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Last but certainly not least: trailblazer Dr. Fe del Mundo marks the end of our Filipino American History Month series. ——————— 🇵🇭♀From the 17.21 archives: November 27, 2018 ——————— “I'm glad that I have been very much involved in the care of children, and that I have been relevant to them. They are the most outstanding feature in my life.” 〰️ Dr. Fe del Mundo, born Fé Primitiva del Mundo y Villanueva (1911–2011), pioneering Filipino pediatrician/first female student to be accepted into Harvard Medical School in 1936 (on her application, she was mistaken for a male and was the recipient of a full scholarship—women would not be accepted until 1945)/the first Asian person admitted to Harvard Medical School/enrolled at the Boston University School of Medicine, earning a Master's degree in bacteriology (1940)/returned to Manila (1941), volunteered for the International Red Cross, organized a hospice within an internment camp during WWII, and became known as “The Angel of Santo Tomas”/inventor of the first incubator and jaundice-relieving device for babies/authored over a hundred articles, reviews, and reports in medical journals on diseases including dengue, polio, and measles/wrote the Textbook of Pediatrics, a fundamental medical text used in Philippine medical schools/active in the field of public health in rural communities, championing programs in midwifery care, breastfeeding, immunizations, nutrition, and child care/founded the first pediatric hospital in the Philippines (1964) by selling her house to finance the Quezon City Children’s Medical Center (renamed the Fe del Mundo Medical Center)/named the country's first national scientist (1980)/conferred the Order of Lakandula (2010), one of the highest honors given by the Philippines/lived on the second floor of the children’s center and made her rounds in her wheelchair until her death at the age of 99/today, a Google Doodle celebrates her 107th birthday • Photos (1, 2) courtesy of Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation▫️Photo, unknown▫️Photo by Paterno Emasquel II▫️Photos (5–10), unknown #fedelmundo #filipino #pediatrician #womeninmedicine #womeninscience #filipinoamericanhistorymonth
We should always celebrate and empower women to excel in their chosen profession. In the Philippines, a lot of women are taking the lead in their respective fields. From the medical field to the creative industry, there are so many inspiring Filipinas right now. But this International Women’s Day, we want to remember the women who have changed the game and paved the way for many other women by being pioneers in their respective careers:
Edith L. Oliveros
Not much has been written about the woman who established the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID). A graduate of Philippine Women’s University with a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics, Oliveros found great passion in design and went on to get her Master’s degree in Interior Design at Drexel University, Philadelphia. As a student, she often paid homage to her roots by incorporating Philippine elements in her designs. Once she got back from the United States, she started taking on young female apprentices, which gave her the idea to establish PSID.
Aida Cruz-Del Rosario
Just like Edith, there’s not much public information about Cruz-Del Rosario. According to Inquirer.net, she is the first licensed female architect in the country. After graduating from UST College of Architecture in 1947, she placed 7th in the licensure exam. She went on to design and construct projects around the country with her husband, an engineer. Her best works are mostly in Baguio, including some houses and some parts of the original structure of University of Baguio.
Fe Del Mundo
Aside from being the first woman to be admitted into Harvard Medical School, Del Mundo was also the first woman to be named National Scientist of the Philippines in 1980. She was also the one who established the country’s first pediatric hospital. Aside from being the “Angel of Santo Tomas,” she was also an angel for families who didn’t have access to electricity by inventing an incubator made of bamboo.
Maria Lourdes Sereno
Sereno is the 24th Chief Justice of the Philippines—the first woman to ever hold the title. Being the youngest in the pool of nominees before her appointment, she was the Class Valedictorian and a cum laude of the University of the Philippines College of Law. As a lawyer and educator, she received awards such as the 1998 Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service, the 2000 Most Outstanding Alumna Award of Quezon City High School, the 2003 Most Outstanding Alumna Award of Kamuning Elementary School and the 1991 Provincial Citation in Camarines Sur.
Ma. Aurora Carandang-Gloria
An alumna of class ’89 of St. Scholastica’s College High School, Carandang-Gloria became the first female commercial pilot in Southeast Asia. Her first flight was for Philippine Airlines which was enroute to Baguio from Manila in 1993. After 10 years of flying with the airline, she was known to engage in various non-government organizations in the development sector.
Photo courtesy of 17.21 WOMEN’s Instagram account
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