1· The exotic jeepney is a post-war creation inspired by the GI jeeps that the American soldiers brought to the country in the 1940s. Enterprising Filipinos salvaged the surplus engines and came out unique vehicles of art.
2· Short distance and feeder trips could not be more exciting than via Philippine quick transports – the tricycle, a motorcycle with a sidecar, and the pedicab, a bicycle with a sidecar.
3· The world’s longest underground river system accessible to man can be found at the St. Paul National Park in the province of Palawan.
4· The largest Philippine wild animal, the tamaraw, is a species of the buffalo that is similar to the carabao. It is found only in the island of Mindoro.
5· The highest mountain in the Philippines is Mt. Apo, a dormant volcano found in Mindanao, at 2,954 meters (9,689 feet). Mt. Pulog in Luzon is the second highest at 2,928 meters (9604 feet).
6· Filipino bowler Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno was the first bowler to be elevated to the International Bowling Hall of Fame based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The Philippine Congress has named him “Greatest Filipino Athlete of All Time.”
7· Philippine National Hero and writer Jose Rizal could read and write at age 2. He grew up to speak more than 20 languages, including Latin, Greek, German, French, and Chinese. What were his last words? “Consummatum est!” (“It is done!”)
8· The largest city in the Philippines is Davao City. With an area of 2,211 sq. km., it is about three times the size of the national capital, Metro Manila.
9· Cebu is the oldest Philippine city.
10· Negros Occidental has the most cities among Philippine provinces.
11· Filipinos celebrate the world’s longest religious holiday. The Christmas season begins on September 1st, as chillier winds and Christmas carols start filling the air, and ends on the first week of January, during the Feast of the Three Kings.
12· Paskuhan Village in the province of Pampanga is Asia’s only Christmas theme park and the third of its kind in the world.
13· The great Christmans lanterns of San Fernando, Pampanga can reach as big as 40 feet in diameter, using as many as 16,000 glowing bulbs.
14· The exotic jeepney is the Filipino version of the jitney, the taxi/minibus that travels along a fixed route, found in many countries.
15· The popular toy, the yoyo, was invented by 16th century hunters in the Philippines.
16· The word “boondocks,” which is now a part of the English language, dictionary, and vocabulary, comes from the Tagalog word “bundok,” meaning “mountain.”
17· The Philippines became the first Asian country to win FIVE major international beauty pageant crowns — two for Miss Universe, in 1969 and 1973, and three for Miss International, in 1965, 1970, and 1979.