Top 10 Pinoy Inventions

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Filipinos have always been known for the creativity and innovation they incorporate in their inventions. But some inventions that were taught in school to be invented by Filipinos were racked with controversies and disputes like the moon buggy and fluorescent light. Most of these inventions that made it to the list are created to address the daily needs of a typical Filipino lifestyle.

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The word yo-yo is an Ilocano word which means "come back". It was a weapon that had been used by natives for 400 years. However, the lethal version was large and had sharp edges and studs. It was also attached to thick 20-feet long ropes for flinging at enemies or prey. The modern version was designed by a law undergraduate named, Pedro Flores. It was made of lighter materials (wood and cotton stings) and was mass produced in the United States.


Jeepneys are the king of the Philippine roads. It was a created by Filipinos from the US military jeeps after the Americans left the country after the war. These surplus jeeps are stripped down and made longer to accommodate several passengers at the back. Metal roofs provide shade to the passengers while colorful decorations adorn it inside and out. It provided affordable transportation that can move about the bumpy roads that paved post-war Philippines.


Patis (fish sauce) has been around for less than 100 years. It was discovered by Aling Tentay, also known as Ruperta David after the Japanese occupation. Aling Tentay used the juice of fish fragments from the dried fish they sell in the market. After some modifications, patis was invented. It was registered in 1949 as a product of Tentay Food and Sauces. Its pungent saltiness has become the basis of Vietnamese and Thai fish sauce, which they consume and incorporate in their menus.


Erythromycin, is a macrolide antibiotic that was sold as an alternative to penicillin. This was discovered by Abelardo Aguilar, a doctor who observed the antibacterial actions of the Aspergillus species of fungi in his hometown in Iloilo. He then sent samples to his employer, Eli Lilly Co. The antibacterial action was further developed by the Indiana-based company which marketed the antibiotic under the brand name Ilosone, in honor of the place where it was discovered. Sadly, Abelardo died in 1993 without being recognized or rewarded royalties for this significant contribution.

An improvised medical incubator was invented by pediatrician Fe del Mundo. This was made up of two native laundry baskets of different sizes placed one inside the other. Hot water bottles were placed all around between them to provide warmth. There was also a makeshift hood over the overlapping baskets to allow oxygen to circulate within. It was created to address the needs of rural areas with no electricity that is needed to regulate newborn babies' body temperature.


The musical inclination of Pinoys has spurred Roberto del Rosario to invent the karaoke sing-along system. Karaoke is actually a Japanese term which means to sing along to a popular record with its original vocals removed. His sing along system was a compact audio device that had a microphone, an amplifier speaker, cassette tape mechanisms, a microphone mixer that had features that enhanced voice, and an optional radio tuner. This machine was originally designed as a teaching device for students enrolled in voice lessons.


The plight of the hearing impaired inspired Gregorio Zara, a physicist, to create the first videophone. It was officially known as the photo phone signal separator network. Five years after he created the device, AT&T developed it and sold it to the public in 1970. Current models of videophones now are based from the initial invention of Zara.

16-Bit Microchip

Diosdado Banatao developed the first single-chip graphical user interface accelerator that made computers work a lot faster. This invention has allowed computer users to use graphics for commands and not the usual typed commands in older computers. It has allowed data processing to be a little faster using very little space (small chips instead of large boards).

Quink Quick Drying Ink

The Quink quick drying ink' was invented by Francisco Quisumbing, a chemist. It was an innovative ink at that time and was further developed to work with Parker Pens. Aside from being quick drying, it was also water-resistant, did not clog the pen opening, does not blot and will not fade. It was manufactured in four colors - black, green, red and blue. It is considered as one if the best selling ink for fountain pens of the millennium.

Modular Housing System

Rapid urbanization and poor construction has left plenty of Pinoys homeless in the city. This encouraged Edgardo Vasquez to make the modular housing system. This made use of pre-fabricated materials that can withstand typhoons and earthquakes. Despite its resistance to natural disasters, the modular housing system costs less than traditional building materials and is versatile to adapt to various housing architectures.




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