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Oldest School in the Philippines

The University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City is considered as the oldest school in the country and in Asia. Formerly known as the Colegio de San Ildefonso, it was founded by the Spanish Jesuits on August 1, 1595. This makes the Cebu-based university older than the University of Santo Tomas (1611) in Manila and Harvard University (1636) in the United States.

The University of Santo Tomas, however, contests this title. Formerly known as the Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, UST was the first school, which got a university status in 1645. USC became a university in 1948. UST also claimed that the original USC was closed in 1769 as a result of the expulsion of the Jesuits. It reopened in 1783 under a new name and ownership. But the USC officials stick to their claim. The university observed its 400th foundation day on August 21, 1995.

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Largest Medical Institution in the Philippines

The Philippine General Hospital in Manila is considered as the country's largest medical institution. It occupies 10 hectares of prime Manila real estate, 45 buildings, and 125,000 square meters of floor area. The hospital has over 1,000 in-patient beds and receives 3,000 outpatient visits per day. It was established on September 1, 1910.

Biggest Amphitheater in the Philippines

The Freedom Ring Giant Amphitheater in the controversial Expo Filipino in Pampanga province is considered as the largest amphitheatre in the country. It can hold as many as 35,000 people at a single event. Expo Filipino, however, has yet to become fully operational.

Largest Coliseum in the Philippines

At the time it was completed in 1959, the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City was touted as the world's largest covered entertainment center. Otherwise known as the Big Dome, it has a floor area of 2,300 square meters and a seating capacity of 33,000 people and is the largest coliseum in the Philippines.

Largest Oil Spill in the Philippines

On August 11, 2006, carrying a cargo of 2.4 million litres of bunker fuel in 10 sealed tanks, M/V Solar I sank about 30 kilometres southwest of Guimaras Island in the Philippines and leaked approximately 200,000 litres of oil in the five days since it sank.



Largest Synchronized Aerobics Exercises in the World

On February 16, 2003, some 107,000 Filipinos joined a 30-minute aerobics exercise supervised by the Department of Health (DOH) at Rizal Park in Manila, which could be the largest synchronized exercise in the world. Thousands of people also gathered at different venues in Cebu City and Davao City to participate in the exercise simultaneous with the Manila event. The new record broke the previous Guinness Book of World Records set at a park in Guadalajara, Mexico by some 38,633 people who joined the massive aerobics exercises in June 1998.

Largest and Westernmost Province in the Philippines

Palawan is considered as the largest and westernmost province in the country. It has a total land area of 14,896.3 square kilometers distributed in 1,769 islands and is composed of one city, 23 municipalities and 431 barangays. The next largest provinces in the country are Isabela, with a land area of 10,664 square kilometers; and Cagayan, 9,002 square kilometers.
The Philippine archipelago lies between 4° 40 N and 21° 10N latitude and between 116°40' and 126° 34' E longitude. Palawan lies between 08°30' and 12°45'N latitude and 117°30' to 121°45'E longitude.

Largest City in the Philippines

Davao City is the largest city in the country. Its land area covers 2,212 square kilometers. Most of these areas, however, are distributed as forests, coconut groves and rice fields. In comparison, Metro Manila covers only 636 square kilometers.

Davao City lies at the mouth of the Davao River near the head of Davao Gulf. It encompasses about 50 small ports in its commercial sphere. Davao has large banana plantations, whose produce are exported to Japan and other countries. The city also boasts of a modern international airport. Puerto Princesa City, a chartered city of Palawan province, is disputing Davao City's title. It claims to have a total land area of 2,539 square kilometers encompassing 66 barangays.

Most Populated City in the Philippines

Quezon City in northern Metro Manila is the country's most populated city. With a total population of 2.17 million as of 2000, Quezon City is composed of numerous subdivisions and has the highest concentration of urban poor residents in Metro Manila. Other highly populated cities in the country are Manila, with 1.58 million residents; Caloocan, 1.18 million and Davao, 1.15 million.


Largest and Longest Human Rainbow in the World

On September 18, 2004, over 31,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) gathered at the Luneta Grandstand in Manila wearing colorful shirts, caps and flaglets and danced to modern pop tunes in a move to boost the image of the school and a bid to set a new record for world's largest human rainbow in the Guiness Book of World Records.

The PUPians attempted to beat the Guinness records of the Malta Archipelago and the Hongkong Polytechnic University (HPU) which organized 11,750 individuals in November, 2003 and 11,500 in 2002, respectively, for the same purpose.


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.

Largest Legal Tender in the World

The gold-coloured 100,000 peso bill measuring 8.5 inches wide and 14 inches long is currently listed by Guinness World Records as the largest legal tender although the bill was meant to be a collector's item rather than to be used. It was created for the 1898 - 1998 centennial. The commemorative bills were called Brobdingnagian bills. Only 1,000 bills were created and each bill contains 21 security codes to prevent counterfeiting. This bill is larger than the usual size at 355.6 mm and 215.9 mm. The front of the bill illustrates the Cry of Pugadlawin led by Andres Bonifacio, marking the beginning of he revolution for independence against Spain. The reverse side is the same as the reverse side of the older five peso bill. From the balcony of his house, General Emilio Aguinaldo displays the Philippine flag to the crowd below and proclaims independence from Spain.

Largest Pair of Shoes in the World

Marikina City owns the distinction of having crafted the world's largest pair of shoes, each measuring 5.29 meters long, 2.37 meters wide and 1.83 meters high. The heel alone measures 41 centimeters or 16 inches. The P2-million shoes can reportedly fit to a 37.5-meter or 125-foot giant. Around 30 people could put their feet into the colossal shoes simultaneously.

The world's largest shoes were made from materials that could produce about 250 pairs of regular-sized shoes. It reportedly took 10 shoemakers, led by Ernesto Leano, 77 days to cut 30 square meters of leather for the upper lining and 7.4 square meters for the socklining. Also used were 250 kilograms of vegetable tanned leather for the insole, 270 kilograms for the outsole, 80 kilograms for the welt, 225 kilograms of adhesive and 1,000 meters of thread for 200,000 stitches.

The Marikina-made shoes broke the old record of 3.12-meter shoes made by Zahit Okurlar of Konya, Turkey. A representative of the Guinness Book of World Records attended the First Sapatero Festival on October 21, 2002 where the giant shoes were displayed.

In December 2002, the Guinness Book of World Records has recognized Marikina City for crafting the world's largest pair of shoes.


Highest Mountain in the Philippines

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).


Highest Waterfalls in the Philippines

The highest waterfall in the country is the 388-meter-high Aliwagwag Falls, in Cateel town, Davao Oriental province. The cascade has 13 rapids and looks like a stairway with 84 steps of varying heights.

The second highest waterfall is located in Barangay Rogongon, 54 kilometers from Iligan City. Limunsudan Falls, a two-tiered fall, has a combined height of 870 feet. Its lower cascade alone measures 400 feet, higher than the entire height of Maria Cristiana Falls.

Maria Cristina Falls, also in Iligan City (Lanao del Norte), towers at 320 feet. Also known as the "Mother of Industry", Maria Cristina Falls supplies 80 percent of the total energy requirement of the Mindanao region. Another breathtaking waterfall in Iligan City is the Tinago Falls, located 13 kilometers from the city proper. As its name implies, this 420-foot waterfall lies hidden in a deep ravine. The world's highest waterfall is the Angel Falls in Venezuela. As a tributary of Caroni River, this waterfall has a total elevation of 3,281 feet.

Largest Native Land Animal and Endangered Land Animal in the Philippines

The Tamaraw, scientifically known as Bubalus mindorensis is the only native bovid to the Philippines, and is the countries largest native land animal. It is endemic to the island of Mindoro. Belonging to the family of buffalos, the same categorical group of the Philippine carabao, the Tamaraw is the largest endangered land animal in the Philippines today. In 1996, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed it as one of the ten most endangered species in the world.

People used to call Mindoro as the "Land of the Tamaraws". About 10,000 heads of these unique pygmy water buffalos were roaming around the island-province of Mindoro in the 1900s.

Largest Eagle in the Philippines

The endangered Philippine eagle also known as the monkey-eating eagleis one of the largest in the world. With scientific name Pithecophaga jefferyi, the Philippine eagle lives in the rainforests of Isabela, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. It has similarities with Papua New Guinea's Harpy Eagle (Harpyopsis novaeguinea).

Largest Pearl in the World

The "Pearl of Lao-Tzu" is the the world's largest pearl in a giant Tridacna (mollusk). It weighs 14 pounds and measures 9 1/2 inches long and 5 1/2 inches in diameter. It was reportedly collected by a Filipino pearl diver named Etem, on May 7, 1934, at Palawan Island, Philippines. At one time it belonged to Wilburn Dowell Cobb, who allegedly received it as a gift from a chieftan of Palawan after having saved the life of his son. On May 15, 1980, Cobb’s heirs sold it at auction to Peter Hofman, a jeweler from Beverly Hills, California, for US $200,000. In 1966, it was valued at $3.5 million. According to te Guiness Book of Records, the San Francisco Gem Laboratory has valuated it at US $40-42 million. It is believed to be 600 years old.

Deepest spot underwater in the Philippines

The world's second deepest spot underwater is in the Philippines. This spot, about 34,440 feet (10,497 meters) below the sea level, is known as the Philippine Deep or the Mindanao Trench. The Philippine Deep is in the floor of the Philippine Sea. The German ship Emden first plumbed the trench in 1927.


Smallest Hoofed Mammal in the World

South of Palawan, lies the Balabac Island, home of the world's smallest hoofed mammal - the Philippine mouse deer. Locally known as Pilandok (Tragalus nigricans), this ruminant stands only about 40 centimeters at the shoulder level.