How well do you Know the Philippines?

Here’s a fun quiz to test your knowledge of the Philippines! When you click ‘Finish’ your answers will be highlighted: correct ones in green, incorrect ones in red, along with the correct answer and some interesting facts.

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#1. On which Philippine island would you find the Puerto Princessa Underground River (a world heritage site)?

It’s actually in Palawan. The Puerto Princessa Underground River is the longest navigable underground river in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has also been named on of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

#2. On which Philippine island was the Spanish explorer Magellan slain in 1521?

It was Mactan. In 1521 Magellan’s invading Spanish colonialists were the first western invaders to be repelled from the Philippines. Magellan was killed by the chief Lapu Lapu during the Battle of Mactan.

Some more information here.

#3. On which Philippine island would you find the Chocolate Hills?

It’s actually Bohol! The Chocolate Hills is a group of between 1,200 and 1,700 small hills within an area of around 50 square kilometres. They are all small, ranging in height from 30 to 50 metres. Clustered together, they look like a box of chocolates.

Some more information here.

#4. Where would you find the Ifugao Rice Terraces (a world heritage site)?

It’s actually Banaue! The terraces were originally carved into the mountains of Ifugao, in the Philippines, by the ancestors of the indigenous people. They were fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rainforests above the terraces and, today, are still used to grow rice.

#5. Where would you find Camp John Hay?

It’s Baguio! Camp John Hay was once an American military base, set up in 1903 to provide sanatorium facilities for injured soldiers. It’s where the Japanese General Yamashita surrendered in World War 2, bringing the Japanese occupation of the Philippines to an end.

Some more information here.

#6. On which island would you find the 100 Islands National Park?

It’s actually Luzon. The 100 Islands National Park is near Alaminos and comprises 123 (not just 100!) islands, with another one that appears at low tide – so 124 in total. They are mostly quite small, made of limestone and coral, and the water has eroded the base of many of them, which gives them a mushroom shape.

Some more information here.

#7. On which island would you find the Lapu Lapu monument?

Sorry, it’s Mactan! Lapu Lapu was the local chief who slew the Spanish explorer Magellan at the Battle of Mactan in 1521, which was the first recorded instance of western invaders being repelled from the Philippines. The monument sits in a park on Mactan Island.

More information here.

#8. On which island would you find Vigan (best preserved Spanish colonial town in Asia, a world heritage site)?

It’s actually on Luzon! Located towards the north of Luzon, it’s a Spanish colonial town whose structures have remained largely intact. Its architecture fuses native Philippines and Oriental building designs with Spanish architecture, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

#9. Near which city is the Taal volcano located (smallest, most active volcano in the world)?

Sorry, it’s Tagaytay! The Taal volcano is situated in the middle of a lake just below the Tagaytay ridge. The lake is, in turn, in a larger lake. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, with the most recent eruption (at the time this was written) coming in January 2020.

More information here.

#10. On which island would you find the Mayon volcano (the world’s most perfect ‘cone-shaped’ volcano)?

It’s actually Luzon. Located in the Bicol region, the Mayon volcano has an almost perfectly symmetrical cone shape.

It was declared a national park on July 20, 1938, the first in the Philippines. It is the centerpiece of the Albay Biosphere Reserve, which has been nominated, but not yet approved, as a World Heritage Site.

#11. Which island resort, voted ‘Best island in the world’ in 2014, was closed for 6 months in 2018 because of pollution?

It’s Boracay. In 2018 Philippine President Duterte described the island as a ‘cesspool that smelt of shit’ and ordered it completely closed. It was re-opened after a massive cleanup and infrastructure upgrade in October 2018, with strict new regulations designed to preserve and sustain the island’s natural beauty.

More information here.

#12. Which island is home to the smallest primate in the world?

Sorry, it’s actually Bohol! The little fella is a Tarsier, and it’s the smallest primate in the world with the remarkable ability to rotate its head through 180 degrees. It is no bigger than a man’s fist.

More information here. (Scroll down to the ‘Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary’).

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