Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Philippines is the breeding ground for undiscovered and, more often than not, unappreciated geniuses of many sorts.

Here are a few lists of those Filipino Inventors that were not known to the entire world that they invented something which the people around the world are now using :


We all know that "yoyo" as a rounded and stringed toy that kids play nowadays.  The modern toy that we know today was the brainchild of law undergraduate, Pedro Flores, whose idea was later brought to reality. Pedro Flores, a Philippine immigrant, began manufacturing a toy labeled with that name. Flores became the first person to mass-produce yo-yos, at his small toy factory located in California. Duncan saw the toy, liked it, bought the rights from Flores in 1929 and then trademarked the name Yo-Yo and  became one of the most distinct toys the world has ever known.


Fe del Mundo, the first Asian to have entered the prestigious Harvard University's School of Medicine, is also credited for her studies that led to the invention of incubator and jaundice relieving  device. The improvised incubator was made up of two native laundry baskets of different sizes placed one inside the other. Hot water bottles were placed all around between them to provide warmth.  There was also a makeshift hood overlapping  baskets to allow oxygen to circulate within.  It was created to address the needs of rural areas with no electricity that is needed to regulate newborn babies' body temperature.


This well-known medicine is an antibiotic derived from the bacterium Streptomyces erythreus. Not known by many, the Ilonggo doctor / scientist Abelardo Aguilar is the one who discovered the said strain in1949 using the soil in his home province. Unfortunately, when he sent it to U.S. employer in Eli Lilli separate the strain, the Indiana-based company owned the drug  and didn't give Aguilar any credit for his outstanding discovery.


Diosdado Banatao, the most recognized Filipino inventor in Silicon Valley, developed the first single-chip graphical user interface accelerator that made computers work a lot faster.  This invention has allowed computer users to use graphics for commands and not the usual  typed commands in older computers.  It has allowed data processing to be a little faster using very little space (small chips instead of large boards.)


The quink ink drying ink was invented by Francisco Quisumbing, a chemist.  It was an innovative ink at that time and was further developed to work with Parker Pens.  Aside from being quick drying, it is also water-resistant, did not clog the pen opening, does not blot and will not fade. It is considered the fountain pen of the millenium.


Rolando dela Cruz developed in the year 2000 an ingenous formula that could easily remove deeply grown moles and warts from the skin without leaving marks or hurting the patient. His formula was extracted from cashew nuts (Annacardium Occidentale), which is common in the Philippines. The formula won for Dela Cruz a gold medal in International Invention, Innovation, Industrial Design, and Technology Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur in September 2000.


A compact audio device that had a microphone, an amplifier speaker, cassette tape mechanisms, a microphone mixer that had features that enhanced voice, and an optional radio tuner.  This was invented by Roberto Del Rosario in 1975.

It was the Pinoy singers working in Japan that brought in cassette tapes recorded without the vocal tracks, or “Minus-ones” as they used to call them, so they could cut costs on band equipment and performers. The Japanese took a liking to it, and started singing along out of tune to their co- workers’ delight. The word “karaoke” comes from two Filipino words: “kara”, meaning face and “oke” meaning okay. In short, when the Japanese sing, their faces look okay.


Gregorio Zara invented a two-way television telephone.  This device for the hearing impaired.


A system capable of building within the weeks a house with prefabricated materials that can withstand  typhoons and earthquakes.  Edgardo Vasquez invented this.


Jose Rodriguez. Jose Rodriguez is a noted Filipino scientist and researcher who has invented methods of controlling Hansenâ's Disease commonly known as leprosy. His leprosy control program was instituted in the Philippines and other Asian countries. Jose Rodriguez's medical papers on leprosy research are often referenced and have been published around the world. 


The traffic light is another Filipino innovation. It was Teodoro Cruz who came up with the idea when he noticed during Christmas time how his fellow Filipinos would always stop their cars as they enjoyed the different colors of the Christmas lanterns along the roads. He then created the traffic light system using the colors of the Philippine flag. The Americans changed the blue into green, even though colorblind people can’t distinguish between red and green. Research the roots of traffic lights; the Philippines is not mentioned.


The moon buggy, a space innovation, was invented by Eduardo San Juan, a graduate of MIT (Mapua Institute of Technology). Take a look at the lunar rover and how it resembles the jeepney, the source of inspiration of the creator.
Now, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Many more accomplishments can be mentioned but I’m afraid this magazine doesn’t have enough space for that. So the next time you marvel at an amazing invention, design, or discovery, chances are a Filipino had a hand in it.


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