Filipino Fun Facts Print
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Sunday, 30 March 2008 03:01

This series is being written with apologies to David Letterman’s Fun Facts. As in the Late Show with Mr. Letterman, the Fun Facts – whether Filipino or not – should be taken with the more-than a regular dose of a few grains of salt. So, here goes . . .

The Filipino is an enigma for often he looks like a Chinese, has a Hispanic name but because the Philippines used to be an American colony, he speaks English better than a Chinese or a Mexican can.


Speaking of the Filipino-Chinese community, then Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon allegedly included the “Chinoys” in his now-infamous address: “I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans or a government run like purgatory by the Filipino Chinese.” He allegedly left out the purgatory part out of deference to his Vice President, Sergio Osmeña, who was a Chinese mestizo.


When President Sergio Osmeña was a school boy in Cebu, he learned English from Josephine Bracken, the girlfriend (or widow, as some argue) of the Philippines’ foremost national hero, Jose P. Rizal. Source is Josephine Bracken, Jose Rizal's Widow, Actually Became a Cebuana


The first Filipino-American-Mexican baby was born in 1900 out of a relationship between an American soldier and a Filipino mother in the town of Mexico, Province of Pampanga.


The City of Acapulco, Mexico, was named allegedly after Capul Island of Samar Province – per the research of the great hoaxbalahap of a self-proclaimed perrytale writer, Perry Diaz of Sacramento, California.


“Perrytale” was coined in 2003 by award-winning professional journalist, Joseph G. Lariosa, of Chicago, Illinois, after he compared the writings of Perry Diaz to fairy tales and the fables of Aesop.


“Hoaxbalahap” was coined by Bobby Reyes in 1997 after his literary mentor, Poet-pundit Fred Burce Bunao, told of a hoax of a Filipino being allegedly one of the founders of the City of Los Angeles, as peddled by Greg McCabenta. Mr. McCabenta is fondly called by his fellow Filipino-American media practitioners as a “Lagareng Japon.”


“Lagareng Japon (or Hapon)” is a Filipino idiom taken from a Japanese saw that cuts both ways (as the carpenter pushes it and pulls it back). The term is used to denote the practice for instance of a minority-media practitioner who earns from both parties – he derives commissions from both the advertiser and the newspaper that runs the ad.


The first modern (Asian) Indian restaurant in the United States was opened by a Filipino-Bombay immigrant from Rizal Province. Since an ATM is located inside the restaurant, he called it, “Cash and Curry.”


American soldiers actually renamed at the turn of the 20th century the former “Ibalon” region in the southern end of the Island of Luzon. How it became known as the “Be Cool,” oops, “Bicol” Region is found in this article, How American Soldiers Named the Bicol Region in 1900?


Among the 15 or so ethnic regions in the Philippines, Bicolandia is the only region that uses lots of chili, pepper and spices. How the Bicolanos came to like it really hot, hot, hotter, please read the article, Siamese Traders Introduced Thai Cooking and the Muaythai Boxing to the Philippine Region of Bicol


There is a Filipino version of “Indecent Proposal,” which has the same story line of a man offering one-million dollars for one-night of romance but on installment basis. The Filipino proposed paying her one-dollar per year for the next million years.


And here is another perrytale: Mr. Diaz has been insisting that it was a Filipino, Agapito Flores, who invented the fluorescent bulb. A wag asked Mr. Diaz how Mr. Flores could invent the fluorescent bulb when there was allegedly no electricity in his (Flores’) hometown. Mr. Diaz replied that Mr. Flores had to “discover” first electricity by flying a kite with keys attached to it during a thunder storm.


(To be continued . . . And readers may contribute more “Filipino Fun Facts” by sending their tall stories to . . .)


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2008 14:24
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