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Filipino Inventions and Discoveries that Shaped the World

When I was young, I heard the moniker that “Filipinos are the greatest imitators”. In other words, we copy what’s the existing method, style or approach or even surpass them. The negative notion is all around it or you can also benefit from it. But when it comes to inventions and discoveries, if you copy the patented one, then it will be a clear piracy if you don‘t have the proper permission to reproduce it. More so, in HubPages, it will be duplication or plagiarism.

I strongly disagree with this notion. There are many Filipino scientists and inventors who contributed to enhance the living condition of people around the world. We’ve been taught about their contributions and I’m proud to bare it here on HubPages.

Filipino scientists have a long list of achievements that will never be ignored by their countrymen. Although, most of them are working abroad for higher pays and scholarships, many Filipinos are still benefited by their discoveries.

Documentary on Filipino Achievers in Science and Technology c/o pinaswatch1

First on my list is AGAPITO FLORES, the inventor of fluorescent lamp. He patented it but since the government didn’t supported much of his endeavor, he sold it to France's multi-national company, General Electric Company, which had the whole authority to benefit to his very bright invention. (Better check the Filipino Timeline at Amazon)

During the World War II, the ingenuity of the Filipinos were tested and one name came out from Samar. It was ARMANDO MALITE who invented the armalite. The US government bought the patent so that they can reproduce the weapon massively. But until now, it is being disputed because as 'urban legend' because there are no credible answers posted on the Web. Yet, in our CAT (Citizen's Army Training) in high school and CMT/ROTC (Citizen's Military Training) in college, it was taught to us by our military officers for the two-year military science. The arguments regarding the veracity of the subject can be read in many links that surface in the internet.

When I studied in the local maritime school, one of our instructors shared his story about his cousin that once worked in NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), America's space agency. His cousin was EDUARDO SAN JUAN , a mechanical engineer, who was one of the team being credited for the design and construction of Lunar Rover or Moon Buggy. That was 1969, when man first landed on the moon. Recently, it is being disputed again as to where the credit should go.

Ever heard of Karaoke Sing-Along System? Japan copied it from the original patent registered by the Filipino inventor ROBERTO DEL ROSARIO. The dispute was brought to higher court and the original inventor won the case. Ironically, South Korea popularized it so much that they often hold karaoke contests annually. Back here in the Philippines, karaoke units (with TV monitor, microphone and the karaoke gadget) were often seen in posh restaurants and bars. During fiestas and birthdays or anniversaries in the countryside, it was being rented to liven up the celebration. Filipinos love to sing that even everyday, farmers often engage in karaoke.

Take for instance the one who discovered Erythromycin, an antibiotic derived from the bacterium Streptomyces erythreus. ABELARDO AGUILAR, a noted Illonggo doctor/scientist in Iloilo discovered the strain of erythromycin in 1949 from the soil coming from his home province. He sent it to Eli Lilli Co., his employer in the US in order to separate the strain. They did it there, but the Philippine government never received any royalty or the person who discovered it, Dr. Aguilar himself.

2010 List of Noted Filipino Scientists and Inventors

  • Angel Alcala is behind the invention of artificial coral reefs used for fisheries in Southeast Asia.
  • Arturo Alcaraz is a volcanologist specializing in geothermal energy development
  • Benjamin Almeda designed a food-processing machine.
  • Julian Banzon researched methods of producing alternative fuels.
  • Ramon Barba invented practical flower induction treatments.
  • Doctor Benjamin Cabrera has developed innovations in drug treatments against diseases caused by mosquitoes and agricultural soil.
  • Paulo Campos built the first radioisotope laboratory in the Philippines.
  • Magdalena Cantoria is a noted Filipino botanist.
  • Filipino Physicist Josefino Comiso has been warning the world about global warming.
  • Doctor Lourdes Cruz has made scientific contributions to the biochemistry field of conotoxins.
  • Filipino scientist Rolando De La Cruz invented an anti cancer skin cream.
  • Filipino scientist Emerita De Guzman researched the propagation of pure makapuno trees.
  • Doctor Fe Del Mundo is credited with studies leading to the invention of an improved incubator and a jaundice relieving device.
  • Filipino chemist Anacleto Del Rosario won the first prize at the World Fair in Paris in 1881
  • Filipino chemist Ernesto Del Rosario is best known for his achievements in biotechnology and applied physical chemistry.
  • Roberto Del Rosario is the inventor of the Karaoke Sing Along System.
  • Daniel Dingel claims to have invented a water-powered car.
  • Filipino scientist, Pedro Escuro is best known for his isolation of nine rice varieties.
  • Agapito Flores has been acclaimed by some as being the inventor of the first fluorescent lamp - is this true?
  • Pedro Flores was the first person to manufactured the yo-yo in the United States.
  • Francisco Fronda is know as the Father of poultry science in the Philippines.
  • Food and nutrition researcher Carmen Intengan was a pioneer that helped improve the Filipino diet.
  • Amando Kapauan was a Filipino chemist who specialized in environmental chemistry.
  • Hilario Lara helped establish the National Research Council of the Philippines.
  • Felix Maramba built a coconut oil-fueled power generator.
  • Filipino chemist, Luz Oliveros Belardo researched the phytochemical properties of plants in the Philippines for natural products
  • Pioneering food inventor Maria Orosa - aka Maria Y Orosa - invented Calamansi Nip and Soyalac.
  • William Padolina has served as the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology for the Philippines.
  • Eduardo Quisumbing was a noted expert in the medicinal plants of the Philippines.
  • Filipino chemist Francisco Quisumbing invented Quink ink.
  • Dolores Ramirez promoted the development of genetics in the Philippines.
  • Jose Rodriguez is a noted Filipino scientist and researcher who has invented methods of controlling leprosy.
  • Eduardo San Juan worked on the team that invented the Lunar Rover or Moon Buggy.
  • Filipino chemist Alfredo Santos is a noted researcher in the chemistry of natural products.
  • Filipino Chemist Francisco Santos studied the nutritional problems associated with the Filipino diet.
  • Filipino scientist, Gregorio Velasque made intensive studies of bluegreen algae.
  • Carmen Velasquez was a noted Filipino biologist.
  • Gregorio Zara - famous Filipino scientist Gregorio Y Zara
  • Prescillano Zamora is best known for his research in plant anatomy-morphology including the taxonomy of Philippine ferns and the discovery of more fern species.

A Filipino Inventor of Water-powered Car before USA, Japan and China took credit-ABS-CBN News c/o dinfg6

Trivia on Yoyo

The toy “yoyo” that we play today was first made in the Philippines as a combat gear. In the 15th century, when the Spaniards first came to the islands, they noticed that the natives have this kind of weapon (made of hardwood) aside from the bolo, spear and bow and arrow.

Yoyo is now a popular toy in almost all parts of the world. Even anime films in Japan feature this ancient Filipino weapon in their storyline and animation.


Pisot on August 13, 2018:


"Kuentong Barbero"

the on July 04, 2017:

Most(probably all?) of these are embellished or straight lies.

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Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on August 27, 2013: He said: "I am a Filipino, even with a different citizenship. I'm still pinoy, ideally with words and deeds.I love Philippines. I would also give attention and support Filipino inventors."

Thanks for this meaningful message, kabayan! I hope others who are well-off will support struggling Filipino inventors, too.

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on August 27, 2013:

@monle73: Thanks for always visiting this site. Yes, we must help struggling Filipino inventors in order to be recognized by the whole world.

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on August 27, 2013:

@jhenrasaguid: Yes, kabayan.We should all support all Filipino inventors/scientists who are helping to make our world a better place to live in. on July 22, 2013:

ako y isang pinoy ,kahit may ibang nationality ako,pinoy pa rin ako,sa isip sa salita at sa gawa.mahal ko ang pinas. sana naman ay bigyan pansin ang mga pinoy inventor.

noble73 on June 24, 2013:

Let us help one another.wala naman tutulong sa atin kundi ang sarili natin.walang tutulong sa Pilipino kundi kapwa Pilipino.Ingat lagi mga kabayan.

jhenrasaguid on June 04, 2013:

galing..........!!!! tlga ng mga pilipinos.......!!!!!!!!!!!

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on March 23, 2013:

@alroy: I can't contact Mr. Daniel Dingel. He didn't leave any phone number either. I just hope he'll be back reading comments on this hub.

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on March 23, 2013:

@noble73: Salamat uli Ramil. I hope na makapunta ako diyan sa bahay mo and talk about your innovations and inventions.

alroy on February 23, 2013:

pls help me filipinos i need to talk to mr. daniel dingel importanteng importante po. maraming salamat 09162505863 as soon as possible po sana... marami pong salamat muli. mabuhay ang mga pilipino,,!

noble73 on February 20, 2013:

thank you kabayan..ingat lagi

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on December 18, 2012:

@noble73: Salamat, Ramil. In time, your moment will come. You just have to be patient. Sigurado ako na marami nang makakaalam ng iyong mga imbensiyon.

noble73 on November 22, 2012:

Thanks a lot travel man.Truly you are one of the best persons ive ever met.Maraming tao sa mundo,pero kaunti lang ang tulad mo.Keep up the good works as we both find ways kung paano tayo makakatulong sa ating bayan sa munti nating the Glory of God.

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on November 19, 2012:

@noble73: Thank you for trusting me as you gave me the abstract of your project.

Nabasa ko na ang iyong abstract. It's an overwhelming feeling to see you persevere despite of your present condition.

Albeit, I am also doing my own struggle on board ship,still you trusted me to be one of the firsts reading your abstract.

I am also appealing (again) to mlp, if he's still around and visit my hub again so that he can read your plea.

I am sure your inventions will help generate jobs and alleviate the economic conditions of many Filipinos or even the whole world.

Help will always come your way. Just trust the Creator. It will always be realized in his own time.

noble73 on November 13, 2012:

travel man thank you for your concern about my invention..i really appreciate it..Nakakalungkot lang isipin na ang govt agency na dapat tumutulong pagdating sa ganitong bagay ay wala pa ring aksyon hangang ngayon. Nag-email ako sa kanila pero more than a month ago na wala pa ring reply.Sa mga kababayan ko na nais akong tulungan para makagawa ako ng maayos na prototype ng invention na ito at maipa-patent ito,this is my cell#09299953320.Kapos talaga kasi ako sa financial para matustusan ito..i am in the stage of recovery right now.5 years ago may maayos akong business,kaya lang dahil sa sobrang sipag at tiyaga ko,napabayaan ko na pala ang katawan ko.Lahat ng naipundar ko naubos dahil sa pagkakasakit ko.So, nung nagpapagaling ako sa bahay,nagbalik ang pagkahilig ko sa science and technology since i was in high school at naisip ko nga ang magandang idea na ito.May ilan pa akong magagandang invention pero itong inihihingi ko ng tulong sa inyo ay ang pinakamaganda sa lahat ng naisip ko.Just pray for this mga kababayan at sana maisakatuparan ito dito sa ating bansa at kahit papaano ay makatulong sa pagpapaunlad ng ating mahal na bayan.Salamat sa inyong lahat at gayon di sa iyo travel man,saludo ako sa iyo.To God be the glory!

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on November 12, 2012:

@noble73: You can start writing about it, kabayan.

Good luck.

I hope, mlp will again visit this page on my HubPages account.

noble73 on October 31, 2012:

mga kababayan,sana tulungan nyo ako na maipapatent itong invention ko,wala akong sapat na pera para tustusan ito.2 years nang nasa isip ko ito.Sayang kung hindi tayong mga pilipino ang magdedevelop at gagawa nito.

mlp:Sana po tulungan nyo ako matagal na akong naghahanap ng taong may mabuting kalooban para para magawa ko at maipapatent ko ito.naniniwala ako na malaki ang potential nito at makakatulong sa ating bayan.


Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on August 19, 2012:

@13 WARIOR: Salamat naman at nakita mo o nabasa ang komentong WAGAS ni Monching. Sino nga ba ang ipinahiya niya kundi sarili mismo niya.

I don't think this berating person will help us in any way we can as we promote the Filipino inventions and discoveries.

This kind of person should be ignored because I believe, the good ones will always have the last laugh.

13 WARIOR on August 09, 2012:


Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on April 10, 2012:

@mlp: I hope I can share your advocacy to a wider audience or readers.

Please, you can send me an e-mail if you're reading my reply.

Salamat sa iyong paanyaya (Thanks for your invitation).

So, to all Filipino inventors, out there...there's a benefactor who's willing to help you in patenting your products.

Can I also try your invite?

mlp on March 16, 2012:

maraming magagandang inventions ang mga pinoy, hindi lang masyadong napapansin ng marami. makakatulong kung ipapa-patent agad ang mga imbensyon kahit ito'y nasa design stage pa lamang upang maprotektahan at mapakinabangan. nais ko pong tumulong sa mga imbentor na nagnanais ipa-patent ang kanilang likha. ipagbigay alam po lamang...

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on March 11, 2012:

@murphy dangilan: Tama ka kabayan. Pinapalipas ng mga nakaupo sa gobyerno ang kanilang termino, halos sa pamumulitika lang.

Their vested interests to be rich and famous are the ones they've been concentrating into while they are in service.

We just wasted our votes for them.

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on March 11, 2012:

@ nonie faith cabrillos: Thanks for being proud to be a Filipino. I am, too!

murphy dangilan on February 21, 2012:

dahil sa sobrang pulitika ay hindi napapansin ang ating mga imbentor.

nonie faith cabrillos on February 15, 2012:

i like this because i am the one filipino to proud the whole world...and very great...

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on January 17, 2012:

@pnoy_abnoy: Thanks for basing your comment from Queena Lim Chua's statement. You made my article as some kind of hoax, but I have my references.

Please, if you have time, read my basis on my write-up.

For Agapito Flores:

For Eduardo San Juan:

If some controversies arise just post your rebuttal for more clarification.

pnoy_abnoy on January 07, 2012:

according to Queena Lim Chua, the national academy of science and technology of the DOST wrote to the NASA inquiring regarding the lunar rover and the NASA replied that no such Filipino engineer in the team that designed the lunar rover. also, agapito flores cannot designed the flourecscent buldb since there is no electricity at that time in the philippines.

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on November 08, 2011:

@catherine nocedo: Thanks, kabayan. Well, we should be proud of our successful inventors and scientists who showed to the world that Filipinos are competitive in the field of science and technology.

catherine nocedo on November 06, 2011:

i was very proud of some filipino inventors

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on October 30, 2011:

@mavic,ambaguio: Thank you for your appreciation. I'm this hub will add more info on your investigatory project.

mavic,ambaguio on October 29, 2011:

travel your blog is impressive, im having a research for an investigatory project as our piece for the incoming division scinece fair, naligaw ako sa post. i appreciate wat you did.

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on October 13, 2011:

@Monching: Ano bang nationality ang gusto mo? Saka bakit nagmumura ka? Wala ka bang tamang asal sa pagbigay ng komento sa isang artikulo? Irespeto mo ang mga taong nagbibigay karangalan sa atin. Alam mo bang sa atin talaga ang karaoke? Sana naman ay magsaliksik ka para malaman mo ang katotohanan. Hindi kailangan ang dada nang dada kung saan inaaglahi mo pa ang lahing pinagmulan mo.

(What nationality do you want to? Then why are you swearing? Do not have the proper conduct in providing comments on an article? Respect the dignity of the person who are giving us honor. Did you really know who invented the karaoke? I wish you make an extensive research to find the truth. No need for being a blabber as you're degrading your nationality. )

Monching on October 08, 2011:

Ako ay isang filipino pero hindi ako proud na pinoy..ang mga pinagmamalaki nyong pilipino inventor ay pang barangay lang, gaya gaya lang kayong mag pinoy kayo..tang ina nyo..pinoy inbentor na pinagmamalaki nyo nag inbento ng karaoke??nakakahiya kayo..gusto kng magpalit ng nationality

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on September 15, 2011:

@phoeb: You're so right about it. I've been a young inventor in high school but I set aside my calling due to financial constraint.

Without the support of our government, more and more inventions of Filipino scientists will be adopted and patented by other countries who are interested to use such inventions.

phoeb on September 13, 2011:

many talents are being wasted being of the governments lack of support.that why other countries are the ones being credited for some of the filipino invention...

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on June 15, 2011:

@xxepitapxx: Thanks for the trust.I've been a young inventor, too, although I didn't pursue it. Yet, I'm still dreaming to make a positive difference in this world.

xxepitapxx on January 11, 2011:

Im currently working on a thesis about the filipino inventions that was credited by other countries instead of ours. i first heard it around 2 or 3 years ago from jessica sojo that our inventions now a days was sold because of our goverment's ignorance to support our geniuses despite that it can be really useful. like that fire truck i think?? the blueprint was sold to america >.<

hehe.. hope i can learn more from you travelman :)

-thanks for this page :) it's really useful :D

xxepitapxx on January 11, 2011:

:) im really depending on your findings travelman :)

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on January 03, 2011:

@kahit ano: Salamat sa pagbisita sa aking hub. Let's rally to our present administration that we might be able to see the progress of our country with the help of our local scientists and inventors.

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on December 30, 2010:

@ indio blue ideas: I'm glad you presented your products here on Hubpages. Congrats, kabayan!

Funds; that's the 'BIG' problem we should solve first. As to where we will find a sponsor who will believe in our ideas and talent.

kahit ano on December 30, 2010:

yeah! ang galing nating mga pilipino bilib ako sa ating mga inbentor sana mapangalagahan natin sila dahil sa mga ating inbensyon pwede taung yumaman kung bubuksan natin ang ating mga isip sa mga bagay bagay pwede taung yumaman kaya pa nating paunlarin yang mga inbensyon na yan at gawing hi-tech sana nga mapaunlad natin ang ating mga sarili at gumana ang cooperasyon natin sa kapwa natin keep it up! mga filipino inventor....

indigo blue ideas from Philippines on December 17, 2010:

I am a Filipino as well. Check out my product ideas that I am sharing It is not that great compared to known Filipino inventors. It's difficult developing any product or invention without resources such as funds etc.

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on September 27, 2010:

@lhady_falcon17: I hope all Filipinos will have a positive outlook, like yours. Maybe, you could think of an invention that will benefit mankind in the future. How is that?

lhady_falcon17 on September 27, 2010:

many people wants " to be rich but some pilipino have a crab mentality,,,

i like yo"yo inventions i hope mka icp pa cia ng another,,

mabuhay ka pilipino,,,

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on August 18, 2010:

We're fond of 'Karaoke nights' whenever important occasion are held, BkCreative.

I love to right about the importance of the Yo-yo. A much needed research will push through, I promise (hehe!).

Thanks for rating me up!!!

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on August 18, 2010:

@minesgm: You're right about that. The only lacking is the full backing of our government to tap the potentials of Filipino geniuses who are serving other countries because of monetary convenience and the perks of having patented their 'BRIGHT IDEAS'.

Ireno Alcala (author) from Bicol, Philippines on August 18, 2010:

Ignore...maybe that's the word you've omitted, sailor? Yes. the only hindrance in our talent is money resources to buy necessary materials.

BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on August 18, 2010:

Wow great list - and we all know Karaoke - and I'd love to know more about the water car (and of course I grew up with a million yo-yo's - writing about a yo-yo would make a great hub) - and I'm sure there is so very much more.

Thanks for this wonderful list. I love reading about talented creative people! Yay! Rated up!

minesgm from Texas on August 17, 2010:

Great hub. Some Filipinos are really intelligent.

thesailor from Seven Seas on August 17, 2010:

I hope they will not the talent and skills of Filipino inventors and scientists. We just don't have the budget to buy materials for our invention. I hope the government will prioritize science and technology for new discoveries and inventions.

Nice hub, travel man!

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