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Anything you might don’t know about the Philippines and you have been wanting to know since birth. Well, you are very lucky my dear reader for I would tell you some of the unknown facts that would surely surprise you. Small facts that may not be relevant today but would surely make you feel proud being a Filipino.
- The exotic jeepney is a post-war creation inspired by the GI jeeps that the American soldiers brought to the country in the 1940s. Enterprising Filipinos salvaged the surplus engines and came out unique vehicles of art.
- The world’s longest underground river system accessible to man can be found at the St. Paul National Park in the province of Palawan.
- The largest Philippine wild animal, the tamaraw, is a species of the buffalo that is similar to the carabao. It is found only in the island of Mindoro.
- Our national hero and writer Jose Rizal could read and write at age 2. He grew up to speak more than 20 languages, including Latin, Greek, German, French, and Chinese. What were his last words? "Consummatum est!" ("It is done!")
- The largest city in the Philippines is Davao City. With an area of 2,211 sq. km., it is about three times the size of the national capital, Metro Manila.
- Negros Occidental has the most cities among Philippine provinces. Start counting now..
- The popular toy, the yoyo, was invented by 16th century hunters in the Philippines. It was only the Americans who popularized it.
- The word "boondocks," which is now a part of the English language, dictionary, and vocabulary, comes from the Tagalog word "bundok," meaning "mountain."
- The antibiotic erythromycin — used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections, such as respiratory tract infections, middle ear infections, and skin infections — was created by Filipino scientist Abelardo Aguilar, and has earned American drug giant Eli Lilly billions of dollars. Neither Aguilar nor the Philippine government received royalties
- Fernando Amorsolo was officially the first National Artist of the Philippines. He was given the distinction of National Artist for Painting in 1972.
- Philippines Herald war journalist Carlos P. Romulo was the first Asian to win a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism in 1942. He was also aide-de-camp to General Douglas MacArthur in World War II; Philippine resident commissioner in the U.S. Congress from 1944-46; and the first Asian to become UN President in 1949.
- On January 18, 1995, Pope John Paul II offered mass to an estimated 4 to 5 million people at Luneta Park, Manila, Philippines, making it to the Guiness Book of World Records for the Biggest Papal Crowd. (See news article here.)
- Of the eight known species of giant clams in the world, seven are found in the Philippines.
- The largest bell in Asia hangs at the belfry of the 221-year old Panay Church. It is 7 feet in diameter and 7 feet in height, and weighs 10.4 tons. Its tolling can be heard as far as 8 km. away. It was casted from 70 sacks of coins donated by the townspeople as a manifestation of faith and thanksgiving
- Camiguin province holds the distinction of having the most number of volcanoes per square kilometer than any other island on earth. It is also the only place in the Philippines which has more volcanoes (7) than towns (5).
- Angono Petroglyphs – This cultural heritage site dates back to circa 3000 B.C. and is the most ancient Filipino, or more aptly, prehistoric Filipino work of art. Besides being the country’s oldest “work of art” it also offers us an evocative glimpse into the life of our ancestors. The site has been included in the World Inventory of Rock Art under the auspices of UNESCO, ICCROM and ICOMOS and nominated as one of the “100 Most Endangered Sites of the World
- Tagala - the Philippines first Filipino-Spanish dictionary which was printed in 1613, 25 years older than the first book printed in the United States.
- Ilo-Ilo golf and country club is the oldest golf club in the Philippines. It was built at 1908 by Irish Engineers.
- The Philippine Basketball Association is Asia's premier and the world's second oldest professional league.
- Maria Teresa Calderon – A Filipina World champion speed reader as listed in the Guinness Book of World Records
- In the Philippines, Filipinos were introduced to the English language in 1762 by British invaders, not Americans.
- The world's largest pearl was discovered by a Filipino diver in a giant Tridacna (mollusk) under the Palawan Sea in 1934. Known as the "Pearl of Lao-Tzu", the gem weighs 14 pounds and measures 9 1/2 inches long and 5 1/2 inches in diameter. As of May 1984, it was valued at US$42 million. It is believed to be 600 years old.
- The flagpole located in Rizal Park, is where the starts of 0 kilometer reading in measuring all distances from Manila.
- In 1916, in the Philippines, an offensive style of passing the ball in a high trajectory to be struck by another player (the set and spike) were introduced. The Filipinos developed the "bomba" or kill, and called the hitter a "bomberino" (volleyball)
So, are you fascinated by these facts? These are just part of the many unknown facts to us Filipinos. You have just seen the introductory part of these small facts the make you feel proud as a Filipino.
Image Source: WackyLodeon