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FilipiKnow: 20 Amazing Pinoy Trivia that will surely Blow your Mind

Pinoy trivia? They’re mostly useless information that stay in our brains for not longer than 60 seconds. Still, they fascinate us in a way that even more useless showbiz news can’t do. It is useless facts that meant to entertain us by the trivia and history buff. But here in FilipiKnow, it is our goal to bring you not only useless facts but also information that will help you know more about the past, culture, and achievements as a nation.

Are you ready for a list of mind-blowing Pinoy facts and trivia? Here it goes:


TOP 20: The Bagobo tribe in Mindanao file and blacken their teeth for ‘aesthetic’ purposes. 

The Bagobo, one of the largest indigenous groups in the country, require their members who have reached the age of puberty to have their teeth filed and blackened. It is a beautifying  procedure they consider as an ultimate rite of passage for every young Bagobo.

To file the teeth, the candidate must place his head against the operator and grip a stick of wood between his teeth. Each tooth is then filed, leaving only the stump.

After the teeth sharpening, what is left is blackened using either a deposit formed through a smoke coming from a charring bamboo or a powder known as tapEl produced by the lamod tree.

During the entire duration of the treatment, the candidate is not allowed to drink water, eat sour food, or attend a funeral to avoid having a teeth with poor color.

Fe-Del-MundoTOP 19: Fe Del Mundo was admitted in Harvard Medical School because she was extremely smart and because they didn’t realize she was a woman. 

Fe del Mundo was a woman of many firsts. She founded the first pediatric hospital in the Philippines and also invented an improvised incubator, a cloth-suspended scale, and a radiant warmer made of bamboo that were widely used in rural areas. And yes, she was also the first woman admitted in Harvard Medical School which only allowed female students almost nine years after she got in.

In 1936, Fe Del Mundo earned a post-graduate scholarship offer to enter Harvard University Medical School. However, she was already in a men’s dorm in Boston when Harvard — which would only open its gates to women in 1949 —  realized they allowed a female to be part of their all-male school.

Thanks to her impressive scholastic credentials, Fe del Mundo was finally allowed to stay in Harvard and became its first and only female student at that time.


Top 18 : The Baclayon Church in Bohol was built using coral stones and egg white!

Completed in 1727, the Baclayon Church in Bohol is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the country.

Baclayon was the first choice of the Spanish Jesuit missionaries to be their seat, but fear of Moro marauders forced them  to move to Loboc. It was only in 1717 that Baclayon became a parish, leading to the construction of the church.

The church was built by a total of 200 native laborers who took coral stones from the sea, cut them into blocks, and lifted them using bamboo. To cement the blocks together, they used the white of about 2 million eggs. The church was completed in 1727 and obtained a large bell in 1835.

Unfortunately, the Baclayon Church is one of the heritage sites in Bohol that was destroyed by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the province last year.



Top 17

President Ferdinand Marcos created a safari park in the Philippines where you can see African animals such as giraffes, zebras, and antelopes. 

Located in Busuanga in Palawan, the Calauit Island was declared as a game preserve and wildlife sanctuary by the Presidential Proclamation No. 1578 under the Marcos administration.

The sanctuary, which is also the only known savanna in the country, was created by the late dictator as a response to an appeal by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to save endangered animals in Kenya, Africa.

With an area of 3, 700 hectares, the Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary is where both African wildlife and endemic Philippine animals live in their natural state with minimum human interference.

It is home to many species of African animals such as zebras, giraffes, waterbucks, gazelles, and impalas as well as Philippine animals like Calamian deer, bearcat, sea turtle, and Palawan peacock pheasant among others.

Iwahig-Prison-and-Penal-FarmTop 16: There’s a prison in Palawan where inmates are allowed to work in rice fields and act as tour guides without the need of walls or hundreds of prison guards. 

The Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Puerto Princesa, Palawan started during the American Occupation. Governor Luke Wright was the one who authorized its establishment on November 16, 1904. During its first few years, it faced several instances of attempted escapes, but when Col. John R. White became its superintendent in 1906, the colony started to become a huge success.

Today, inmates are allowed to act as tour guides, manufacture souvenirs, and take various vocational activities such as farming, forestry, and carpentry.

Asked why the prison has no walls and hundreds of guards, the warden explains, “they have nowhere to go, they will only be beset my mosquitoes and fall ill of malaria in the jungle” should they try to escape

Dwarf-only-colony-in-the-PhilippinesTop 15: There was a plan to establish the first ever dwarf-only colony in the Philippines. 

To escape the harassment and discrimination that are part of having a diminutive size, Alejandro Doron Jr. along with 30 other Filipino dwarves announced their plan to establish the country’s first colony for little people.

In an article published in The Guardian in 2011, Doron said that there was already an investor who donated 16, 000 sq m of land near Manila, although additional funding is still needed to clear the fields and build the houses.

Doron, a 35-year-old bartender who works at The Hobbit House, the country’s only restaurant run entirely by little people, hopes that politicians will help them build their dream colony and even turn it into a tourist spot in the future.

Texas-was-once-referred-to-as-New-PhilippinesTop 14: Texas, U.S.A. was once referred to as “Nuevas Filipinas” or “New Philippines”.

According to Texas State Historical Association, both Nueva Filipinas and Nuevo Reino de Filipinas were secondary names assigned to an area of Texas located above the Medina River.

Antonio Margil de Jesús first used Nueva Filipinas in a letter to the viceroy dated July 20, 1716. It was also used by missionaries in the area with hopes of gaining royal patronage which the Spain gave to the Philippines a century and a half earlier.

The name regularly appeared on documents during the next forty years, but eventually disappeared towards the end of the 18th century in favor of ‘Texas’.

 Juan-Luna-+-Maria-de-la-Paz-Pardo-de-Tavera-+-murderTop 13: Juan Luna killed his wife and mother-in-law. He was later acquitted of his “crime of passion.”

In 1892, Juan Luna, famous Filipino painter of 400 masterpieces, was involved in a bloody murder at their Paris home. The victims? His wife, Maria de la Paz Pardo de Tavera, and his mother-in-law. It is said that extreme jealousy forced Luna to pull the trigger. He was later acquitted in February 1893 after the court categorized the murder as a “crime of passion”.


Top 12: Cory Aquino’s favorite color was RED, not YELLOW.

The late President Corazon Aquino as well as the EDSA People Power Revolution are best remembered through the iconic ‘yellow ribbon’. However, she once admitted that RED was actually her first favorite. The yellow color only came after some friends suggested the song “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” for Ninoy’s homecoming. Cory continued to use her yellow trademark after her husband’s death.



Top 11: In 1992, Pepsi offered 1 million pesos to anyone who had a bottle cap with “349” printed on it. Turns out, half a million bottle caps got the winning number.

Dubbed as the “Number Fever”, the promo was offered by Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines. On May 25, 1992, the winning numbers (i.e. 349) were finally released. Thousands claimed the prizes but Pepsi officials revealed that there was a technical glitch. In the end, the company spent more than 200 million pesos to pay up to 500, 000 disappointed claimants. The case of the infamous “Pepsi 349” fiasco was finally closed in 2006.

Major-Archibald-Butt-+-TitanicTop 10: Major Archibald Butt, former military captain in the Philippines, died in the sinking of Titanic in 1912.

A former journalist, Butt was a well-known military aide and adviser to US presidents William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt. He joined the army who fought during the Spanish-American War.

After the war ended, he was assigned to the Philippines as a volunteer and later promoted as Assistant Quartermaster with the rank of Captain. He stayed in Manila until July 1903.

In 1912, after a short trip to Europe, Butt embarked Titanic to return to the US. Sadly, he was one of the victims who perished when the ship sank. His body was never recovered.

Jaz-ColaTop 9: Jaz Cola, a beverage produced by The Coca Cola Company, was specifically made for the people in the Visayan Islands.

Jaz Cola is a cola-flavored drink and just one of the many custom beverages made by Coca-Cola for the Philippine market. Originally created for consumers living in  the Visayan region, Jaz Cola has reportedly “fueled Visayan pride among its teen consumers.”

Aluling-Bridge3Top 8Aluling Bridge in Ilocos Sur took 35 years to complete.

After 35 years and 6 presidents, the Aluling Bridge was finally completed on March 25 of this year. It’s construction first started in 1978 but due to a host of factors such as unpredictable weather and difficulty of navigating the river, the completion was delayed for more than 3 decades. Aluling Bridge connects the provinces of Ilocos Sur and Mountain Province.

 Gollum-suluensis-sharkTop 7: Gollum suluensis is a shark named after Gollum of the movie “Lord of the Rings” and Philippines’ very own Sulu Sea. 

Discovered in Sulu, this New Zealand shark is one of the species of the genus Gollum. Compared to it’s cousin (G. attenuatus), this shark has a “darker, plainer and less contrasted coloration, softer body, shorter and broader snout, smaller spiracle, larger pectoral fin, wider head, as well as larger proportions of the nostril, mouth and interorbital space.”



Top 6: A dog named “Serging” (alias “Avante”) received numerous awards in 1957 for his heroic act during the Magsaysay plane crash.

Originally known as “Serging”, the dog was later renamed “Avante” to avoid offending Sergio Osmeña Jr. who was a Cebu mayor at that time. “Avante”, along with his owner Marcelino Nuya, helped save Nestor Mata, the only survivor of the plane crash that killed the late President Ramon Magsaysay.

For their heroic roles in the tragedy, the two received gold medals from the Philippine Constabulary (PC) and various government officials. Avante also received recognition from an animal rights group.


Top 5: In the 1970s, a 22.6-foot reticulated phyton terrorized Luzon and swallowed an Agta Negrito. 

Agta Negritos are indigenous people in Luzon who, in the 1970s, competed with a reticulated phyton for their main sources of food namely Philippine deer, Philippine warty pigs and long-tailed macaques.

Thomas N. Headland, an anthropologist who lived with and studied the group, later found out that 15 of 58 men and 1 of 62 women were attacked by the giant snake. Worse, 6 of them were killed, one of whom was discovered within the snake’s belly after butchering.

hhhTop 4: Wonder Tree of Canlaon, Negros Oriental

Folks, have you heard of the Wonder Tree of Canlaon, Negros Oriental? It is a balete tree that is estimated by botanists from Silliman University to be around 1,328 years old.

This balete is so old that it would have been hundreds of years old already when Magellan arrived in Philippine shores. Apart from its age, the balete tree is huge and needs at least 42 people to fully encircle its trunk.

Canlaon’s balete tree stands in the middle of rice and coffee plantations in Oisca Farm in Lumapao. As with trees of this specie, it is regarded with some awe, fascination, and superstition.

The tree has a cavity in its middle and is home to lizards, bats, and insects. At night, hundreds of fireflies illuminate the huge tree. Some local folks believe that the balete tree is a gathering spot for fairies and supernatural folk.

From: Dumaguete Info



Top 3: The Giant Monitor Lizard

Meet the giant monitor lizard that has eluded biologists up to 2010—the Northern Sierra Madre Forest Monitor Lizard. This lizard can only be found in the Sierra Madre forest hence its name.

According to Professor Rafe Brown of the University of Kansas, rumors of the lizard’s existence have been floating for the past 10 years. It was only after he and his colleagues studied the lizard’s anatomy (in particular, its double-ended penis which happens to be unique to each specie) and sequenced its DNA were they able to confirm that it was a new species.

“We think that it had not been discovered before primarily because of its secretiveness and because few comprehensive studies of amphibians and reptiles have been conducted in the inaccessible forests of NE Luzon Island,” Brown said.

The Northern Sierra Madre forest monitor is closely related to Gray’s monitor (from the southern end of Luzon) and the Komodo dragon of Indonesia. It is big, spends time in trees more than 20 meters above the ground, and eats the fruit of the Pandan palm trees, pili nuts, and the occasional snail.

It is the staple food of Aetas and Ilongots. The biggest threat to the lizard’s population is not getting eaten though but “deforestation, logging, mining and a lack of knowledge about biodiversity.”

From: Discovery News



Top 2: Dyobus

“Dyobus,” Pinoy term for commercial dyes, is said to have originated from “Joe Bush,” a popular dyeing shop in old Manila.

In 1899, American Joe Bush put up a clothes cleaning and dyeing at Plaza Sta. Cruz, Manila. The shop simply bore his name and the slogan: “Take That Stain to JOE BUSH—The Cleaner and Dyer That Pleases” But it was the dyeing service that proved to be so popular that by the 1920s, the proprietor emphasized that specialty service by branding his shop “Joe Bush Dyer & Cleaner.”

The shop also sold dye powder in paper sachets bearing his name, for easy do-it-yourself coloring projects at home. As late as the psychedelic tie-dyed 1970s, people called commercial powder dyes as “dyobus,” an unconscious tribute to the man who colored our world!



Top 1: The Filipino Doctor Who Helped Discover Erythromycin (But Never Got Paid For It)

His discovery saved millions, yet he was never paid a single cent.

Thus sums up the sad story of Abelardo Aguilar, the Filipino physician who helped discover erythromycin and made his employer filthy rich yet was never duly compensated nor recognized for his efforts.


SOURCE: FilipiKnow is the marriage of two words: Filipino and Knowledge. In a nutshell, we are a proudly Filipino website ready to serve you with weekly nuggets of mind-blowing trivia and information. Sort of mental_flossonly our articles are written specifically for Filipinos.

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