Google Doodle is honoring Filipino suffragist Rosa Sevilla de Alvero on the journalist, educator, and activist’s 142nd birth anniversary.
The popular Internet browser’s homepage for the Philippines on March 4, 2021, displays a Doodle of the influential advocate for the right to vote.
Rosa Sevilla was born on this day in 1879 in Manila and was raised by an aunt who is an educator who hosted Filipino patriots and intellectuals at her home. Sevilla is said to have 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. The institute became a hotbed for progress under Sevilla’s leadership—educating women on topics such as suffrage, vocation, and Tagalog. Sevilla 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.
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.
Google writes: “Thanks in part to Sevilla’s tremendous call to action, voting rights were granted to Filipino women in 1937. Today, Sevilla’s Instituto de Mujeres lives on in her legacy as the Rosa Sevilla Memorial School.
Happy birthday, Rosa Sevilla de Alvero!”
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