Filipinos are known to be among the happiest people in the world. We have experienced a lot of tragedies and disasters, and yet we have remained unfaltering and we never forget to laugh and be optimistic. But apart from these amazing traits, did you know that Filipinos have also contributed a lot of incredible inventions that have made the world a better and more fun place to live?
In case you are not aware of that, here’s a list of some of the greatest inventions by Pinoys that have forever changed the world:
The archipelago of the Philippines may have a long way to go before our scientific technology becomes at par with that of the US, Europe, and China, but still, this did not hinder a Filipino from creating one of the 21st century’s groundbreaking inventions—the medical incubator.
Dr. Fe del Mundo, who was the first Asian to be admitted at the School of Medicine in Harvard, was recognized for her studies leading to the invention of two medical devices—an incubator and a jaundice relieving device. Although she was not the first to create the incubator, her improvised invention has allowed doctors to use incubators in rural areas that have no electricity.
Another medical invention that a Filipino developed is Erythromycin, a modern antibiotic made from the bacterium Streptomyces erythreus. Dr. Abelardo Aguilar, a doctor hailing from Iloilo, has observed the antibacterial actions of the Aspergillus species; he then figured out that this could be an alternative medication to penicillin, since there are several patients who are allergic to it.
He sent a sample of his discovery to his employer, Eli Lilly Co., which was quick to patent and market the medicine. But instead of giving recognition to Dr. Aguilar’s discovery, the Indiana-based pharmaceutical company did not give any credit (even royalties) to him even after his death. However, Eli Lilly Co.’s Erythromycin was named Ilosone after Iloilo, the place where Dr. Abelardo Aguilar discovered the modern antibiotic.
Banana catsup is one of the most popular condiments in the country. As a matter of fact, we love it even more than the usual tomato catsup. But apart from that, did you know that this popular variation of catsup is actually the brainchild of a Filipina food technologist? According to several historical accounts, Maria Orosa y Ylagan created the first concoction for the banana catsup. But aside from that, she also formulated other products, including calamansi nip—powdered calamansi that can be made into juice—and powdered soya beans, which helped thousands of Filipinos who were held as prisoners in Japanese concentration camps during WWII.
If you want a wart or a mole removed, the only option that you have is to cauterize it, and if you have experienced this procedure, then you know for sure that it hurts a lot. Luckily, a Filipino inventor, Rolando dela Cruz, has created an ingenious formula that would remove moles and warts from the skin minus the pain and the scars. The formula, which is made from cashew nuts, was developed last 2000. It has won dela Cruz a number of accolades, including a gold medal during the International Invention, Innovation, Industrial Design, and Technology Exhibition in Kuala Lumpur last September 2000.
Who among you here loves playing with the yo-yo? This round, stringed toy is definitely a hit across the globe, and several competitions have been made just to showcase the talents of yo-yo players. The yo-yo game was even made into an anime (Super Yo-Yo, anyone?). What’s interesting about the yo-yo is that, aside from being created by a Filipino, the original yo-yo was actually used as a combat weapon against intruders and the Spaniards. The first yo-yo had sharp edges and was extremely large; it was attached to a thick rope and flung at enemies or prey. As for the modern toy that we know today, it is the brainchild of Pedro Flores, a law undergraduate. The yo-yo was then mass produced in America and it became one of the world’s most popular toys.
Other Pinoy Inventions
Aside from the medical incubator, the yo-yo, banana catsup, and Erythromycin, there are several other inventions that were proudly made by Pinoys, and that includes the fish sauce, the fluorescent lamp, quick-drying ink, the videophone, and the karaoke.
Did we miss any Filipino-made inventions in our list? Share your thoughts and we’d be happy to read them.