Aside from the late president Ferdinand Marcos, Ilocos Norte is the hometown of several respectable individuals who have left a truly exceptional mark on the Philippine history. Even prior to the Spanish Colonial regime, the Ilocanos have proven their bravery and greatness not only as a warrior but as a survivor.
As a matter of fact, the Spaniards had a hard time conquering the north. History states heroic acts by the Ilocanos and other ethnic groups as they fight the conquistadors for territory. Notable revolutions have sparked from this region such as the famous Ilocos Revolt led by Diego Silang (which was continued by his wife Gabriela Silang), as well as the Revolts against the Tribute (tax), Igorot Revolt, Almazan Revolt, Ambaristo Revolt and many others.
Certainly, this region is proud of its sons and daughters who have made an impact on the Filipino culture.
Two of the Philippines’ remarkable women were born and raised in Dingras. Josefa Llanes Escoda and Enriqueta de Peralta are known for their significant contribution on women-related advocacies. They have founded and been active members of several women groups, in which some grew to become a national organization.
Josefa Llanes Escoda (September 20, 1898 – January 6, 1945)
Josefa Llanes Escoda is a well-known advocate of women’s right of suffrage. She was also acknowledged as a heroine-martyr during the World War II.
Escoda went to the Philippine Normal School in Manila to study Education and graduated with honors in 1919. She earned her high school teachers certificate from the University of the Philippines in 1922.
Escoda was also a social worker for the Philippine Chapter of the American Red Cross wherein she was granted scholarship to the United States. She earned a Master’s degree in Sociology.
In 1933, Escoda went to the United States to undergo training in Girl Scouting sponsored by the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. Later, Escoda returned to the Philippines to train young women to become Girl Scout leaders. She then proceeded with organizing the Girl Scout of the Philippines.
It was on May 26, 1940 that President Manuel L. Quezon signed the charter of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines with Escoda as its first National Executive.
Enriqueta de Peralta (July 15,1882 – April 13,1940)
Enriqueta de Peralta was an Ilocana poet who is also a known advocate of women’s rights and issues. Peralta was a social worker and was an active member of various organizations, which included Dingras Women’s Club, Ilocos Norte Women’s Club, and the Provincial Women’s Club of Ilocos Norte.
Peralta established the Puericulture Centers of Northern Luzon. She was the auditor of the Rural Credit Association of Northern Luzon. In the 1920 Infant Morality Conference, Peralta was chosen to be a delegate.
Peralta worked hard for the passage of a legislation that grants Filipino women the right to vote. She also proposed the celebration of Mother’s Day to the National Convention of Women’s Club.