By: Lawrence San Diego

Up-and-coming inventors in the Philippines don’t have to look far for wisdom and guidance in their innovation journey.  They can look up to veteran Filipino inventors, who have weathered the challenges of developing and championing their technologies at a time when there were just a few of them and before everyone was connected to the internet.

Despite the limitations of their generation, these seasoned inventors found their ally through the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and its Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI).

For more than three decades, DOST-TAPI has long been supporting and working with researchers, technologists, and innovators through its suite of government services that provide technical, financial, and legal assistance in developing local inventions.

Meet a few of DOST-TAPI’s old-timers who are more than happy to encourage young inventors and help them power through their journey to innovation. 

Luder Zarate

Inventor of Improved Belt Conveyor

I designed the improved belt conveyor to be flexible and its width and length to be adjustable.  The materials used in its fabrication are locally available and are reasonably priced.  By making assembly line work more systematic, more orderly, and with less effort, the improved belt conveyor helps reduce movement, optimize space, and save man-hours.

One main lesson I learned from years of inventing is not to succumb to “inventoritis,” or the condition where inventors fall in love too much with their technologies and assume their inventions are without fail.

My main approach to inventing is to view my technology as a solution or partly a solution to problems plaguing our society at large, such as hunger, lack of job opportunities, environmental degradation, limited resources, and the like.  I think older inventors, due to our life experiences, have more of a tendency to invent things that aim to solve these major problems.

It is important for Filipinos—regardless of age—to pursue inventing so we can create our own culture of innovation and promote solutions to our own problems.

My vision is for Filipino inventors, including the youth, to learn to work together in teams to invent processes and products that can help solve problems in our country.  My advice to them is to not to be afraid of failure, to keep on learning, and to not succumb to “inventoritis.”

Mardinio Azores

Inventor of Improved Egg Incubator

To the next generation of inventors, my advice for them is to give it all they’ve got, because when they do, it will return to them many times over.

Their intention in inventing should be to give their best quality of work—not only for their monetary gain but for the benefit of other people.  This is the mark of a true inventor. This is something that I also envision for my three children, who are also my co-inventors.

Our young inventors should also never forget that their talents come from God. They should cultivate their talents well so that someday, these talents will be of use to our country.

Rodrigo Duque

Inventor of Portable Unihoused Water Purification and Sterilization Apparatus

I’m now retired and in my 70s.  While others want to enjoy their retirement, I still have inside of me that passion to create solutions.  I think this is the proper time, and even at my age, I remain motivated because I believe that God has a purpose for bringing blessings to my life.  It would be a waste if I won’t use these blessings to help other people. That’s the legacy I want to leave in this world, that I was able to at least do something.

I believe there is a lot that Filipino inventors can do to help the next generation of inventors, especially those who are still in school.  When they see the work that we do, it would be a good motivation for them. They will be inspired to think innovatively and start inventing.

I know there are contests and competitions for students and young inventors. It would be advantageous for them if they learn from these events, especially from older inventors like us. They will be motivated and they will be inspired to think of many exciting ideas and solutions that can benefit a lot of people.

Do you have an invention that you want to take to the next level? DOST-TAPI can help you and your technology reach the fullest potential.