Filipinos Cutting Lettuce, Salinas, Calif. Photo by Dorothea Lange
Yet another pat on the back ... from ourselves

The following article makes one wonder even more at our dismal ability to capitalise on the natural wealth of our country. With all these accomplishments, why are we still like this? Maybe because the Filipino people in general have no appreciation for anything intellectual or, for that matter, anything to do with hard work and inspiration.

In fact, we should be a bit more hesitant about trumpeting our country's being host to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). It only highlights this sad fact. We went from food security to food dependency over the last 2-3 decades. It's like a student failing an arithmetic exam even after being allowed to use a calculator!

We were showered with more than our fair share of blessings. Yet we all but squandered the wealth of the land and our gifts from God. The Jews fought and wandered for centuries and all they got for their trouble was a piece of desert land surrounded by hostile kingdoms. And yet they are far more prosperous than we are. Why?

Maybe we should face the following realities about ourselves:

1. We don't have the commercial acumen to turn our "inventions" and "discoveries" into competitively marketable products and services. Multinationals do that for us.

2. We exhibit our best traits (including our much-touted "ingenuity") abroad. In such cases, it therefore follows that what Filipinos accomplish, say, in the US, belongs to America and not the the Philippine nation. The Philippine nation has failed to provide the environment for Filipinos to excel.

You be the judge:

--- In elagda-forum@y..., "Black Orpheus" wrote:
-------Original Message--------
To: OFW-News@y...
From: grr_ofw@y...
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 13:50:42 +0800
Subject: [OFW-News] Pride in the Filipino - a post from Philippineupdate forum

Here, I hope these Kababayans will make you proud.

Do you know that Diosdado Banatao, an engineer from Cagayan, Philippines, made GUI (graphical user interface (GUI) possible? Without which we will still be limited to that green monitor that can only display text?

- 64% of Asian-Americans were netizens and 85% of Fil-Am homes have computers?

Here'a some more from R. Balboa, what else did Filipinos invent? - Clonal mist technology for hardwood trees, commercial fluorescent lamp, karaoke, etc.

-Polio vaccine was discovered using Philippine monkeys. [My personal favourite - the Webmaster]

-Zebronkey, half-zebra and half-donkey, was first bred in Manila Zoo in 1962.

-Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero III demonstrated that tilapia's fry fed with sex hormones can turn female potential fry into male.

-The Filipino doctor who co-created the drug Erythromycin (Ilosone�) from Iloilo soil was Abelardo Aguilar.

-In Spring 1999, the water-based insect buster called Household Insecticide (HI) won Gonzalo Catan Jr. the Silver Medal at the 27th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland. This Filipino innovation makes use of 21 useful microorganisms, among other materials, to kill flies, mosquitoes, termites, ants, roaches, as well as dog ticks, fleas and lice.

-Two Filipino inventors scored a pair of gold medals in the International Invention, Innovation, Industrial Design and Technology Exhibition (ITEX 2000) held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in September 2000. Engr. Cornelio Se�o of Los Banos, Laguna and Rolando dela Cruz garnered golds for their inventions called, respectively, "Pressure Fluid Machine" and "Topical Formulation in Removing Warts, Moles and the Like Using Cashew Nuts (Annacardium occidentale)." Dela Cruz spent 25 years of research for his winning cashew nut preparation known as Dewart and Demole. Seno has four US and four Philippine patents under his name.

-The University of the Philippines developed an anti-cough medicine (Ascof) and a diuretic (Releaf) from Philippine herbs lagundi and sambong, respectively, which won a silver in the 1997 International Inventors' Fair in Switzerland. The research papers were organized by Dr. Francis Gomez.

-Besides inventing the banana vinegar, Maria Carlita Rex-Doran also produced an ampalaya (bittermelon) concoction for diabetes mellitus and HIV infection. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) conferred on her the Gold Medal in 1989, four years after another Filipina inventor, Olympia Gonzales, achieved the same award.

-Who first made the banana catsup and the pineapple vinegar? Maria Ylagan Orosa of the Philippines.

-Dr. Ramon Barba discovered that spraying mango trees with potassium nitrate induced flowering all year round. This technology made the Philippines a leading exporter of mangoes and mango products such as candy, puree and juice.

-In 1971, a team was led by Dr. Emerita V. de Guzman in making the first makapuno (coconut mutant for delicacies) harvest from a test tube... A student at the University of Santo Tomas named Teodula K. Africa made the first nata de coco (fermented coconut gelatin) in 1979.

-Milagros A. Ramos invented the submerged method of cultivating edible mushroom mycelium (the vegetative stage of mushrooms) in liquid medium in 1963. Her concept departed from the traditional bed-culture method.

-The world's rice research leader, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), is located in Los Ba�os, Laguna Philippines... The leading rice exporter is Thailand, followed by the USA... The Philippines' foremost rice breeder, Dr. Rodolfo Aquino, was one of the scientists who developed IR8, the 1966 strain of the rice variety that launched Asia's "Green Revolution." {Written Aug 15 99... In 1970, Dr. Ricardo Lantican of Los Ba�os led a corn research that saved America's corn industry from the Southern leaf blight.

-Dr. Nic Liquido pioneered the research on light-activated dyes that control many fruit flies. He is a University of the Philippines (UP) alumnus and former lab director of the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) Research Service. {Written Aug 15 99... Dr. Baldomero Olivera, a UP Summa cum Laude graduate, discovered conotoxins, a bunch of biomolecules in Philippine marine snails now used in international neuroscience research... A seacone known scientifically as Conus lapulapu was named after Lapulapu, the Philippine hero who killed Ferdinand Magellan in war.

-Dr. Florante Quiocho, a Filipino scientist, solved the structure of calmodulin bound to its ligand (calcium).

-Urine is normally used in drug detection, but Dr. Enrique Ostrea discovered that the use of meconium (the baby's first stools) was more sensitive since the drugs taken by the mother accumulate in the fetus' intestines. This mec test is now used by the US National Institutes of Health, and Ostrea has received numerous awards and US patents.

-Dr. Jorge Camara, a University of the Philippines graduate, made history as the world's first doctor to use teleophthalmology when he guided Dr. Susan Senft in removing an eye tumor via two-way, closed circuit television in 1999.

-In the 1970s, immunologist Eduardo A. Padlan, together with Dr. D. R. Davies, used x-ray crystallography to study the antibody, which was helpful in diagnosing cancer cells and in understanding the immune system as a whole. Ned Teves, a Filipino anesthesiologist, invented the endotracheal tube cardiac monitor. {Written Aug 15 99

-Wilmo Orejola, a Filipino surgeon, created the harmonic scalpel, an ultrasonic surgical knife that doesn't burn flesh. He has more than a dozen medical and toy patents in the US and in the Philippines... Francis Duhaylongsod, a Filipino heart surgeon in Hawaii, invented an operation called minimally-invasive cardiac surgery. This uses smaller cuts into the body, reducing the nine-week recovery period to two.

-The orthopedist who authored the ''Fracture Classification Manual'' now widely used all over the world was who? Ramon Gustilo, a Filipino surgeon who holds nine patents for artificial bone replacement systems.

-Dr. E. V. Macalalag Jr., chief urologist of the Philippine Army General Hospital, discovered that water from young coconut could be used as universal urinary stone solvent. He named this procedure as bukolysis.

-Who invented the fluorescent lamp? Thomas Edison discovered the electric light and Nikola Tesla invented the fluorescent lighting. But the fluorescent lamp we use today was invented by Agapito Flores, a Filipino electrician. Americans helped Filipino politicians to develop it for worldwide commerce. General Electric has denied this. Similarly, the anti-cancer drug Taxol was invented by Filipinos using Philippine yew (Taxus matrana) but patented by Americans.

-Francisco Quisumbing, a Filipino chemist, invented Quink pen ink which he sold to Parker for international consumption. The ink cleans the pen as it writes, dries quickly on paper, and remains liquid inside the tube.

-Juanito A. Simon, a US-educated and -trained metallurgist who smoothly speaks Kapampangan, formulated the Per'tua motor lubricant internationally known as Tribotech ( This product is now used by McDonnell Douglas in AH-65 Apache combat support helicopters, Boeing autoclaves and giant ovens which bake vital aircraft parts.

-A rust-proofing and water-coating material rolled into one called Marglue Marcoat was invented by Margie Centeno of the Philippines.

-Melano tells the contents of a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank and automatically shuts off gas flow to the burner once a hose or tank leaks. This safety device was created by Arquillo Melano Sr. and had never been instituted by American, European and Japanese manufacturers earlier.

-Felix D. Maramba Sr. invented the power generator fed by charcoal and coconut oil.

-Dr. Antonio Mateo made the double-flaring tool (DFT) for plumbing installation for airtight sealing of joints. He was awarded the WIPO Gold Medal in Geneva, Switzerland in 1994. His company AMECOS also markets the fire blanket, a Filipino innovation that saves lives and properties in case of fire.

-NEW! WIPO Inventor of the Year 1995 Edgardo Vazquez brought home the Gold Medal for the modular housing called Vazbuilt. This is a system for building fire-, termite-, typhoon- and earthquake-proof houses in less than a month using prefabricated posts and panels. Engr. James Reamon also took a gold from the WIPO in 1984 for his Jimbo Ventilation System. {Added Jan 30 01

-Rodolfo Arambulo of Laguna, Philippines developed Multishock, a bullet type that increases the firepower and stopping power of an ordinary gun with multiple hits in a single shot. It is considered as the first of its kind in the world.

-Engr. Leonardo Gasendo of Manila made the super windmill as well as the salt evaporator. {Written Aug 15 99

-Architect Eddie Urcia, a Bicolano who owns a bicycle factory in Brunei, invented and patented the world's fastest bike with 48-gear combinations.

-Filipina Margie Talaugon made the first car seat pillow for a child... The windshield wiper was the 1903 idea of Alabama's Mary Anderson.

-Filipino inventor Daniel Dingel started working on a water-powered car and prototype in 1969. According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, his hydrogen reactor uses electricity from a 12-volt car battery to transform ordinary tap water with salt into deuterium oxide or heavy water. European and other foreign cars run on liquid hydrogen, not ordinary water; they also make use of fuel cell engines instead of internal combustion engines. (Dingel's car has never been patented and commercialized because of what he suspects as an anti- Dingel car conspiracy by multinational oil companies.) {Added Summer 99

-Roberto del Rosario invented the piano tuner's guide, the piano keyboard stressing device, the voice color tape, and the one-man- band (OMB). The OMB was later developed as the Sing-Along-System (SAS) to aid his voice students. His first model came out in the 1970s, and was copied by the Japanese who named their device the karaoke. The July 24, 1999 Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that Del Rosario filed a suit and was consequently awarded sole authority over karaoke's Philippine production.

-Ironmate, a device that automatically shuts off electricity when a flatiron is rested on it, was designed by Rodolfo Biescas Sr. of Albay, Philippines.

-Camilo M. Tabalba, a Filipino engineer, headed a team to make the telephone electronic in 1970. By 1975, he published his findings, including the development of the dynamic transducer (a transmission circuit replacing the carbon transmitter). His work helped in the development of the modern Touchtone phone.

-Engr. Jose Zafaralla of Mariano Marcos State University in Batac, Ilocos Norte invented a machine that makes straight bamboo poles for use in making furniture and other bamboocrafts.

-The 22-watt reflectorized circular lamp was built in a wooden box by Eduardo Sta. Ines. The auxiliary is a plastic diffuser and a stainless-steel reflector that gives a bright and wide illuminator.

-Dr. Josefino Comiso, a Filipino physicist with NASA, first discovered a recurring polynya (semipermanent area of open water in sea ice) in the Cosmonaut Sea, south of the Indian Ocean.

-The first Filipina engineer to become NASA Space Mission manager was Angelita Albano Castro Kelly, who studied Mathematics/Physics at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila and finished Summa cum Laude. She traces her roots to Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.

-Filipino Eugene Resos designed the pilot seat for Boeing 747 jumbo jet in 1968. {Written Aug 15 99

-Flying in 1954 at the Manila International Airport, the airplane with an engine using alcohol was invented by Dr. Gregorio Zara (born on March 8, 1902). He also made the TV-telephone (videophone), a device that enables callers to view each other onscreen.

-Who created the Lunar Rover or moon buggy used in 1969 by American astronauts who first landed on the moon? A Filipino employee of Lockheed Corporation christened Eduardo San Juan.

-Filipino astronomers Edwin Aguirre and Imelda Joson discovered Asteroid 6282 (called Edwelda after their first names), an asteroid orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter.

-Dr. Jose B. Cruz used engineering and mathematics to devise the comparison sensitivity matrix for evaluating changes occurring in different components - from the parts of an ordinary flashlight to the automatic control and feedback of a Patriot missile. He graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of the Philippines.

-Who pioneered the padding or translational technique now widely used in complexity theory? Dr. Carlos H. Ibarra, a Filipino professor at University of California (Santa Barbara) who has been a leading researcher on the design and analysis of algorithms, the theory of computation, computational complexity, parallel computing and digital libraries.

-Edward Sanchez, a Mensan, bagged the grand prize in the first Philippine Search for Product Excellence in Information Technology. {Written Aug 15 99

-The inventor of the one-chip video camera was Marc Loinaz, a Filipino resident of New Jersey who works with Lucent Technologies. He was featured in the July 1999 issue of Discover Magazine.

-Diosdado Banatao, an engineer from Cagayan, Philippines, pioneered graphics acceleration, introducing the world's 1st graphical user interface (GUI) accelerator. He also contributed designs like the ethernet, a networking protocol plugged into PCs... Asian-Indian Vinod Dham made the Pentium chip for Intel and the K6 processor for AMD.

I hope one of these Filipinos will make you proud, not to mention Carlos P. Romulo, Ben Cayetano, Lea Salonga, your mom and dad, and of course Jose Rizal.

Email me!


Send us

Type In Your Name:

Type In Your E-mail:

Your Friend's E-mail:

Your Comments:

Receive copy: 

Human Capital(back)

Click here for your good deed for the day!