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MedPro International Celebrates Josefa Llanes Escoda

MedPro International Celebrates Josefa Llanes Escoda

On September 20, MedPro International joins the Province of Ilocos Norte and the Philippines in celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Josefa Llanes Escoda. An educator and social worker, Escoda was a prominent advocate for women’s rights and supported the welfare of all Filipino people. Known as the “Florence Nightingale” of the Philippines for her social work, Escoda’s bravery and good works included founding the Girl Scouts in the Philippines, campaigning for women’s suffrage, and promoting the country.

Escoda was born in Dingras, Ilocos Norte, on September 20, 1898. She graduated from the Philippine Normal University with a degree in education and became a social worker for the Philippine Chapter of the American Red Cross. She earned a master’s in sociology from Columbia University in 1925.

During World War II, when the Japanese Army occupied the Philippines, Escoda and her husband Antonio organized a group of volunteers who carried messages between war prisoners and their families, recorded the names of prisoners, provided essential items to stranded students in Manila, and organized community kitchens across the city. Escoda and her husband were eventually captured, tortured, and believed to have been executed by the Japanese.

Escoda has been recognized for her contributions as a civic leader, women’s rights advocate, mother of the Philippine Girl Scouts. She appears on  Philippine currency, has at least two streets named after her in Manila, and has a statue erected of her image with children outside the Girl Scouts of the Philippines National Headquarters. This past August, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and the Philippines government signed Proclamation No. 316, declaring September 20 a special non-working day to commemorate Escoda.


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