Concepcion F. Rodriguez

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Concepcion F. Rodriguez (b. February 9, 1884 - d. January 27, 1967) was one of the earliest feminists known for her keen vigilance for her motherland's integrity. She led the Filipino women in forming the Asociacion Feminista Filipina and the Federation Catolica de Mujeres now known as the Catholic Women's League. She was the wife of Felipe Calderon - the author of the Constitution of the First Philippine Republic, conventionally called the Malolos Constitution.

Formative years

Born before the Philippine revolution in Tondo, Manila from Mauricio Felix - a nationalist, liberal in thought and progressive in outlook - and Juana Roque, Concepcion had witnessed the outbreak of war where she acquired her strong nationalist consciousness.

At an early age of six, she entered a school conducted by Doña Margarita Lopez, then transferred to the Assumption Convent in 1893. In 1896,when the Philippine revolution broke out against Spain, followed by the Philippine-American War, she was the active secretary of the Bulacan chapter of the Philippine National Red Cross, founded by Hilaria Aguinaldo, wife of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo.

Unlike other women of her time, Concepcion did not went into hiding; instead she helped her fellowmen in their quest for freedom. When peace was restored , she resumed her studies and attended the Instituto de Mujeres, an exclusive school for girls, where she obtained her teacher's degree (Maestra Superior de Instruccion Primaria) with honors. The following year, she accepted her alma mater's offer to teach Tagalog and mathematics. While she taught, she continued her studies and obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from the same institution in 1904. After graduation, she enrolled at the Escuela de Derecho de Manila, where she had been known for her leadership, eloquence, and dynamism.


  • Appointed as an in-charge of the instruction of juvenile delinquents of both sexes who were then at the Hospicio de San Jose.
  • Appointed member of the women's committee that took charge of the women's participation, during the First National Eucharistic Congress held in the Philippines in 1937.
  • Founder of the Catholic Women's League, and she also organized all its branches.

Awards and Citations

  • Recipient of the Republic Medal fo Merit, and diploma of honor as the "first outstanding feminist...first to begin the movement toward the (achievement) of their rights..." (July 4, 1948)
  • Cited as one of the "Filipino heroes in the fight for human rights" at the UNESCO exhibit in Paris held in connection with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (1949)
  • Recipient of the diploma of honor and Most Distinguished Alumna conferred by the Instituto de Mujares. (1951)
  • Recipient of the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice award from Pope Pius X11 upon the recommendation of the Catholic Women's League and the Catholic Hierarchy of the Archdiocese of Manila. (1956)
  • Arellano University honored her for distinguished achievements in the sociopolitical emancipation of the Filipino women and in the amelioration of the sad plight of the indigent inmates of the institutions.
  • Citation for having actively worked for women's and children's rights and the conservation of the Filipino home.
  • First recipient of the Josefa Llanes-Escoda medal for her service to the National Federation of Women's Clubs.
  • First recipient of the Carrie Chapman catt Award from the Manila Women's Club.
  • Cited as one of the initiators of woman's suffrage in the Philippines, she was also awarded a Presidential Medal by President Ferdinand E. Marcos, during the celebration of the Women's Rights Day. (1966)


  • Ancheta, Hermina M. and Michaela Beltran-Gonzales. Filipino Women in Nation Building. A compilation of Brief Biographies. Quezon City: Phoenix Publishing House, 1984.
  • "Roberta C. Aranzaso". "Women of Distinction" (Biographical Essays on Outstanding Filipin Women of the Past and the Present). Philippines:Bukang Liwayway,1967.(September 4, 2007).
  • de Guzman,Jovita V.,Vicente A. Santiago,Remedios T. de Leon and Teresita E. Erestain. Women Of Distinction; Biographical Essays on Outstanding Filipino Women of the Past and the Present. Philippines: Bukang Liwayway, 1967



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