“Women in Journalism”

A 4-page chapter titled “Women in Journalism” (pp. 171-174) was included in the 1933 self-published book, History of Journalism in the Philippine Islands, by Jesus Z. Valenzuela, B.J., M.A. The author was an instructor in English and Journalism at the University of the Philippines (UP). 

Philippine History, Philippine Journalism, Women in Journalism, History of Philippine Journalism

The early publications targeting women, with sections on morals, fashions, literature, and history, were founded by men. The author noted that the “first woman journal in the strict sense of the term” and the first paper that was “genuinely feminine” was El Hogar (The Home), a weekly published on January 11, 1893; founded by Da. Amparo Gomez de la Serna, a Spaniard; written by women for women; and contained scientific and literary articles. Despite its sincere public “bow” in its first publication, it only lasted a few months, which the author surmised as a result of the public not yet prepared for women at the helm of things. 

La Moda Filipina (Philippine Fashion), which came out on March 15, 1893, was “the last of this kind of journal to appear during the colonial days.” Issued twice a month, it included color covers, models for embroidery, photos of young people of the Malay aristocracy, poems, news, and advertisements. However, it did not gain steam.

Mr. Valenzuela had not heard of any woman’s journal during the Revolution. Chances were that files and records were lost in the war. He noted that Doña Rosa Sevilla de Alvero, a directress of a girls’ college in Manila, and Señora Florentina Arellano used to write for La Independencia during the Revolution. 

“The activities of Filipino women during the Revolution were not in the field of journalism. They were silent helpers of their husbands in the battlefields,” the author wrote. He cited the following:

  • Mrs. Diego Silang tried to carry on the rebellion that her husband led against the Spaniards after he was assassinated.

  • Agueda Kahabagan, who was conferred the title of Woman General, defeated a group of Spanish soldiers in Laguna.

  • Doña Leonor Florentino, mother of Isabelo de los Reyes whose name was mentioned in the “Rise of the Native Press” (supra), wrote poems that spurred the men to scale the height of their ideals. 

Later, two “outstanding” women’s publications came out: The Women’s Outlook, edited by Mrs. Maria Valdez-Ventura, a lawyer and member of the UP faculty, and The Woman’s Journal, edited by Miss Estela Romualdez, also a lawyer.  

The author listed down some more names of women who made contributions in varying degrees. For him, “these names show that there are already feminine growths in the field of journalism.”

“They should be cultivated and allowed to bloom in order to reap a harvest,” wrote Mr. Valenzuela.

Philippine History, Philippine Journalism, Women in Journalism, History of Philippine Journalism


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