20 September: Remembering Josefa Llanes Escoda on Birthday

Saurav Singh

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Josefa Llanes Escoda (20 September 1898 – 6 January 1945) was a remarkable Filipino woman who left an indelible mark on her country’s history as a civic leader, social worker, and advocate for women’s rights. Her life and career were dedicated to improving the lives of Filipinos, particularly women and children.

Early Life

Josefa Llanes Escoda was born on September 20, 1898, in Dingras, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. She grew up in a modest family, but her parents instilled in her the values of education and service to others. She excelled academically, becoming a teacher at a young age and later earning a degree in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of the Philippines.


Escoda’s career was marked by her passion for social work and education. She co-founded the Girl Scouts of the Philippines in 1940, empowering young girls to become responsible citizens and leaders. During World War II, she played a vital role in assisting war refugees, providing them with shelter, food, and medical care. Her efforts earned her the nickname “Mother of the Philippine Girl Scouts.”


Josefa Llanes Escoda’s legacy is profound and enduring. Her work with the Girl Scouts of the Philippines continues to shape the lives of countless young women, teaching them values of leadership, community service, and gender equality. She is celebrated as a national hero in the Philippines, with her contributions to the country’s history commemorated through monuments, schools, and awards.

Escoda’s dedication to women’s rights and social welfare continues to inspire generations of Filipinos. Her birthday is celebrated annually as “Girl Scouts’ Friendship Day,” a testament to her enduring impact on the lives of girls and women in the Philippines.

On 20 September 2018, a Google Doodle was created to celebrate Josefa Llanes Escoda’s 120th Birthday.


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