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The Pensionado Act of the Philippines

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  • Photo courtesy of F.A. Bernardo
    Bienvenido M. González (1893 - 1953)
    Bienvenido Maria Gonzalez was a two-term president of the University of the Philippines. Early Life Gonzalez was born on November 22, 1893 in Apalit, Pampanga. His father was the illustrious Joaqui...
  • ES Sevilla Family
    Exequiel S. Sevilla (1904 - 1985)
    Exequiel’s general weighted average (GWA) of flat 1.0 at the University of the Philippines (UP) has not yet been matched at that university as of 2019. He is considered to be one of the four pillars of...
  • Dr. Olivia Salamanca (1889 - 1913)
    Dr. Olivia Salamanca of Cavite was the second female physician in the Philippines. She attended Philadelphia Medical College in the United States, and graduated with honors on 1 June 1910. Earlier in l...
  • Digno Aguiling Alba (1885 - d.)
    Digno Alba (Capiz) attended schools in Whittier, CA and New Jersey State Normal School . He returned to the Philippines to serve on the Insular Textbook Board and to write and edit books on Aklan polit...
  • Engr. Julian Cabling Vallarta, Sr. (deceased)
    Engr. Julian C. Vallarta, Sr. was part of the second batch of " Pensionados " sent to study in the US in 1904. He hailed from San Isidro, Nueva Ecija . He went to study at St. Vincent's College in Lo...

The Pensionado Act of 1903 (or Act 854) refers to the law which allowed qualified Filipino students to study in the United States. Passed on 26 August 1903 by Governor General William Howard Taft's government through the Philippine Commission, this act provided funds for such students, called Pensionados, to acquire their college degrees at American schools. 103 students comprised the first wave of pensionados.

Image: The first Pensionados at the St. Louis Exposition in 1903.

These students were called Pensionados since they were scholars studying at the expense of the colonial government. They mainly earned degrees in government and administration since the idea of the program was to educate the students the U.S. Government system, so that upon their return in the Philippines, they would administer the government in the same fashion.

During the first decade of the American occupation, most of the pensionados were women from the elite class (the same class who had access to better education in the late Spanish period). However, under the American educational system, educational opportunities in the Philippines became more democratic that many of the later pensionados were promising Filipinos who were not necessarily wealthy.

By 1912, there were already 209 Filipino students who graduated from American college and academic institutions. While many returned home to complete the terms of their education and occupy prominent positions in the academe, government and the public sector, some returned to the United States before the outbreak of World War II; and began the early wave of Filipino migrations.

Find more similar projects at the master project page, Families of the Philippines.

The Pensionados

  • Timoteo Abaya (Laguna) graduated from Dixon Business College.
  • Honoria Acosta (Pangasinan) graduated from Drexel Institute.
  • Rafael Acosta (Asingan, Pangasinan) graduated from Pennsylvania State Normal School.
  • Bernardo Agana (Tarlac) attended University of Cincinatti and returned to the Philippines in 1908.
  • Romarico Agcaoili (Ilocos Norte) graduated from Cornell University with a degree in civil engineering.
  • Andres Aguilar (Cebu) graduated from the School of Industrial Art of Pennsylvania.
  • Digno Alba (Capiz) attended high school in Whittier, CA and college at the New Jersey State Normal School.
  • Candido M. Alcazar (Iloilo) attended Iloilo National High School and graduated from the James Milliken University.
  • Orancio Aligada (Masbate) graduated from the Illinois State Normal School.
  • Ramon Alvarez (Zamboanga) graduated from the Michigan Agricultural College.
  • Silverio Apostol (Zambales) graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in agriculture.
  • Jose Arboleda (Albay) graduated from the University of Cincinnati.
  • Lino Arreza (Surigao) graduated from DeKalb Normal Institute with a degree in education.
  • Juan Avelino – Cavite
  • Apolinario Baltazar (Manila) graduated from Cornell University with a degree in civil engineering.
  • Carlos Barretto (Zambales) graduated from the Drexel Institute with a degree in architecture.
  • Jose Batungbakal (Bataan)
  • Santiago Bautista (Nueva Ecija) graduated from DeKalb Normal Institute with a degree in education.
  • Mariano Billedo (Abra)
  • Jorge Bocobo (Tarlac)
  • Firmo Borja (Laguna)
  • Pablo Bueno (Negros Oriental) served as first elected Lieutenant Governor of Siquijor from 1914 to 1916.
  • Jose Burgos (Manila)
  • Jose Cabrera (Cebu)
  • Mariano Carbonell (La Union) graduated from DeKalb Normal Institute with a degree in education.
  • Mariano Manas Cruz (Laguna)
  • Jose Maria Chanco (Cebu)
  • Fabian de la Paz (Pangasinan) graduated from McComb Normal Institute with a degree in education.
  • Francisco Afan Delgado (Bulacan) attended Compton High School, in San Francisco, California, the University of Indiana to take up Bachelor of Laws, and Yale University for his Master of Laws degree, cum laude. He moved back to the Philippines to be a lawyer, soldier and politician.
  • Francisco Donato (Cagayan)
  • Pilar Elumba
  • Gregorio Espinola (Sorsogon) graduated from George Washington University.
  • Jose Espiritu (Pampanga) graduated from New Jersey State Normal School with a degree in education.
  • Asterio Favis (Ilocos Sur) graduated from Georgetown University and returned to the Philippines to work as a fiscal.
  • Vicente Fernandez (Ilocos Sur) graduated from Pennsylvania State Normal School.
  • Elizabeth Florendo (Ilocos Sur) graduated from St. Mary's College.
  • Gabriel Flores (Manila) graduated from St. Louis University.
  • Vicente Fragante (Ilocos Sur) graduated from University of Wisconsin with a degree in civil engineering.
  • Arsenio Formoso (Ilocos Norte) graduated from Purdue University with a degree in mechanical engineering.
  • Silvino Gallardo – Rizal
  • Arturo Garcia – Manila
  • Jose Gomez – Manila
  • Liborio Gomez – Manila
  • Isaias Gonzaga – Cebu
  • Jose Gonzales (Surigao) graduated from the Dixon Business College.
  • Manuel Gonzales – Pangasinan
  • Bienvenido M. González (Pampanga) graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Potenciano Guazon (Manila) graduated from the University of Missouri.
  • Angel Guerrero (Ilocos Norte) graduated from University of Illonois with a degree in civil engineering.
  • Hipolito Hernando (Ilocos Norte) graduated from the University of Cincinnati.
  • Marceliano Hidalgo (Pangasinan) graduated from James Millikin University.
  • Ludovico Hidrosolio (Capiz) graduated from University of Michigan with a degree in agriculture
  • Segundo Hipolito – Manila
  • Esteban Ibalio – Ilocos Norte
  • Eustacio Ilustre – Batangas
  • Delfin Jaranilla – Iloilo
  • Mariano de Joya – Batangas
  • Marcial Kasilag – Batangas
  • Fidel Larracas – Tayabas
  • Pacifico Laygo (Batangas) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in medicine.
  • Francisco Llamado – Cavite
  • Roque Lomibao – Pangasinan
  • Carlos Lopez – Iloilo
  • Saturnino Lopez – Nueva Ecija
  • Ambrosio Magsaysay - Manila
  • Vicente Manalo (Cavite) graduated from University of Kansas with a degree in mechanical engineering.
  • Gregorio Manuel (Cebu) graduated from DeKalb Normal Institute with a degree in education.
  • Cenon Monasterial – Nueva Ecija
  • Mariano Mondonedo – Isabela
  • Rafael Montenegro – Negros Oriental
  • Ciriaco Morada – Batangas
  • Jose Muñoz – Pangasinan
  • Pablo Nacion – Albay
  • Ramon Nakpil – Manila
  • Domingo Natividad – Antique
  • Leon Nava – Iloilo
  • Antonio Nera (La Union) graduated from DeKalb Normal Institute with a degree in education.
  • Miguel Nicdao – Pampanga
  • Jose Nieva – Manila
  • Ramon Ochoa – Manila
  • Florentino Oliver – Camarines
  • Lorenzo Onrubia – Cavite
  • Balbino Palmares – Iloilo
  • Gregorio Paredes – Cavite
  • Ildefonso Patdu (Pangasinan) graduated from Purdue University with a degree in agriculture.
  • Ernesto Quirino – La Union
  • Emilio Quisumbing (Manila) graduated from Cornell University with a degree in civil engineering.
  • Eduardo Ramirez – Bohol
  • Gregorio Ramirez (Bulacan) graduated from DeKalb Normal Institute with a degree in education.
  • Joaquin Ramos – Tarlac
  • Justo Ramos – Bulacan
  • Francisco Reyes – Manila
  • Jose Reyna – Ilocos Sur
  • Jose Rivera – Laguna
  • Zacharias Rocha (Bohol) graduated from McComb Normal Institute with a degree in education.
  • Mateo Roco (Manila) graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in civil engineering.
  • Ignacio Rosario – Manila
  • Pelagio Ruiz – Ilocos Norte
  • Olivia Salamanca (Cavite) graduated with honors, from the Philadelphia Medical College in the United States, with a degree in medicine.
  • Domingo San Jose – Camarines
  • Alejandro Santos – Manila
  • Jose Sanvictores – Pampanga
  • Aresenio Formoso Sebastian – Ilocos Sur
  • Pedro Serrano – Sorsogon
  • Andres Sevilla – Leyte
  • Antonio Sison (Pangasinan) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in medicine.
  • Benito Sunga – Bulacan
  • Cirilo Torrefranca (Iloilo) graduated from McComb Normal Institute with a degree in education.
  • Alfonso Tuason – Manila
  • Hilario Valderas – Tayabas
  • Jose Valdes – Manila
  • Felix Valencia (Iloilo) graduated from Purdue University with a degree in mechanical engineering.
  • Julian Vallarta (Nueva Ecija) graduated from State University of Iowa - College of Applied Science, with a degree in civil engineering in 1909.
  • Vicente Varela – Negros Occidental
  • Natalio Velez – Negros Occidental
  • Martin de Veyra – Manila
  • Emilio Villanueva – Negros Occidental
  • Francisco Ycasiano - Manila

References