Praxedes Julia Fernandez
Praxedes Julia Fernandez (July 21, 1871-August 22,1919) was the singing sweetheart of Manila.
She was born on July 21, 1871, in Sta. Cruz Manila, one of the three children of Mariano Fernandez and Josefa Quizon. Her father died early and leaving the children in the care of their mother.
Praxedes Julia Fernandez, or Yeyeng, married Ricardo Penalos Pastor on August 18,1892. Their marriage was not blessed with a children.
Fernandez was a singer and a performer, with an ability to entertain an audience to the hilt. She was also one of the founders of Fer-su-ta company, the name framed from the names of the principal lady players, Fernandez, Suzara,and Tagorona. This group presented benefit shows for the widows and orphans of the soldiers of the Spanish army. In grateful acknowledgement of Miss Fernandez's performances for charity, the Spanish army honored her with a gala affair on September 30,1891. As a memento of the occasion, she was presented with a silver crown.
In 1899, they sailed to Spain, but three years later they returned to the Philippines for Yeyeng's stage comeback. Yeyeng ended her stage career with a farewell presentation of the opera La Viuda Alegre at the Manila Grand Opera House on November 14, 1911. The performance brought an end to her colorful stage career. As a fitting tribute it was said, "It was enough to see her name appear on the programs to fill the show house".
She died on August 22, 1919, of cholera, and her remains were interred at the La Loma cemetery in Manila.
- 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