Roberto del Rosario, a Filipino is claiming the right for the invention of the Sing-Along-System (SAS) that eventually led to the development of Karaoke, a Japanese term for "singing without accompaniment". Among del Rosario's other inventions were the Trebel Voice Color Code (VCC), 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).
Inventor of Incubator
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. Del Mundo, an International Pediatric Association (IPA) awardee, is an alumna of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Medicine. Since 1941, she has contributed more than 100 articles to medical journals in the U.S., Philippines and India. In 1966, she received the Elizabeth Blackwell Award, for her "outstanding service to mankind". In 1977, she was bestowed the Ramon Magsaysay Award for outstanding public service.
Moon Buggy Inventor
Filipinos consider Eduardo San Juan as the inventor of the Lunar Rover, or more popularly known as the Moon Buggy. The Moon Buggy was the car used by Neil Armstrong and other astronauts when they first explored the moon in 1969. Eduardo San Juan, a graduate of Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), worked for Lockheed Corporation and conceptualized the design of the Moon Buggy that the Apollo astronauts used while in the moon. As a NASA engineer, San Juan reportedly used his Filipino ingenuity to build a vehicle that would run outside the Earth's atmosphere. He constructed his model using homemade materials. In 1978, San Juan received one of the Ten Outstanding Men (TOM) awards in science and technology.
San Juan, however, was not listed as the inventor of the Moon Buggy in American scientific journals. It said the vehicle was designed and constructed by a group of space engineers. In Poland, the Moon Buggy is attributed to a Polish inventor. Worse, the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) does not recognize Flores in its roster of outstanding Filipino scientists.
On June 25, 2002, the provincial government of Cavite awarded Edward Caro a plaque of recognition for his 42 years of service at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States where he helped launch the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission or the Explorer. Caro, 70 and a native of Cavite retired from NASA in 2001. In return, NASA during the same year conferred Caro the Distinguished Science medal, reportedly the highest honor it gives to its employees. (Source: Philippine Star)
Fluorescent Lamp Inventor
Many Filipinos acknowledge Agapito Flores as the inventor of the fluorescent lamp, which is the most widely used source of lighting in the world today. The fluorescent lamp reportedly got its name from Flores. Written articles about Flores said he was born in Bantayan Island in Cebu. The fluorescent lamp, however, was not invented in a particular year. It was the product of 79 years of the development of the lighting method that began with the invention of the electric light bulb by Thomas Edison.
Among the other inventors who claimed credit for developing the fluorescent lamp were French physicist A. E. Becquerel (1867), Nikola Tesla, Albert Hall (1927), Mark Winsor and Edmund Germer. French inventor Andre Claude was recognized for developing the fluorescent tubular lighting systems. Yet, he was not officially recognized as the inventor of fluorescent lamp. It was reported that the General Electric and Westinghouse obtained Claude's patent rights and developed the fluorescent lamp that we know today.
According to Filipino scientists, fluorescent lamp was not named after Flores. The term fluorescence first cropped up as early as 1852 when English mathematician-physicist George Gabriel Stokes discovered a luminous material called "fluorspar", which he coined with "escence". The National Academy of Science and Technology also dismissed Flores being the inventor of fluorescent lamp as a myth. "No scientific report, no valid statement, no rigorous documents can be used to credit Flores for the discovery of the fluorescent lamp. We have tried to correct this misconception, but the media (for one) and our textbooks (for another) keep using the Flores example," a Filipino scientist wrote in her column at the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The fluorescent lamps were introduced into the U.S. market in 1938. Still, Filipinos recognize Agapito Flores as the inventor of the product that illuminated the world.
Gregorio Zara of Lipa City and a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology invented the videophone and developed the Zara Effect or Electrical Kinetic Resistance.
He Discovered Erythromycin
A Filipino scientist reportedly discovered erythromycin in 1949. He was Dr. Abelardo Aguilar who died in 1993 without being recognized and rewarded for his discovery. Reports said Aguilar discovered the antibiotic from the Aspergillus species of fungi in 1949 and sent samples to Indiana-based pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly Co. The drug firm allegedly registered the propriety name Iloson for the antibiotic in honor of Iloilo province where Aguilar discovered it. In 1952, Eli Lilly Co. began the commercial distribution of Iloson, which was sold as an alternative to penicillin. Erythromycin, the generic name of Iloson, was reportedly the first successful macrolide antibiotic introduced in the US.
Diosdado Banatao, a native of Iguig, Cagayan and an electrical engineering graduate from Mapua Institute of Technology in Manila is credited for eight major contributions to the Information Technology. Banatao is most known for introducing the first single-chip graphical user interface accelerator that made computers work a lot faster and for helping develop the Ethernet controller chip that made Internet possible. In 1989, he pioneered the local bus concept for personal computers and in the following year developed the First Windows accelerator chip. Intel is now using the chips and technologies developed by Banatao. He now runs his own semiconductor company, Mostron and Chips & Technology, which is based in California's Silicon Valley. (Source: Filipinas Magazine)
Modular Housing Inventor
Edgardo Vazquez won a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) gold medal in 1995 for developing a modular housing system. Such a system called Vazbuilt is reportedly capable of building within weeks a house with prefabricated materials that can withstand typhoons and earthquakes. Ironically, Vasquez is not getting enough support from the Philippine government to propagate his technology, which could help provide shelter to some five million Filipino families without their own homes. Vazquez is the national president of the Filipino Inventors Society.
Inventor of Fuel Products
In 1996, Rudy Lantano Sr., a scientist from the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST), won the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) gold medal for developing Super Bunker Formula-L, a revolutionary fuel half-composed of water. The mix burns faster and emits pollutants, 95 percent less than those released to the air by traditional fuel products. The inventor said his invention is a result of blending new ingredients and additives with ordinary oil products through agitation and mixing, which is a very safe process. The initial plan was to commercially produce two million liters of Alco-Diesel, two million liters of Lan-Gas and an unlimited quantity of Super Bunker Formula-L each day for customers in Luzon.
Natural Gas Vehicle
The Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a vehicle that runs on natural gas, whose rich deposits remain untapped under the Philippine seabed. The project's main objective is to look into the potential of natural gas as an alternative fuel to conventional petrol and diesel for the transport sector. The natural gas vehicle (NVG) has been road-tested in Isabela where an existing natural gas supply from the PNOC Gas Plant is located. Test runs have also been made in Cagayan, Ifugao and Mountain Province. The test vehicle used was the Isuzu Hi-Lander 4JA-1, direct injected diesel engine. The use of natural gas as a fuel is cheaper. On a gallon-equivalent basis, natural gas costs an average of 15 to 40 percent less than gasoline and diesel. There are over one million NVGs in the world today, according to the International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles.
Lamp Fixing Invention
A Filipino inventor has developed a technology, which could revive a busted lamp (pundido) and give it more years of functional life than those of new ones. Acclaimed by the Filipino Inventors Society as timely and revolutionary, the Nutec system can prolong the life of fluorescent lamps up to seven years. Nutec was developed by New World Technology, headed by president Eric Ngo and chosen as the "Product of the Year" at the Worldbex 2000 Building and Construction Exposition held at the Manila Hotel. Engineer Benjamin S. Santos, national president of the Inventors Society, called Nutec a timely invention.
The Department of Science and Technology claimed that it has developed "Tubig Talino", an iodine-rich drinking water that treats micronutrient deficiencies responsible for goiter, mental and physical retardation, and birth defects. "Tubig Talino" is actually a mixture of 20 liters of water and 15 ml of "Water Plus + I2". Consumption of five glasses a day of this iodine fortification in drinking water is expected to provide 120 micrograms of iodine, which meets 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of a male adult.
In 2000, Rolando dela Cruz developed an ingenuous formula that could easily remove deeply grown moles or warts from the skin without leaving marks or hurting the patient. His formula was extracted from cashew nut (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. In March 1997, dela Cruz established RCC Amazing Touch International Inc., which runs clinics engaged "in a non-surgical removal of warts, moles and other skin growths, giving the skin renewed energy and vitality without painful and costly surgery."
Feminine Hygiene Product Inventor
Dr. Virgilio Malang won a gold medal for his invention "Psidium Guajava Effervescing Gynecological Insert", a silver medal for his "Patient Side-Turning Hospital Bed", and three bonze medals for his inventions "external vaginal cleanser", "light refracting earpick", and "broom's way of hanging" at the Seoul International Fair in held South Korea in December 2002. There were 385 inventions from 30 countries that joined the competitions.
Who Developed Patis?
Contrary to popular belief, there was no fish sauce or Patis yet during the Spanish occupation. Patis began to become a part of most Filipinos' diet only after the Japanese occupation. Here is an account of how an enterprising lady discovered the fermentation of Patis. Immediately after the war, the family of Ruperta David or Aling Tentay started a dried fish business. One day, Aling Tentay stored in jars some salted fish that turned into fragments even before they dried. While in jars, the fish fragments turned into a liquid substance that tasted like our Patis today. Thus the beginning of the thriving Patis business of Aling Tentay, which was officially registered in 1949 and is known today as Tentay Food and Sauces Inc. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)
A Showcase of Ingenuity
Nothing perhaps has been associated with Filipino technology as much as the country's pride - jeepney. The word "jeep" evolved from the military designation, general-purpose or G.P., of a light vehicle first used by the Americans in World War II. Developed by the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, this vehicle was powered by a four-cylinder engine and was classified as a quarter-ton truck in carrying capacity. It had served as a command vehicle, reconnaissance car, and ammunition carrier.
The American soldiers brought these vehicles to the Philippines in the 1940s. After the war, these vehicles were left by the Americans and converted by the Filipinos into public utility vehicles. Employing artistic and indigenous designs, the Filipinos came up with a longer, well-decorated, techni-colored and sleeker vehicle, which they later called jeepney. From the standard military jeep, the body was extended to accommodate between 20 to 30 passengers. Modern jeepneys now sport very colorful and intricate paintings, fancy adornments, and metallic decors reflective of Filipino sentiments, values, and culture. The town of Las Pinas has been recognized as the jeepney-producing center in the country. Today, public utility jeepneys or PUJs serve as the primary means of transportation in most provinces. For this, the Philippines came to be known as the "land of the jeepneys".
Other Noted Scientists
Among the other noted Filipino inventors and scientists are Benjamin Almeda who was acknowledged for his food-processing machine; Teodula Afrika for nata de coco; Ramon Agpoon for dragon fire stove; Adriano Alfonso for cultured cement; Laurelio Anasco for "dormitron"; Arturo Baluyot for Philippine-made airplane; Guillermo Barredo for Maharlika water heater; Pelagio Bautista for hydrosil; Dr. George Camara for experiments on teleophthalmology; Carlos Casas, stand-alone amplifier called Voca CDX 1001 Superamp; Gonzalo Catan Jr. for green charcoal; Roberto Celis for multipurpose portable survival kit; Rolando Cruz for emergency water heater;
Ernesto Darang for shake-and-serve nurser; Armen Dator for magic street sweeper; Maria Carlita Rex Doran for ampalaya solution against HIV; Jaime Escolano for fiber-processing machine; Pepito Fajicular for multipurpose routing machine; Leonardo Gasendo for salt evaporator; Ramon Gustilo for artificial bone replacement systems; Oscar Ibarra for studies on algorithm and computing; Samuel Ignacio for early warning device for vehicles; Marc Loinaz for one-chip video camera; Jacinto Ledesma for rocking dental chair; Cipriano Lim for safety switch box; Dr. E. V. Macalalag Jr. for universalurinary stone solvent;
Antonio Madrid for charcoal furnace; Felix Maramba for coconut oil-fueled power generator; Jose Navato for digital fever detector; Maria Ylagan Orosa for developing banana catsup and pineapple vinegar; Francisco Quisumbing for Quink pen ink; Jose Rodriguez for research on leprosy; Felipe Santillan for rotary dryer; Cornelio Seno for "Pressure Fuild Machine"; Manuel Silos for siloscope; Juanito Simon for Tribotech; Camilo Tabalba for telephone electronic; Ned Teves for endotracheal tube cardiac monitor; Juan Urbano for fountain pen; Carmen Velasquez for research on Philippine fish species; and Dr. Gregorio Zara for TV-telephone.
The Council on Philippine Affairs (Copa) has blamed the government for driving Filipino inventors away from the country. At least four cases were cited for this, namely:
Ben Santos, the inventor of the "zero oil waste recycling" was subjected to interrogation by the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau (EIIB) for alleged economic sabotage.
Rudy Arambulo, the inventor of multi-shock bullet, has failed to convince the national police and the military to purchase his product.
Johnson Fong, who has re-engineered carbonless paper, had to export his product first, re-label it and bring it back to the Philippines as an import in order to be accepted in the country.
Roberto del Rosario, the inventor of sing-along system, had to fight for his right over the karaoke system which most Filipinos think was a Japanese invention. The Philippines was reportedly the second largest market of karaoke, yet del Rosario did not receive his due share.
"This is our colonial mentality at work. This reflects how little faith we have in ourselves. We are indeed our own worst enemies. Others may shoot themselves in the foot. We like to chop our own heads in the most unusual way possible," a Copa official said. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)