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  The exotic jeepney is a post-war creation inspired by the GI jeeps that the American soldiers brought to the

country in the 1940s. Enterprising Filipinos salvaged the surplus engines and came out unique vehicles of art.   Short distance and feeder trips could not be more exciting than via Philippine quick transports – the tricycle, a motorcycle with a sidecar, and the pedicab, a bicycle with a sidecar.   The world’s longest underground river system accessible to man can be found at the St. Paul National Park in the province of Palawan.   The largest Philippine wild animal, the tamaraw, is a species of the buffalo that is similar to the carabao. It is found only in the island of Mindoro.   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).   Filipino bowler Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno was the first bowler to be elevated to the International Bowling Hall of Fame based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The Philippine Congress has named him “Greatest Filipino Athlete of All Time.”   Philippine National Hero and writer Jose Rizal could read and write at age 2. He grew up to speak more than 20 languages, including Latin, Greek, German, French, and Chinese. What were his last words? "Consummatum est!" ("It is done!")   The largest city in the Philippines is Davao City. With an area of 2,211 sq. km., it is about three times the size of the national capital, Metro Manila.   Cebu is the oldest Philippine city.   Negros Occidental has the most cities among Philippine provinces.

  Filipinos celebrate the world’s longest religious holiday. The Christmas season begins on September 1st, as chillier winds and Christmas carols start filling the air, and ends on the first week of January, during the Feast of the Three Kings.   Paskuhan Village in the province of Pampanga is Asia’s only Christmas theme park and the third of its kind in the world.   The great Christmans lanterns of San Fernando, Pampanga can reach as big as 40 feet in diameter, using as many as 16,000 glowing bulbs.   The exotic jeepney is the Filipino version of the jitney, the taxi/minibus that travels along a fixed route, found in many countries.   The popular toy, the yoyo, was invented by 16th century hunters in the Philippines.   The word "boondocks," which is now a part of the English language, dictionary, and vocabulary, comes from the Tagalog word "bundok," meaning "mountain."   The Philippines became the first Asian country to win FIVE major international beauty pageant crowns — two for Miss Universe, in 1969 and 1973, and three for Miss International, in 1965, 1970, and 1979.   Diving paradise Anilao, in the province of Batangas, is the theme of a picture book that bagged the International Prize for Underwater Images at the 27th World Festival of Underwater Images in France in November 2000. “Anilao" book creators and Filipino scuba divers Scott Tuason and Eduardo Cu Unjieng defeated big names in underwater photography such as Jacques Mayol, Pascal Kobeh, Monique Walker, and Alessandro Tommasi.   The biggest game preserve and wildlife sanctuary in the Philippines is located on Calauit Island in Palawan, which has the largest land area among the Philippine provinces.

  The antibiotic erythromycin — used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections, such as respiratory tract infections, middle ear infections, and skin infections — was created by Filipino scientist Abelardo Aguilar, and has earned American drug giant Eli Lilly billions of dollars. Neither Aguilar nor the Philippine government received royalties.   Fernando Amorsolo was officially the first National Artist of the Philippines. He was given the distinction of National Artist for Painting in 1972.   Philippines Herald war journalist Carlos P. Romulo was the first Asian to win a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism in 1942. He was also aide-de-camp to General Douglas MacArthur in World War II; Philippine resident commissioner in the U.S. Congress from 1944-46; and the first Asian to become UN President in 1949.   The largest fish in the world, the Whale Shark, locally known as Butanding, regularly swims to the Philippine waters.   The world’s shortest and lightest freshwater fish is the dwarf pygmy goby (Pandaka Pygmaea), a colorless and nearly transparent species found in the streams and lakes of Luzon. Males have an average length of 8.7 mm. and weigh 4-5 mg.   On January 18, 1995, Pope John Paul II offered mass to an estimated 4 to 5 million people at Luneta Park, Manila, Philippines, making it to the Guiness Book of World Records for the Biggest Papal Crowd.   The Philippine Madrigal Singers bagged the 1997 European Choral Grand Prix, the choral olympics of the world’s best choirs. The group, being the only Asian choir, bested five regional champions from all over Europe, earning them the title as the "world’s best choir."

  There are 12,000 or so species of seashells in the Philippines. The Conus Gloriamaris or "Glory of the Sea" is the rarest and most expensive in the world.   Of the 500 known coral species in the world, 488 are found in the Philippines.   Of the eight species of marine turtles worldwide, five are reported to be found in the Philippines: the Green Turtle, Hawkbill, Leatherback, Olive Ridley, and Loggerhead.   Of the eight known species of giant clams in the world, seven are found in the Philippines.   The Basilica of San Sebastian is the only steel church in Asia and was the second building to be made out of steel, next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.   The largest bell in Asia hangs at the belfry of the 221-year old Panay Church. It is 7 feet in diameter and 7 feet in height, and weighs 10.4 tons. Its tolling can be heard as far as 8 km. away. It was casted from 70 sacks of coins donated by the townspeople as a manifestation of faith and thanksgiving.   The World Cup, which was instituted in 1965, is contested annually by the national champions of the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ). The highest number of wins is 4, by Filipino bowler Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno: 1976, 1980, 1992, and 1996.   Filipino Eriberto N. Gonzales Jr. consumed 350 chilis in 3 minutes at the annual Magayon Festival chili-eating contest held at Penaranda Park, Legazpi, Albay on May 27, 1999, making it to the Guiness Book of World Records for the most chilis eaten.   The longest possible eclipse of the Sun is 7 min. 31 sec. The longest eclipse in recent times took place west of the Philippines on June 20, 1995, lasting for 7 min. 8 sec.   Camiguin province holds the distinction of having the most number of volcanoes per square kilometer

than any other island on earth. It is also the only place in the Philippines which has more volcanoes (7) than towns (5).  The 900 sq m Relief Map of Mindanao in Dapitan City was personally done by Dr. Jose Rizal. It was used as a device for teaching history and geography to townsfolk.  The Zamboanga Golf Course and Beach Park was founded in 1910 by Gov. John Pershing. It is one of the oldest golf courses in the Philippines.  Isabela City is the youngest city in the region. It was only on March 5, 2001 that the Municipality of Isabela, Province of Basilan was converted into a component city Through RA 9023. On April 25, 2001, Isabeleños ratified the new status of Isabela.  The Kinabayo is an exotic and colorful pageant reenacting the Spanish-Moorish Wars, particularly the Battle of Covadonga where the Spanish forces under General Pelagio took their last stand against the Saracens. They were able to reverse the tide of war with the miraculous apparition of St. James, the Apostle. A Kinabayo Festival is celebrated every July in Dapitan City, attracting thousands of tourists to the city.  The altar at the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Dipolog City was designed by Dr. Jose Rizal. The Cathedral was erected by the Spanish friars sometime in 1895, before Dipolog City became a municipality.  The Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City is the original estate of Dr. Jose Rizal which he acquired by purchase during his exile in Dapitan from 1892 to 1896.  RA 8973 signed by then President Joseph E. Estrada in February 2001 created the province of Zamboanga Sibugay. A total of sixteen municipalities

compose this newest province in the Zamboanga Peninsula.  Magat Dam is Asia’s biggest dam project at the time of its construction. It serves the primary function of power generation and irrigation.  The Cagayan River or Rio Grande de Cagayan is the Philippines’ mightiest watercourse – the longest and widest river in the country. Small streams originating form Balete Pass, Cordillera, Caraballo and Sierra Madre Mountains meet other streams and rivers and flow to the Cagayan River.  Magapit Suspension Bridge is the first of its kind in Asia. It spans the Cagayan River at Lallo and is 0.76 kilometers long. The hanging bridge links the first and second districts of Cagayan going towards the Ilocos Region via the scenic Patapat Road on the Ilocos Norte-Cagayan Inter-Provincial national highway.  Angono Petroglyphs – This cultural heritage site dates back to circa 3000 B.C. and is the most ancient Filipino, or more aptly, prehistoric Filipino work of art. Besides being the country’s oldest “work of art” it also offers us an evocative glimpse into the life of our ancestors. The site has been included in the World Inventory of Rock Art under the auspices of UNESCO, ICCROM and ICOMOS and nominated as one of the “100 Most Endangered Sites of the World.  PANCIT HABHAB (Lucban)-Made from rice flour, these local noodles acquired its name and developed its unique attraction by the way it is eaten. Otherwise known as Pancit Lucban, these noodles are hawked in the streets and served on a piece of banana leaf, sans fork or any other utensils. Thus, it is eaten straight from the leaf, licking permitted... "habhab"-style.  Tagala - the Philippines first Filipino-Spanish dictionary which was printed in 1613, 25 years older than the first book printed in the United States.

  Mayon is the most beautiful mountain I have ever seen, the world-renowned Fujiyama (Mt. Fuji) of Japan sinking into perfect insignificance by comparison. British traveler-writer A. Henry Savage Landor   Ilo-Ilo golf and country club is the oldest golf club in the Philippines. It was built at 1908 by Irish Engineers.   Limasawa Island – where Ferdinand Magellan first landed in the Philippines which give way to the discovery of the Philippines and where the first mass was celebrated.  San Juanico Strait - said to be the narrowest yet the most navigable strait in the world  Calbiga Cave – The Philippines’ biggest karst formations and one of the largest in Asia, the 2,968hectare cave system is composed of 12 caves with wide underground spaces, unique rock formations and sub-terranean watercourse.  At the Immaculate Conception Cathedral can be found the only existing pipe organ in Mindanao. The 2nd largest pipe organ in the Phiippines. The huge instrument took 2 years to built and was brought over by sea from Germany in 23 crates.  Cagayan de Oro City - “The City of Golden Friendship,” known for its warm people and oldfashioned hospitality  Mt. Apo, the Philippines highest mountain at 10,311 feet above sea level, and considered as the “Grandfather of all Philippine Mountains”  Lake Lanao is the second largest lake in the Philippines, probably the deepest in the country and is considered one of the major tropical lakes in Southeastern Asia. The lake is home of endemic cryprinids, the species found only in the lake and nowhere else in the world.  Halo-Halo! Halo-halo literally means, "mix-mix". And its is just that: a mixture of sweetened fruits and beans,

lavished with pinipig (crisp flattened rice flakes), sugar and milk, topped by crushed ice and ice cream. You know its summertime when halo-halo stand start sprouting by the roadside and by the beach, all whipping up their heavenly concoctions of such a refreshingly divine dessert. You can make your own by selecting and mixing your ingredients to make a perfect Halo-Halo. Halo-Halo is uniquely, unforgettably Filipino! KALESA - The kalesa or karitela is a horse-driven carriage that was introduced during the 18th century. It was used by Spanish officials and the nobles as a means of transportation. The Ilustrados, the rich Filipinos who had their own businesses, used the kalesa not only for traveling but as a means a means of transporting their goods as well. BAKYA-Made primarily of lightwood (laniti and santol trees), it is sculpted with a slope and shaved to a smooth finish, then painted with floral designs or varnished to a high sheen. The upper portions, which are made of rubber or transparent plastic, are fastened to the sides by thumb nails called "clavitos". The bakya industry prospered during the 1930s when the Filipinos began exporting these to the other countries. SORBETES-This sweet treat was concocted in the early 1920's, a time where a single centavo could buy you almost anything. The process of this ice cream making and selling it in carts with colorful designs is still the same. Back in the old days, these ice cream dealers bred their own cows and milked them with their own hands to ensure the freshness and sanitation of the milk needed to make the "dirty ice cream". Waling Waling Orchids - With some 800 to 1,000 species of orchids, the Philippines has one of the richest orchid floras in the world. Philippine orchids come in an amazing array of shapes, sizes and colors.

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Most grow only in old-growth forest, often on branches of huge trees dozens of meters above the forest floor. Maria Teresa Calderon – A Filipina World champion speed reader as listed in the Guinness Book of World Records In the Philippines, Filipinos were introduced to the English language in 1762 by British invaders, not Americans. Philippines is the world's 3rd largest English-speaking nation, next to the USA and the UK. The Philippine Basketball Association is Asia's premier and the world's second oldest professional league. Philippine Airlines took to the skies on March 15, 1941, using a Beech Model 18 aircraft amid the specter of a global war. It became Asia's first airline. The world's largest pearl was discovered by a Filipino diver in a giant Tridacna (mollusk) under the Palawan Sea in 1934. Known as the "Pearl of Lao-Tzu", the gem weighs 14 pounds and measures 9 1/2 inches long and 5 1/2 inches in diameter. As of May 1984, it was valued at US$42 million. It is believed to be 600 years old. Alto Broadcasting System (ABS) Channel 3, the first television station in the country, went on the air in 1953. 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. The symbolic name for the Philippines, Juan dela Cruz, is not a Filipino invention? It was coined by R. McCulloch-Dick, a Scottish-born journalist working for the Manila Times in the early 1900s, after discovering it was the most common name in blotters.

 Lipa City in Batangas is dubbed as the “Rome of the Philippines” because of the number of seminaries, convents, monasteries, retreat houses, and a famous cathedral located in it.  Compostela Valley is known to be laden with gold, thus earning the monicker “Golden Valley of Mindanao”  Basilica of St. Martin de Tours in Taal, Batangas built by Augustinian Missionaries in 1572, is reputed to be the biggest catholic church in East Asia. It is so huge that it can house another big church  Kibungan is known as the “Switzerland of Bengued” because of the frost during the cold months  The Delmonte Pineapple Plantation in Bukidnon is considered to be the biggest in the far east  Both Tridacna gigas, one of the world's largest shells, and Pisidum, the world's tiniest shell, can be found under Philippine waters. Tridacna gigas grows as large as one meter in length and weighs 600 pounds while Pisidum is less than 1 millimeter long. A shell called glory of the sea (Connus gloriamaris) is also found in the Philippines and considered as one of the most expensive shells in the world.  Seahorses are small saltwater fish belonging to the Syngnathidae family (order Gasterosteiformes), which also includes pipefish and sea dragons. Most seahorse species, probably the most peculiar creatures in the water, live in the Coral Triangle. There are at least 50 known seahorse species in the world. They inhabit temperate and tropical waters but most of them are concentrated in the warm coastal waters of the Philippines.  Donsol, a fishing town in Sorsogon province, serves as a sanctuary to a group of 40 whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), which are considered as the largest fish in the world. Locally known as "butanding", whale sharks

visit the waters of Donsol from November to May. They travel across the oceans but nowhere else have they been sighted in a larger group than in the waters of Sorsogon. They measure between 18 to 35 feet in length and weigh about 20 tons. The Philippines is home to some of the world's most exotic birds. One of the most endangered species is the exotic Kalangay or the Philippine cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), which belongs to Psittacidae or the family of parrots. Some cockatoos can live up to 50 years. They are known for mimicking human voices. Most of them measure 33 centimeters in length and weigh 0.29 kilogram. Palawan bearcat is neither a bear nor a cat. Known in Southeast Asia as binturong, the bearcat is a species of its own, with population in the forests of Palawan, Borneo, Burma and Vietnam. It belongs to the family of Viverridae (civets). The Palawan bearcat has a long body and a pointed face leading to the nose. Its head and body measure 61 to 96 centimeters in combined length while its tail is almost as long. It weighs 9 to 14 kilograms and lives up to 20 years. Calamian Deer - Calamian Islands, north of Palawan province, keep a species of deer that cannot be found elsewhere. Scientists referred to the hog deer in the islands as Calamian deer in order to distinguish them from other hog deer in the world. An ordinary Calamian deer measures 105 to 115 centimeters in length and 60 to 65 centimeters high at the shoulder and weighs about 36 to 50 kilograms. It is said to have longer and darker legs, compared with other hog deer. World's Smallest Hoofed Mammal - South of Palawan, lies the Balabac Island, home of the world's smallest hoofed mammal - the Philippine mouse deer. Locally

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known as Pilandok (Tragalus nigricans), this ruminant stands only about 40 centimeters at the shoulder level. Flying Lemur - One of the most distinct creatures on Earth lives in the Philippines. It doesn't have wings but it can glide across 100 meters of space in a single leap. Like the lemurs of Asia, it moves around at night. Its head resembles that of a dog while its body has similarities with the flying squirrel of Canada. In Mindanao, people call it "kagwang". Around the world, it is known as colugo or the flying lemur.  Did you know that the first four cities of Metropolitan Manila are: Manila, Quezon, Pasay and Caloocan The flagpole located in Rizal Park, is where the starts of 0 kilometer reading in measuring all distances from Manila. Quezon City is the second biggest city in the Philippines. The Bonifacio Monument in Monumento, Caloocan City was designed by a noted Filipino sculptor Guillermo Tolentino In 1916, in the Philippines, an offensive style of passing the ball in a high trajectory to be struck by another player (the set and spike) were introduced. The Filipinos developed the "bomba" or kill, and called the hitter a "bomberino". (source: http://volleyball.org/history.html) The PHILIPPINE EAGLE is the 2nd largest bird on the planet (next only to the American Condor).... The exotic jeepney is a post-war creation inspired by the GI jeeps that the American soldiers brought to the country in the 1940s. Enterprising Filipinos salvaged the surplus engines and came out unique vehicles of art. Short distance and feeder trips could not be more exciting than via Philippine quick transports – the

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tricycle, a motorcycle with a sidecar, and the pedicab, a bicycle with a sidecar. The world’s longest underground river system accessible to man can be found at the St. Paul National Park in the province of Palawan. The largest Philippine wild animal, the tamaraw, is a species of the buffalo that is similar to the carabao. It is found only in the island of Mindoro. 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). Filipino bowler Rafael "Paeng" Nepomuceno was the first bowler to be elevated to the International Bowling Hall of Fame based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The Philippine Congress has named him “Greatest Filipino Athlete of All Time.” Philippine National Hero and writer Jose Rizal could read and write at age 2. He grew up to speak more than 20 languages, including Latin, Greek, German, French, and Chinese. What were his last words? "Consummatum est!" ("It is done!") The largest city in the Philippines is Davao City. With an area of 2,211 sq. km., it is about three times the size of the national capital, Metro Manila. Cebu is the oldest Philippine city. Negros Occidental has the most cities among Philippine provinces. Filipinos celebrate the world’s longest religious holiday. The Christmas season begins on September 1st, as chillier winds and Christmas carols start filling the air, and ends on the first week of January, during the Feast of the Three Kings. Paskuhan Village in the province of Pampanga is Asia’s only Christmas theme park and the third of its kind in the world.

 The great Christmans lanterns of San Fernando, Pampanga can reach as big as 40 feet in diameter, using as many as 16,000 glowing bulbs.  The exotic jeepney is the Filipino version of the jitney, the taxi/minibus that travels along a fixed route, found in many countries.  The popular toy, the yoyo, was invented by 16th century hunters in the Philippines.  The word "boondocks," which is now a part of the English language, dictionary, and vocabulary, comes from the Tagalog word "bundok," meaning "mountain."  The Philippines became the first Asian country to win FIVE major international beauty pageant crowns — two for Miss Universe, in 1969 and 1973, and three for Miss International, in 1965, 1970, and 1979.  Diving paradise Anilao, in the province of Batangas, is the theme of a picture book that bagged the International Prize for Underwater Images at the 27th World Festival of Underwater Images in France in November 2000. “Anilao" book creators and Filipino scuba divers Scott Tuason and Eduardo Cu Unjieng defeated big names in underwater photography such as Jacques Mayol, Pascal Kobeh, Monique Walker, and Alessandro Tommasi.  The biggest game preserve and wildlife sanctuary in the Philippines is located on Calauit Island in Palawan, which has the largest land area among the Philippine provinces.  The antibiotic erythromycin — used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections, such as respiratory tract infections, middle ear infections, and skin infections — was created by Filipino scientist Abelardo Aguilar, and has earned American drug giant Eli Lilly billions of dollars. Neither Aguilar nor the Philippine government received royalties.

 Fernando Amorsolo was officially the first National Artist of the Philippines. He was given the distinction of National Artist for Painting in 1972.  Philippines Herald war journalist Carlos P. Romulo was the first Asian to win a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism in 1942. He was also aide-de-camp to General Douglas MacArthur in World War II; Philippine resident commissioner in the U.S. Congress from 1944-46; and the first Asian to become UN President in 1949.  The largest fish in the world, the Whale Shark, locally known as Butanding, regularly swims to the Philippine waters.  The world’s shortest and lightest freshwater fish is the dwarf pygmy goby (Pandaka Pygmaea), a colorless and nearly transparent species found in the streams and lakes of Luzon. Males have an average length of 8.7 mm. and weigh 4-5 mg.  On January 18, 1995, Pope John Paul II offered mass to an estimated 4 to 5 million people at Luneta Park, Manila, Philippines, making it to the Guiness Book of World Records for the Biggest Papal Crowd.  The Philippine Madrigal Singers bagged the 1997 European Choral Grand Prix, the choral olympics of the world’s best choirs. The group, being the only Asian choir, bested five regional champions from all over Europe, earning them the title as the "world’s best choir."  There are 12,000 or so species of seashells in the Philippines. The Conus Gloriamaris or "Glory of the Sea" is the rarest and most expensive in the world.  Of the 500 known coral species in the world, 488 are found in the Philippines.  Of the eight species of marine turtles worldwide, five are reported to be found in the Philippines: the Green Turtle, Hawkbill, Leatherback, Olive Ridley, and Loggerhead.

 Of the eight known species of giant clams in the world, seven are found in the Philippines.  The Basilica of San Sebastian is the only steel church in Asia and was the second building to be made out of steel, next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  The largest bell in Asia hangs at the belfry of the 221year old Panay Church. It is 7 feet in diameter and 7 feet in height, and weighs 10.4 tons. Its tolling can be heard as far as 8 km. away. It was casted from 70 sacks of coins donated by the townspeople as a manifestation of faith and thanksgiving.  The World Cup, which was instituted in 1965, is contested annually by the national champions of the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ). The highest number of wins is 4, by Filipino bowler Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno: 1976, 1980, 1992, and 1996.  Filipino Eriberto N. Gonzales Jr. consumed 350 chilis in 3 minutes at the annual Magayon Festival chilieating contest held at Penaranda Park, Legazpi, Albay on May 27, 1999, making it to the Guiness Book of World Records for the most chilis eaten.  The longest possible eclipse of the Sun is 7 min. 31 sec. The longest eclipse in recent times took place west of the Philippines on June 20, 1995, lasting for 7 min. 8 sec.  Camiguin province holds the distinction of having the most number of volcanoes per square kilometer than any other island on earth. It is also the only place in the Philippines, which has more volcanoes (7) than towns (5).  The 900 sq m Relief Map of Mindanao in Dapitan City was personally done by Dr. Jose Rizal. It was used as a device for teaching history and geography to townsfolk.

 The Zamboanga Golf Course and Beach Park was founded in 1910 by Gov. John Pershing. It is one of the oldest golf courses in the Philippines.  Isabela City is the youngest city in the region. It was only on March 5, 2001 that the Municipality of Isabela, Province of Basilan was converted into a component city Through RA 9023. On April 25, 2001, Isabeleños ratified the new status of Isabela.  The Kinabayo is an exotic and colorful pageant reenacting the Spanish-Moorish Wars, particularly the Battle of Covadonga where the Spanish forces under General Pelagio took their last stand against the Saracens. They were able to reverse the tide of war with the miraculous apparition of St. James, the Apostle. A Kinabayo Festival is celebrated every July in Dapitan City, attracting thousands of tourists to the city.  The altar at the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Dipolog City was designed by Dr. Jose Rizal. The Cathedral was erected by the Spanish friars sometime in 1895, before Dipolog City became a municipality.  The Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City is the original estate of Dr. Jose Rizal which he acquired by purchase during his exile in Dapitan from 1892 to 1896.  RA 8973 signed by then President Joseph E. Estrada in February 2001 created the province of Zamboanga Sibugay. A total of sixteen municipalities compose this newest province in the Zamboanga Peninsula.  Magat Dam is Asia’s biggest dam project at the time of its construction. It serves the primary function of power generation and irrigation.  The Cagayan River or Rio Grande de Cagayan is the Philippines’ mightiest watercourse – the longest and widest river in the country. Small streams originating form Balete Pass, Cordillera, Caraballo and Sierra

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Madre Mountains meet other streams and rivers and flow to the Cagayan River. Magapit Suspension Bridge is the first of its kind in Asia. It spans the Cagayan River at Lallo and is 0.76 kilometers long. The hanging bridge links the first and second districts of Cagayan going towards the Ilocos Region via the scenic Patapat Road on the Ilocos Norte-Cagayan Inter-Provincial national highway. Angono Petroglyphs – This cultural heritage site dates back to circa 3000 B.C. and is the most ancient Filipino, or more aptly, prehistoric Filipino work of art. Besides being the country’s oldest “work of art” it also offers us an evocative glimpse into the life of our ancestors. The site has been included in the World Inventory of Rock Art under the auspices of UNESCO, ICCROM and ICOMOS and nominated as one of the “100 Most Endangered Sites of the World. PANCIT HABHAB (Lucban)-Made from rice flour, these local noodles acquired its name and developed its unique attraction by the way it is eaten. Otherwise known as Pancit Lucban, these noodles are hawked in the streets and served on a piece of banana leaf, sans fork or any other utensils. Thus, it is eaten straight from the leaf, licking permitted... "habhab"-style. Tagala - the Philippines first Filipino-Spanish dictionary which was printed in 1613, 25 years older than the first book printed in the United States. Mayon is the most beautiful mountain I have ever seen, the world-renowned Fujiyama (Mt. Fuji) of Japan sinking into perfect insignificance by comparison. British traveler-writer A. Henry Savage Landor Ilo-Ilo golf and country club is the oldest golf club in the Philippines. It was built at 1908 by Irish Engineers. Limasawa Island – where Ferdinand Magellan first landed in the Philippines which give way to the

 

discovery of the Philippines and where the first mass was celebrated. San Juanico Strait - said to be the narrowest yet the most navigable strait in the world Calbiga Cave – The Philippines’ biggest karst formations and one of the largest in Asia, the 2,968hectare cave system is composed of 12 caves with wide underground spaces, unique rock formations and sub-terranean watercourse. At the Immaculate Conception Cathedral can be found the only existing pipe organ in Mindanao. The 2nd largest pipe organ in the Phiippines. The huge instrument took 2 years to built and was brought over by sea from Germany in 23 crates. Cagayan de Oro City - “The City of Golden Friendship,” known for its warm people and oldfashioned hospitality Mt. Apo, the Philippines highest mountain at 10,311 feet above sea level, and considered as the “Grandfather of all Philippine Mountains” Lake Lanao is the second largest lake in the Philippines, probably the deepest in the country and is considered one of the major tropical lakes in Southeastern Asia. The lake is home of endemic cryprinids, the species found only in the lake and nowhere else in the world.  Halo-Halo! Halo-halo literally means, "mix-mix". And its is just that: a mixture of sweetened fruits and beans, lavished with pinipig (crisp flattened rice flakes), sugar and milk, topped by crushed ice and ice cream. You know its summertime when halo-halo stand start sprouting by the roadside and by the beach, all whipping up their heavenly concoctions of such a refreshingly divine dessert. You can make your own by selecting and mixing your ingredients to make

a perfect Halo-Halo. Halo-Halo is uniquely, unforgettably Filipino!  KALESA - The kalesa or karitela is a horse-driven carriage that was introduced during the 18th century. It was used by Spanish officials and the nobles as a means of transportation. The Ilustrados, the rich Filipinos who had their own businesses, used the kalesa not only for traveling but as a means a means of transporting their goods as well.  BAKYA-Made primarily of lightwood (laniti and santol trees), it is sculpted with a slope and shaved to a smooth finish, then painted with floral designs or varnished to a high sheen. The upper portions, which are made of rubber or transparent plastic, are fastened to the sides by thumb nails called "clavitos". The bakya industry prospered during the 1930s when the Filipinos began exporting these to the other countries.  SORBETES-This sweet treat was concocted in the early 1920's, a time where a single centavo could buy you almost anything. The process of this ice cream making and selling it in carts with colorful designs is still the same. Back in the old days, these ice cream dealers bred their own cows and milked them with their own hands to ensure the freshness and sanitation of the milk needed to make the "dirty ice cream".  Waling Waling Orchids - With some 800 to 1,000 species of orchids, the Philippines has one of the richest orchid floras in the world. Philippine orchids come in an amazing array of shapes, sizes and colors. Most grow only in old-growth forest, often on branches of huge trees dozens of meters above the forest floor.  Maria Teresa Calderon – A Filipina World champion speed reader as listed in the Guinness Book of World Records  In the Philippines, Filipinos were introduced to the English language in 1762 by British invaders, not

Americans. Philippines is the world's 3rd largest English-speaking nation, next to the USA and the UK.  The Philippine Basketball Association is Asia's premier and the world's second oldest professional league.  Philippine Airlines took to the skies on March 15, 1941, using a Beech Model 18 aircraft amid the specter of a global war. It became Asia's first airline.  The world's largest pearl was discovered by a Filipino diver in a giant Tridacna (mollusk) under the Palawan Sea in 1934. Known as the "Pearl of LaoTzu", the gem weighs 14 pounds and measures 9 1/2 inches long and 5 1/2 inches in diameter. As of May 1984, it was valued at US$42 million. It is believed to be 600 years old.  Alto Broadcasting System (ABS) Channel 3, the first television station in the country, went on the air in 1953.  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.  The symbolic name for the Philippines, Juan dela Cruz, is not a Filipino invention? It was coined by R. McCulloch-Dick, a Scottish-born journalist working for the Manila Times in the early 1900s, after discovering it was the most common name in blotters.  Lipa City in Batangas is dubbed as the “Rome of the Philippines” because of the number of seminaries, convents, monasteries, retreat houses, and a famous cathedral located in it.  Compostela Valley is known to be laden with gold, thus earning the monicker “Golden Valley of Mindanao”

  Basilica of St. Martin de Tours in Taal, Batangas built by Augustinian Missionaries in 1572, is reputed to be the biggest catholic church in East Asia. It is so huge that it can house another big church   Kibungan is known as the “Switzerland of Bengued” because of the frost during the cold months   The Delmonte Pineapple Plantation in Bukidnon is considered to be the biggest in the far east   Both Tridacna gigas, one of the world's largest shells, and Pisidum, the world's tiniest shell, can be found under Philippine waters. Tridacna gigas grows as large as one meter in length and weighs 600 pounds while Pisidum is less than 1 millimeter long. A shell called glory of the sea (Connus gloriamaris) is also found in the Philippines and considered as one of the most expensive shells in the world.   Seahorses are small saltwater fish belonging to the Syngnathidae family (order Gasterosteiformes), which also includes pipefish and sea dragons. Most seahorse species, probably the most peculiar creatures in the water, live in the Coral Triangle. There are at least 50 known seahorse species in the world. They inhabit temperate and tropical waters but most of them are concentrated in the warm coastal waters of the Philippines.   Donsol, a fishing town in Sorsogon province, serves as a sanctuary to a group of 40 whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), which are considered as the largest fish in the world. Locally known as "butanding", whale sharks visit the waters of Donsol from November to May. They travel across the oceans but nowhere else have they been sighted in a larger group than in the waters of Sorsogon. They measure between 18 to 35 feet in length and weigh about 20 tons.

  The Philippines is home to some of the world's most exotic birds. One of the most endangered species is the exotic Kalangay or the Philippine cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia), which belongs to Psittacidae or the family of parrots. Some cockatoos can live up to 50 years. They are known for mimicking human voices. Most of them measure 33 centimeters in length and weigh 0.29 kilogram.   Palawan bearcat is neither a bear nor a cat. Known in Southeast Asia as binturong, the bearcat is a species of its own, with population in the forests of Palawan, Borneo, Burma and Vietnam. It belongs to the family of Viverridae (civets). The Palawan bearcat has a long body and a pointed face leading to the nose. Its head and body measure 61 to 96 centimeters in combined length while its tail is almost as long. It weighs 9 to 14 kilograms and lives up to 20 years.   Calamian Deer - Calamian Islands, north of Palawan province, keep a species of deer that cannot be found elsewhere. Scientists referred to the hog deer in the islands as Calamian deer in order to distinguish them from other hog deer in the world. An ordinary Calamian deer measures 105 to 115 centimeters in length and 60 to 65 centimeters high at the shoulder and weighs about 36 to 50 kilograms. It is said to have longer and darker legs, compared with other hog deer.   World's Smallest Hoofed Mammal - 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.   Flying Lemur - One of the most distinct creatures on Earth lives in the Philippines. It doesn't have wings

 

 

but it can glide across 100 meters of space in a single leap. Like the lemurs of Asia, it moves around at night. Its head resembles that of a dog while its body has similarities with the flying squirrel of Canada. In Mindanao, people call it "kagwang". Around the world, it is known as colugo or the flying lemur.  Did you know that the first four cities of Metropolitan Manila are: Manila, Quezon, Pasay and Caloocan  The flagpole located in Rizal Park, is where the starts of 0 kilometer reading in measuring all distances from Manila.  Quezon City is the second biggest city in the Philippines.  The Bonifacio Monument in Monumento, Caloocan City was designed by a noted Filipino sculptor Guillermo Tolentino  In 1916, in the Philippines, an offensive style of passing the ball in a high trajectory to be struck by another player (the set and spike) were introduced. The Filipinos developed the "bomba" or kill, and called the hitter a "bomberino". (source: http://volleyball.org/history.html)  The PHILIPPINE EAGLE is the 2nd largest bird on the planet (next only to the American Condor)....

United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year. BAN KI-MOON  Ban Ki-moon of the Republic of Korea, the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, brings to his post 37 years of service both in Government and on the global stage.  The name "United Nations", coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was first used in the "Declaration by United Nations" of 1 January 1942,

during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers. States first established international organizations to cooperate on specific matters. The International Telecommunication Union was founded in 1865 as the International Telegraph Union, and the Universal Postal Union was established in 1874. Both are now United Nations specialized agencies. In 1899, the first International Peace Conference was held in The Hague to elaborate instruments for settling crises peacefully, preventing wars and codifying rules of warfare. It adopted the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes and established the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which began work in 1902. The forerunner of the United Nations was the League of Nations, an organization conceived in similar circumstances during the First World War, and established in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles "to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security." The International Labour Organization was also created under the Treaty of Versailles as an affiliated agency of the League. The League of Nations ceased its activities after failing to prevent the Second World War. In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. Those delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives

of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks, United States, in August-October 1944. The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. Poland, which was not represented at the Conference, signed it later and became one of the original 51 member states. The United Nations officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and a majority of other signatories. United Nations Day is celebrated on 24 October each year. Source: Basic Facts - About the United Nations United Nations Publication Sales No. E.04.I.7

 ASEAN Formal Summits   Date  23 February– 24, 1976  4 August– 5, 1977  Country  Host

 1st

 Indonesia

 Bali

 2nd

 Malaysia

 Kuala Lumpur

 3rd

 14 December –15, 1987  27 January– 29, 1992  14 December –15, 1995  15 December –16, 1998  5 November –6, 2001  4 November –5, 2002  7 October– 8, 2003  29

 Philippines

 Manila

November –30, 2004  12 December –14, 2005  11 January– 14, 200712  18 November –22, 2007  December , 13 - 18, 2008[29]  2009

 11th  Singapore  Singapore

 Malaysia

 4th

 Kuala Lumpur

 12th  Thailand  Bangkok

 Philippines

 Cebu

 5th

 13th  Vietnam  Hanoi

 Singapore

 Singapore

 6th

 7th

 Brunei

 Bandar Seri Begawan

 14th

 Thailand

 Chiang Mai

 15th  8th  Cambodia  Phnom Penh

 Vietnam

o Drawings of the Eye  Indonesia  Bali

 9th

 10th

 Laos

 Vientiane

o

o

Cross section drawing of the eye - (rear view).

Cross section drawing of the eye - (side view) with major parts labeled.

o

Cut-away view of the eye in its socket showing the: bony socket, orbital muscles, eyelids and eyelashes.

o

o

The lacrimal system - (tear ducts) produce tears to clean, moisten and lubricate the eyes and then drains the excess fluid into the nose.

Our Eyes and brain divide what we see into a right and left half. In the drawing above, light gray represents the left half; dark gray represents the right half. The eyes invert the image and the left side of what we see ends up in the right side of our brain and visa versa. This all works out because the right side of our brain controls the left side of our bodies and visa versa. o Anterior Chamber  The space between the cornea and iris filled with Aqueous Humor.

o Aqueous Humor  A water like fluid, produced by the ciliary body, it fills the front of the eye between the lens and cornea and provides the cornea and lens with oxygen and nutrients. It drains back into the blood stream through the canals of schlemm. o Brain  The brain is where the electrical signals sent from our eyes are processed into vision. Damage to the brain can lead to vision loss if the visual cortex or optic pathways are damaged. The majority of nerve fibers in the optic tract connect to the LGN. Several nerve fibers leave the optic tract before the LGN to connect to sub cortical structures through out the brain. These parts of the brain regulate things like: eye and head movements, pupillary light reflex - (pupil size), and circadian rhythms - (light/dark cycle). Damage to these parts of the brain often leads to vision disorders too. o Canals of Schlemm  These canals are located around the perimeter of the iris. They allow aqueous fluid to drain back into the blood stream. The Trabecular Meshwork along with the Canals of Schlemm regulate the eyes internal pressure. In the eye disease called glaucoma, these canals become blocked leading to increased pressure.

The increased pressure, from this condition, destroys the optic nerve. o Choroid  The choroid is a layer of blood vessels between the retina and sclera; it supplies blood to the retina. In the disease called Macular Degeneration, abnormal blood vessels grow into the space between the retina and choroid damaging the macula. o Ciliary Body  This is where the Aqueous Humor is produced. o Ciliary Muscle  The eye can bring the fine print in a phone book into focus, or focus in on the moon over ¼ million miles away. The ciliary muscle changes the shape of the lens - (this is called accommodation). It relaxes to flatten the lens for distance vision; for close work it contracts rounding out the lens. Everyone will develop an eye condition called presbyopia. As we age, the ciliary muscle and crystalline lens lose their elasticity. This is why most people need reading glasses by their 40's.

o Conjunctiva  The conjunctiva is a thin, clear membrane covering the front of the eye and inner eyelids. Cells in this lining produce mucous that helps to lubricate the eye. This is the eyes first layer of protection against infection. Inflammation of this membrane is called conjunctivitis, or pink eye. o Cornea  The cornea is a clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. It is the first and most powerful lens in the eye's optical system. To keep it transparent the cornea contains no blood vessels. Tears that flow over it and aqueous humor in the chamber behind it keep it nourished. When you hear of eye banks and eye transplants, it is the cornea that is being replaced. The cornea can be damaged from: accidents, infections, and genetic defects. o Crystalline Lens  The eye's crystalline lens works like the adjustable lens in a camera. Positioned just behind the cornea; it is responsible for keeping images in focus on the retina. It is adjustable for distance and close work. A cataract is the lens clouding up. This happens to most people as they age. A few people are even born with cataracts. Modern surgery has all but eliminated

cataracts as a cause of blindness in the developed world. o Eyeball  The eye is like a little video camera measuring about 1 inch or 2.5 cm. in diameter. If someone's eyeball is larger then this, they will be nearsighted (myopic); if it is smaller then this, they will be farsighted (hyperopic). Having two eyes gives us binocular vision - (depth perception). This is due to the fusing of both images in the visual cortex. o Eyelashes and Eyebrows  These specialized hairs protect the eyes from particles that may injure them. They form a screen to keep dust and insects out. Anything touching them triggers the eyelids to blink. o Eyelids  Our eyelids protect and lubricate our eyes. Small oilproducing glands line the inner edge of our eyelids. These oils mix with tears when we blink, keeping the eye moist and clean. o Eye Socket

 The orbit or eye socket is a cone-shaped bony cavity that protects the eye. The socket is padded with fatty tissue that allows the eye to move easily. o Fovea - (small pit)  The fovea is an indentation in the center of the macula. Its diameter is only 1.5 mm or about 1/16 inch. This small part of our retina is responsible for our highest visual acuity. It is the center of our central vision. o Lacrimal Gland - (Tear Duct)  This gland continually releases tears and other protective fluids onto the surface of the eye. It lubricates and keeps the cornea from becoming dehydrated. o Lacrimal Sac  The lacrimal sac is a tiny pump that drains tears and other debris from the eye. The fluids flow down the nasolacrimal duct into the nose where they help keep the nasal linings moist. This is why your nose runs when you cry.

o Lateral Geniculate Nucleus - (LGN)  This part of the brain acts as a relay station; it decodes visual information from the optic tract before sending it to the visual cortex for final processing. o Lens Sack or Capsule  During modern cataract surgery the outer membrane of the lens is left in place. The artificial intraocular lens is placed in this sack. o Iris  This is the colored part of the eye: brown, green, blue, etc. It is a ring of muscle fibers located behind the cornea and in front of the lens. It contracts and expands, opening and closing the pupil, in response to the brightness of surrounding light. Just as the aperture in a camera protects the film from over exposure, the iris of the eye helps protect the sensitive retina. o Macula - (yellow spot)  This part of the retina is the most sensitive. Its diameter is only 7 mm or about 1/4 inch. It is

responsible for our central, or reading vision. This part of the retina gives us 20/20 vision. Without the macula, you would be blind - Legally Blind that is. People with eye diseases like Macular Degeneration have vision from 20/200 to 20/800. o Optic Chiasm  This is the first part of the brain to receive visual input. Each eye takes a slightly different picture of the world. At the optic chiasm each picture is divided in half. The outer left and right halves continue back toward the visual cortex. The inner left and right halves cross over to the other side of the brain then continue back toward the visual cortex. See Drawing of optic pathways. o Optic Disk  The optic disk is the spot on the retina where the optic nerve leaves the eye. There are no sensory cells here, creating a blind spot. Each eye covers for the blind spot of the other eye and the brain fills in the missing information. o Optic Nerve  Each optic nerve has about 1.2 million nerve fibers. This is the cable connecting the eye to the brain.

o Optic Tract  The nerves that connect the optic chiasm to the LGN are called the optic tract. If one of these tracts is damaged, vision will be lost in one side of each eye. o Orbital Muscles  Six muscles are in charge of eye movement. Four of these move the eye up, down, left and right. The other two control the twisting motion of the eye when we tilt our head. Defects in these muscles and the nerves that control them lead to conditions like Nystagmus and Amblyopia (Lazy Eye). o Photoreceptor Cells  The retina is composed of two types of photoreceptor cells. When light falls on one of these cells, it causes a chemical reaction that sends an electrical signal to the brain. Cone cells give us our detailed color daytime vision. There are 6 million of them in each human eye. Most of them are located in the central retina - macula fovea area. There are three types of cone cells: one sensitive to red light, another to green light, and the third sensitive to blue light. Rod cells are about 500 times more sensitive to light then cone cells; they give us our dim light or night vision. They are also more sensitive to motion then

cone cells. There are 120 million rod cells in the human eye. Most rod cells are located in our peripheral or side vision. o Posterior Chamber  The space between the iris and the front of the lens filled with Aqueous Humor. o Pupil  The pupil is the hole in the center of the iris that light passes through. The iris muscles control its size. o Retina  The retina is the film of the eye. It converts light rays into electrical signals and sends them to the brain through the optic nerve. The sides of the retina are responsible for our peripheral vision. The center area, called the macula, is used for our fine central vision and color vision. The retina is where most the problems leading to vision loss Occur. Three of the leading causes of blindness, from retina damage, are Retinitis Pigmentosa, Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy. o Retinal Blood Vessels

 A doctor can see the blood vessels that supply the retina when he looks into your eyes. These vessels are in the choroid just beneath the retina. Abnormal blood vessel growth and leaking blood vessels are the cause of vision loss in eye conditions like, Diabetic Retinopathy, ROP, and Macular Degeneration. o Retinal Pigment Epithelium - (RPE)  The RPE is a layer of cells between the retina and choroid. The inside of a camera is panted black to absorb scattered and reflected light. The black pigment known as melanin in the RPE dose the same job for the eye. The RPE gets rid of waste products produced by the photoreceptor cells. As we age, the RPE can sometimes lose its ability to process this waste. Deposits of this waste, called drusen, can distort and damage the retina leading to an eye condition called dry macular degeneration. o Sclera  The sclera is the white, tough wall of the eye. It along with internal fluid pressure keeps the eyes shape and protects its delicate internal parts. o Uvea

 The uvea is the middle Vascular layer of the eye. It is made up of three parts: the iris, ciliary body and chorid. Uveitis is the inflammation (or swelling) of these parts of the eye. o Visual Axis  The Visual Axis is an imaginary line drawn through the center of the pupil to the center of the Fovea. The orbital muscles keep the visual axis of both eyes aligned on the center of what you are looking at (fixation point). An eye condition called Strabismus (misaligned eyes) results when the orbital muscles fail to keep the eyes in alignment. Any damage to eye structures along this axis leads to severe vision loss. o Visual Cortex  The part of the brain that processes and combines visual information from both eyes and converts it into sight. Damage to the visual cortex results in a condition called cortical blindness. o Visual Fields  The retina of each eye has two sections the nasal retina - (nose side) and temporal retina - (ear side). For example: with your right eye, you see the right half of the world with your nasal retina; you see the left half

of the world with your temporal retina. The picture your eye takes is flipped left for right and upside down; its up to the brain to sort things out. o Vitreous Cavity  The space between the lens and retina filled with the gel like Vitreous Humor. o Vitreous Humor  The vitreous humor is a jelly like liquid that fills most of the eye (from the lens back). As we age it changes from a gel to a liquid and gradually shrinks separating from the retina. This is when people start seeing floaters, dark specs in their vision. This is a normal sign of aging, but in a few cases the retina can become detached as the vitreous separates. o Zonules  Zonules are hundreds of string like fibers that hold the lens suspended in position and enable it to change shape for near or distant vision. Four of the most common eye conditions.

o Myopia (nearsightedness)  People with Myopic vision usually have eyeballs that are too large for their lens and cornea to focus light properly on their retina. Eyeglasses and contact lenses can usually correct this problem. o Hyperopia (farsightedness)  Hyperopia vision is caused by the eyeball being too small for the lens and cornea to focus light properly on the retina. Eyeglasses and contact lenses can usually correct this problem. o Presbyopia - (aging eyes)  As people age, they often begin to have difficulty focusing their eyes for reading or close work. It is usually corrected with reading glasses. Some people may need bifocal of trifocal lenses. o Astigmatism - (distorted vision)

 People with Astigmatism have irregularly shaped corneas. It is usually corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.  Did you hear something? Maybe the sound you heard was as quiet as your cat licking her paws. Or maybe it was loud, like a siren going by. Sounds are everywhere, and you have two cool parts on your body that let you hear them all: your ears!

Your ears are in charge of collecting sounds, processing them, and sending sound signals to your brain. And that's not all — your ears also help you keep your balance. So if you bend over to pick up your cat, you won't fall down — or even worse — fall on your cat. Meow!  The ear is made up of three different sections: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. These parts all work together so you can hear and process sounds. The Outer Ear: Catch the Wave  The outer ear is called the pinna or auricle (say: or-ihkul). This is the part of the ear that people can see. It's what people pierce to wear earrings and what your friend whispers into when it's time for a secret. The 

  

main job of the outer ear is to collect sounds, whether they're your friend's whispers or a barking dog. The outer ear also includes the ear canal, where wax is produced. Earwax is that gunky stuff that protects the canal. Earwax contains chemicals that fight off infections that could hurt the skin inside the ear canal. It also collects dirt to help keep the ear canal clean. So earwax isn't just gross. It's gross and useful. The Middle Ear: Good Vibrations After sound waves enter the outer ear, they travel through the ear canal and make their way to the middle ear. The middle ear's main job is to take those sound waves and turn them into vibrations that are delivered to the inner ear. To do this, it needs the eardrum, which is a thin piece of skin stretched tight like a drum. The eardrum separates the outer ear from the middle ear and the ossicles (say: ah-sih-kulz). What are ossicles? They are the three tiniest, most delicate bones in your body. They include: the malleus (say: mah-lee-us), which is attached to the eardrum and means "hammer" in Latin the incus (say: in-kus), which is attached to the malleus and means "anvil" in Latin the stapes (say: stay-peez), the smallest bone in the body, which is attached to the incus and means "stirrup" in Latin When sound waves reach the eardrum, they cause the eardrum to vibrate. When the eardrum vibrates, it moves the tiny ossicles — from the hammer to the anvil and then to the stirrup. These bones help sound move along on its journey into the inner ear.

The Inner Ear: Nerve Signals Start Here Sound comes into the inner ear as vibrations and enters the cochlea (say: ko-klee-uh), a small, curled tube in the inner ear. The cochlea is filled with liquid, which is set into motion, like a wave, when the ossicles vibrate. The cochlea is also lined with tiny cells covered in tiny hairs that are so small you would need a microscope to see them. They may be small, but they're awfully important. When sound reaches the cochlea, the vibrations (sound) cause the hairs on the cells to move, creating nerve signals that the brain understands as sound. The brain puts it together and hooray! You hear your favorite song on the radio. Day or Night, Ears Keep You Upright Ears do more than hear. They keep you balanced, too. In the inner ear, there are three small loops above the cochlea called semicircular canals. Like the cochlea, they are also filled with liquid and have thousands of microscopic hairs. When you move your head, the liquid in the semicircular canals moves, too. The liquid moves the tiny hairs, which send a nerve message to your brain about the position of your head. In less than a second,

your brain sends messages to the right muscles so that you keep your balance. Sometimes the liquid in your semicircular canals keeps moving after you've stopped moving. To understand this, fill a cup halfway with water. Now move the cup around in a circle in front of you and then stop. Notice how the water keeps swishing around, even after the cup is still? That's what happens in your semicircular canals when you spin in circles or go on the Tilt-AWhirl at the amusement park. When you stop spinning or step off the ride, the fluid in your semicircular canals is still moving. The hairs inside the canals are sensing movement even though you're standing still. That's why you might feel dizzy — your brain is getting two different messages and is confused about the position of your head. Once the fluid in the semicircular canals stops moving, your brain gets the right message and you regain your balance. Three Cheers for the Ears! Your ears take care of you, so take care of them. Protect your hearing by wearing earplugs at loud music concerts and around noisy machinery, like in wood or metal shop at school. Keep the volume down on your stereo, especially if you're in the car or wearing headphones. And one last thing — don't go poking around in your ears, even with cotton swabs. As you probably know, there's only one thing that's safe to put in your ear. Your elbow, of course. Reviewed by: Robert C. O'Reilly, MD Date reviewed: June 2006

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