Google honors Filipino suffragette

Age, in a different context, does not matter.

Thursday, March 4, Rosa Sevilla de Alvero, a Filipino journalist, activist and educator, who advocated women’s suffrage in the Philippines in her time, would have been 142.

The social networking platform Google, in a post in the Google blog, marked the birth anniversary of the 20th century suffragette who also founded the Liga Nacional de Damas Filipinas or National League of Filipino Women.

The doodle of her casting a ballot, with the hands of other women from succeeding generations doing the same thing, is shown on the Google homepage.

Sevilla was born on March 4, 1879 in the crowded bayside district of Tondo, Manila to Ambrosio Sevilla, a sergeant of the Spanish Army and Silvina Tolentino y Rafael, a relative of revolutionary and playwright Aurelio Tolentino.

At age 21, she was the founder of the Instituto de Mujeres in Manila, one of the first women’s schools in the Philippines. She was married to Emilio Alvero, an artist.

The institute has educated women on a range of topics including suffrage and Tagalog. It hosted the very first balagtasan (debate in verse), which started a movement for Tagalog to be declared as the national language.

Later, in her mid-30s, she led a movement in 1916 for Filipino women to secure the right to vote, founding the Liga Nacional de Damas Filipinas. It was in 1937 when women were able to gain the right after a referendum.

Topics: Rosa Sevilla de Alvero , Google , Liga Nacional de Damas Filipinas , National League of Filipino Women
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