Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Random Facts about The Philippines and Filipinos

  • The Filipinos were introduced to the English language in 1762 by British invaders, not Americans.
  • Philippines is the world's 3rd largest English-speaking nation, next to the USA and the UK.
  • The world’s longest underground river system accessible to man can be found at the St. Paul National Park in the province of Palawan.
  • Filipinos celebrate the world’s longest religious holiday. The Christmas season begins on September 1st, as chillier winds and Christmas carols start filling the air, and ends on the first week of January, during the Feast of the Three Kings.
  • The popular toy, the yoyo, was invented by 16th century hunters in the Philippines.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The largest fish in the world, the Whale Shark, locally known as Butanding, regularly swims to the Philippine waters.
  • 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.
  • Of the 500 known coral species in the world, 488 are found in the Philippines.
  • Of the eight species of marine turtles worldwide, five are reported to be found in the Philippines: the Green Turtle, Hawkbill, Leatherback, Olive Ridley, and Loggerhead.
  • Of the eight known species of giant clams in the world, seven are found in the Philippines.
  • The Basilica of San Sebastian is the only steel church in Asia and was the second building to be made out of steel, next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  • 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.
  • Calbiga Cave – The Philippines’ biggest karst formations and one of the largest in Asia, the 2,968-hectare cave system is composed of 12 caves with wide underground spaces, unique rock formations and sub-terranean watercourse.
  • 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
  • Philippine Airlines took to the skies on March 15, 1941, using a Beech Model 18 aircraft amid the specter of a global war. It became Asia's first airline.
  • The world's second deepest spot underwater is in the Philippines. This spot, about 34,440 feet (10,497 meters) below the sea level, is known as the Philippine Deep or the Mindanao Trench. The Philippine Deep is in the floor of the Philippine Sea. The German ship Emden first plumbed the trench in 1927.
  • The symbolic name for the Philippines, Juan dela Cruz, is not a Filipino invention... It was coined by R. McCulloch-Dick, a Scottish-born journalist working for the Manila Times in the early 1900s, after discovering it was the most common name in blotters.
  • Both Tridacna gigas, one of the world's largest shells, and Pisidum, the world's tiniest shell, can be found under Philippine waters. Tridacna gigas grows as large as one meter in length and weighs 600 pounds while Pisidum is less than 1 millimeter long. A shell called glory of the sea (Connus gloriamaris) is also found in the Philippines and considered as one of the most expensive shells in the world.
  • World's Smallest Hoofed Mammal - South of Palawan, lies the Balabac Island, home of the world's smallest hoofed mammal - the Philippine mouse deer. Locally known as Pilandok (Tragalus nigricans), this ruminant stands only about 40 centimeters at the shoulder level.
  • The Philippines is home to some of the world's most exotic birds. One of the most endangered species is the exotic Kalangay or the Philippine cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), which belongs to Psittacidae or the family of parrots. Some cockatoos can live up to 50 years. They are known for mimicking human voices. Most of them measure 33 centimeters in length and weigh 0.29 kilogram.
  • One of the world's most dangerous road is said to be in the Philippines: The Halsema Highway in Northern Luzon.

1 comments:

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