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LOOK: Google Doodle honors Filipina suffragist Rosa Sevilla de Alvero

By Kara Santos Published Mar 04, 2021 1:28 am

Today’s Google Doodle honors Rosa Sevilla de Alvero, one of the most influential women who fought for the right of Filipinas to vote.

The journalist, educator, and activist is widely considered one of the most noted suffragists in Philippine history. She would have turned 142 on Thursday (Mar. 4).

The illustration of Rosa wearing a traditional Filipiñiana dress and casting a vote in a ballot box, with the hands of other women from different eras doing the same, is currently displayed on the Google homepage. 

Learn more about her early life and contributions as written in "Herstory: Filipino Women in Legislation and Politics" by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and shared by the Doodle Catalog team in the video below.

Rosa Sevilla was born on March 4, 1879 in Manila, the Philippine capital. As a child, she was sent to live with her aunt, an educator who hosted Filipino patriots and intellectuals at her home  Sevilla often eavesdropped on their conversations about battling educational colonialism—revolutionary discussions that helped mold her beliefs.

At just 21, Alvero founded the Instituto de Mujeres (“Women’s Institute”) of Manila, one of the first schools for women in Filipino history. The institute became a hotbed for progress under Sevilla’s leadership—educating women on topics such as suffrage, vocation and Tagalog  She also collaborated with notable Filipino Tagalog poets to present the first balagtasan (a debate held in poetic verse), which sparked a movement for Tagalog to become the national language.

With her institution in good hands, Sevilla left Manila in 1916 to rally women across the country in her fight for suffrage, later founding the Liga Nacional de Damas Filipinas (“National League of Filipino Women”) to support her cause.

Thanks in part to Sevilla’s tremendous call to action, voting rights were finally granted to Filipino women in 1937.

Today, Sevilla’s Instituto de Mujeres lives on in her legacy as the Rosa Sevilla Memorial School.

Talk about Pinay Power. Happy birthday, Rosa Sevilla de Alvero! 

(Images via Google)