The Philippines –text capital of the world.
Each day more texts are sent in the Philippines than in the U.S. and U.K combined. Crazy. Though after just a few hours in Manilla it doesn’t seem so far fetched.
I didn’t know too much about the Philippines except that it was the only Christian country in Southeast Asia (remnant of the 350 -year Spanish colonialism), and that the US had occupied it after the Spanish. That was pretty much it.
But cramming on our 17 hour flight from Chicago yielded these sobering facts too:
– 100 million people live in a country roughly the size of Italy. Yikes.
– Only 10% of the considerable sewage produced by those 100 million is properly treated — 90% goes straight into the sea. Infected groundwater is getting to be a big problem.
– 42% of the population lives on less than $2/day.
Manilla itself is a seeming sprawl of concrete block homes, texting jitney riders, and catholics who call themselves “born again evangelicals”. The mega church is, uhm, really BIG here. It’s not hard to find churches of 30,000 people in attendance with another 30,000 in satellite campuses. Tomorrow morning I’m meeting a local pastor who is passionate about building community churches in the poorest of the poor neighborhoods. That sounds hopeful.