As a young nation, Philippines had many firsts. If you are going to take them into consideration, these firsts are like unpolished gold, treasures of extreme value.
The joy of a nation standing up and showing its first baby steps can never be underestimated. Just like the first time you watched a movie. For the most part, we are greatly in debt to the Americans for egging us forward and providing the right infrastructure for us to succeed. Truly, we may have not gotten to where we are now had them Americans left us in the lurch. Though I believe being one of the states of the USA would be a dream come true for many suffering Filipino.
Gentlemen, let’s take a walk down to memory lane where we see our first steps towards nationhood. Here are some of the best:
See how much you know.
#10: FIRST PINOY U.S. BILLBOARD TOP 100 CHART TOPPERS
Yes, this group was able to land a spot on the most lucrative and most sought-after hit list in the whole wide world, the US Billboard Top 100, giving the Americans a run for their money. Back in 1963, the “Rocky Fellers” snatched the 16th spot of the world-renowned Billboard Top 100 with their song “Killer Joe”. Sounds creepy!
Not until CharicePempengco hit the Top 8 in the US chart did any Pinoy that matter got the spotlight again. The Rocky Fellers were made up of Doroteo “Moro” Maligmat and his 4 sons. The all-Filipino group may have conquered more American hearts with other big hits had they not been swept aside one big super-humongous wave in the British invasion: the Beatles.
Answer: the Rocky Fellers in 1963
#9: FIRST NATIONAL SWEEPSTAKES DRAW
The first sweepstakes was done in 1932, undertaken to bring needed cash for the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF). A resounding success, the government deployed more sweepstake draws for the benefit of the Philippine Anti-Tuberculosis Society (now the Philippine Tuberculosis Society)
#8: FIRST ICE CREAM STORE PHILIPPINES
It did not take long for the Americans to introduce ice cream to the discerning palates of the Filipinos. The first ice cream parlor cum candy shop cum café was opened by an American named M.A. Clarke.
It was named Clarke’s and was built in 1899 along Plaza Moraga on the south end of the iconic Pasig River. Somehow, the delicious mouth-watering pink ice cream that the joint served is a symbol of how American culture left a wonderful taste in the mouths of many Pinoys. A never-before-seen world opened right before the eyes of millions of Filipinos via the American Dream.
Answer: Clarke’s in 1899
#7: FIRST PBA GOAL
The first ever shot made in the most-watched sports in the Philippines PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) came from the famous Crispa team. On April 9, 1975 with a total of 18,000 fans watching and roaring, Gregorio “Joy” Dionisioof Crispabecame the first ever player to make the first shot in the PBA.
Answer: Gregorio “Joy” Dionisio in 1975
#6: FIRST ELECTED MANILA MAYOR
Before democracy was in full swing the seat of the highest power of the city of Manila was nonexistent for true blue Pinoys. The only position our forefathers can have during the Spanish era was as a Cabeza de Barangay, or the equivalent of barangay captain.
The honor of becoming the first mayor elected via majority vote belongs to Arsenio Lacson, who in his term from 1952 to 1962 made Manila flourish so much it was dubbed the start of “Golden Age”. His style of leadership was likened to the much-praised mayor of New York City Fiorellola Guardia.
Answer: Arsenio Lacson, 1952
It’s no surprise the first plane to be fly here in the Philippines was made possible by the Americans.
The honor belongs to pilot James “Bud” Mars, an American, who flew the Shriver’s Skylark in the Philippines as part of the 1911 Manila Carnival celebration. The plane which arrived from Hawaii was designed by US Aviation pioneer Glenn Hammond Custiss.
An exact replica of the Skylark is put on display in the Philippine Aerospace Museum located at Villamor Air Base.
Answer: Shriver’s Skylark, 1911
#4: FIRST ASTEROID NAMED AFTER A FILIPINO
For their exemplary accomplishments in the field of astronomy as signified by their book touching on Halley’s Comet, became the first ever Filipinos to have an asteroid named in their honor.
The much-renowned IAU (International Astronomical Union) conferred the name of 6282 “Edwelda”(i.e., combination of their names) to Asteroid 6282 in honor of the two Filipinos. Asteroid 6282 orbits around the sun every 3.51 years and was discovered by astronomer Carolyn Shoemaker in the 80’s.
Answer: Edwelda, November 1995
And the first kiss ever in Philippine cinema belongs to half-blooded Fil-Am Elizabeth “Dimples” Cooper in the 1926 silent movie “AngTatlongHambug”. Her onscreen partner actor/race car driver Luis Tuason.
Incidentally, kissing was considered sacrilegious then.
Dimples, however, is most remembered as the beautiful rumored lover of one of history’s great military general, General Douglas MacArthur.
Answer: Dimples Cooper & Luis Tuason, 1926
Wayda Cosme at the age of 26 became the country’s first attorney-at-law who was a pure-blooded Aeta passing the bar exams in 2001. Through scholarships and stipends, the brave lady worked her way to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Her life-story was depicted on GMA-7 TV and she was portrayed by Jolina Magdangal who received much praise for the episode in “Magpakailanman”, earning commendation from 2003 Asian TV Awards.
Answer: Wayda Cosme, 2001
The first president to ever cross the Pacific is President ElpidioQuirino. He flew to the US via PAL’s DC-6 on August 6, 1949. Technology seem to be doing its firsts, as dear leader Quirino also became the first ever president to ever appear on TV.
How’s that for a change?
Answer: President ElpidioQuirino, August 6, 1949
Yes, that’s about it. How many did you guess right? For your opinions and clarifications or just about anything you want to shoot about the topic, please find the comments section below. And for your added convenience I’ve included nifty share buttons.
Of course when you talk about reaching the lengths of Planet Mars, we’re still on the ideation stage. But who knows?