Marcelo de Gracia Concepcion
Silent are the trails of Benguet hills,
When the mist veils the sun –
Even the wind stirs the ferns
And the bamboo brakes sing
Their echoey murmurs.
And the laden Benguet women pass,
Beating their pakkongs*
In cadenced monotones.
These trails are lonely
And deep are the ravines.
And higher still the skies.
* A bamboo percussion instrument used by the Benguets to accompany their chants.
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)
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.
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)
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.
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
On 15 March 2008 – nearly 487 years to the day after Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippines – businesswoman Sister Grace Galindez-Gupana (Philippines) achieved five Guinness World Records in a single day.
With the support of the Philippine National Red Cross, Sister Gupana embarked on a mass medical mission to provide 24 hours of free screenings for the marginalized Pintong Bocaue community. In doing so, she established four Guinness World Records:
Most blood identification tests in 24 hours: 260
Most cholesterol readings taken in 24 hours: 527
Most blood pressure readings taken in 24 hours: 2,302
Most diabetes readings taken in 24 hours: 503
Sister Grace wanted to involve children of the community in a record-breaking attempt too, and recruited youngsters from the local Baranggay Pintong Bocaue school to complete the longest drawing. Using coloured crayons, the children drew a picture of a long dragon with horns. The drawing was subsequently burned, in a symbolic act representing the victory of good over the devil.
All records were accredited in person by the Director of Records from Guinness World Records, who flew from London to Manila to certify that each record attempt had been carried out legitimately and to present Sister Gupana with certificates for her new records.
Sister Gupana is not new to record breaking. Last year, the ardent supporter of the State of Israel and its citizens reaped her first two Guinness World Records in the Holy Land for the largest flag (18,843 m²; 202,823 ft²) and for the largest banner (54,451 m²; 586,103 ft²).
For Sister Grace, breaking a record is a way of showing to the world that Filipinos can make a difference and are capable of helping and supporting those in need.
In regards to her remarkable feat, Sister Gupana states, “7 records is an amazing achievement for a lifetime.”