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Josefa Escoda: The Curly Woman in the Old 1,000 Bill

With our celebration of Independence Day last June 12, it calls for the remembrance of the devoted Filipinos who helped bring our country to where it is today.

For this article, we are proudly featuring one of our Filipina heroes—Josefa Madamba Llanes Escoda! And guess what? She’s a curlie like you too!

Although she is more commonly known as the founder of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Escoda has several other contributions that paved the way for the Philippines moving forward. 

Born in 1898, the curlie hero always had a passion for service with her work as a social worker, civic leader, war heroine, and suffragette. She studied social welfare at the New York School of Social Work and represented our country in the International House and the Women’s International League for Peace. Upon returning to the Philippines, Escoda began institutionalizing the Girl Scouts of the Philippines by training teachers—helping Filipina women realize their nation-building potential. 

Aside from advocating for women’s suffrage and organizing the Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Escoda also helped during World War II by providing personal and medical supplies to camp hostages. The Filipina hero attempted to help these people to the best of her abilities despite it being life-threatening work. Unfortunately, however, her brave and admirable initiative eventually led to her arrest and execution by the Japanese.

Escoda’s sacrifice and legacy prove that Filipina power is undeniable, and that we should never forget the great role they play in achieving the rights and privileges of freedom we have today. 

Josefa Madamba Llanes Escoda is indeed a Filipina hero to look up to!




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