Maria Ylagan Orosa Google doodle Filipino banana ketchup
María Ylagan Orosa of Taal is honored on the Google homepage on November 29. Credits to Google Doodle.

Maria Ylagan Orosa, the Filipino food scientist who created the iconic banana ketchup and over 700 recipes, is honored by Google Doodle today to mark her 126th birth anniversary.

A cartoon likeness of Maria Orosa, a war hero and humanitarian from Taal in Batangas, is seen on the Google internet browser homepage.

Orosa’s banana ketchup was a breakthrough concoction as the Filipino food scientist used mashed bananas as a base for the sauce, instead of the usual tomatoes.

Orasa’s other two other inventions made her a war hero: Soyalac (a nutrient rich drink derived from soya beans) and Darak (rice cookies packed with vitamin B-1, which could also prevent beriberi disease) saved countless lives during World War 2.

Orosa also invented the Palayok Oven to provide a more effective means of cooking over an open fire to remote villages that lack access to electricity.

Orosa was an outstanding student and earned a partial scholarship in 1916 to study in the University of Seattle. While juggling work and studies, she then completed her bachelor’s and master’s degree in pharmaceutical and food chemistry.

Maria Orosa was actually offered the position of an assistant chemist for the State of Washington but she decided to return to the Philippines in 1922 to further address the problems, particularly of malnutrition, in her homeland.

In honor of Orosa’s contributions to the Filipino society and culture, the National Historical Institute installed a marker in her honor at the Bureau of Plant Industry in Manila in 1983.

Happy birthday, María Ylagan Orosa!

Google Doodles have celebrated Filipinas, among them, National Artist for Dance, Francisca Reyes Aquino, Girl Scout pioneer Josefa Llanes Escoda, and pediatrician Fe Del Mundo.

SEND cheers in the comments below to the people of the Philippines for Maria Ylagan Orosa’s legacy in the food industry!

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