On her 142nd birthday, influential suffragist Rosa Sevilla de Alvero makes it to #GoogleDoodle

March 4, 2021 - 6:56 PM
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A graphic of Rosa Sevilla de Alvero via Google Doodle

Google honored Filipina activist Rosa Sevilla de Alvero, one of the most influential suffragists in the Philippines. She would have been 142 years old on March 4.

A doodle or an artwork of Sevilla de Alvero casting a ballot with other women in succeeding generations was featured on Google’s homepage.

In its Doodle Archive, the search engine giant tells shared Sevilla de Alvero’s life story and her important achievements in Philippine history.

Google described her as “one of the most influential suffragists in Filipino history.”

Sevilla de Alvero was born on this day in 1879 in the city of Manila.

At just 21 years old, Sevilla de Alvero founded the Instituto de Mujeres which translates to “Women’s Institute of Manila,” one of the first schools for women in Philippine history.

“The institute became a hotbed for progress under Sevilla’s leadership—educating women on topics such as suffrage, vocation and Tagalog,” Google said.

Sevilla de Alvero also collaborated with prominent Filipino poets that time to introduce and present the first “balagtasan,” a Filipino form of debate, to the public.

This helped spark the movement for the Tagalog language to be the basis in developing the Philippines’ national language.

Sevilla de Alvero then left in 1916 to join the rally of other women across the country to fight for their right for suffrage.

She also founded the Liga Nacional de Damas Filipinas or the “National League of Filipino Women” to further her cause.

Through Commonwealth Act 34, on April 30, 1937, Sevilla de Alvero along with more than 400,000 women voted in a plebiscite in favor of their right to vote in Philippine elections.

“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,” Google said.

Aside from being an activist, Sevilla de Alvero was also a journalist and writer with published works in Spanish and one of the editorial staff of the La Independencia¸ the newspaper published by General Antonio Luna.