Longest Serving Editor in the World
Sy Yinchow, an 84-year-old Filipino-Chinese journalist living in Manila's Binondo district, is perhaps the world's longest-serving, living editor-in-chief of daily newspapers. As of 2003, Sy was still serving the chief editor of the United Daily News, a leading Chinese-language daily in the Philippines. He has been an editor-in-chief of Manila-based publications for 58 years since 1945, surpassing the record of Sir Etienne Dupuch who had served as the editor-in-chief of the Nassau Daily Tribune in the Bahamas for only 53 years from 1919 to 1972.
Aside from his colorful journalism career, Sy has written 20 books and translated over 100 English and 72 French poems into Chinese. He is an honorary president of the Hong Kong-based World Association of Chinese Writers and a fellow of the International Writing Programme of the University of Iowa.
Longest Barbecue in the World
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)
Longest Mat in the World
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.
Longest Bridge in the Philippines
The country's longest bridge is the San Juanico Bridge, a steel structure connecting the islands of Samar and Leyte. Built in 1973 under the Marcos administration, the 2.16-kilometer bridge crosses over the picturesque San Juanico Strait as a part of the Maharlika Highway. Also known as Marcos Bridge, San Juanico Bridge has 43 spans rising 41 meters above the sea. Bunton Bridge in Cagayan province is said to be the country's second longest bridge.
The title of the longest bridge, however, may soon belong to a bridge, which will be built in the Manila Bay. This cable suspension bridge will link Metro Manila to the provinces of Bataan and Cavite. It will be patterned after the Tokyo Bay Aqualine, which connects Kawasaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture to Kisarazu City in Japan.
Among the longest bridges in the world are the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the East Bridge-Great Belt Fixed Link in Denmark, the Hoga Kusten in Sweden, and the Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong.
Longest Traffic Buildup in the Philippines
On the night of May 26, 2003, the northbound and southbound lanes of the North Luzon Tollway from Bocaue, Bulacan to Balintawak, Quezon City turned into a parking lot of thousands of vehicles trapped in floods. Rains induced by tropical storm Chedeng caused the garbage-infested Malhacan River in Meycauayan to rise above the street level. The traffic buildup that extended to EDSA left thousands of commuters stranded for a whole night.
A bus that left Cubao, Quezon City at 4 p.m. of May 26 reached Bocaue, Bulacan at 2 a.m. of the next day. The usually 15-minute ride from Camachile to Bocaue turned into a grueling and nerve-wracking 8-hour saga for drivers and commuters. Thousands of office workers that left Makati City at 5 p.m. of May 26 were lucky to reach their homes in Bulacan at 4 a.m. of the next day. Others spent the night under the rain while catching for a ride along EDSA.
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.
Longest Cave in the Philippines
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.
Longest Underground River in the World
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's total length would reach 15 kilometers.
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.
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.
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.
Longest Underground Railway
The country's first subway remains to be built, but this early, passengers of MRT3 (Metro Rail Transit) had the chance to know what it is like to travel underground. The MRT line, which spans from North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City, passes through an underground tunnel, measuring hundreds of meters, along EDSA corner Buendia Avenue in Makati City.
The MRT is a US$565 million project, involving 60 Czech-made trains. At present, it has 10 stations, which were built at key road intersections in Metro Manila. The average distance between stations is 1.300 kilometer.
There were plans to build a 100-kilometer railway system from Fort Bonifacio in Makati City to Clark in Pampanga. Based on the plan, five to seven kilometers of this railway will be elevated while 10 kilometers will be laid underground, making it the first true subway in the country.