Governor-General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. Praises Filipino Women (1932)

•December 15, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Roosvelt womenPhoto Caption: On the morning of September 12, 1932, Governor-General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., signed the bill permitting Filipino married women to dispose of their paraphernal property without the consent of their husbands. The governor is shown in the above picture ready to sign the measure. Those in the picture, front row, are: Mrs. Araceli Adriatico-Luna, Mrs. Francisco Delgado, Mrs. Pilar Hidalgo-Lim, Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Mrs. Sofia de Veyra, Assistant Attorney Natividad Almeda- Lopez, Dr. Ines Villa,and Mrs. Asuncion Perez. The legislators are: Senator Teofilo Sison, Senator Manuel Briones, Rep. Francisco Varona, Rep. Marcelo Boncan, Speaker Antonio da las Alas, Rep. Meynardo Farol, Senator Benigno 8. Aquino, Senator Elpidio Quirino, and Senator Francisco Zulueta.

Curator’s Note: Bessie A. Dwyer’s Background

Bessie Dwyer

Photo: Bessie A. Dywer from California State Library (1866-1944)

The Tribune newspaper dated September 13, 1932 (p.3) published an article, “Roosevelt Praises Women as He Signs Bill On Paraphernal Property Before Visitors,” written by Bessie Agnes Dywer. Bessie A. Dywer was born on September 29, 1866 in Texas. She became the first female Assistant Librarian for the Library of Congress and remained in that position until 1903, while at the same period graduating in June of 1902 from a law course of 3 years (graduated from the Women’s College of Law, District of Columbia, Washington). She was the first Texas woman to receive a Bachelor of Laws degree. She traveled to the Philippines, around 1909 – 1911, to establish libraries and worked as the Chief of Library Circulation. She served as a delegate to the 1920 Democratic National Convention representing the Philippines. She loved the people of the Philippines and established her home in Manila. She became a member of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs of the Philippines and is listed as a member from 1929 to around 1944. During the same period, she wrote for The Sunday Tribune with her own column “Waifs and Stray.” A dedicated Catholic, she died of a cerebral hemmorage around 1944 while being a prisoner of war at the University of Santo Tomas internment camp. She was 77 years old. 

Note: All text in italics below refer to items inserted by the curator.

Roosevelt Praises Women as He Signs Bill On Paraphernal Property Before Visitors


Car after car set down its bevy of fair women at the steps of executive building at Malacanang. With swift steps, smiling faces and the frou-frou (a rustling especially of a woman’s skirts) of beautiful Philippine gowns, they advanced triumphantly to meet Governor-General Roosevelt and be greeted by the men who had stood in the halls of the legislature and fought for them and their countless sisters in the 48 provinces of the Philippines. There were the men, Senators Aquino, Avelino. Baluyot and Belo who originated the bill granting to the married women of the Philippines a revision of the Civil Code as follows: “The married woman, of legal age, can mortgage or dispose in any manner of her paraphernal property, and can appear before the court regarding the litigation of such property, without the consent of her husband.” With these men stood Representative Marcelo T. Boncan, chairman of the committee on revision of the laws of the house, and Acting Speaker  de las Alas. To their skillful tactics in the lower house, is perhaps due the ultimate victory. Many amendments were offered, some of them alluring, but fraught with danger. From the beginning it was admitted that the senate bill, had a fighting chance. Encumbered with amendments which sought to augment women’s civil rights, the measure faced defeat on the final vote. With rare prescience the leaders among the women; representatives of the organizations who have fought for equal suffrage and have lost no opportunity to secure the repeal of age-old statutes limiting women’s legal powers and prerogatives, declared themselves satisfied with the original bill as it stood. Events proved this judgment sound. Its progress through the house was fraught with contention and debate. From it, many a woman came depressed and irritated. Said one: “These men have merely revamped anti-woman suffrage arguments; on the one hand, we are too dear and angelic to be trusted with human rights, on the other, we are incapable of exercising them. We are like minors, incompetents, or the insane.” Said another: “We have to sit on the sidelines, voiceless, and listen to statements which any one of us could completely refute.” But, there were champions in the lists, and to them and to those who voted with them for the bill after the two weeks’ struggle, a rising tide of feminine gratitude swept like a flood. On September 2, the debris was cleared away. The throng of women seated in the gallery held voting lists and followed with sharpened pencils the “Ayes” and “Nayes” breathlessly. For a brief time it seemed as if the opposition was winning, so loud and vociferous were answers in the negative. But the “still small voice” was omnipresent. When the result was announced the women had won by a vote of 49 to 30. The ayes were Speaker Protempore Antonio de las Alas (Batangas – all districts data taken from Roster of Philippine Legislators), Representatives Francisco Bangoy (Mindanao & Jolo), Cirilo Bayaya (Leyte), Marcelo T. Boncan (Tayabas), Arsenio Bonifacio (Laguna), Felipe Buencamino Jr. (Laguna), SoBottom of Formtero B. Cabahug (Cebu), Severo Cea (Camarines Sur), Hilary P. Clapp (Mountain Province), Pio V. Corpus (Masbate), Venancio Cudila (Iloilo), Jose de Leon Jr. (Bulacan), Francisco A. Delgado (Bulacan), Jose G. Domingo (Tarlac), Fernando B. Duran (Sorsogon), Meynardo M. Farol (Batangas), Leonardo Festin (Romblon), Juan Gaerlan (Mountain Province), Manuel V. Gallego (Nueva Ecija), Rufino L. Garde (Capiz), Adolfo Gerona (Sorsogon), Feliciano Gomez (Laguna), Zoilo Hilario (Pampanga), Henry A. Kamora (Mountain Province), Juan L. Luna (Mindoro), Domingo Maddela (Nueva Vizcaya), Serafin S. Marabut (Samar), Gerardo Morrero (Samar), Maximino Noel (Cebu), Tomas G. Oppus (Leyte), Alfonso A. Pablo (Tarlac), Potenciano Pecson (Pangasinan), Marcelo S. Ramirez (Bohol), Prudencio A. Remigio (Manila), Buenaventura Rodriguez (Cebu), Eulogio Rodriguez Sr. (Rizal), Jose E. Romero (Negros Oriental), Claudio R. Sandoval (Palawan), Jose G. Sanvictores (Mindanao & Jolo), Carlos S. Tan (Leyte), Tiburcio Tancinco (Samar), Isidro Vamenta (Misamis Oriental), Francisco Gerona (?), Pedro Vera (Albay), Silvestre Villa (Iloilo Province), Guillermo Z. Villanueva (Negros Oriental), Pacifico Ybañez (Leyte), Paulino Ybañez (Cebu), Vicente R. Ybiernas (Iloilo). Those against: Marcelo Adduru (Cagayan), Agustin L. Alvarez (Mindanao & Jolo), Gregorio Anonas (Zambales), Rodolfo Baltazar (La Union), Tomas Buenaflor (Iloilo), Filomeno Cazenas (Bohol), Sabas Casibang (Cagayan), Jose Concon (Bohol), Miguel Cuenco (Cebu), Datu Ibra Gundarangin (Mindanao & Jolo), Datu Sinsuat (Mindanao & Jolo), Fabian de la Paz (Pampanga), Fortunato de Leon (Bataan), Jose D. Dimayuga (Batangas) Vicente E. Gonzaga (Surigao), Ruperto Kapunan (Leyte), Vicente T. Lazo (Ilocos Norte), Enrique B. Magalona (Negros Occidental), Pedro Magsalin (Rizal), Emilio L. Medina (Ilocos Norte), Juan G. Millan (Pangasinan), Fabian R. Millar (Tayabas), Jose A. Ozamis (Mizamis Occidental), Miguel Raffiñan (Cebu), Singson Reyes (?), Eusebio V. Sison (Pangasinan), Mariano E. Villafuerte (Camarines Sur), Fidel B. Villanueva (Ilocos Sur), Emilio Yulo (Negros Occidental).

pilar lim 2


Photo: Mrs. Pilar Hidalgo Lim, president of the National Federation of Women’s Clubs of the Philippines.

And so, gathered in the office of the chief executive yesterday were the men and women who had borne the brunt of the struggle. Governor General Theodore Roosevelt made no concealment of his championship of feminine rights. In his family, he was the forerunner of those among the Roosevelts who stood out for them, not even excepting Alice Roosevelt Longworth, his sister, accredited one of the best politicians in the United States today. And so his face, a little teary, a little drawn from the cares of state which have of late, pressed heavily upon his 45-year old shoulders, beamed and continued to beam as he wrote a historic name upon a historic document. It was as though he gloried in the chance to unshackle, even in a small degree, the Filipino woman and set her face and her feet towards the rising sun of freedom. The signing of the bill took place in the sun flooded cabinet room at the long narra table. After the governor-general had affixed his signature, he rose and spoke in a happy vein. “Women,” he said, “are the most important element in any community. It is impossible not to so recognize them, equally impossible not to grant them the rights and privileges which as citizens they claim.” He pointed out that such battle scarred warriors in political jousts, as Senator Aquino and Speaker De las Alas had succumbed to their plea — and he wondered not at all. To Mrs. Pilar Lim, president of the Women’s Federated clubs of the Philippines he gallantly promised the pen he used on the occasion and then, in his characteristically democratic style, mingled with the spectators. Mrs. Roosevelt was present, participating in the elation of the women, shaking hands and chatting with them. Among the ladies present were: Mrs. Pilar H. Lim,  Mrs. Sofia R. de Veyra, Mrs. F. A. Delgado, Mrs. Juan L. Luna, Mrs. A. Belo, Mrs. A. A. Perez, Miss Inez Villa, Mrs. Natividad A. Lopez, Mrs. Salvador Espiritu Perez and some women representatives of the press. The men present were: SenatorsBenigno S. Aquino, Manuel Briones, Elpidio Quirino, Antonio Belo, Francisco Zulueta, Teofilo Sison, Acting Secretary Vicente Carmona, of finance. Acting Speaker Antonio de las Alas, Representatives Marcelo T. Boncan, Francisco A. Delgado, Meynardo Farol, Francisco Varona, and Governor Roosevelt’s aide, Major Abraham Garfinkle.

Note: Representative Juan Gaerlan (Mountain Province) is the grandfather of Martin Gaerlan (online curator – Museo Santisima Trinidad)






Espana, Sampaloc – Flood of July 19,1942

•December 12, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Sampaloc Flood (2)

On July 19, 1942, Manila’s low lying areas became flooded especially along Espana, Sampaloc due to rainfall which was the second heaviest experienced by Manila in 77 years. However, just like today, the floods didn’t prevent children from playing or riding a bike in the flooded streets.

sampalc flood 3

Photographs – The Tribune, July 26, 1942

Gota de Leche – Babies Cared For.

•December 5, 2019 • Leave a Comment
gota de leche 1942 2

On October 17, 1942, the “La Proteccion de la Primera Infancia”, better known as Gota de Leche celebrated the foundation’s 35th anniversary. The first private charitable institution to be established in the Philippines, it has solely been dedicated to the cause of healthier babies in order to help reduce infant mortality in the country. For the first 35 years, Gota de Leche has supplied high grade sterilized fresh cow’s milk scientifically given according to the needs of each individual child.

The foundation provided for a socialized pricing scheme where needy or poor families pay less than the “wealthier” class. Many of the paying wealthier class children who were fed by the Gota de Leche became prominent professionals, businessmen and distinguished ladies of the community.

Following is a partial list of those who were fed by Gota de Leche during their infancy: Concepcion Calderon, Gil Puyat, Jose Palanca, Florencia Roxas de Infante, Amparo Rodriguez, Andres Brunschwig, Jesus de Veyra, Noemi Guerrero, Mercedes Ansaliflo, Alicia Palma, Jose Lucban, Aurora Guanzon, Jesus Cabarrus, Paz Sumulong, Amparo Pons, German Unson, Marina Morales, Serafin Cui, Rafael Roces y Pardo, Joaquin Roces y Pardo, Alfonso Tiaoqul, Jr., Eloisa Xeres Burgos, Ramon Raymundo, Mariano Gabriel Laureola, Fe Mandelbaum Berg, Estela Garcia Zamora, Trinidad Lontoc, Concepcion Licauco, Marie Becker, Calixto Paterno, Federico Hernando, Gloria Memije, Frank Otto Schecrer, Maria Zoboli de Miranda, Leopoldo Melian, Manuel Genato, Joaquin del Rio, Lourdes Lopez, Ralf Gmur, Estela Olegario, Salud Artiaga, Teodoro Olegario, Daniel Aguinaldo, Carmen Ortigas, Julita Ortigas. Amalla Ortigas. Maria Aurea Ligueti, Luz Santiago, Victorio Mendoza, Margarita Cuyugan, Margarita Luz, Margarita Joeson, Rosa Filamor, Carmen Valdez, Ana Maria Edgardo Tambunting, Guadalupe Paredes, Miss Fernandez, Eulalio Pertierra, Noemy Tambunting, Carmen Genato y Munoz, Maria Gana Chuidian, Pura Francisco, Arce, Hiflno Benitez, Edgardo Albayada, Rosario Cuyugan, Manuel Quiogue, Salud Romero Salas, Arturo Santos, Francisco Lichauco, Tomas Sy Combieng, Candida Fajjardo, Luz Dodriguez, Jose Sedano; Lidia Varona Zamora, Gerardo Canillas, Milda Olegario, Gana Cudidian. Carmen Sagarbarrio, Santiago Artiaga, Jr., Augusto Tambunting, Filomena Arce, Carmen Barretto, Villavicencio, son of Jose Villavicencio, a son of Dr. Nicanor Jacinto, Dionisio Hocson, Jesus Paredes, Jorge Sotelo, Leticia Jhocson, Caridad Hizon, Rosario de Haganas, Ma. Mercedes Moreta. Paz Lruel, Rafael Garrido, Josefa Campos, Concepcion Roces, Alfonso Panopio, Antonio Eijuren, children of Ramon Ongpin, Cesar Recto, Feliciano Syyap, Rafael Syquia, Martin Cavauna, Silverio Arellano, Serafin Arce, Gregorio Araneta, Trinidad Santos, Carmen Hidalgo, Ofelia Palma. Antonia Lontoc, Jose Herrera, Ramona Castil1a, Cesar Figueroa, Bernardo Garcia Iden, Miguel Campos, Jesus Tambunting, Enrique Xeres Burgos, Mila Nieva, Pilar Gumila, Dolores del Rio, Ester Garcia, Genato, Florencia Soriano, Juan Hidalgo, Ricardo Zaragoza, Trinidad Ampil, Rita Fabre, Carmen Saigago. Paz Flamero, Estrella Paredes, Ernestuia Kirnizee, Maria Glimmers, Clemente Hidalgo, Belen Lara, Vicente Roxas, Carmen Montes, Miguel Picornel, Anita Ttotieo, Lorenza Arce, Joaquin Crame, Conrado Urauico, Juan Mapua, Elisa Beck Heffincinten, Mirtila Canceco; Son of Manlapus Vibentin, Elias Lavadia, Angel Hidalgo, Consuelo de la Riva a son of Tambunting, Arturo Arguelles, Paz Amorsolo, Jose Moreta, Francisco Albert, Miguel Unson, Angela Feraren, Rafael de Lloreta, Leodegaria Magsalin, Baby Iriarte, Josefa Manosa, Feo Sumulong. Antonio Reyes, Angelita Reyes, Milagros Gomez, Concepcion Garteiz, Vicente Bantug, Cecilio Tirio, Felicidad Zamora, Ramon Lichauco, Esperanza Fabella, Luis A. Vazques, Jose Tuason, Clara Tambunting Legarda, Carolina Lacson, Armando Hidalgo, Regino Bunuan, Pablo C. Kraut, Philip Jones, Jr., Leticia Roxas, Esperanza Cruz, Milagros Lauchengco, Maria Asuncion Quezon, Mr. Escanilla, Guia Balmori, Ramon Ricafort, Fausto Manotoc, Alberto Meer, Matias Kraut, Rosalina Aznzano, Lourdes Agcaoile, Rosa Moreta, Edilberta Carlos, Benita Fuseco, Beatriz Roces, Simeon LaO, Consuelo Francisco, Zeneida Quezon, Jose Avelino, Luis Herman, Rodolfo Paras, Rosario Ma. Cavanna, Vicente Ma. Moreta, Jose Tautingo, Perfecta Murillo, Milagros Balmori, son of Dr. Vasques, a son of Dr. Jose Eduque, Leticia Ramos, Feo Zamora, Lourdes Victoria Hidalgo, Esperanza Sobral, Tomas Quirino, Apolinar Gomez, Fe Yaptinchay, Rene Pablo Levi; Esperanza Rikards, Teresa de Moreta, Horacia Estrada, Kohsaku Fujita, Luz Tampagco, Maria Zaragoza, Benigno de Guia, Isabel Galaug, Miguel Halili. Norma Disinglo, Ramon Echevarria, Asuncion Elisaga, Consolacion Bautista, Manuel Tuazon, Jr., Serafln Guigona, Luiz Yulo, Redad Buenconsejo, Josefina Azcona, Aurora Rickards, Luis Earnshaw, Walter Richard, Mauro A. Fernandes, Jose Cruz Carmen, Jose Pangilinan, Carmen Desiderio, Nicanor Jacinta, Baby Santos, Ramon Alberto, Jr., Jaunario Estrada, Ernesta Vergel de Dios y Santos, Teresa M. Callega, Ann Marie Sulzen, Amelia Martinez, Esperanza Festin, Paz Buenaventura Velarde, Hisako Takahashi, Jose Ma. Eguaras y Lobregat, Maria del Carmen Araneta, Emilia Artacho, Augusto Padilla, Georgette Orfalley, Jose Gana Chuidian, Luis Nepomuceno, Ramon Lobregat, Antonio Cosio, Rafael Recto, and Lourdes Levy.





Call for Participants, 28th ANNUAL MANILA STUDIES CONFERENCE, Nov 28-29, 2019

•November 11, 2019 • Leave a Comment

28TH msa cONFERENCE POSTERCall For Participants.

 28th ANNUAL MANILA STUDIES CONFERENCE                                                                  AV2, Mapua University, Muralla Street, Intramuros, Manila, November 28-29, 2019

The Manila Studies Association invites scholars, educators, students,  and other interested participants to attend the 28th Annual Manila Studies Conference to be held at the Audio-Visual Room 2 (AV2) of Mapua University, Intramuros, Manila. Topics include:

An Archaeology of Manila Joel V. Rico, University of the Philippines

Las Aves de la Fuerza:  Fort Santiago as an Avian Sanctuary, Jose Alain Austria, De La Salle College of St. Benilde

Placuna placenta: Re-visioning and Conservation of Built Heritage in Manila, Arnulfo F. Dado, National Museum of the Philippines

The Paternos of the Spanish Era, Jean Paterno, Independent Researcher

 A Walking Tour of Quiapo and the FEU Art Deco Campus, Martin Lopez, Far Eastern University

Place Identity and Morphology of Southside Quiapo for Sustainable In-fill Development and Heritage Conservation, Anna Christina Ealdama, Mapua University

From the Rubbles of War: the De La Salle College, 1946-1975, Jose Victor D. Jimenez and Antonio S. Hila, University of Santo Tomas Graduate School

Does Imperial Manila Justify Federalism?, Jan Carlo Punongbayan, University of the Philippines

Teaching Martial Law in High School , Cristina Cristobal, Philippine Science High School

Humanism in Urban Design: The Case of the City of Manila, Philippines, Cecilia May S. Villanueva, University of Santo Tomas

Gentrification in the Sampaloc District in the City of Manila with Implications to Land Use Planning, Sylvia D. Clemente, University of Santo Tomas

Commemorating the Heroes of the Second World War through a Heritage Tourism Master Plan, Felicisimo Tejuco, Jr., University of Santo Tomas

Honor: the Legacy of Jose Abad Santos, Film Showing, Desiree Ann Cua Benipayo, Philippine WWII Memorial Foundation

Attached are the Conference Programme, Final General Circular, and Final Circular for Presidents.


MSA 2019 – Conference Programme

MSA 2019 – Final General Circular

MSA 2019 – Final Circular for Presidents

Talisay Trees Along Promenade de Sampaloc – circa 1886

•November 3, 2019 • Leave a Comment

legarda sampaloc

Image 1. View of Talisay Trees Along Promenade de Sampaloc.

During the early 1880’s, Alfred Marche (Lucon et Palaouan, 1886) noted that “there are lovely walks planted with trees…” in Manila especially of the promenade de Sampaloc. The lithograph of promenade de Sampaloc included in the article of Alfred Marche showed two rows of trees along the main street. The distinctive feature of trees with thin trunks and long branches with leafy shades point to the talisay tree.

In the Philippine National Archives, we can find the public works reports related to the tree-planting project for the streets near Plaza of San Sebastian, calle de la Concordia, Calle de Santa Ana to the end of calle real de Sampaloc. Around June 1868, various contracts were signed between representatives of the City Major of Manila, Vicente Aviles, and gardeners namely: Luciano de la Virgen of Binondo, Alejandro & Mariano Mancilla of Ermita, and Jose & Juan Fermin. The contract stipulated the planting of leafy and shady varieties of trees, more or less three yards tall, at a cost of about two pesetas each. By December 24, 1868, Jose Vargas testified that two rows of 44 trees have been planted in Sampaloc by Luciano de la Virgen while 3 rows of 56 trees were planted in plaza San Sebastian call de la Concordia by the Mancilla and the Fermin brothers.

legarda sampaloc 2

Image 2. Promenade de Sampaloc circa 1898 (formerly Calle Alix – today’s Legarda Street) ends at the Rotonda de Sampaloc (Carriedo Fountain).

However, some of the trees planted in 1868 died and around Dec 18, 1872/ Jose Reyes reported dead and missing trees from Plaza Santa Ana to the end of Calle Real de Sampaloc. By Dec 24, 1872, he further reported that 197 trees need to be planted of which 50 trees were already in the nursery. Around 785 pesetas were needed to purchase the remaining 147 trees (or roughly about 5 pesetas per tree).

By Jan 13, 1873, the Direccion Arbolado Municipal issued the bidding guidelines for the replanting project. Among other things, the winning contractor needed to ensure that planting will be completed in 45 days and that the trees should be the talisay, daddap, or mabolo. The plantings should be 10 meters apart and 4 meters high and should be enclosed by bamboo and palm leaves to protect the seedlings. Manila city’s 1868 and 1873 tree planting project along the streets of Sampaloc clearly paid off handsomely as shown by the illustration of the trees along promenade de Sampaloc.

Today, the talisay trees are no more – replaced by the soot-blackened concrete “trees” of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system and the token pots of plants beneath the rail tracks.

legarda sampaloc 3.jpg