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Philippine Trivia
Interesting Facts You Should Know

1. Doctrina Christiana is the first book published in the Philippines, was published in 1593, by the Dominican press. Because of the monopoly of printing presses by religious orders prior to the 19th century, early written literature was predominantly religious in content and in purpose.

2. The first women's magazine in the Philippines was El Hogar (The Home), which first came out in 1893.

3. The first Filipino immigrants to the United States (1850) settled in Louisiana.

4. Emilio Aguinaldo lost to Manuel L. Quezon in the country's first presidential elections in 1935.

5. The largest crocodile ever captured in the Philippines (1823) was found in Laguna de Bay.

6. Fort San Pedro was the nucleus of the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines.

7. Farmers' Market Foodome is the largest restaurant in the Philippines (in Quezon City).

8. Cesar Virata is the first and last Prime Minister of the Philippines after WW II.

9. The Cagayan River, the Philippines longest river, originates in Nueva Vizcaya.

10. Aimee Carandang is the first Filipina to become a commercial plane pilot.

11. The oldest Philippine university for women is Centro Escolar University.

12. Jose P. Laurel has the most children (7) among the Philippine presidents.

13. Eva Estrada Kalaw is the first Filipina to be elected senator twice, in 1965 and in 1971.

14. The first modern building in the Philippines is considered to be the Crystal Arcade in Escolta, completed in 1932.

15. Aurora is the only Philippine province named after a first lady.

16. The biggest game preserve and wildlife sanctuary in the Philippines is located on Calauit Island in Palawan.

17. The most translated Philippine poem is Mi Ultimo Adios.

18. The Philippine mammal with the biggest eyes in relation to its body is the tarsier.

19. Bagumbayan was the original name of Luneta Park.

20. Iniibig and gawa are the first and last words of Panatang Makabayan.

21. The Presidential Saber is awarded to the top graduate of the Philippine Military Academy.

22. The original Philippine flag, sewn in Hong Kong in 1898, was made of silk.

23. Gen. Tomas Karingal was the first assassinated victim of the NPA's Alex Boncayao Brigade.

24. Frank Murphy was the last American governor-general of the Philippines.

25. After the United States, the Philippines have the most Boys Scouts.

26. After Happy Birthday, the song most sung in the Philippines is Lupang Hinirang, the national anthem.

27. Hajji Butu was the first Muslim Filipino to become a senator.

28. The most popular and durable of all Philippine almanacs is called Kalendariong Tagalog ni Honorio Lopez.

29. Rainier Lagman was the first Filipino to have a heart transplant.

30. Gemma Cruz was the first Filipina to win an international beauty title - Miss International 1964.

31. P5 million was the highest prize offered for the capture of then-rebel-now-turned-senator Gringo Honasan.

32. Palawan has the largest land area among the Philippine provinces.

33. Negros Occidental has the most cities among Philippine provinces.

34. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi was the first Spanish governor-general of the Philippines.

35. Evangeline de Castro of Baguio was the first Filipina to win the Miss Philippines title.

36. Cebu is the oldest Philippine city.

37. The word Filipinas first appeared in coins.

38. Archipelago de San Lazarus was the name Ferdinand Magellan first gave to the islands he "discovered."

39. Alphabetically, the first province of the Philippines which comes first is Abra in the Ilocos region.

40. The largest Philippine wild animal is the tamaraw (a species of buffalo, similar to the carabao). It is found only in the island of Mindoro.

41. Rio Grande de Mindanao is the longest river in Mindanao.

42. The first line of Jose Rizal's Mi Ultimo Adios is Adios patria adorada.

43. Luzon is the biggest island (141,395 sq km) among the Philippine Archipelago which consists of 7,107 (most figures) islands and islets stretching some 1,850 kilometers from north to south and 1,107 kilometers from west to east at its widest point.

44. Mt. Apo in Mindanao, a dormant volcano, is the highest mountain in the Philippines at 2,954 meters (9,689 feet). Mt. Pulog in Luzon is second at 2,928 meters (9,604 feet).

45. Cagayan River in Luzon is the longest river, snaking for 353 kilometers (221 miles) across the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela and Cagayan before finally flowing into the South China Sea in Aparri in Cagayan.

46. The first recorded intermarriage of a Filipino to a white foreigner was the wedding of Rajah Tupas' widowed niece to a Greek ship caulker who had sailed to the Philippines with Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (ca 1565).

47. According to the 1990 census, Metro Manila has a population density of 12,315 persons per square kilometer (32,000/ sq.mi.), the highest in the country.

48. The longest underground river system accessible to man IN THE WORLD is located at the St. Paul National Park in Palawan.

49. The hottest day in the Philippines was recorded on April 29, 1912 when the temperature reached 108.32 degrees Fahrenheit (42.4 degrees Celsius) in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. The coldest day was recorded in Baguio city back in January 7, 1903 when the thermometer dipped way down to 37.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius).

50. The safest province geologically is Palawan. It is farthest province from volcanoes and earthquake faults.

51. Marissa Delgado - The first Filipina who appeared in Playboy (sometime in 1965). She wasn't a centerfold but she did expose ... her back! The first Filipina who appeared as a centerfold is the beautiful Lourdes Estores of Hawaii.

52. The Tagalog term for dye is jobus or jobos which came from the name Joe Bush. Joe Bush was an American who set up a cleaning and dyeing shop in Manila back in the 1940s. His products were powdered dyes with the trade name Joe Bush.

53. Galunggong (mackerel) has the distinction to be the most widely caught fish in Philippine waters.

54. 8 - ocho, walo, eight - is the size of Imelda's shoes.

55. Ma Mon Luk - credited to be the inventor of mami. He was a Cantonese immigrant who probably named the dish after his surname and the Chinese word for noodles which is mi.

56. The first ice cream parlor in the Philippines was called Clarke's Cafe located at Plaza Moraga in Binondo. It opened sometime in 1899.

57. Kristo the Tagalog name of bookmakers at cockfights. He's called that because he poses like Jesus when he calls for bets and shouts the odds (arms extended like the Lord himself).

58. The first Greek fraternity in the Philippines is the University of the Philippines' Upsilon Sigma Phi (established in 1918). It does not have any branches outside the UP system. Among its alumni are the preserved ex-President Ferdinand E. Marcos and his arch-nemesis, the late Senator Benigno 'Ninoy Forever' Aquino. The first sorority with a Greek name is Sigma Delta Phi, also at UP and sister sorority of Upsilon Sigma Phi, established in 1938. (Partly contributed by Butch Bandong.)

59. Davao City is the largest city in the Philippines with an area of 2,211 sq. km., about three times the size of Metro-Manila.

60. Manila Hotel is the first building to be air-conditioned.

61. Philippine Airlines' first flight was from Manila to Baguio on March 15, 1941. The plane was a twin-engine Beech Model 18 carrying five passengers. There was no attendant or lavatory. It reached Baguio in 45 minutes.

62. The largest employer in the Philippines other than the government is San Miguel Corporation which has over 39,000 full-time employees.

63. Luneta Hotel, corner T.M. Kalaw and Roxas Blvd is said to be the oldest multi-storyed building in the Philippines


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