Filipinos see the mobile phone as a cheap and convenient way to stay in touch with each other. It is currently estimated that at least 200 million text messages are sent a day in the Philippines. In fact, texting is so prevalent that even the central bank governor and other senior officials answer media inquiries by tapping out a reply on their mobiles.
As there is currently no system to track pre-paid card users, it makes it easy for individuals to send malicious and hoax messages via SMS. Analysts say text message rumors proliferate because some people wish to portray themselves as being in the know about matters of national security. Others pass them on to warn family and friends.
Some of the stranger text messages include a message stating the Filipino President Gloria Arroyo has died of a strange disease and that the head of the armed forces had resigned. Some of these messages picked up so much momentum that government officials have had to go on record to deny them!