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How is the Philippines compared to the rest of the world?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - January 3, 2021 - 12:00am

As we are about to embark on the year of the metal ox, with too-intense events about to unfold in our cosmos and too much forces colliding in our universe, it’s important to take stock of what our country has and what it lacks, in order to remain competitive in a very volatile world.

This amazing archipelago of 7,107 islands (during high tide?) of 110 million naturally happy and resilient people, speaking no less than 175 different languages, and the fifth largest English-speaking nation, isn’t really the worst place on earth, but can even compete as one of the best places in the Asia-Pacific ring of fire, despite the hurricanes, floods, and volcanic eruptions. There are now 7.8 billion humans on earth. The most in China with 1.4 billion, closely followed by India with 1.38 billion. The USA is a distant third, with 332 million, of which five million are of Filipino descent. The Philippines has the 13th biggest population with 110 million in 17 regions, 85 provinces, 146 cities, 1,488 towns, and 42,046 barangays. Twelve million are OFWs or migrants in all continents or aboard ships cruising the seven oceans.

In terms of financial wealth, measured on the basis of GDP per capita, the wealthiest is Qatar with $132,886, followed by Macao (SAR of China), $114,363, and Luxembourg with $108,961. The Philippines is way down in the cellar at 117th, with a measly $9,471. That isn’t really too bad given our small economy and too big a population. We know that per capita is measured by GDP divided by population. There are African countries with per capita income of less than $1,000. Now, let’s talk about the most powerful passports. Japan is on top because Japanese can enter 191 countries without any visa, followed by Singapore with 190 and South Korea with 189. The Philippines is 76th with 67 countries not requiring visas for Philippine passports.

On life expectancy, the highest scores belong to Hong Kong SAR with 85.29 years, followed by Japan, 85.03 years, and Macau SAR with 84.68 years. The Philippines is number 128 with 71.66 years life expectancy. On corruption, the least corrupt country is Denmark with a rating of 88 out of 100, followed by New Zealand with 87. Third place is shared by Sweden, Singapore, and Finland with 85. The Philippines is at 99 with a poor rating of 36 out of 100. I'm too sad for that. But there are countries with ratings below 20 and even below 10. But we are the 52nd happiest country. The first three are Finland, Denmark, and Switzerland. We are the 7th friendliest nation on earth. The first three are Oman, Mexico, and Portugal. Can corruption and happiness co-exist?

We are the 46th among the most visited countries in 2019. France was visited by 89.4 million due its Eiffel Tower and museums, followed by Spain visited by 82.7 million due its castles and cathedrals. The USA was visited by 79.6 million for its natural sites and mega cities. The Philippines had 8.26 million, mainly because of our beautiful people, exotic food, music, indigenous art, and natural flair for joy and exuberance. We have a very good record on gender equality, as the 16th in the world. The best records are being held by Iceland, Norway, and Finland. Overall, the best countries in the world, considering all criteria, are Finland, followed by Canada, and Japan. In terms of beauty, we have an amazing record of having won 15 beauty contests. Our bets won four Miss Universe crowns, six Miss International titles, four Miss Earth, and one Miss World.

And we are the number one texting nation in the whole world, with 400 million texts each day and 142 billion texts annually. We have the only boxing champion who won eight different boxing world titles in eight different categories. It is only in our country that whenever Manny Pacquiao fights, there is absolutely zero crime in the whole country, and the traffic problem is solved each fighting day. We are the only Southeast Asian country with 12 million migrant workers in almost 200 countries all over the world. The Philippines is one of the biggest Catholic countries and yet we are as poor as the Catholics in South America. Yet, we celebrate the longest Christmas in the midst of poverty and pandemic. Filipinos are among the most wonderful people in the universe.

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