50 things about Asean countries you probably didn't know - Asean's golden jubilee

Asean's golden jubilee: 5 interesting things about Philippines

41. Island in a lake on an island in a lake

While Vulcan Point may no longer be the largest specimen of its kind, it is still a marvel of nature to experience. Vulcan Point is an island in a lake on an island in a bigger lake. The lake surrounding Vulcan Point, Taal Lake, is a volcanic one formed after eruptions sealed the water body. After centuries of rainfall, it slowly desalinated and become host to a plethora of species that slowly adapted to the change in the salinity of the water. The volcano holding all of this, the Taal Volcano, is the second-most-active volcano in the Philippines.

42. Mammal with largest eye-to-body ratio

The Philippine tarsier has the largest mammal eyes, in terms of ratio to the body, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The diminutive animal is also one of the smallest primates in the world, ranging from 8.5cm to 16cm in height. Despite its small frame, the skull houses a pair of eyes that are 1.6cm in diameter. As a result, its eyes are unable to turn in their sockets. A special adaptation allows its neck to turn 180 degrees in either direction. Furthermore, its eyes can dilate almost completely in poor light conditions, allowing the tarsier to see at night.


Vulcan Point is an island in Taal Lake, a crater lake in Taal Volcano which, in turn, sits on a larger lake. The volcano is the second-most-active one in the Philippines. . PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES 

43. Mother of all pearls

The former holder of this accolade, the Pearl of Lao Tzu, was also from the Philippines. The current title-holder, the 34kg Puerto Princesa pearl, was kept under its owner's bed for more than 10 years. It was only when he moved to another part of the province that it came to light - when the man handed the pearl to his aunt, a tourism officer. The pearl was then put on display as a tourist attraction at the local town hall.

44. Patent for karaoke

While many are aware that the karaoke machine was a Japanese invention, the patent is in fact held by Filipino inventor Roberto del Rosario. He created the Karaoke Sing-Along System in 1975, which contributed to the spread of the trend. Although the karaoke was created by Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue a few years earlier, both men have been credited as noteworthy in its history.

The Philippine tarsier's eyes are able to dilate almost fully in poor light, allowing it to see at night. PHOTO: WILDLIFE RESERVES SINGAPORE

45. 'Boondocks' is Filipino

The expression "boondocks", used to refer to isolated places or the countryside, has roots in the Tagalog word "bundok", which means mountains. It is believed that the word was adapted into English by American soldiers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 06, 2017, with the headline 'Philippines'. Print Edition | Subscribe