Philippine trivia and world firsts

Essential Philippine Trivia

The word “trivia” (literally “three ways”) dates from the Roman Empire and referred to notices of general interest or importance that were posted on trees at road junctions - notices intended to be read by passersby, with the detail being passed further along the road as they travelled.
Philippine Mail
When the Spanish arrived in the Philippines in 1521 the average Filipino could read & write well and used trees at road junctions in much the same way as the Romans . . . but to effect a personal "mail" service. Someone would write a note (in Baybayin or similar script) on bamboo, addressed to a friend in the next village or two down the road, and place it on the designated "mail" tree. Travellers passing-by would take the messages, that they knew needed to go in the direction of their travel, and place them on the next nearest "mail" tree; the process would be repeated until the message reached the intended recipient. In this way the "mail" almost always got through - probably as quickly as the Philippine Mail of modern times.
Philippine Zero Kilometer Mile Stone
Zero Mile Stone Memorial Flagpole Rizal Park Manila City Philippines
The Philippine zero kilometre stone (zero mile stone), measuring all distances in the Philippines from Manila, can be found along Roxas Boulevard, 75 metres directly West of the memorial flagpole, located in Rizal Park, Manila City. From a functional point of view, this zero mile stone only records distances from Manila to other destinations on Luzon Island; almost all of the islands have their own zero mile stones, because it is illogical to record the distance from Manila where there are so many routes to get there. The nearest airport to the zero kilometre milestone is Manila International Airport (NAIA).
Highest Mountain In The Philippines
The highest mountain in the Philippines is Mount Apo, a potentially active volcano on the island of Mindanao, West of Davao City, at 2,954 meters (9,689 feet); Mount Pulog, an inactive volcano in the Cordillera range, in Benguet province of northern Luzon Island, is the second highest mountain in the Philippines at 2,928 meters (9,604 feet). Both volcanoes have extensive national parks surrounding them. Mount Apo looks like it has a snowcap - the ' snow ' is actually white sulphur. The nearest airport to Mount Apo is Davao International Airport.
Earliest Inhabitants Of The Philippines
Evidence of the earliest inhabitants of the Philippines is found in the Tabon Caves - a complex of around 200 caves, only 20% have been explored from an archaeological point of view - known as the Lipuun Point (international name: Albion Head) Reservation in Quezon, Palawan Island, approximately 150kms from Puerto Princesa. A skull from ' Tabon Man ', from around 27000 years ago, was discovered in the Tabon Caves in 1962, and later finds of human bone and artifacts date use of the Tabon Caves to as far back as around 47000 years ago. The remains of Tabon Man and related artifacts were preserved in the Tabon Cave complex by layers of guano from successive populations of Tabon Fowl, that frequented the caves when the caves were not being used by humans. The nearest airport to the Tabon Cave complex is located at Puerto Princesa airport.
Deepest Ocean Trench In The World
The World's second deepest ocean trench is in the Philippines. At about 34,440 feet (10,497 meters) below sea level, it is known as the Philippine Deep or the Mindanao Trench. The Philippine Deep, which runs parallel to the East coasts of Samar and Mindanao islands, is found in the Philippine Sea. The German ship Emden first plumbed the trench in 1927.
World's Longest Accessible Underground River
underground river St. Paul National Park Palawan philippines
The World's longest accessible underground river system is found in the St. Paul National Park on Palawan Island, approximately 50-km North-northeast of Puerto Princesa. The St. Paul Subterranean River is a submarine karst spring. It twists and turns for 8.2-km underground and features a full-mountain-to-sea ecosystem, a sweetwater-to-saltwater ecosystem plus a troglobitic ecosystem typical of underground rivers. This combination of habitats plus the dramatic stalactite and stalagmite formations makes the St. Paul Subterranean River so totally unique that it attracts biologists, ecologists, travellers and tourists from all around the World. The nearest airport to the St. Paul Subterranean River is located at Puerto Princesa.
Earliest Surviving Philippine Written Text
The earliest surviving written text from the Philippines is found on a copperplate discovered near Laguna de Bay, just outside what is now Metro Manila. The text, known as the Laguna Copperplate Inscription, dates from around 900AD, apparently records the clearing of a debt in the amount of 865g in gold (a considerable sum, around US$34,000 in June 2010). The Laguna Copperplate Inscription is unique because, whilst the script used closely resembles Old Javanese and Sanskrit, known to be used by traders throughout the South China Sea area, it also contains words and phrases that are not found anywhere else in the Asia Region, suggesting that a highly evolved written and oral language was pervasive here, 600 years before the Spanish arrived to colonise and 'educate' the population. Decorative inscriptions on pottery from even earlier than 900AD have also been found but none other so clearly demonstrates the advanced culture.
Philippines' Largest City
The largest city (by area) in the Philippines is Davao City. With an area of 2,211 sq. km., it is about three times the size of the national capitol, Metro Manila. Fly to Davao international airport to experience the sights and culture of Davao City.
Largest Philippine Wild Animal
The largest Philippine wild animal, the tamaraw, is a species of water buffalo, similar to the carabao. The tamaraw is endangered and is found only on the island of Mindoro. It is known for its fierce temper when disturbed. The nearest airport to the realm of the tamaraw is San Jose airport, Oc. Mindoro.
Most Cities of all Philippine Provinces
The province of Negros Occidental, occupying the West half of the island of Negros, has the most cities of all Philippine provinces. Fly to Bacolod airport, the airport serving the capital of Negros Occidental.
World's Longest Religious Holiday
hand made christmas lanterns parols san fernando pampanga philippines
Filipinos celebrate the World's longest religious holiday. The Christmas season begins on 1st September and ends in the first week of January, during the Feast of the Three Kings. The colourful, handmade Christmas lanterns, known as Parols, of San Fernando, Pampanga, can reach up to 40 feet in diameter and use as many as 16,000 light bulbs. The nearest airport to San Fernando, Pampanga, is Angeles City / Clark DMIA airport.
Asia's First Commercial Airline
Philippine Airlines was founded in 1941 and was Asia's first commercial airline; Philippine Airlines is the oldest of those currently in operation. Philippine Airlines is one of seven scheduled airline service providers in the Philippines. For all airline routes to the best Philippine holiday destinations that you can fly to, visit the How To Fly To page
Philippines' Only Commercial Seaplane Service
Subic Seaplane at Snake Island Puerto Princesa Palawan
For an island nation with 7107 islands, many without direct transport links, it is amazing that there is only one commercial seaplane service. The Subic Seaplane, based in Subic Bay Freeport, is the Philippines' only commercial seaplane service. From Subic Bay (or any body of water large enough for the seaplane to land/take-off) it is possible to fly by seaplane to reach islands and bays around Luzon, much of the northern Visayas and Palawan. In addition to the pilot, the Subic Seaplane can carry up to three passengers with light luggage.
Smallest Haplorrhine in the World - Philippine Tarsier
photograph  Philippine tarsier, bohol, philippines, smallest primate
The smallest haplorrhine in the World ("haplorrhine" = somewhere between a monkey and a primate) is the Philippine tarsier; the Philippine tarsier is often described as the smallest primate in the World but this is not quite accurate. World records: The Philippine tarsier also holds the World record for the mammal with the largest eyes in the World - proportionate to body size. At just 12cm in length, its large eyes and soft, thick fur make it the cutest animal on the planet. Three suggested sub-species of tarsier occupy the islands of Samar, Leyte, Bohol and Mindanao. The most famous with tourists (Tarsius syrichta fraterculus) lives in the area of the 'Chocolate Hills' on Bohol Island. It is widely believed that to harm a tarsier will bring you bad health and great hardship in life; it is absolutely necessary to apologise to the spirits of the forest if you accidentally injure a tarsier. To get to the Chocolate Hills, fly to Tagbilaran airport, Bohol.
Largest Wildlife Sanctuary In The Philippines
The largest wildlife sanctuary in the Philippines is located on Calauit Island in Palawan. Calauit Island is unique in that it is home to both endangered, indigenous African and Philippine wildlife. There are more than 600 species of wildlife on Calauit Island, including the African giraffe, impala, topi, gazelles, eland and zebra, living side-by-side with Philippine species such as the Calamian deer, Palawan bearcat, Philippine mouse deer, tarsier, pheasant peacock, scaly ant-eater and monitor lizards. The island also provides a refuge to sea turtles, giant clams and the rare dugong. The nearest airport to Calauit Island is Busuanga / Coron airport.
World's Largest / Tiniest Sea Shell
There are 12,000 or so species of seashells in the Philippines. Both Tridacna gigas (one of the World's largest shells) and Pisidum (the World's tiniest shell) are found in Philippine waters. Tridacna gigas grows as large as one meter in length and weighs up to 600-pounds, while Pisidum is less than one millimeter long. The Conus Gloriamaris or "Glory of the Sea" is also found here and is the rarest and most expensive shell in the World.
Coral Species Found in the Philippines
Of the 500 known coral species in the World, 488 are found in the Philippines. One species (anacropora puertogalerae) is endemic to, and named after, the scuba diving mecca of Puerto Galera, Mindoro.
Sea Turtles Found In The Philippines
Of the eight species of marine turtles worldwide, five are found in the Philippines: the Green Sea Turtle, Hawksbill, Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Loggerhead.
Giant Clams Found In The Philippines
Of the eight known species of giant clams in the World, seven are found in the Philippines. You can get up close and personal with baby giant clams while snorkelling in Puerto Galera, Mindoro.
World's Largest Saltwater Crocodile
The World's largest saltwater crocodile in captivity was captured in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, Philippines on 4th September 2011. The male saltwater crocodile weighed 1,075 Kg at capture and measured 6.4 meters (21 feet) in length. The saltwater crocodile was hunted and caught after it was reported to have killed a carabao and attacked a local fisherman. This World Record saltwater crocodile will be held in captivity at a soon to be opened nature park near the town. Crocodile experts suggest that this animal is probably close to 100 years old. Crocodiles and their smaller cousins, caymen, were once widespread throughout the rivers and estuaries of the Philippines but are now extremely rare due to habitat loss and murder for profit.
Largest Bell In Asia
The largest bell in Asia hangs in the belfry of the 221-year old Panay Church, Panay, Capiz, Panay Island. It is 7-feet in diameter, 7-feet in height and weighs 10.4 tons. Its tolling can be heard as far as 8-kms away. The bell was cast from 70 sacks of coins, donated by the people of Panay town as a manifestation of their faith and thanksgiving. The nearest airport to Panay Town is at Roxas, Capiz.
Most Volcanoes Per Square Kilometer
Camiguin Island with the most volcanoes per square kilometer of any other island in the World. Camiguin's seven volcanoes also outnumber the island's five towns. For more about volcanoes in the Philippines read the MyCam Asia Travel Forum. The nearest airport to Camiguin Island is a short ferry journey away at Cagayan de Oro airport.
World's Rarest and Most Endangered Orchids
waling waling orchids, mindanao philippines
Waling Waling orchids (vanda sanderiana), flowering in Mindanao between July and November, are the rarest and most endangered in the World. With some 800 to 1,000 species of orchids, the Philippines has one of the richest orchid floras in the World. Philippine orchids come in an amazing array of shapes, sizes and colors. Most grow only in old-growth forest, often on branches of huge trees dozens of meters above the forest floor.
Philippines' Biggest Cave Formation
Calbiga Cave, Samar Island is the Philippines' biggest cave formation and one of the largest in Asia. The 2,968-hectare cave system is composed of 12 primary caves, with wide underground spaces, unique rock formations and subterranean watercourses. Fly to Tacloban aiport, on the neighbouring island of Leyte, for the fastest route to Calbiga Cave.
World's Largest Pearl
The World's largest pearl was found in the Palawan Sea, near Brooke's Point, in 1934. Known as either the "Pearl of Lao-Tzu" or "Pearl of Allah", it weighs 14 pounds and is 9 1/2 inches high by 5 1/2 inches in diameter. As of May 1984, it was valued at US$42 million. It is estimated to be 600 years old.
World's Second Steel Building
Basilica San Sebastian, quiapo, manila city Philippines
The Basilica of San Sebastian, in Quiapo, Manila City, is World's second steel building and was constructed between 1888 and 1900 from steel manufactured in the Societe Anonyme's foundry in Binche, Belgium. The stained glass windows were made in Germany, by Henri Oidtmann Company. The Basilica of San Sebastian is the only steel church in Asia and was the second building in the World to be made out of steel; the first being the Eiffel Tower in Paris; both the Basilica of San Sebastian and the Eiffel Tower were designed by Architect Gustav Eiffel. In 2006, UNESCO received the request to acknowledge the uniqueness of the Basilica of San Sebastian and accord it the status of World Heritage Site.
Biggest Catholic Church In East Asia
Basilica of St. Martin de Tours, in Taal, Batangas, was built by Augustinian missionaries in 1572 and is reputed to be the biggest Catholic church in East Asia. It is so large that it could house another large church inside.
Second Largest Bird In The World - Philippines Eagle
The Philippine Eagle (pithecophaga jefferyi) is the second largest bird in the World - its wing area is the largest of all eagles. Once pervasive throughout most southern islands its range is now limited almost exclusively to Mindanao. The Philippine Eagle Foundation - a breading centre for the Philippine Eagle - is located within Davao City.
Most International Sports Medals Won
Most International Sports Medals Won in Lawn Bowls
The most international sports medals won by any Team Philippines (2003-2009) were won by the Team Philippines - Lawn Bowls. During the period 2003-2009 no less than 100 international sports medals were won in lawn bowls competition around the World. This international sports achievement is even more surprising when you consider that there are only three outdoor lawn bowls rinks throughout the whole of the Philippines archipelago, at the: Nomad Sports Club in Parañaque, Metro Manila; Angeles Sports and Country Club in Angeles City, Pampanga; and, Coconut Grove Beach Resort in San Fernando, La Union. Category: Sports Trivia
World Records: Dragon Boat Racing
World Records Dragon Boat Racing Philippines in Prague
The World Record for Dragon Boat Racing, Premiere Open 200m category is held by Team Philippines. Team Philippines achieved the World Record during the 9th IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships held in Prague, Czech Republic, August 2009. World Records: The new World Record of 40.02 seconds actually beats the previous Premiere Open 200m category World Record set by Team Philippines in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Team Philippines paddled away from Prague with two gold medals and one silver medal in different Dragon Boat Racing categories. The World Record time of 4:57.13 for 1000 meters Men's Small Boat category is held by (Cobra) Team Philippines, set at the IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships in Tampa Bay, Florida, U.S.A., August 2011. Category: Sports Trivia
World Records: Manny Pacquiao Boxing Champion Eight Out Of Eight
World Boxing Champion best fighter pound-for-pound
Philippine boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, from Bukidnon, Mindanao, holds the World Record for the most boxing titles in the most catergories of boxing weights of any boxing champion in the World. Manny Pacquiao holds eight boxing champion titles in eight boxing weight categories. Boxing champion triumph number eight was the World Boxing Council Super Welterweight title crown, which he won when he out boxed (former champion) Antonio Margarito in November 2010, making Manny Pacquiao the undisputed pound-for-pound World boxing champion of all time. Catergory: Sports Trivia
World's Largest Catholic University
The University of Santo Tomas (UST), in Manila, is the World's largest Catholic University by enrollment. It was founded in 1611 making the University of Santo Tomas older than Harvard in the U.S.A.
World's Largest Bamboo Organ
The bamboo organ at St. Joseph Church, in Las Piñas City, is arguably the World's largest bamboo organ. The centuries-old musical instrument was constructed between 1792 and 1819. It has 174 bamboo pipes, 122 horizontal reeds of soft metal, a five-octave keyboard and 22 stops arranged in vertical rows. The Las Piñas Bamboo Organ Festival takes place every February.
World's Largest Archipelagos
the best white sand beach in the Philippines
The Philippines, with 7107 islands, is one of the World's largest archipelagos and has one of the longest combined coastlines in the World. The total length of the Philippine's coastline is 36,289 kilometers, almost twice that of the United States of America, making it the third longest coastline in the World after Canada and Indonesia. Fly to the Philippines today!
World's Largest Volume of Text Messages
World's largest volume of text messages: Smart Communications, one of the two major mobile phone networks in the country, claimed that the volume of text messages passing through its network reached 240 million daily, as of 2001. Such a volume of text messages is said to be larger than those sent in the entire European continent during the same year.
First Book Ever Printed In The Philippines
The first book ever printed in the Philippines was the bilingual "Doctrina Christiana", in 1593. This pre-dates the first book printed in the USA, "The Bay Psalm Book" (c.1640), by 47 years!
The Most Mangrove Species In The World
The Most Mangrove Species In The World
According to recent research the Philippines has the most mangrove species of any country in the World. There are 47 species of mangroves in the Philippines with the largest concentrations and greatest mangrove species diversity in Panay Island and the nearby islands of Negros, Mindoro and Bohol. Active mangrove replanting schemes for fisheries protection and coastal reinforcement are ongoing in almost all traditional mangrove areas throughout the archipelago.
World's Sweetest Fruit The Guimaras Mango
World's sweetest fruit: in 1995, the Guinness Book of World Records first listed the Guimaras Mango as the sweetest fruit in the World. This delicious mango is native to the Guimaras Island in the Visayas. Mangos rank third among production fruit crops in the Philippines, next to banana and pineapple. While other countries have different varieties of the tropical mango, none of them tastes as superbly delicious as the Guimaras mango. The nearest airports to Guimaras Island are a short ferry journey away at Iloilo and Bacolod.
Biggest Amateur Golf Tournament In The World
The Guinness Book of World Records also lists the prestigious Fil-Am Golf Championship, which has taken place in Baguio City every year since 1949, as the biggest amateur golf tournament in the World. The 72-hole golf tournament, played on the challenging par-69, 5,001-yard Camp John Hay golf course and the par-61, 4,038-yard Baguio Country Club course, attracts close to 1,000 amateur golfers from around the World each year. Category: Sports Trivia
Philippine Jeepney
philippine jeepney art work
The colourful jeepney is a post-war people-carrier inspired by the abandoned GI jeeps that the American soldiers brought to the Philippines in the 1940s. Filipinos salvaged the surplus engines and chassis to create a signature mode of transportation that is also frequently a unique work of art.
World's Largest Bat
The World's largest bat, the Giant golden-crowned flying fox (acerodon jubatus), is now found only in the Philippines, where it is endangered due to habitat loss and poaching. With a wingspan of 1.5 metres and weighing in at 1.2 kilograms it can fly up to 40-kms during a night, in search of its favourite food – ripe figs.
World’s Smallest Volcano
The World’s smallest volcano is Taal volcano in Batangas province, just South of Manila. Described as "a crater within an island within a lake", Taal volcano lies in the centre of Taal Lake - actually a caldera lake formed when the original, much larger, volcano blew itself to pieces eons before. The modern Taal volcano has a 406-meter high crater. The nearest airport to Taal Volcano is at Manila NAIA.
World's Only Fresh Water Sea Snake
The World's only sea snake (hydrophis semperi), that lives exclusively in freshwater, is indigenous to Taal Lake as is the World's only freshwater sardine (sardinella tawilis). It is believed that founding members of both species were stranded in the crater lake during Taal volcano's six-month long eruption in 1754, when Taal Lake (previously named Lake Bombon and previously brackish with seawater flushing) was cut off from Balayan Bay and the South China Sea. Centuries of rainwater have slowly reduced the salinity of Taal Lake to virtually zero but almost all the descendants of the seawater species have survived and evolved; the last shark in Taal Lake was recorded in the 1960s. The nearest airport to Taal Lake is at Manila NAIA.
The Most Indigenous Bat Species In The World
Mindoro stripe faced fruit bat, flying fox, Styloctenium mindorensis
The Philippine archipelago has the most indigenous bat species in the World. It has 26 indigenous bat species, the latest of which, a fruit bat or "flying fox", was discovered as recently as 2006 and only fully described in 2007. The stripe faced fruit bat (Styloctenium-mindorensis) is found on the island of Mindoro, 130km South of Manila. As a species, the Mindoro stripe faced fruit bat is separated from the only other living Styloctenium, (found in Indonesia) by the distinctive shape of its canine teeth. It is considered to be the closest living genus to a now extinct species of flying fox, known only from recently discovered (in 2008), ancient Aboriginal cave paintings, in the Kimberly region of northern Australia. The nearest airport to the home of the Mindoro stripe faced fruit bat is at San Jose, Oc. Mindoro.
Largest Fruit Bat Colony In The World
The Philippines hosts the largest fruit bat colony in the World. An estimated 1.8 million Geoffroy’s rousette fruit bats (Rousettus amplexicaudatus) occupy the Monfort Bat Cave (to a density of 645 bats per square meter) at the Monfort Bat Conservation Park on Samal Island. The Monfort Bat Conservation Park is a 30-minute journey from Davao International Airport to Samal Island and, a 10-minute drive to the Monfort Bat Cave once you are on Samal Island. Numerous other caves on Samal Island are home to a variety of bats but the Monfort Bat Cave is the most spectacular - be there at sundown for the emergence, to find out why.
Smallest Bat In The World
The smallest bat in the World is the Philippine bamboo bat (tylonycteris pachypus). When fully grown it is 4cm long, with a wingspan of 15cm and weighing 1.5 grams; the Philippine bamboo bat can be found in the rain forests surrounding Subic Bay and has recently been found roosting in Boljoon, on the island of Cebu. The nearest airport to Subic Bay is at Clark DMIA / Angeles City.
Smallest Island In The World
smallest island in the world
The smallest island in the World may not be the home of the Bishops Rock Lighthouse off the coast of Cornwall, in South West England, because the smallest island in the World was pictured just south of San Jose in Occidental Mindoro. Just large enough for a family of four and their banka boat, this island comprises a chunk of limestone rock surrounded by coral sand. This picture of the smallest island in the World was taken in May 2009 during the morning high tide and clearly shows the rock and the surrounding beach. The nearest airport to the smallest island in the World is San Jose airport, Oc. Mindoro
Smallest Hoofed Mammal In The World
The Philippines is also home the smallest hoofed mammal in the World - the Philippine mouse deer can be found in its native habitat on the Balabac Islands off southern Palawan. The nearest airport to the Balabac Islands is at Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
World's Shortest And Lightest Freshwater Fish
The World's shortest and lightest freshwater fish is the dwarf pygmy goby (pandaka pygmaea), a colorless and nearly transparent species found in the streams and lakes of Luzon. Males have an average length of 8.7 mm. and weigh 4-5 mg
Longest Narrowest Navigable Strait In The World
The San Juanico Strait, dividing the Visayan islands of Leyte and Samar, is the longest narrowest navigable strait in the World. The San Juanico Bridge spans the San Juanico Strait, just North of Tacloban city, Leyte; the San Juanico Bridge joins Leyte Island to Samar Island. The nearest airport to the San Juanico Strait and the San Juanico Bridge is at Tacloban, Leyte.
Philippines' Oldest Known Works Of Art
ancient rock art, angono petraglyphs, rizal, philippines
The Angono Petroglyphs are the Philippines' oldest known works of art, dated to around 3,000BC. At Angono, more than one hundred individually carved petroglyph figures, easily distinguished as turtles, lizards and people, decorate the entrance and walls of a small cave complex. The site of the petroglyphs in Rizal province, close to Metro Manila, has been included in the World Inventory of Rock Art under the auspices of UNESCO, ICCROM and ICOMOS. In Maitum, Sarangani, Mindanao, the oldest art appears on burial pots, dating from around 100AD. The burial pots, found in the Sagel and Ayub Caves, appear to have the faces of the dead occupants painted on them, complete with in-life expressions and mannerisms. Thorough analysis and determination of the pots and the tribe that used them has not been completed but the discovery of human feces in the same location should allow DNA matching to ancient and modern populations.
World's Smallest Oil Painting
The World's smallest oil painting can be found in the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila City. The oil-on-canvas painting measures just 3/8" wide and 1/4" high and is titled "The Harvest". This work of art was completed by Filipino artist Norris Castillo and is one of around 10,000 pieces he has painted. Norris's smallest artwork measures just 3/8" by 3/16" and is currently believed to be in the hands of a collector in Sweden.
Oldest City in the Philippines
Cebu City is the oldest city in the Philippines and the site of the first Catholic mass celebrated in the country -- on 31st March, 1521. Fly direct to Cebu City from almost anywhere in Asia via the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Oldest Golf Club in the Philippines
Iloilo Golf and Country Club, Iloilo City, Panay Island, is the oldest golf club in the Philippines. It was completed in 1908 by Irish engineers and rapidly became a centre of recreation for the 'sugar barons' from both Panay and Negros islands. The nearest airport to the Iloilo Golf and Country Club is the all new international Iloilo Airport. Category: Sports Trivia
Origin of the Word Boondocks
The word "boondocks," which is now a part of the English language, dictionary and vocabulary (referring to a remote and or unsophisticated locale), comes from the Tagalog word "bundok," meaning "mountain". United States Forces personnel brought the expression to the rest of the English-speaking world following tours of duty in the Philippines during the 20th century.
Third Largest English-speaking Country
The Philippines is statistically the third largest English-speaking country in the world, in terms of population, after the US and the UK.
Largest Population Of Whale Sharks In The World
photograph, whale shark, Donsol, Sorsogon, Philippines
The largest population of whale sharks in the World can be found in the crystal clear waters of Donsol, a fishing town in Sorsogon province, southern Luzon. The whale sharks congregate every year off Donsol, starting in November and remaining in the area until May. Donsol is sanctuary to a group of 40 whale sharks that return regularly every year. Whale sharks grow to between 18 and 35 feet, weigh up to 20-tons and are considered the largest fish in the World. Donsol whale sharks have become a popular tourist attraction, happily swimming with free divers and snorkellers -- our greater understanding of the whale shark means that no-scuba diving allowed. The best way to get to Donsol is to fly from Manila, the nearest airport to Donsol is Legaspi airport, Albay province.
Most Chillies Eaten
Filipino Eriberto N. Gonzales Jr. consumed 350 chillies in three minutes at the annual Magayon Festival chili-eating contest held at Penaranda Park, Legazpi, Albay, on May 27, 1999, making it to the Guinness Book of World Records for the most chillies eaten.
Ranked 12th In The World
The Philippines is ranked 12th in the World in terms of population with a population more than 92,600,000 - putting it just in front of Vietnam and just behind Mexico and Japan.
First Suspension Bridge In Asia
Completed in 1978, the Magapit Suspension Bridge near Tuguegarao City, Cagayan Valley, was the first suspension bridge in Asia. It spans the Cagayan River at Lallo and is 0.76 kilometers long. The Magapit Suspension Bridge links the first and second districts of Cagayan, for travellers going towards the Ilocos Region via the scenic Patapat Road on the Ilocos Norte-Cagayan Inter-Provincial national highway. The nearest airport to the Magapit Suspension Bridge is Tuguegarao airport, Cagayan Valley.
Most Beautiful Cone Shape Mayon Volcano
perfect cone volcano, mayon volcano, albay, philippines
Mayon volcano, in the southern Luzon region of Bicol, is renowned for its most beautiful cone shape and challenges Mount Fuji in Japan for the claim of perfection - the reason Mayon Volcano should win the claim is that Mount Fuji is actually a collection of three volcanoes whereas Mount Mayon has created her perfect cone shape all alone. Mayon Volcano is also the most active volcano in the Philippines since records began. Mayon volcano erupts regularly, causing widespread damage to the surrounding countryside. The nearest airport to Mayon volcano is at Legaspi airport, Albay province.
Largest lake in the Philippines - Lake Lanao
Lake Lanao, in Mindanao, is the second largest and second deepest lake in the Philippines. The largest lake in the Philippines is Laguna de Bay (950 sq.km. area), immediately West of Metro Manila; the deepest lake in the Philippines is Lake Mainit (223 metres deep), also on the island of Mindanao. Lake Lanao is home of 18 endemic fish species, including cyprinids (locally "cryprinids"), found nowhere else in the World. Lake Lanao is one of 15 Ancient Lakes around the World, meaning it has existed for more than one million years. Lake mythology tells that the hole in the Earth that Lake Lanao now fills was excavated by the Gods in order to stop the Earth from wobbling. The nearest airport to Lake Lanao is Cotabato airport, Cotabato City.
The Philippines Longest And Widest River
The Cagayan River or Rio Grande de Cagayan is the Philippines’ mightiest watercourse – the longest and widest river in the country. Small streams, originating from Balete Pass, Cordillera, Caraballo and Sierra Madre Mountains, meet other streams and rivers and flow into the Cagayan River in the northern province of Cagayan Valley. The nearest airport to the Cagayan River is at Tuguegarao airport, Cagayan Valley.
The 3500km Maharlika Highway
The 3500km Maharlika Highway, also known as the Pan Philippine Highway, runs the entire length of the Philippines, from Laoag City, via Cagayan Valley in northern Luzon, to Davao City in Mindanao. The Maharlika Highway is travelled using a combinations of roads, bridges and ferry services.
Philippine Scenic Highways
Twenty-six areas in Luzon and seven areas in the Bicol region, the Visayas and Mindanao have been designated Philippine Scenic Highways, all with comfortable amenities for the traveller.
Philippines' Largest National Park
The Sierra Madre National Park in northern Luzon is the Philippines' largest national park. The more than 476000-hectare park (approx. 4850 sq.km.) is the home of endangered species such as the "pawikan" (Green Sea Turtle - chelonia mydas), bayakan or giant bat, Philippine eagle (pithecophaga jefferyi), wild boar (sus philippinesis), Philippine brown dear (cervus marianus), cloud rat (ratus mindorensis), flame-breasted fruit dove, kalaw (Philippine hornbill - buceros hydrocorax), bukarot (Philippine crocodile - crocodylus mindorensis) and native owl. The nearest airports to the Sierra Madre National Park are at Cauayan, Isabela province and Tuguegarao airport, Cagayan Valley province.
World's Largest Grouping Of Marine Life
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The Tubbataha Reefs in the Sulu Sea, is considered the World's richest bio-geographic area. It was declared the Philippines' first national marine park in 1988 and contains what is believed to be the World's largest grouping of marine life, per unit area. More than 300 coral species and over 40 families & 379 species of fish have been recorded in the area of the Tubbataha Reefs. Among the species identified in the area are manta rays, sea turtles, sharks, tuna, dolphins and jacks. In 1993, UNESCO listed Tubbataha Reefs as a World Heritage Site. The nearest airport to the Tubbataha Reefs is at Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
Boracay Beach The 10-Best Beaches In The World
Boracay Beach has been acclaimed as one of the 10-best beaches in the World. Its fine, talcum powder sand beaches and tranquil, crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming, sailing, fishing, scuba diving and sunbathing. Boracay Island lies at the northwest tip of Panay Island, in the west Visayas region. The nearest airport to Boracay Beach is Caticlan Boracay airport.
Cloud Nine Top-10 Surf Breaks In The World
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Siargao Island, off the northeast coast of Mindanao, is famous for its white sand beaches and surfing breaks, comparable to Hawaii and Bali. Siargao's Cloud Nine break is said to be among the top-10 surf breaks in the World; best surfed August through November. The nearest airport to Cloud Nine is on Siargao Island itself. Category: Sports Trivia
UNESCO World Heritage Site
UNESCO has listed four Philippine sites and four churches as a World Heritage Site. The sites are: the historic city of Vigan, provincial capitol of Ilocos Sur; the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan; the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park in the Sulu Sea; and, the Banaue rice terraces in the Cordillera Mountains. The churches are: Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church, built in 1786 in Miag-ao, Iloilo; the Nuestra Se dela Asuncion, in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur; the San Agustin Church, built in 1587 in Intramuros, Manila; and, the Church of San Agustin, in Paoay, Ilocos Norte.
Eighth Wonder Of The World Banaue Rice Terraces
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The Banaue Rice Terraces are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and have been dubbed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". The native Ifugaos carved the terraces from the rocky mountain sides of Banaue, about 4,000-feet above the sea level, hundreds of years ago. The total outline of this architectural wonder, also known as the "stairways to the sky" is about 13,500 miles (21,725km) long or more than half the Earth's circumference, and ten times the length of the Great Wall of China.
 
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