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Interesting Facts about Iligan and Marawi

Average: 1 (1 vote)

Here are some interesting trivia about Iligan City and Lanao del Sur province, which were contributed by Mr. Arnold Garbanzos.


  1. "First and largest Christian settlement in the country" -Dr. Mamitua Saber, Historian of the Sociology Department of the Mindanao State University
  2. First Steel plant in Southeast Asia-National Steel Corporation
  3. First hydro electric generating plant in the country-National Power Corporation
  4. First city in Mindanao where the unfurling of the Guinness "largest flag" was made-Global Steel (formerly National Steel Corporation) Football ground
  5. Site of the first national gathering of MBelievers
  6. Site of the first Haggai National Training Seminar outside Metro Manila

Largest dance class in the world earns Guinness record

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The DanceSport Team Cebu City (DTCC) has received the Guinness World Records certificate for being the "largest dance class" globally and surpassing the record earlier set by Hungary.

Filipino Inventors and Scientists

Average: 4 (1 vote)

As requested by our guests, here are some of the interesting inventions and discoveries by Filipino inventors and scientists.  The list is not anyway complete, and it is advised that our readers consult other materials for confirmation of the following facts.

Ampalaya solution against HIV - Maria Carlita Rex Doran
Artificial bone replacement systems - Ramon Gustilo
Artifical coral reefs - Angel Alcala
Banana catsup - Maria Ylagan Orosa

First world champion and first order

Average: 2 (1 vote)

Ms. Rubilen Amit became the first female world champion in billiards from the Philippines, when she pocketed the World Women’s 10-Ball Championship held at the Block of SM North in Quezon City in June 2009.

The 27-year-old Amit of Mandaue City, Cebu beat two-time world champion Liu Shin-mei of Taiwan, 10-4, to win the crown and $20,000.

Filipinos have long dominated world billiards as champions with the likes of Efren “Bata” Reyes, Django Bustamante, Alex Pagulayan, and Ronnie Alcano, to name a few.  But it was the first time a Filipina held the world championship.

Meanwhile, a visitor in our site logged in the following information, to correct our entry on the first religious order in the Philippines.

Endemic Species of the Philippines

Average: 3 (2 votes)

Here are some interesting trivia from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR, which placed advertisements on several newspapers on June 5, 2009.

DENR claims that in terms of biodiversity resources, the Philippines was 5th in the world in number of plant species; 8th in the world list of endemic plants; 4th in bird endemism; 5th in mammal endemism; and 8th in endemic reptiles.  These species include Philippine tarsier, the world's smallest primate; mouse deer, the smallest deer; Pandaka pygmea, the smallest fish; Rafflesia, largest flower; whaleshark, the largest fish, and Philippine eagle, the largest bird.

The Philippines has 52,177 species of which more than half are found nowhere else in the world.  Of the 10,000 to 15,000 plant species in the Philippines, more than half are found only in the country.  There are 9,000 species of flowering plants in the Philippines.  About 558 of the 1,137 terrestrial species are unique to the Philippines.

There are 3,000 tree species in the Philippines, and 77 species of mangroves.

Filipino Inventions

Average: 5 (1 vote)

Anti-cancer cream

In November 2005, Filipino inventor Rolando dela Cruz won the gold medal for his "DeBCC" anti-cancer cream at the prestigious International Inventor's Forum in Nuremberg, Germany. The "DeBCC" cream, developed from cashew nuts and other local herbs, was chosen over 1,500 entries as the "most significant invention" of the year.

According to Mr. dela Cruz, the cream was a simple answer to basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common type of skin cancer worldwide. BCC affects around 800,000 Americans every year, according to the Skin Care Foundation. BCC also affects 500,000 Europeans and 190,000 Australians every year.

New regimen

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With newfound freedom in 1946, Filipinos elected Manuel A. Roxas, leader of the Liberal Party and one of the seven members of the Constitutional Convention who drafted the 1935 Constitution, as the first president of the independent republic in April 1946. His presidency was focused on rebuilding the cities and municipalities torn by the war, redistributing lands as wealthy landowners returned to reclaim their estates, and confronting the Hukbalahap, which by this time was tagged as a socialist-communist organization. The economy grew at a rapid pace, immediately after the war.

Special Treatment

Close economic ties between Manila and Washington continued after the war on the back of agreements providing for preferential tariffs for American exports and special treatment for US investors in the Philippines. In the 1946 Philippine Trade Act, the Americans were granted duty-free access to the Philippine market and special rights to exploit the country’s natural resources. Because of the Trade Act, the Philippines suffered a huge trade deficit with the influx of American imports. In 1949, the Philippine government was forced to impose import controls, after getting the consent of Washington.

Filipino Actors in Hollywood

Average: 2.5 (2 votes)

Alex Tizon - Pulitzer Prize winning journalist
Amapola Cabase - singer, actor
Angela Perez Baraquio - Miss America, 2001
Anna Bayle - international Model
Anthony Begonia - producer
Anthony Ruivivar - actor
Billy Joe Crawford - singer, actor
Bobby Chouinard - baseball player
Camille Velasco - Final 12, American Idol Season 3
Charo Ronquillo - 2nd runner up, 2005 Ford Supermodel of the World
Cheryl Burke - grand champion, Dancing with the Stars, 2006

Another Filipino wins Pulitzer

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Another Filipino won the much-coveted "Pulitzer Prize" for journalists in the United States, joining the elite group of famous Filipino journalists such as Carlos P. Romulo.

Antonio Vargas, a 27-year-old political reporter of the Washington Post, was a part of a group of reporters who won the prize for best breaking news reporting category for the Post's April 2007 coverage of Virginia Tech Massacre, where Korean student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people before turning to himself. Vargas wrote two stories on the shooting incident.
Vargas, who was born in Antipolo, Rizal and grew up in Pasig, migrated to the United States when he was only 12 years old. He went studied in Mountain View High School in California and attended college on scholarship at San Francisco State University.

Filipino Scientists

Average: 5 (1 vote)

Jose Rodriguez discovered methods of controlling Hansen’s Disease commonly known as leprosy. In 1974, he received the Damien Dutton Award.

Josefino Comiso was the first to have discovered a recurring polynya (semipermanent area of open water in sea ice) in the Cosmonaut Sea, south of the Indian Ocean.

Fe del Mundo is the first Asian to have entered the prestigious Harvard University's School of Medicine. She is credited for her studies that led to the invention of incubator and jaundice relieving device. Since 1941, she has contributed more than 100 articles to medical journals in the U.S., Philippines and India. In 1966, she received the Elizabeth Blackwell Award, for her "outstanding service to mankind". In 1977, she was bestowed the Ramon Magsaysay Award for outstanding public service.

Filipino Physicists

Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

Diosdado Banatao, a native of Iguig, Cagayan and an electrical engineering graduate from Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila is credited for eight major contributions to the Information Technology.

Banatao is most known for introducing the first single-chip graphical user interface accelerator that made computers work a lot faster and for helping develop the Ethernet controller chip that made Internet possible.

In 1989, he pioneered the local bus concept for personal computers and in the following year developed the First Windows accelerator chip. Intel is now using the chips and technologies developed by Banatao. He now runs his own semiconductor company, Mostron and Chips & Technology, which is based in California's Silicon Valley.

Filipino Astronomers

Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

In March 2006, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States acknowledged Christoper Go, a Cebu-based astronomer, for making new astronomical discovery - a red spot on the planet Jupiter. Go discovered the red spot on the planet using an 11-inch telescope and a CCD camera on February 28, 2006. NASA later called the new red spot "Oval BA," or the Red Spot Jr.

On June 25, 2002, the provincial government of Cavite awarded Edward Caro a plaque of recognition for his 42 years of service at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States where he helped launch the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission or the Explorer. Caro, a native of Cavite retired from NASA in 2001. In return, NASA during the same year conferred Caro the Distinguished Science medal, reportedly the highest honor it gives to its employees.

American Colony

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The Americans entered the scene because of its conflict with Spain over Cuba. With the outbreak of the Spanish-American war in the Pacific, the Philippines had to be taken by the US, lest other European countries such as Britain, France and Germany would fight for their next Southeast Asian colony. On June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo, first backed by American forces, declared the independence of Kawit, Cavite, the seat of the revolutionary Filipino government at that time, from Spanish rule. The Americans took possession of Manila on August 13, 1898.

While armed clashes with Spanish forces continued in other parts of the country, the Americans and the Spaniards were negotiating for the purchase of the Philippines for US$20 million. In the Treaty of Paris in 1898, Spain ceded the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam to the US.

Filipino in NBA

Average: 5 (2 votes)

The first and only Filipino to have ever played in the National Basketball Association or NBA is Raymond Townsend, whose mother is from Balayan, Batangas and whose father is an American.  Standing six feet and three inches tall, Townsend played for the NBA from 1978 to 1982 for the Golden State Warriors and later for the Indiana Pacers. What we are excited about this time is that Townsend himself announces that he has Filipino blood running through his veins.

Raymond Townsend is regarded as the first Fil-Am and only Asian American to have ever been drafted in the first round of the NBA draft, according to the articles at Wikipedia and Asian Journal.  Townsend (using, in an email to txtmania, confirmed that he is a proud Filipino.

His email reads: "My name is Raymond Townsend. I am a former UCLA All-American basketball player of Filipino-American ancestry. I am a 'proud Pinoy' who is the first and only Filipino-American to ever play in the NBA."

"I broke the barriers for other Filipinos to reach that goal of representing our culture as a player in the NBA.  I believe Eric Spoelstra should be there also as he is the first Filipino-American to ever coach in the NBA."

Tallest bridge in the Philippines

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The tallest bridge in the Philippines is an 89-meter-high bridge located in barangay Kahupian in the town of Sogod, Southern Leyte. The 350-meter-long bridge called Agas-Agas Bridge was constructed at a cost of more than PhP1 billion and inaugurated on August 9, 2009.

It is a part of the Daang Maharlika Highway and was built to serve as a permanent solution to the natural movements of loose soil aggregates, or landslides, in the mountainous area during rainy days reportedly due to a fault line that hinder traffic when the highway is blocked.

"Considered an engineering masterpiece, the Agas-Agas Bridge would provide a safe connection from the Daang Maharlika to Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, like the ones existing in Matnog, Sorsogon, Allen, Samar, and the Liloan Ferry Terminal, in Southern Leyte connecting all the way to Surigao," the Office of the Press Secretary said.

It was built starting 2006 by the Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co., Ltd., with loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the second phase of the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway Rehabilitation Project.

Philippine Barangays

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As of December 2008, the Philippines had 17 regions; 81 provinces; 136 cities; 1,495 municipalities or towns; and 42,008 barangays.

In the fourth quarter of 2008 alone, 13 new barangays or villages, including Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City (Metro Manila), were added in the Philippine Standard Geographic Code masterlist, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB).

This brought the total number of barangays in the country to 42,008 as of December last year.

"Ten new barangays were created in Taguig City in the National Capital Region, while three barangays were created in the province of Maguindanao, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao," the NSCB said.

History of the Philippines

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The Philippines, a group of over 7,000 islands with combined land area encompassing 300,000 square kilometres, grew into a nation under more than three centuries of Spanish conquest and 42 years of American rule. It is the first country outside the New World that closely witnessed the United States’ rise to power following the 1898 Spanish-American War.

Situated 800 kilometres southeast of mainland Asia, the archipelago, named after King Philip II of Spain, was discovered in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, the same explorer who had discovered the Pacific Ocean in search of the so-called “Spice Islands” and is now widely considered the first navigator to have cruised around the planet.

Ironically, the Filipinos, after having been subdued for centuries by foreign colonizers as a result of Magellan’s voyage, would emerge as the best seafarers in the world, manning a third of all international vessels today. Some 7.8 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and Filipino migrants would help rebuild cities in many countries and bring back over US$10 billion in annual remittances to their families in the Philippines.

Feudal Society

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Magellan, who claimed the archipelago for Spain in 1521, died in a battle with a group of local warriors led by Lapu Lapu at Mactan Island. It was Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, in the fourth Spanish expedition, who named the territory as Filipinas after the heir to the Spanish throne in 1543. In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi led an expedition to colonize the islands and by 1571, most parts of the archipelago came under Spanish rule.

The Spaniards established the colonial government first in Cebu in 1565 and then in Manila in 1571. Historians claim that University of San Carlos in Cebu and University of Sto. Tomas in Manila are the oldest universities teaching European type of education in Asia. Jesuit and Dominican priests established the two institutions.

Martial Law

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Ferdinand Marcos, the Senate president, defeated Macapagal in the presidential election to become the country’s tenth president in November 1965. A close ally of the United States, Marcos launched military campaigns against the insurgents including the communist Hukbalahap and Moro rebels in Mindanao. In August 1967, Manila hosted a summit that led to the creation of the ASEAN.

Philippines trade liberalization

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In 1992, Fidel Ramos was elected President. He began his term amid an energy crisis, which plunged the country literally into darkness. This he was able to resolve by inviting foreign investors to take part in the so-called build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme, where they would serve as independent power producers (IPPs) enjoying a lot of incentives and guaranteed market. While it brought light to Filipino households, the scheme would later translate to high electricity rates.

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