Josefa Llanes EscodaPhilippines

Josefa Llanes Escoda Bio, Biography, Death and Cause, Husband (Antonio Escoda), Parents, Education, Legacy, Google Doodle

20th September 2018, Google Doodle honours Josefa Llanes Escoda’s on what would have been her 120th Birthday.

Josefa Llanes Escoda Biography

Josefa Llanes Escoda Bio

Josefa Llanes Escoda was born on 20th September 1898 and died on 6th January 1945. She was a prominent civic leader, social worker, and Filipina war heroine. She is well-known as a Filipino advocate of women’s right of suffrage and was the founder of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines.

Together with José Abad Santos and Vicente Lim, she is memorialized on the Philippines’ 1,000-Peso banknote depicting Filipinos who fought and died resisting the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during in the World War II.

Josefa Llanes Escoda Born Josefa Madamba Llanes was born on 20th September 1898 in Dingras, Ilocos Norte, Captaincy General of the Philippines
Josefa Llanes Escoda Died January 6, 1945 (aged 46)
Manila, Philippine Commonwealth
Josefa Llanes Cause of Death Execution by the Japanesse forces during the World War II Invasion 
Resting place Unmarked grave in La Loma Cemetery, Caloocan City, Philippines
Josefa Llanes Husband Antonio Escoda
Josefa Llanes Parents Mercedes Madamba and Gabriel Llanes
Google Doodle On 20th September 2018, Google Doodle honours Josefa Llanes Escoda’s on what would have been her 120th Birthday.

Josefa Llanes Escoda Family

Josefa was born in Dingras, Ilocos Norte as Josefa Llanes (y) Madamba. Her parents were Mercedes Madamba (mother) and Gabriel Llanes (father). Josefa was the eldest of the seven children. Her siblings were, Florencio, Luisa, Elvira, Rosario, Purita and Eufrocina. Josefa (or Pepa, her nickname as a child) grew up with an instilled idea of the true Christian service. Her mother was said to be a sweet, loving woman who taught her children the importance of serving the people. This likable character honed by her mother manifested in many parts of Pepa’s life.

Josefa Llanes Escoda Early life and Education 

During her elementary days, Pepa was known to be a sunny, naturally active and intelligent student. She also had an unyielding importance for education. Josefa was valedictorian in grade school and salutatorian in high school in Dingras Elementary School (Dingras, Ilocos Norte). She went to Philippine Normal School in Manila to earn her teaching degree and graduated with honors in 1919. While working as a teacher, she received a high school teacher’s certificate from the University of the Philippines in 1922.

After obtaining her teacher’s certificate, she became a social worker for the Philippine Chapter of the American Red Cross (the Philippines was a colony of the United States at the time). The Red Cross granted her a scholarship to the United States, where she earned a masters degree in Sociology from Columbia University in 1925. While in the United States, Josefa joined a group of international students who wholeheartedly supported an International House project in New York. During her free time in the International House, she accepted speaking engagements. It was also her practice to wear a Filipiniana dress during her lecture tours to arouse foreigner’s interest in the Philippines.

During her first trip to the United States, while she was at the Women’s International League for Peace (1925), she met Antonio Escoda, a reporter from the Philippine Press Bureau whom she later married. They had two children: Maria Theresa (who later became President of the Cultural Center of the Philippines during Pres.Corazon Aquino’s Administration); and Antonio, Jr.

Josefa Llanes Escoda Legacy

A street and a building have been named after her, and a monument has been dedicated to her memory. She is also depicted on the current 1000-peso bill as one of three Filipinos martyred by the Japanese Armed Forces.

The Girl Scouts of the Philippines pays homage to Josefa Llanes Escoda every September 20 by celebrating her birth anniversary with activities that would create further awareness of her martyrdom and contribution to youth development.

She was Portrayed by Timmy Cruz in 1998 TV series of ABS-CBN’s Bayani, in episodes “Josefa Llanes Escoda.”

Josefa Llanes Escoda Google Doodle

On 20th September 2018, Google Doodle honours Josefa Llanes Escoda’s 120th Birthday for her interest in women’s issues and a strong advocate for female suffrage.


Josefa Llanes Escoda Google Doodle
Josefa Llanes Escoda Google Doodle

Josefa Llanes Escoda Death and Cause

In World War II Japanese forces invaded the Philippines. News of the underground activities of Josefa Llanes Escoda and her husband Antonio reached far and wide. As the Japanese Occupation stretched on, Josefa Llanes Escoda and Antonio had intensified their “smuggling” activities of sending medicines, clothing, messages, and foodstuff to both Filipino war prisoners and American internees in concentration camps.

Josefa Llanes Escoda’s husband Antonio was arrested in June 1944, and Josefa Llanes Escoda was also arrested two months later on 27 August. She was imprisoned in Fort Santiago, the same prison as her husband, Antonio Escoda. Her husband was executed in 1944 along with General Vicente Lim, who was detained with him. On 6 January 1945, Josefa Llanes Escoda was then evidently taken and held in one of the buildings of Far Eastern University occupied by the Japanese.

Josefa Llanes Escoda was last seen alive on 6 January 1945, but severely beaten and weak, and was transferred into a Japanese transport truck. Her cause of death is presumed to be execution.She was buried in an unmarked grave, either in the La Loma Cemetery or Manila Chinese Cemetery, which Japanese forces used as execution and burial grounds for thousands of Filipinos who resisted the Japanese occupation.

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