Rosa Sevilla de Alvero’s 142nd Birthday – Today’s Doodle celebrates the 142nd birthday of journalist, educator, and activist Rosa Sevilla de Alvero, who is widely considered one of the most influential suffragists in Filipino history.
Rosa Sevilla was born on this day in 1879 in Manila, the Philippines 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 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!
You can find more about Rosa Sevilla de Alvero’s 142nd Birthday on the official Google Doodle Page