Rosa Sevilla Alvero

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Rosa Sevilla Alvero (4 March 1879 – 11 May 1954) was an educator, journalist, and social worker who is one of the notable Filipina suffragists in Asia as she fought for women's right to vote. She also became the first Dean of Women at the University of Santo Tomas.


She was born in Tondo, Manila to Ambrosio Sevilla and Silvina Tolentino. Raised by a poor family, she was taught by two rich aunts, and later entered a private school directed by Doña Victoria Clemente. She pursued being a teacher and graduated as maestra superior at Assumption College. She became conscious of the political affairs of the country and joined the Revolution where she fed and attended to the wounded revolutionaries. As a writer, she became one of the two women staff of La Indepencia, the Philippine revolutionary government official newspaper edited by General Antonio Luna. She married Emilio Alvero, a known painter at their time, and devoted her time in writing dramas in Spanish. Together with Pura Villanueva-Kalaw and Pilar Hidalgo-Lim, she lobbied and campaigned for woman suffrage, and co-founded the Liga de Damas Filipinas (Federacion Catolica de Mujeres).


On 15 July 1900, Alvero founded Instituto de Mujeres (now Rosa Sevilla Memorial School), the first Filipino-initiated school and the first school for Philippine lay women. She was awarded with the Presidential Medal of Merit on 4 July 1948 for the many services she did for the country and the Filipinos. That same year, she also received the Queen Isabela II of Spain Award. She was a co-founder of the Liga de Damas Filpinas, the Federacion Catolica de Mujeres, and the Associacion de Hispanistas. An eloquent orator and a gifted editor of the woman’s page of La Vanguardia, she founded Woman’s Outlook, a national magazine for women.


  • de Guzman, Jovita V., Vicente A. Santiago, Remedios T. de Leon, and Teresita E. Erestain. 1967. Women Of Distinction: Biographical Essays on Outstanding Filipino Women of the Past and the Present. Philippines: Bukang Liwayway.
  • National Centennial Commission - Women's Sector. 1999. Human Development Sector. Sulong Pilipina! Sulong Pilipinas! A Compilation of Filipino Women Centennial Awardees. Taft Avenue, Manila.
  • Rosa Sevilla Alvero - Silent Revolution for Women. Filipino Heritage. Accessed 1 February 2008.
  • Women's suffrage in Asia. One Women. Accessed on 1 February 2008.



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