Often when you say "the Philippines" to New Zealanders who are 25 years of age or more they won't forget to mention Imelda Marcos' 3,000 pairs of shoes.
If you are unlucky the infamous "Abu Sayyaf" will surface.
Other New Zealanders do know the Philippines by name and its location but it ends there. Some even do not know where it is so I often say, "below Taiwan, above Borneo" and get an "ohhh, okay, I see." (After speaking or doing some small talk you may get a complement on how good our spoken English is.)
[Going off topic] We have a friend from Papua New Guinea, in her 40s and she pronounces "Philippines" as "Philip-pines," pines as in pine trees when we first met her. After months of correcting she now pronounces it like what it should be.
For me I think I'd rather keep the Philippines unknown in exchange for negative publicity or bad news.