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 PINOY TRIVIA

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hogwarts201
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PostSubject: Re: PINOY TRIVIA   Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:11 pm




Is the Pandaca pygmea, or dwarf goby, of the Philippines still the smallest fish in the world?
Not anymore. The new title-holder is another puny goby: the Trimmatom nanus of the Chagos archipelago in the central Indian Ocean. It's 0.33 inch in length, just slightly smaller than the Pandaca pygmea. Both are no bigger than an ant.
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PostSubject: Re: PINOY TRIVIA   Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:12 pm



What is Imelda Marcos' shoe size?
8
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PostSubject: Re: PINOY TRIVIA   Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:12 pm



Who were the first Filipinos to gain international fame?
Not Jose Rizal or Emilio Aguinaldo as many people are inclined to think . The honor belongs to a pair of artists: Juan Luna and Felix R. Hidalgo. They earned the gold and silver medals at Madrid's National Exposition of Fine Arts in 1884. Luna won for his Spolarium; Hidalgo for Christian Virgins Exposed to the Mob.
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PostSubject: Re: PINOY TRIVIA   Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:21 pm




Only in the Philippines


Richest Biodiversity
A great number of rare and exotic animals exist only in the Philippines. The country's surrounding waters reportedly have the highest level of biodiversity in the world. But this distinction was soon overshadowed by the fact that the Philippines has been dubbed as the "hottest of the hotspots" by no less than the Conservation International.

The Philippines is considered as a mega diversity country and a global biodiversity hotspot. In the 2000 Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), 418 of the country's 52,177 species were listed as threatened. The country is home to about 9,000 species of flora, a third of which is said to be endemic to the country. It hosts 165 species of mammals, 121 of which can be found only in this part of the world. The Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Priority-setting Program (PBCPP) described these 165 endemic mammal species as endangered or critically endangered.

There are also 332 species of reptiles and amphibians living in the country, 215 of them endemic to the archipelago. It is said that less than 14 of the 114 total species of snakes in the country are poisonous. Several species of frogs and other reptiles remain to be documented. Unfortunately, several species were believed to have vanished without being studied.

In 1953, Albert Herre identified 2,117 species of fish in Philippine waters. These included 330 species of endemic freshwater fish. Whales, dolphins and whale sharks have also been visiting Philippine waters near the islands, allowing sightings by both marine scientists and commercial fishermen. About 500 of the 800 known coral reef species in the world are found in Philippine waters.

The country also has the highest concentration of birds and butterflies in the world. There are some 86 species of birds and 895 species of butterflies in the country. About 352 species of butterflies are endemic to the Philippines.

Many of these biological wonders are now in danger. The main culprit is human's indiscriminate use of the country's natural resources, resulting in an unabated denudation of the Philippine rainforests. In the last 500 years, the Philippines saw the destruction of over 93 percent of its original forest cover. Only about 5 percent of the country's 27,000 square kilometers of coral reefs were in excellent condition.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the country's total forest size dwindled to 6.7 million hectares in 1990 from 30 million hectares in 1930. At the same time, the forest-to-man ratio shrank to 0.1 hectare per Filipino in 1990 from 1.13 hectares per Filipino in 1930. By 1996, experts claimed that only 1.8 million to 2.4 million hectares or 6 to 8 percent of original vegetation were remaining.

A study by the Philippine Congress said that 123,000 hectares of the country's forest cover are lost every year. The study added that by 2036, there would be no forest left in the Philippines, unless reforestation is started.

In January 2003, a study by the Green Tropics International (GTI) claimed that the Philippines would need P30 trillion to reforest country's denuded mountains in over 85 years.

Rhinoceros and Elephants
With the discovery of different animal fossils in the past century, scientists believed that elephants, rhinoceros and stegodons used to live in the Philippines. Two species of elephants and one species of rhinoceros were identified, namely: Elaphas beyeri, Elaphas cf. namadicus and Rhinoceros philippinensis. Four species of stegodons were also listed by scientists, namely: Stegodon cf. trigonocephalus, Stegodon luzonensis, Stegodon cf. sinensis and Stegodon mindanensis. All of them are now believed extinct.

One of the World's Largest Eagles
Also known as the monkey-eating eagle, the endangered Philippine eagle is one of the largest in the world. With scientific name Pithecophaga jefferyi, the Philippine eagle lives in the rainforests of Isabela, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. It has similarities with Papua New Guinea's Harpy Eagle (Harpyopsis novaeguinea).

Measuring about one meter in height, the average Philippine eagle has a 76-centimeter highly arched, powerful bill. It lives on large snakes, hornbills, civet cats, flying lemurs and monkeys - the reason why it is also called monkey-eating eagle. It creates its nests in large trees some 30 meters from the ground.

With an estimated population of 100 to 300 today, the Philippine eagle is in danger of extinction. It is one of the 400 exotic bird species in the Philippines, which, if not protected, would disappear from the face of the Earth. Along with the Philippine cockatoo, Palawan peacock pheasant, Mindoro imperial pigeon, Sulu hornbill and Cebu black shama, the Philippine Eagle might follow the Cebu flowerpecker which is now presumed extinct.

The Philippine Eagle has come to symbolize all efforts by the Filipino people to save the remaining rainforests in the country and preserve the wealth of the nation for the future generation.

Flying Lemur
One of the most distinct creatures on Earth lives in the Philippines. It doesn't have wings but it can glide across 100 meters of space in a single leap. Like the lemurs of Asia, it moves around at night. Its head resembles that of a dog while its body has similarities with the flying squirrel of Canada.

In Mindanao, people call it "kagwang". Around the world, it is known as colugo or the flying lemur. Zoologists, however, claim that it doesn't fly and it is not a lemur, a large-eyed nocturnal mammal found only in Madagascar and Comoro Islands. The truth is that kagwang or Cynocephalus volans is one of only two species belonging to the primitive order Dermoptera. The other species is the Cynocephalus variegatus or the flying lemur of Malaysia.

An ordinary kagwang weighs from 1 to 1.7 kilogram and ranges in length from 14 to 17 inches. It has a wide head with small ears and big eyes. Its 12-inch tail is connected by a patagium, a membrane stretching from forelimbs to tail. This well-developed membrane enables kagwang to glide to a distance of 100 meters or more to escape from predators like the Philippine Eagle.

The continuous denudation of tropical forests in the country threatens the remaining population of kagwang, which used to abound in the wilderness of Basilan, Leyte, Samar, Bohol and Mindanao. The exact number of the remaining kagwangs remains to be determined. Alarmed by the situation, the Philippine government declared kagwang as an endangered species and banned its commercial exploitation.

Largest and Smallest Bats
The Philippines has at least 56 species of bats. It is home to the smallest and the largest bats among the 1,000 known species in the world.

The smallest bat in the world is the Philippine bamboo bat (vespertilionid), which belongs to the vespertilionid family. This bat measures about four centimeters (1 1/2 inches) in length and has a wingspan of 15 cm. Approximately, it weighs 1.5 grams (1/20 ounce).

The three-layered virgin forest of Subic Bay and Bataan is home to the world's largest bats: the giant flying fox (Acerodon jubatus) and the golden crown flying fox (Pteropus vampyrus). Over the years, these two species of giant fruit bats have roamed around the 10,000-hectare Subic Forest National Protected Area, which is considered the biggest roosting site of bats in the world.

An ordinary giant flying fox weighs up to 2.5 pounds (1.1 kilograms), heavier than a golden crown flying fox. The golden crown measures six feet in wingspan, the largest among all bats. The giant flying fox and the golden crown are just two of the 15 species of fruit bats in the country.

In other parts of the country, several bat species are now believed extinct. Among them were bare-backed fruit bat or Dobsonia chapmani, which reportedly disappeared from the forests of Negros and Cebu in 1964 and the Panay fruit bat or Acerodon Lucifer which was last seen in 1892. The Philippine tube-nosed bat, Nyctimene rabori of Negros is considered highly endangered. Scientists warned that this breed would disappear before 2015 unless action is taken to protect its remaining population.

Last Remnants of Dinosaur Age
Scientists call sea turtles as the only living remnants of the dinosaur age, but maybe not for long. Unless sincere efforts are undertaken, sea turtles might follow dinosaurs into extinction.

Sea turtles, popularly known in the Philippines as pawikan, belong to the sub-order Cryptodira, and to the families Dermochelyidae and Cheloniidae. There are more than 220 species of turtles in the world, but only seven are considered marine (saltwater). Five of these species are present in the Philippines, namely: Green (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), Loggerhead (Caretta caretta), Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) and Leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea).

A typical Philippine Sea Turtle weighs between 180 to 210 kilograms and, unlike land turtles, cannot retract its head and limbs under its streamlined shell. The most common species in the Philippines is the Green Sea Turtle, which grows up to 1.5 meters long and weighs up to 185 kilograms. The largest species is the Leatherback Turtle, which grows more than two meters in length.

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.

In other countries, it is called chevrotain, or simply mouse deer. Contrary to its name, pilandok is not a member of the deer family. It belongs to the family Tragulidae in the mammalian order Artiodactyla. The male species has no antlers like those of a real deer. Instead, it uses its large tusk-like canine teeth on its upper jaw for self-defense; in the same way a deer uses its antlers.

Aside from the Pilandok, other mouse deer species include the Malay mouse deer or napu and the African water chevrotain. They are found in Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, and India. While the mouse deer are widely distributed across Asia, their dwindling population has alarmed the World Conservation Union, which declared them as endangered in 1996.

Most Endangered Deer
One of the world's rarest mammals lives in the dwindling forest of Panay Island. It is the Philippine spotted deer (Cervus alfredi), considered by many as the most endangered deer in the planet.

The Philippine spotted deer is only about 80 centimeters in height (shoulder) and has soft and moderately long hair covering its spotted dark brown body. Its most distinct physical characteristic is its oval yellowish white spots on its back and sides. This species has long been classified as endangered, which means they have been reduced in number to a critical level, or whose habitats have been damaged, altered or reduced.

By 1985, a survey reported that only a small population of the Philippine spotted deer was found in the remote regions of Panay.

Calamian Deer
Calamian Islands, north off Palawan province, keep a species of deer that cannot be found elsewhere. Scientists referred to the hog deer in the islands as Calamian deer in order to distinguish them from other hog deer in the world.

An ordinary Calamian deer measures 105 to 115 centimeters in length and 60 to 65 centimeters high at the shoulder and weighs about 36 to 50 kilograms. It is said to have longer and darker legs, compared with other hog deer. From a relatively large number in the 1940s, the population of Calamian deer dropped to "dangerously low levels" in the 1970s. By 1996, its population further declined to only about 900, prompting conservationists to declare it as an endangered species.

Largest Endangered Animal
People used to call Mindoro as the "Land of the Tamaraws". About 10,000 heads of these unique pygmy water buffalos were roaming around the island-province of Mindoro in the 1900s. But that was a century ago. Today, the Tamaraws in the province are in danger of extinction, and Mindoro might lose the symbol that it once proudly introduced to the world.

The Tamaraw, scientifically known as Bubalus mindorensis, is endemic to Mindoro. Belonging to the family of buffalos, the same categorical group of the Philippine carabao, the Tamaraw is the largest endangered land animal in the Philippines today. In 1996, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed it as one of the ten most endangered species in the world.

The Tamaraw measures between five to six feet in length and weighs about 300 kilograms. While it shares many similarities with the carabao, the Tamaraw is most known for its horns, with a "V" form, unlike the horns of the carabao, which take a curved shape. The Tamaraw's horns grow about 14 to 20 inches long.

From 10,000 heads in the 1900's, the Tamaraw population went down to 369 heads in the late 1980's. Today, reports say there are as few as 20 heads roaming in the wild.

World's Smallest Monkey
In many respects, the Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) is different from other animals. Considered as the world's smallest primate, it measures only about twelve centimeters in length. Its two big eyes cannot move and do not have a tapetum - the upper protective tissue. Because of this, the Philippine tarsier has learned to turn its head 180 degrees. It has also two grooming claws on each foot and an almost bald tail extending about nine inches.

Found in the islands of Samar, Leyte, Bohol and Mindanao, the Philippine tarsier got its name from its elongated tarsus bone. An ordinary tarsier weighs between 117 and 134 grams. It is able to move between trees by leaping as far as three meters. It also has keen senses of hearing and sight.

Today, there are only about 1,000 tarsiers inhabiting the wilds of Corella town in Bohol province where the biggest concentration of these rare animals was once reported. Ensuring the continued existence of the Philippine tarsiers is the Philippine Tarsier Foundation Inc.

Neither A Bear Nor A Cat
Palawan bearcat is neither a bear nor a cat. Known in Southeast Asia as binturong, the bearcat is a species of its own, with population in the forests of Palawan, Borneo, Burma and Vietnam. It belongs to the family of Viverridae (civets).

The Palawan bearcat has a long body and a pointed face leading to the nose. Its head and body measure 61 to 96 centimeters in combined length while its tail is almost as long. It weighs 9 to 14 kilograms and lives up to 20 years.

It has thick black fur, which hunters use for making clothes and caps. It is usually awake at night when it finds food and uses its tail to climb tall trees where it hides among the leaves. Like other wild animals, Palawan bearcat's population is threatened by human activities.

Endangered Cockatoos
The Philippines is home to some of the world's most exotic birds. Scientists have documented 577 bird species around the Philippine archipelago. Of this number, 185 species are endemic to the country. The Bird Life International listed 116 of them as "threatened" or "near-threatened".

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.

The remaining population of kalangays, between 1,000 and 4,000, is now restricted to Palawan, particularly in St. Paul's Subterranean River National Park, Pandanan Island and El Nido Marine Reserve.

World's Largest Fish
Donsol, a fishing town in Sorsogon province, serves as a sanctuary to a group of 40 whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), which are considered as the largest fish in the world.

Locally known as "butanding", whale sharks visit the waters of Donsol from November to May. They travel across the oceans but nowhere else have they been sighted in a larger group than in the waters of Sorsogon. They measure between 18 to 35 feet in length and weigh about 20 tons. In 1996, a marine biologist discovered that whale sharks are ovoviviparous, which means that the females produce live offspring from eggs hatched in the uterus.

The Philippine government declared whale sharks as endangered species in 1998, thereby banning its plunder and exploitation. Right now, the Department of Tourism is promoting eco-tourism to protect the whale sharks in Donsol.

World's Smallest Fish
The world's smallest freshwater fish is found in the Philippines. The dwarf goby (Pandaka pygmaea) measures 1.2 centimeters or less than half of an inch, the tiniest known vertebrate. American Ichthyologist Albert Herre first discovered it in Malabon River in 1925.

The Philippines is also the home of sinarapan, the world's smallest commercial fish. Sinarapan, scientifically known as Mistichthys luzonensis, is a goby found only in Lakes Bato and Buhi in Camarines Sur province. Sinarapan grows to an average length of 1.25 centimeters, only slightly longer than the dwarf goby. Today, unabated fishing in the two lakes threatens the population of sinarapan.

Herbivorous Marine Mammal
Dugongs or sea cows, the only herbivorous marine mammals, are often sighted in Philippine waters, particularly near Palawan province and southern Mindanao.

According to marine scientists, an ordinary dugong grows up to three meters in length and weighs 400 kilograms. It feeds on sea grass so it always reaches for the bottom of the sea. Whether dugong's appetite has something to do with its long life remains to be verified. It is said that a dugong can live more than 70 years. The Philippine government has banned the commercial exploitation of dugong since 1991.

Exotic Seahorses
More than 500 of the world's 700 coral species are found under the waters of the Philippines, which is a part of the Coral Triangle - a region in the Pacific Ocean.

Seahorses are small saltwater fish belonging to the Syngnathidae family (order Gasterosteiformes), which also includes pipefish and sea dragons. Most seahorse species, probably the most peculiar creatures in the water, live in the Coral Triangle. There are at least 50 known seahorse species in the world. They inhabit temperate and tropical waters but most of them are concentrated in the warm coastal waters of the Philippines.

The seahorse's scientific genus name, Hippocampus is a Greek word, which means, "bent horse." Seahorses range in length from about 2 inches to 14 inches. They are known for their small compressed body covered with 50 rectangular body plates. At least 47 nations and territories around the world are involved in buying and selling seahorses. The largest known importers are China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Among the largest exporters is the Philippines.

Largest and Smallest Shells
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 Largest Reptile
The saltwater crocodile, which can be found in the Philippines and other Asian countries, is considered as the world's largest reptile. Scientifically known as Crocodylus porosus, it is different from Mindoro's freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis), which is a relatively smaller species.

An adult saltwater crocodile measures between six to seven meters (20-23 feet) and weighs about two to three tons. There were tales that a 27-foot saltwater crocodile was killed near Lake Taal in Batangas in 1823. It reportedly took 40 men to bring the body ashore. When the men cut the crocodile's body open, they found the body of a horse in seven pieces. The largest crocodile ever sighted was a 33-footer in Borneo in 1920. It was believed to be 200 years old.

Endemic Plants
The Philippine archipelago also teems with different types of plants. It is said that as many as 9,000 flowering plants can be found in the country, including 200 fruit trees. Among the endemic fruit trees in the Philippines are durian, mabolo, pili and bignay.

They Were Vanishing
Vanishing were not only the animals endemic to the Philippines, but also several things and cultural traditions that Filipinos in the 1950s grew up with. Among the items that are no longer found in the Philippine market are bakya, banig and salakot (If you still remember them). Bahay kubo is also disappearing in towns and barangays and it would be hard to find a house, with a batalan today. Who still observe cultural traditions like harana, bayanihan and balagtasan. And where did the makata go?
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PostSubject: Re: PINOY TRIVIA   Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:26 pm



Philippine World Records


The Leaf Musician
He became famous around the world for his distinct talent. The Guinness Book of World Records has recognized Filipino National Artist Levi Celerio as the only man who could play beautiful music with a leaf.

Celerio appeared in "That's Incredible" and the Mel Griffin show where he played music with a leaf. The Guinness Book of World Records said: "The only leaf player in the world is in the Philippines". As a composer and lyricist, Celerio wrote more than 4,000 songs.

The Woman With 3,400 Shoes
Former First Lady Imelda Marcos was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the woman with the largest collection of shoes. Reports said that when the Marcos family fled to Hawaii during the People's Power Revolution in 1986, around 3,400 pairs of shoes were discovered in one room at Malacanang Palace. They were the First Lady's collection.

In 1987, Mrs. Marcos denied this and claimed she had only 1,060 pairs of shoes. The former First Lady has an eight-and-a-half inch footwear size. She said her having many shoes is not a symbol of extravagance but an expression of love and appreciation for Filipino-made shoes. Most of her shoes, she added, were bought from Marikina, the shoe capital of the Philippines. For this, Marikina City had acquired 200 pairs of the Marcos shoes and put them on display at the city's shoe museum.

Largest Loot in History
Much has been said about the late President Ferdinand Marcos being the world's richest man. While this title was not officially designated to Marcos, the late dictator, however, was known as the man who took away the largest loot in history. While deposed President Joseph Estrada faces plunder charges for allegedly amassing some US$82 million in kickbacks and payoffs during his 31-month stint at Malacanang Palace, Marcos had reportedly stolen billions of dollars. There were different versions of the fabled Marcos wealth.

The fabled Marcos wealth reportedly consists of billions of dollars and tons of gold bullions deposited in several banks in Switzerland. Government lawyers claimed that Marcos had used dummy foundations to hoard his wealth. Among such foundations that the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) had identified are Sandy, Xandy, Wintrop, and Rayby.

Former Senate President Jovito Salonga, who served as the first PCGG chairman under the Aquino administration said the agency had identified 51 Marcos bank accounts in Switzerland, 23 of which are in Credit Suisse; 3 at Swiss Bank Corporation in Fribourg; 15 in Swiss Bank Corporation in Geneva; 6 at Banque Paribas in Geneva; 3 at Hoffman in Zurich; and one each at Lombard Odeii and Trade Development Bank in Geneva.

According to former Solicitor General Francisco Chavez, the Marcos family still keeps some US$13.4 billion in deposits at the Union Bank of Switzerland under the account of Irene Marcos-Araneta, on top of a hoard of 1.241 tons of gold at an underground bunker at Kloten Airport in Zurich. Chavez also disclosed that former First Lady Imelda Marcos has 800,000 ounces of gold in unfrozen accounts in Switzerland.

Before this, Australian private investigator Reiner Jacobi, who served as a PCGG consultant in 1989, had unraveled the so-called Irene Araneta account and even went to the extent of claiming that the Marcoses had a US$250-billion gold hoard in Switzerland. The PCGG, however, described Jacobi's claims as exaggerated and too fantastic.

In October 1999, Filipino businessman Enriquez Zobel, a known crony of the late president told a Senate committee that the Marcos wealth could have swollen to US$100 billion in gold and dollar deposits, the bulk of which is deposited with the US Treasury. In his sworn testimony, Zobel said the Marcos wealth is distributed to gold deposits, dollar accounts, and real estate properties located in various parts of the world.

The Marcos gold deposits alone, Zobel said, may have reached US$35 billion. Zobel had also mentioned the US$13.4 billion Irene Marcos Araneta account at the Union Bank of Switzerland. The gold bars are allegedly kept in various banks in Portugal, Vatican City, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Solomon Island, and the US. Zobel said Marcos obtained the gold bars after the Liberation (1946) from the Yamashita treasure and from soldiers who sold their gold bars for only US$20 per bar. Another version was that of Rogelio Roxas who claimed that Marcos' men seized the real golden buddha from his house at Aurora Hills in Baguio City on April 5, 1971. The buddha reportedly costs billions of dollars.

In February 2001, the Philippine Daily Inquirer disclosed the alleged attempt of Irene Marcos Araneta to launder billions of dollars in deposits under the 885931 accounts from Union Bank of Switzerland to Deutsche Banks in Dusseldorf, Germany. Aside from the Marcos family and the Philippine government, the 9,539 victims of human rights under the Marcos regime have interest in the Marcos wealth.

World's Largest Shoes
In December 2002, the Guinness Book of World Records has recognized Marikina City for crafting the world's largest pair of shoes - each measuring 5.5 meters (18.2 feet) long, 2.25 meters (7.4 feet) wide and 1.83 meters (six feet) high. The materials for the P1.2 million pair of shoes could produce 250 pairs of regular shoes.

World's Largest Golf Event
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the biggest amateur golf tournament takes place in Baguio City, Philippines every year. Dubbed as the Fil-Am Golf Championship since 1949, the 72-hole golf tournament attracts close to 1,000 amateur golfers from all over the archipelago. The sites of the prestigious event are the challenging par-69, 5,001-yard Camp John Hay golf course and the par-61, 4,038-yard Baguio Country Club. Among the top contending teams in the event are the Canlubang, Southwoods, Calatagan, and Wack Wack.

World's Largest Synchronized Aerobics Exercises
On February 16, 2003, some 107,000 Filipinos joined a 30-minute aerobics exercise supervised by the Department of Health (DOH) at Rizal Park in Manila, which could be the largest synchronized exercise in the world. Thousands of people also gathered at different venues in Cebu City and Davao City to participate in the exercise simultaneous with the Manila event. The new record broke the previous Guinness Book of World Records set at a park in Guadalajara, Mexico by some 38,633 people who joined the massive aerobics exercises in June 1998.

World's Largest Lantern
On December 24, 2002, the city of San Fernando in Pampanga province switched on the world's largest Christmas lantern - a P5-million structure with 26.8 meters in diameter.

World's Fastest Reader
As a student at the Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, Maria Teresa Calderon became the world's fastest reader. She set the record of having read 80,000 words per hour.

Sili King
The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes Eriberto Gonzales of Camalig, Albay as the fastest chili eater. In the Philippines, he is known as the "Sili King". Gonzales accomplished his feat in the "Sili-Eating Challenge 1999" in Bicol where he ate 350 pieces of sili in three minutes. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)

World's Best Finance Minister
In 1997, Roberto de Ocampo who was serving in the Cabinet of former President Fidel Ramos, was recognized as the "World's Best Finance Minister" for overhauling the country's tax system through the Comprehensive Tax Reform Package.

World's Best Central Bank Governor
In October 2002, international magazine Global Finance named Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Rafael Carlos B. Buenaventura as one of the world's two best central bankers for "his remarkable skill in guiding" the Philippine economy under a trying year. The other central banker named was Reserve Bank of Austalia (RBA) Governor Ian MacFarlane.

World Young Business Achievers
In 1995, Joseph Donato Pangilinan, president of Manila Pearl, won the World Young Business Achiever Award (WYBA) in London. In 1997, Renato Pangilinan, chief executive officer of Juventus International won the Entrepreneurship Award in Newfoundland, Canada. In 1998, Andrew James Masigan, founder of Dimsum n' Dumpling won the Award of Excellence in Business Strategy.

World's Sweetest Fruit
What can be considered as the world's sweetest mango is produced in the island province of Guimaras. While other countries have different varieties of the tropical mango (Mangifera indica), none of them tastes like the superbly delicious Guimaras mango, which is a variety of the popular Carabao Mango (Manginera indica).

In 1995, the Guinness Book of World records listed the Carabao Mango as the sweetest fruit in the world. In the Philippines, mango ranks third among fruit crops in production, next to banana and pineapple. The country supplies mangoes to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and recently the United States. In 1995, the Philippines produced 432,322 metric tons of mangoes, with an average production of 6.35 metric tons per hectare and 250 kilograms per tree from a total production area of 68,056 hectares.

World's Largest Legal Tender
In 1998, during the Philippine Centennial celebration of independence, the Central Bank asked the Guinness Book of World Records to accredit its P100,000 commemorative bills, measuring 8 ½ inches wide and 14 inches long, as the world's largest legal tender. The commemorative bills were called Brobdingnagian bills.

World's Largest Bamboo Organ
The bamboo organ at St. Joseph Church in Las Pinas 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.

World's Largest City
The residents of Davao City claim they live in the world's largest city. They are talking about the land size of the city that covers 2,212 square kilometers. Most of these areas, however, are distributed as forests, coconut groves and rice fields. In comparison, New York, the largest city in the United States, has an area of only 787 square kilometers while the whole of Metro Manila covers only 636 square kilometers.

Davao City lies at the mouth of the Davao River near the head of Davao Gulf. It encompasses about 50 small ports in its commercial sphere. Davao has large banana plantations, whose produce are exported to Japan and other countries. The city also boasts of a modern international airport. Puerto Princesa City, a chartered city of Palawan province, is disputing Davao City's title. It claims to have a total land area of 2,539 square kilometers encompassing 66 barangays.

In terms of population and land area, the world's truly largest cities are Tokyo, Mexico City, Sao Paolo, New York City, Bombay, Shanghai and Los Angeles.

World's Largest Volume of Text Messages
Smart Communications, one of the two giant mobile phone networks in the country, claimed that the volume of text messages passing through its network reached 240 million daily as of 2001. This excluded text messages sent via the other networks. Such volume of text messages is said to be larger than those sent in the entire European continent during the same year.

World's Largest High School
The Rizal High School in Caniogan, Pasig City (eastern Metro Manila) is said to be the world's largest high school in terms of student population. The school has more than 20,000 students.

World's Longest Barbecue
On April 30, 2002, about 50,000 people participated in the "Kalutan ed Dagupan" festival in Dagupan City (Pangasinan province, Northern Luzon, Philippines) to help grill and partake of the 1,001-meter long barbecue, that broke the previous World Record of 613 meter-long barbecue grilled in Canchia, Peru on November 13, 1999.

The people of the city used hundreds of grills, each measuring 1.2-meter long, to cook the barbecue. The grills' total measure was about 800 meters long, enough to surpass the Peruvian record. The barbecue consisted of bangus (milkfish), pork, chicken, vegetables and cold cuts. A video footage was sent to the Guinness Book of World Records for validation. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)

World's Largest Flower
In February 2002, an environmental organization discovered what could be one of the world's largest flowers in the 5,511-hectare Sibalom National Park in Antique province. Measuring about 22 inches in diameter, the endangered flower, locally named as "Uruy", (Rafflesia sp.) has no stem and leaves. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)

World's Largest Salad
The residents of Baguio City took pride in having tossed what was believed to be the world's largest salad - a three-ton mix of assorted vegetables.

On September 29, 2002 during the Tossed Salad Festival in commemoration of the city's 93rd charter anniversary, 67 students and members of the Baguio Association of Hotels and Inns (Bahai) mixed 2,976 kilograms of lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers and other vegetables in a tin and wrought iron bowl measuring 20 feet long, 10 feet wide and 2 feet deep.

Some 13,657 people were able to partake of the P1.5 million mixtures. They paid P20 for each serving of the tossed salad with Thousand Island dressing and another take-out bowl of salad with a gourmet vinaigrette dressing consisting of apple cider vinegar and olive oil.

The city broke its own record set a year earlier. On September 16, 2001, a 917-kilogram of salad was able to feed 4,861 residents and tourists of Baguio City. On September 14, 2002, a religious group prepared a giant Caesar's salad that fed only 1,000 people in Salt Lake City, Utah.

World's Largest Durian Candy Bar
On March 15, 2002, 25 people in Davao City spent six hours to cook, mold and roll the world's largest durian candy bar - a 6-meter, 200-kilogram delicacy made of durian, a smelly but sweet fruit commonly associated with the name of the city. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)

World's Longest Mat
The people of the agricultural town of Basey, Samar own the distinction of having weaved the world's longest mat, or "banig" in the local parlance. During the town's Banigan-Kawayan Festival on September 29, 2000, hundreds of people paraded the mat, which extended for more than a kilometer.

The one-meter wide mat has been weaved for several weeks by groups of people from the different barangays of Basey. While the mat was not submitted as an entry to the Guinness Book of World Records, Basey Mayor Wilfredo Estorninos described the feat as a source of pride for all Basaynons.

Each year, the town, which has weaving as its prime industry, comes to life when it celebrates outlandishly the feast of St. Michael, its patron saint. The highlight of the feast is the Banigan-Kawayan Festival, where the women of Basey weave a variety of intricately designed mats from sedge grass locally known as tikog (Fimbristylis milliacea). This tradition was handed down from many generations. The Church of Basey was built in 1864.

World's Largest Pearl
A Filipino diver discovered what is now described as the world's largest pearl 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 ½ inches long and 5 ½ inches in diameter. As of May 1984, it was valued at US$42 million. It is believed to be 600 years old.

World's Largest Covered Coliseum
At the time it was completed in 1959, the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City was touted as the world's largest covered entertainment center. Otherwise known as the Big Dome, it has a floor area of 2,300 square meters and a seating capacity of 33,000 people.

One of the World's Best Hotels
In 1983, British magazine Executive Travel named Manila Hotel as one of the ten best in the world while Business Traveler, another British publication named it as one of the top ten business hotels in the world in 1986. In 1992, the Institutional Investor magazine called Manila Hotel as the world's best hotel and in 1993, the Vienna-based Treasury Publishing included it in the list of the most famous hotels in the world.

Among the many political luminaries and celebrities who have stayed at the Manila Hotel were Ernest Hemingway, General Douglas McArthur, Marlon Brando, Helen Keller, John Wayne, Rocky Marciano, Richard Nixon, Robert Kennedy, Emperor Akihito, John Rockefeller, Dwight Eisenhower, Neil Armstrong, Anatoly Karpov, Bob Hope, Henry Kissinger, Princess Margaret, Brooke Shields, John Denver, Bon Jovi, Ben Kingsley, Richard Attenborough, Julio Iglesias, Richard Cheney, Garri Kasparov, Sultan Bolkiah, Rod Stewart, Nick Price, Greg Norman, Arnold Parmer, Bill Clinton, Helmut Kohl, Nelson Mandela and Prince Charles. (Source: Panorama magazine)

One of the Best Banks
Global Finance, a financial magazine in the US, named the Bank of Philippine Islands, the oldest bank in the country, as the best domestic bank in emerging markets in 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2001. Emerging markets refer to developing economies, mostly in Asia.

Asia's Best Business School
The Makati-based Asian Institute of Management (AIM) is richly considered as one of the top business schools in Asia. In the year 2001, it received the Beyond Grey Pinstripes Award for having MBA programs that integrate social, environmental and sustainability topics into business training. The award is a joint project of The Aspen Institute Initiative for Social Innovation through Business (Aspen ISIB) and World Resources Institute.

Influential Businesswoman
In its 2002 list, US-based Fortune Magazine ranked Teresita Sy-Coson, a daughter of Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. and executive vice president of SM Prime Holdings, as the world's 39th most influential woman in international business outside the United States. The SM Prime Holdings is a conglomerate engaged in retail, real state, manufacturing, banking and finance.

World's Second Most Devastated City
The late US President and General Dwight Eisenhower described Manila as the world's second most devastated city during World War II, next to Warsaw, Poland which was reduced to ruins by the Nazi's attack. Before he became president, Eisenhower served in the Philippines under General Douglas Macarthur from 1935 to 1939.

Second Largest Geothermal Power Source
As of 2002, the Philippines was producing about 1,765 megawatts of geothermal energy, making it the world's second largest geothermal power user after the United States. The Department of Energy said the country could edge out the US at the top by installing a new geothermal power plant with a 900-megawatt capacity.

World's Third Largest Banana Producer
The Philippines is considered as the world's third largest producer of bananas, after Costa Rica and Ecuador. Large plantations in southern Mindanao produce most bananas exported by the Philippines. Some 30,000 hectares in the region are planted to bananas.

The Philippines is also one of the largest producers of coconut, cassava, mango, pineapple, tilapia, tuna, shrimps, and prawns.
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PostSubject: Re: PINOY TRIVIA   Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:29 pm



Pinoy Who's Who



Abadilla, Alejandro - poet; 1904-1969
Abelardo, Nicanor - composer; San Miguel, Bulacan; 1893-1934
Abueva, Napoleon - sculptor; Bohol; 1930
Aglipay, Gregorio - religious leader; Ilocos Norte; 1860-1940
Agoncillo, Felipe - nationalist; Taal, Batangas; 1859-1941
Aguinaldo, Emilio - president and general; Kawit, Cavite; 1869-1964
Alcala, Larry - cartoonist; Daraga, Albay; 1926-2002
Amorsolo, Fernando - painter; Manila; 1892-1972
Antonio, Pablo - architect; Balanga, Bataan; 1901-1974
Aquino, Benigno -senator and martyr; Concepcion, Tarlac; 1932-1983
Aquino, Corazon Cojuango - president; Luisita, Tarlac; January 25, 1933
Aquino, Francisca Reyes - culture and dance researcher; Bocaue, Bulacan; 1899-1983
Aquino, Melchora - nationalist; Kalookan; 1812-1919
Arguilla, Manuel - writer; Bauang, La Union; 1910-1944
Arcellana, Francisco - short story writer; Manila; 1916-2002
Arroyo, Gloria Macapagal - president; Manila; April 5, 1947
Avellana, Lamberto - film director; Bontoc, Mountain Province; 1915-1991
Balagtas, Francisco - poet; Balagtas, Bulacan; 1788-1862
Baraquio, Angela Perez - beauty queen; Hawaii; June 1, 1976
Bernal, Ishmael - film director; Manila; 1938-1997
Blanca, Nida - film actress; Gapan, Nueva Ecija; 1936-2001
Bonifacio, Andres - nationalist; Manila; 1863-1897
Brocka, Lino - film director; Pilar, Sorsogon; 1939-1991
Buenaventura, Antonino - composer; Baliuag, Bulacan; 1904-1996
Bulosan, Carlos - writer; Pangasinan; 1911-1956
Cayetano, Benjamin - governor of Hawaii; November 14, 1939
Celerio, Levi - poet and songwriter; Manila; 1910-2002
Constantino, Renato - historian; 1919-1999
Cuenco, Ernani - composer; Malolos, Bulacan; 1936-1988
Dagohoy, Francisco - nationalist; Bohol; 1744-1829 (revolt)
De Jesus, Gregoria - nationalist; Kalookan; 1875-1943
De Jesus, Jose Corazon - poet; Sta. Maria, Bulacan; 1896-1932
Dela Rama, Honorata "Atang" - actress; Pandacan, Manila; 1902-1991
De Leon, Felipe - composer; Penaranda, Nueva Ecija; 1912-1992
De Leon, Gerardo - film director; Manila; 1913-1981
Delos Santos, Efipanio - writer and nationalist; Malabon; 1871-1928
Del Pilar, Gregorio - nationalist and general; Bulacan; 1875-1899
Del Pilar, Marcelo - journalist and nationalist; Bulacan, Bulacan; 1850-1896
De Ocampo, Roberto - finance secretary and banker; Manila; January 10, 1946
De Venecia, Jose Jr. - House speaker; Dagupan City; December 26, 1936
Edades, Victorio - painter; Pangasinan; 1895-1985
Estrada, Joseph - president; Manila; April 19,1937
Enrile, Juan Ponce - senator and defense minister; Gonzaga, Cagayan; February 14, 1924
Felipe, Julian - composer; Cavite City; 1861-1941
Flavier, Juan - senator and barrio doctor; Manila; June 23, 1935
Francisco, Carlos - painter; Angono, Rizal; 1913-1969
Fuentes, Jovita - opera singer; Capiz, 1895-1978
Garcia, Carlos - president; Talibon, Bohol; 1896-1971
Gokongwei, John Jr. - business tycoon; Cebu City; July 4, 1926
Gonzalez, N.V.M. - writer; Romblon, Romblon; 1917-1999
Goquingco, Leonor Orosa - writer and dancer; Jolo, Sulu;
Guerrero, Fernando Ma. - nationalist; Manila; 1873-1929
Guerrero, Wilfredo Ma. - scriptwriter; 1910-1995
Guingona, Teofisto - vice-president; San Juan, Metro Manila; July 4, 1928
Hernandez, Amado - poet; San Miguel, Bulacan; 1903-1970
Hidalgo, Felix Resureccion - painter; 1853-1913
Jacinto, Emilio - nationalist; Tondo, Manila; 1875-1899
Jaena, Graciano Lopez - nationalist and editor; Jaro, Iloilo; 1856-1896
Jaworski, Robert - senator and basketball player; Baguio City; March 8, 1946
Joaquin, Nick - writer; Manila; May 4, 1917
Jose, F. Sionil - writer; Rosales, Pangasinan; December 3, 1924
Kasilag, Lucrecia - composer; San Fernando, La Union; August 31, 1819
Kiukok, Ang - painter; Davao City; March 1, 1931
Laurel, Jose P. - president; Tanauan, Batangas; 1891-1959
Legaspi, Cesar - painter; Tondo, Manila; 1917-1994
Locsin, Leandro - architect; Silay, Negros Occidental; 1928-1994
Luna, Juan - painter and nationalist; Badoc, Ilocos Note; 1857-1899
Luz, Arturo - painter; Manila; November 29, 1926
Mabini, Apolinario - nationalist; Tanauan, Batangas; 1864-1903
Macapagal, Diosdado - president; Lubao, Pampanga; 1910-1997
Maceda, Jose - composer; Manila; January 31, 1917
Magsaysay, Ramon - president; Iba, Zambales; 1907-1957
Manansala, Vicente - painter; Macabebe, Pampanga; 1910-1981
Marcos, Ferdinand - president; Sarrat, Ilocos Norte; 1917-1989
Mariano, Eleanor - physician and US general; Angeles City; 1955
Molina, Antonio - composer; Manila; 1894-1980
Nakpil, Juan - architect; Manila; 1899-1986
Natorie, Josie - fashion designer; Manila; 1947
Navarro, Jerry Elizalde - painter; 1924-1999
Nepomuceno, Rafael - bowling champion; January 30, 1957
Ocampo, Hernando - painter; Manila; 1911-1978
Ople, Blas - senator; Bulacan; February 3, 1927
Osmena, Sergio - president; Cebu City; 1878-1961
Pagkalinawan, Cecilia - IT executive in New York; Manila; 1969
Palma, Jose - poet and songwriter; 1876-1903
Perez, Eugenio - congressman; San Carlos, Pangasinan; 1896-1957
Pimentel, Aquilino - senator; Claveria, Misamis Oriental; December 11, 1933
Ponce, Mariano - nationalist; Baliuag, Bulacan; 1861-1918
Puyat, Gil - nationalist; Manila; 1907-1981
Quezon, Manuel - president; Baler, Tayabas; 1878-1944
Quirino, Elpidio - president; Vigan, Ilocos Sur; 1890-1956
Quizon, Rodolfo (Dolphy) - film actor and comedian; Pampanga; July 25, 1928
Ramos, Fidel - president; Lingayen, Pangasinan; March 18, 1928
Reyes, Severino - playwright; 1861-1942
Rizal, Jose - poet, novelist and martyr; Calamba, Laguna; 1861-1896
Roco, Raul - senator and education secretary; Naga City; October 26, 1941
Romulo, Carlos - UN president and journalist; Camiling, Tarlac; 1899-1985
Roxas, Manuel - president; Roxas City, Capiz; 1892-1948
Salonga, Jovito - senate president and nationalist; Rizal; June 22, 1920
Salonga, Lea - stage actress; Manila; February 22, 1971
San Pedro, Lucio - composer; Angono, Rizal; 1913-2002
Santiago, Miriam Defensor - senator; Iloilo City; June 15, 1945
Santos, Jose Abad - statesman and nationalist; San Fernando, Pampanga; 1886-
Santos, Lope - novelist and linguist; 1879-1963
Silang, Diego - nationalist; Ilocos Sur; 1730-1763
Silang, Gabriela - nationalist; Ilocos Sur; 1731-1763
Sin, Cardinal Jaime - Catholic archbishop; Aklan; August 21, 1928
Sycip, Washington - businessman; Manila; January 30, 1921
Tiempo, Edith - writer; Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya; April 22, 1919
Tinio, Rolando - playwright; Manila; 1937-1997
Tizon, Alex - journalist; Pampanga; 1958
Tolentino, Aurelio - playwright; 1868-1915
Tolentino, Guillermo - sculptor; Malolos, Bulacan; 1890-1976
Urtula, Lucrecia Reyes - dancer; Calamba, Laguna;
Valencia, Teodoro - journalist; Tanauan, Batangas; 1913-
Veneracion, Andrea - choirmaster; Manila; June 11, 1928
Vergara, Benito Sibug - scientist; Manila; June 23, 1934
Villa, Jose Garcia - poet; Manila; 1909-1997
Villa, Pancho - boxing champion; Iloilo; 1901
Villar, Manuel Jr. - senator and real estate magnate; Las Pinas City; December 13, 1949
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PostSubject: Re: PINOY TRIVIA   Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:31 pm




Smallest in the Philippines


World's Smallest Volcano
Taal Volcano, a 406-meter-high crater, is said to be the world's smallest volcano. It is described as "a crater within an island within a lake" because it stands as an island at Taal Lake. The lake was formed after the volcano, which used to be much larger, collapsed. The ridges around Tagaytay City, which overlooks the lake, are believed to be part of the crater of the old volcano.

These ridges now serve as the border of the 18-mile-diameter Taal Lake and stretch 32 kilometers from Mount Batulao to Mount Sungay. Also considered as one of the world's most active volcanoes, Taal Volcano has erupted over 20 times since 1572.

Smallest Bat in the World
The Philippines has at least 56 species of bats. It is home to the smallest among the 1,000 known bat species in the world.

The smallest bat in the world is the Philippine bamboo bat (vespertilionid), which belongs to the vespertilionid family. This bat measures about four centimeters (1 1/2 inches) in length and has a wingspan of 15 cm. Approximately, it weighs 1.5 grams (1/20 ounce).

Smallest Mammal in the World
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.

In other countries, it is called chevrotain, or simply mouse deer. Contrary to its name, pilandok is not a member of the deer family. It belongs to the family Tragulidae in the mammalian order Artiodactyla. The male species has no antlers like those of a real deer. Instead, it uses its large tusk-like canine teeth on its upper jaw for self-defense; in the same way a deer uses its antlers.

Aside from the Pilandok, other mouse deer species include the Malay mouse deer or napu and the African water chevrotain. They are found in Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, and India. While the mouse deer are widely distributed across Asia, their dwindling population has alarmed the World Conservation Union, which declared them as endangered in 1996.

Smallest Monkey in the World
In many respects, the Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) is different from other animals. Considered as the world's smallest primate, it measures only about twelve centimeters in length. Its two big eyes cannot move and do not have a tapetum - the upper protective tissue. Because of this, the Philippine tarsier has learned to turn its head 180 degrees. It has also two grooming claws on each foot and an almost bald tail extending about nine inches.

Found in the islands of Samar, Leyte, Bohol and Mindanao, the Philippine tarsier got its name from its elongated tarsus bone. An ordinary tarsier weighs between 117 and 134 grams. It is able to move between trees by leaping as far as three meters. It also has keen senses of hearing and sight.

Today, there are only about 1,000 tarsiers inhabiting the wilds of Corella town in Bohol province where the biggest concentration of these rare animals was once reported. Ensuring the continued existence of the Philippine tarsiers is the Philippine Tarsier Foundation Inc.

Smallest Fish in the World
The world's smallest freshwater fish is found in the Philippines. The dwarf goby (Pandaka pygmaea) measures 1.2 centimeters or less than half of an inch, the tiniest known vertebrate. American Ichthyologist Albert Herre first discovered it in Malabon River in 1925.

The Philippines is also the home of sinarapan, the world's smallest commercial fish. Sinarapan, scientifically known as Mistichthys luzonensis, is a goby found only in Lakes Bato and Buhi in Camarines Sur province. Sinarapan grows to an average length of 1.25 centimeters, only slightly longer than the dwarf goby. Today, unabated fishing in the two lakes threatens the population of sinarapan.

Smallest Shell in the World
Pisidum, the world's tiniest shell, can be found under Philippine waters. Pisidum measures less than 1 millimeter long.

Smallest Town in Terms of Population
The town of Kalayaan, a group of small islands in the Pacific Ocean west of Palawan province, had the smallest population among municipalities at 223 as of 2000.

Smallest Painting in the Philippines
Miniaturist Norris Castillo created what is perhaps the smallest piece of painting in the country. Known as "the Harvest", the oil-on-canvas painting measures 1/4 inches in width and 3/8 inches in length. It is now exhibited at the National Museum. Castillo claimed that he has created more than 10,000 pieces of painting. (Source: Panorama magazine)

Smallest Province in the Philippines
The smallest province in the Philippines is Batanes, with only a total land area of 209 square kilometers.
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PostSubject: Re: PINOY TRIVIA   Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:41 pm



Philippine Natural Wonders



Third Longest Coastline
The Philippines, one of the world's largest archipelagos, also has one of the longest combined coastlines in the planet. The total length of the country's coastlines is 36,289 kilometers or almost twice that of the United States. It is said to be the third country with the longest combined coastlines, after Canada and Indonesia. With 7,107 islands, the Philippines lies between two great bodies of water, namely: on the east by Pacific Ocean, the world's largest ocean and on the west by South China Sea, the world's second largest sea after Caribbean Sea.

Eighth Wonder of the World
The Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao province has been dubbed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". The Ifugaos carved the terraces from the rocky mountain of Banaue, about 4,000 feet above the sea level, hundreds of years ago. The total outline of this architectural wonder, otherwise known as the "stairways to the sky" is about 13,500 miles long, or about half the globe's circumference and ten times the length of the Great Wall of China.

To preserve the natural beauty of the spot, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared it as a world heritage site. "For 2,000 years, the high rice fields of the Ifugao have followed the contours of the mountain. The fruit of knowledge passed on from one generation to the next, of sacred traditions and a delicate social balance, they helped form a landscape of great beauty that expresses conquered and conserved harmony between humankind and the environment," the UNESCO said.

World's Deepest Spots
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 world's deepest part of the ocean is the Marianas Trench, which is over 11,000 meters below the seal level.

Nearly Perfect Cone
Mayon Volcano in Albay province has the distinction of having a nearly perfect cone. Towering at a height of 2,462 meters above the sea level, Mount Mayon overlooks Legaspi City. Its name, derived from the Bicolano term Magayon, means beautiful and is associated with a folk legend. The volcano has a base circumference of 62.8 kilometers. Geologists claimed that the stratovolcano developed its cone shape from a pile around the vent of volcanic materials composed of lava, rock and ash. Its first eruption was recorded in 1616, and there were at least 47 more eruptions since then, the last one in February, 2000. In 1911, its eruption killed 1,300 people and buried the town of Cagsawa.

World's Smallest Volcano
Taal Volcano, a 406-meter-high crater, is said to be the world's smallest volcano. It is described as "a crater within an island within a lake" because it stands as an island at Taal Lake. The lake was formed after the volcano, which used to be much larger, collapsed. The ridges around Tagaytay City, which overlooks the lake, are believed to be part of the crater of the old volcano. These ridges now serve as the border of the 18-mile-diameter Taal Lake and stretch 32 kilometers from Mount Batulao to Mount Sungay. Also considered as one of the world's most active volcanoes, Taal Volcano has erupted over 20 times since 1572.

Animal Sanctuary
Located northwest off Palawan mainland is Calauit Island, a 3,700-hectare wildlife sanctuary that serves as a host to African and Philippine wildlife. The Philippine government developed the sanctuary in response to an appeal by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to save the endangered animals. The only one of its kind in the Philippines, Calauit is home to over 600 species of giraffe, impala, topi, gazelles, eland, and zebra and to Philippine endangered species such as the Calamian deer, Palawan bearcat, Philippine mouse deer, tarsier, pheasant peacock, scaly ant-eater and monitor lizard. The island also provides a refuge to sea turtles (pawikan), giant clams and the rare seacow or dugong.

Largest Natural Park
The Sierra Madre national park in northern Luzon is the country's largest natural park. The 359,000-hectare park is the home of endangered species such as pawikan (Chelonia mytas), 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), bukarot (Philippine crocodile), and native owl.

Richest Marine Park
The Tubbataha Reefs in Sulu Sea is considered as the world's richest bio-geographic area. Derived from two Samal words meaning, "long reef exposed at a low tide", Tubbataha was declared as the country's first national marine park in 1988. The marine park covers 33,200 hectares and contains what is believed to be the world's largest grouping of marine life, per unit area. Scientists claimed that more than 300 coral species, and at least 40 families and 379 species of fish were recorded in the area. Among the species identified in the area were manta rays, sea turtles, sharks, tuna, dolphins and jackfish. In 1993, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed Tubbataha Reefs as a world heritage site.

Finest Beach Resort
Widely known as one of the world's finest beach resorts, Boracay Island has unsullied fine talcum powder-sand beaches. Its tranquil crystal clear waters are perfect for swimming, sailing, fishing and sunbathing. The island also affords visitor a magnificent view of sapphire seas and golden sunsets. The island lies at the northwest tip of Panay, in the west Visayas region, off the Sibuyan Sea.

Siargao Island
Siargao Island, lying east of Surigao del Norte province, boasts of white-sand beaches and surfing waves comparable to that of Hawaii. The island is a mass of tropical land with scores of reefs, points and white beaches. American surf photographer John Callahan discovered the remarkable waves of the island in 1993. He came back from his trip armed with stories about the lovely sun-drenched island and documented his find with beautiful photographs. Siargao's Cloud Nine break is said to be among the best in the world.

Longest Cave
The 15-kilometer St. Paul Cave in Palawan province is considered as the longest natural cave in the country. Other notable caves in the Philippines are the 8.9-kilometer Odloman Cave in Mabinay, Negros Oriental; and the 7.7-kilometer Odessa Tumbali Cave in Penablanca, Cagayan. In terms of vertical range, the deepest cave is the Sumaging-Latipan-Lomyang Crystal Cave in Sagada Mountain Province. Its deepest point is 163 meters from its mouth.

World's Longest Underground River
Palawan's St. Paul's underground river is said to be the world's longest underground river. The navigable part of the river inside the cave of the 4000-acre St. Paul Subterranean River stretches 8.2 kilometers in length (5 miles). However, this title is being disputed in Vietnam where an underground river known as Son Trach River reportedly extends 7 miles in length. Filipino explorers, however, claimed that once fully measured, St. Paul total length would reach 15 kilometers.

Longest River
Cagayan River or Rio Grande de Cagayan, with a total length of 353 kilometers, is the longest and widest river in the Philippines. It bisects the Cagayan Valley from north to south. Also considered as the mightiest watercourse, Cagayan River sources its water from smaller rivers and streams in the mountain ranges of Sierra Madre, Caraballo, Cordillera, and Balete Pass. This river meets the South China Sea in an impressive expanse known as Aparri Delta. The other notable rivers in Luzon are Chico, Abra, Pampanga, and Bicol. In the south, the principal rivers are Mindanao (known in its upper course as the Pulangi) and Agusan. Meanwhile, the underground river of St. Paul's Natural Park in Palawan is considered as one of the world's longest subterranean rivers. The world's longest rivers are the Nile River in Egypt and Amazon River in South America. Also worth mentioning are the Yangtze River in China, Mekong River in Vietnam, and Euphrates River in Iraq.

Highest Mountain
Towering at a height of 2,954 meters (9,692 feets), Mount Apo is the highest peak in the country. Located 25 kilometers south of Davao City, the mountain which forms part of the Mount Apo National Park is blessed with hot springs, sulfur pillars, geysers, lakes, rivers and waterfalls. It is home to a number of endemic animals such as the Philippine eagle, falconet and mynah. Its peak can be reached on a four-day hiking trip. Apo means "grandfather of all mountains". Scientists classify it as a semi-active volcano. Materials from previous eruptions have made the soil around the mountain extremely fertile. The mountain's base covers 72,796 hectares of mountain ranges that extend from Davao del Sur to Misamis Oriental. While the mountain's peak looks snow-capped, the white appearance is actually caused by the presence of sulfur.

Longest Mountain Range
The longest mountain range in the country is Sierra Madre, which stretches from Cagayan province in northeastern Luzon to Aurora province in southern Tagalog.

Highest Waterfalls
The highest waterfall in the country is the 388-meter-high Aliwagwag Falls, in Cateel town, Davao Oriental province. The cascade has 13 rapids and looks like a stairway with 84 steps of varying heights.

The second highest waterfall is located in Barangay Rogongon, 54 kilometers from Iligan City. Limunsudan Falls, a two-tiered fall, has a combined height of 870 feet. Its lower cascade alone measures 400 feet, higher than the entire height of Maria Cristiana Falls.

Maria Cristina Falls, also in Iligan City (Lanao del Norte), towers at 320 feet. Also known as the "Mother of Industry", Maria Cristina Falls supplies 80 percent of the total energy requirement of the Mindanao region. Another breathtaking waterfall in Iligan City is the Tinago Falls, located 13 kilometers from the city proper. As its name implies, this 420-foot waterfall lies hidden in a deep ravine. The world's highest waterfall is the Angel Falls in Venezuela. As a tributary of Caroni River, this waterfall has a total elevation of 3,281 feet.

Largest Lake
Laguna de Bay, an inland body of water covering 900 square kilometers, is the country's largest lake. Located between the provinces of Rizal and Laguna, the lake receives its water from 21 river systems. In the middle of the lake lies the island of Talim, a heavily populated settlement of mostly fishermen. The second largest lake in the country is Lake Sultan-Alonto in Mindanao. Commonly known as Lake Lanao, the lake covers an area of 355 square kilometers. Meanwhile, the world's largest inland body of water is the Caspian Sea, which is actually a lake in the boundary of Europe and Asia and covering an area of 143,240 square miles. Lake Superior (North America), Lake Victoria (Africa), the Aral Sea (Russia) and Lake Huron (North America) are also among the world's largest lakes.

Towering Cliffs
The towering limestone cliffs of El Nido that rise magnificently from the crystal clear waters of South China Sea amidst verdant backdrop are among the most astonishing pictures one can see in the Philippines. El Nido, a secluded group of islands west off Palawan province, is also known as a sanctuary of endangered birds and marine animals.

World Heritage Sites
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has included four places and four Catholic churches in the Philippines in the list of world heritage sites. These include the historic town of Vigan in Ilocos Sur province, which is known for its Spanish colonial houses; the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan province, which boasts of the world's longest underground river; the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park also in Palawan, which is home to over 300 coral species and 400 species of fish; and the rice terraces in Ifugao province, which cover about 20,000 hectares of the Cordillera mountain range.

The four Catholic churches also included in the list of world heritage sites are the Santo Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo, which the Agustinians built as a fortress-church in Baroque-Romanesque style on a hill in 1786; the Nuestra Se? dela Asuncion in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, which is located on a hill surrounded by a stone wall; the San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila, which was built as early as 1587; and the Church of San Agustin in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, which was made of coral stone and was adorned like an Asian temple.

Signatory to Environmental Pacts
The Philippines is a signatory to the following international environmental agreements: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, and Wetlands (Source: US Central Intelligence Agency)
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