Outstanding Filipino Inventors

By Nina Chua
Philippine Science High School - Diliman Campus

Most of the scientists we know are Europeans and Americans. I bet a lot of us can't name a single Filipino scientist. Would you be surprised if I told you that a Filipino invented the videophone? I can already hear remarks like - "wow!", "galing!", or "ows?!", like it's the first time you've heard of a pinoy inventing something so innovative. Many Filipino scientists have made major contributions to science and technology, but most of them do not get the publicity and credit that they so rightfully deserve. To acknowledge all their hardworks, here's some Filipino inventors and their handiworks of ingenuity and creativity.

Jose N. Rodriguez
He is one of the very few pioneers in the early fight against leprosy all over the world. Dr. Rodriguez devoted most of his life to the battle against leprosy. He proposed a control program which was used all over Asia. His articles on leprosy have been published all over the world.

Carmen Velasquez
Many young scientist wanna-bes would want to emulate her. Dr. Velasquez discovered 32 new species and one genus from Philippine food fishes, two more from birds and five from mammals. These are just a few of her discoveries which prompted the United States of America to enlist her in the American Men and Women of Science, International Scholars' Directory, International Who's Who of Intellectuals and the World Whos' Who of Women. Beat that!

Gregorio Zara
One of the best national scientists in the Philippines, who brought you the videophone! He was born in Lipa City, Batangas and graduated from the Massachusset's Institute of Technology. The videophone, which is so widely used now, enables us to view our callers on a videoscreen. His other equally impressive inventions were an airplane engine that used alcohol as fuel and the Zara Effect or Electrical Kinetic Resistance which was named after him.

Old but new...

I'm sure all of you are familiar with the yoyo as a toy, but did you know that it was used by pre-hispanic Filipinos as a weapon? Of course, yoyos back then were not made of plastic and wood; they were made of heavier stuff like metal, and they were heavier and larger, so one blow from a yoyo could be fatal.

In the past, the yoyo was not able to do tricks such as walk the dog, the loop and etc.. It could only do up and down motions. That wasn't much fun, was it?

Pedro Flores thought the same way too. He wasn't content with the way yoyos just keep rolling down and then roll back up. He decided to make it more interesting. Instead of knotting the ring inside the yoyo, he made a loop with the axes in it, and then twisted the strings. This enabled the yoyo to stay in place while spinning, and thus, "walking the dog" became a walk in the park. It was patented the Flores YoYo, but it was bought by a foreign company. But it did gave the Philippines the distinction of inventing one of the most loved toys of children and adults the world over.

All these just shows that Philippine Science is ready and willing to take on the world. Inventions that we never thought possible were done by your own race. Aren't you proud?


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