suddenly died. Emperor Xhu Li “ordered his official to choose a very fertile field to bury the King, and gave him an honorable name, “Gong Ding”. He gave a magnificent funeral which was as formal as for a Chinese king, and the Emperor himself wrote the epitaph and had monuments and stone tablets erected along the path leading to the tomb”.
Paduka Batara is the only foreign king who has a mausoleum in China. His burial place is the only one with a village in charge of guarding it. In 1988, it was recognized as a national key cultural relic
7. The Philippines Is The Last Country In The World (Aside From Vatican) Where Divorce Is Illegal
In the Philippines, marriage is a tough decision because the marital vow “until death do us part” is taken in its literal sense. No law has ever been legislated to legalize divorce. Even the divorce decrees validly obtained abroad by Filipino citizens are not recognized. The country’s negative connotation about divorce is a reflection of its overwhelmingly Catholic population where approximately 83 percent of its population is Catholic.
The former President Benigno Aquino III once said that he does not support the legalization of divorce because he does not want the Philippines to become like Las Vegas where “you get married in the morning [and] you get divorced in the afternoon”. It seems that no divorce law will likewise be passed in the following years because the current president, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, had already expressed his disdain on the proposed decree when he said that it is a “no-no” as it would totally tear apart the Filipino family.
6. The Small Dot In the UN Emblem Represents The Philippines
Before the finalization of the UN emblem, the “tiny dot” did not appear on the map. It was only upon the insistence of the former president of the Philippines, Carlos P. Romulo, that it was made part of the emblem design. Initially, when the President asked where the Philippines was, US Senator Warren Austin told him that considering the scale of the map, the Philippines will only appear as a tiny dot. Despite that, President Romulo demanded, “I want that dot!”.
5. A World War II Japanese Soldier Hid In The Philippine Jungle For 29 Years
During the Second World War, Hiroo Onoda and his troop were sent to Lubang Island in the Philippines to destroy its airstrip and port facilities. They failed to accomplish their tasks because it was thwarted by the arrival of the American and Philippine forces. Onada and his three companions were forced to hide in the dense forest. In October 1945 they stumbled upon a leaflet that reads, “The war ended on August 15. Come down from the mountains.” They thought it was propaganda. Over the time, Onoda’s three companions were killed by the locals.
On 1974, a Japanese explorer named Noria Suzuki found Onoda but the latter refused to surrender unless given an order by Major Taniguchi, his former commanding officer. Luckily, his superior was still alive and by then, was working as a bookseller. He was flown to Lubang Island. He said to Onoda, “Japan had lost the war and all combat activity was to cease immediately”. This finally put an end to Lieutenant Onoda’s 29 years of war.
4. The Philippines Is The Home Of The Oldest University In Asia
University of Santo Tomas (UST) which was founded on April 28, 1611 (LINK 26) is the oldest existing university in Asia. It is the only Royal and Pontifical Catholic university in the Philippines.
It was visited four times by three popes – Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Francis. It was turned by the Japanese forces into an internment camp during the World War II where at least 2,500 civilians were detained. It also holds the world record for forming the largest human cross.
3. The First Female Student At Harvard Medical School Was A Filipina
After graduating as valedictorian from the University of the Philippines’ medical school, Fe del Mundo received a scholarship from the Philippine president, Manuel L. Quezon, where she was allowed to study in any school of her choice. She chose Harvard Medical School.
In 1936, Harvard unknowingly accepted its first female student. When Fe del Mundo arrived at Harvard, she was surprised when she was assigned in an all-male dormitory. Harvard learned of her gender but the pediatrics head decided to let her in because of her excellent scholastic records. She was the only female enrolled at the time because it was only in 1945 did Harvard officially welcome female students.
2. At Least Half A Million Filipinos Won Pepsi’s “Number Fever”
In 1992, PEPSICO launched “Number Fever, an under-the-crown promotional campaign where the holders of specially marked crowns were to receive prizes up to 1 million pesos.
On May 25, 1992, PEPSICO announced the winning combination 349. Up to 800,000 caps were marked with the number 349.
1. United States bought the Philippines for $20 million
On December 10, 1898, through the Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded the Philippines which was under its control for 333 years to the United States. The U.S. paid Spain $20 million.