Google’s Doodle on the popular browser’s home page this March 9 celebrates the 120th birth anniversary of Filipina national artist Francisca Reyes-Aquino, the “Mother of Philippine Dancing.”

The Google Doodle, which had previously featured other noteworthy Filipinas such as Josefa Llanes Escoda – the Philippines’ first girl scout and pediatrician Fe del Mundo, today illustrates different Philippine traditional dances – cariñosa, singkil, pandanggo sa ilaw, tinikling – that Reyes-Aquino is credited as helping document and preserve as regional dance forms through her efforts as an Education major at the University of the Philippines, traveling to rural communities with a small team of researchers to study the Filipino people’s unique songs, games, and dances.

The Google page explaining the Doodle says it “[President Ramon Magsaysay conferred her the Republic ward of Merit in 1954 for her “outstanding contribution toward the advancement of Filipino culture”.]celebrates the life and work of Francisca Reyes-Aquino, the Filipino folk dancer and cultural researcher who helped preserve numerous Filipino cultural traditions including the tinikling— one of the country’s most well-known traditional dances, named after a small, native bird’s hopping movements among rice farms.

The Google Doodle videos on Reyes-Aquino, born on March 9, 1899, lists the Filipina dancer’s achievements:

  • named a National Artist of Dance in 1973
  • awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 1962 after serving as supervisor of physical education at the Bureau of Education in the 1940s and as UP faculty for 18 years
  • President Ramon Magsaysay conferred her the Republic Award of Merit in 1954 for her “outstanding contribution toward the advancement of Filipino culture”

A true Filipino Pride story! Comment below your own greetings of Happy 120th birthday, Francisca Reyes-Aquino!

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