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The Pensionado Act of the Philippines

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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

  • Esteban Raymundo Abada
  • José Abad Santos (Pampanga) graduated from Santa Clara College for pre-law course, graduated from Northwestern University for Bachelor of Laws and graduated from George Washington University for Masters of Laws.
  • Timoteo Abaya (Laguna) graduated from Dixon Business College.
  • Honoria Acosta Sison (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.
  • Encarnación Alzona (Laguna) graduated from Radcliffe College with a master's degree in history in 1920, and from Columbia University with a Ph.D.
  • Silverio Apóstol (Zambales) graduated from Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at Purdue University in 1908.
  • Jose Arboleda (Albay) graduated from the University of Cincinnati.
  • Juan M. Arellano (Manila) attended Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before being transferred to Drexel University, where he graduated from bachelor's degree in architecture.
  • Francisco Arca (Cavite) initially enrolled at the University of Southern California, but was transferred to Georgetown University, where he graduated from Bachelor of Laws. He later graduated from Master of Laws at the National University School of Law (now part of George Washington University) in 1922.
  • Angel Arguelles (Batangas) Lewis Technical Institute and University of Illinois.
  • Lino Arreza (Surigao) graduated from DeKalb Normal Institute with a degree in education.
  • Santiago Artiaga (Manila) graduated from the University of Michigan in 1904 with a degree in engineering; strictly speaking, he was sent over by the American colonial government before the pensionado program formally began in 1903.
  • 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.
  • Conrado Francia Benitez (Laguna)
  • Francisco Francia Benitez (Laguna) graduated from Bachelor of Science in Education at Columbia University in 1910.
  • Mariano Billedo (Abra)
  • Jorge Bocobo (Tarlac)
  • Firmo Borja (Laguna)
  • Felipe Buencamino Jr.
  • 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.
  • Florentino Cayco Sr. (Malabon) graduated from Indiana University in 1921 and earned his masteral degree from Columbia University in 1922
  • Mariano Manas Cruz (Laguna)
  • Jose Maria Chanco (Cebu)
  • Juan Chioco (Nueva Ecija) graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with the degree of B.S. Agriculture in 1919.
  • Tomás Confesor – Iloilo
  • Rafael Corpus (Zambales) graduated from George Washington University.
  • José María Cuenco (Cebu) graduated from Georgetown University with a law degree; earned his MA and PhD degrees from the same university; decided to enter the priesthood upon his return to the Philippines
  • Vivencio Cuyugan (Pampanga)
  • Fabián de la Paz (Pampanga) graduated from the Western Illinois State Normal School in Macomb, Illinois (now known as the Western Illinois University) with a degree in education
  • Antonio de las Alas graduated from the University of Indiana with the degree of LL.B. in 1908, and then at Yale University with the degree of LL.M. in 1909.
  • 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.
  • Emiliano Gala (Tayabas) graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Law in 1906.
  • 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 Illinois with a degree in civil engineering.
  • Belen Enrile-Gutierrez (Manila) graduated from the University of Michigan and Columbia University
  • Hipolito Hernando (Ilocos Norte) graduated from the University of Cincinnati.
  • Marceliano Hidalgo (Pangasinan) graduated from James Millikin University.
  • Ludovico Hidrosollo (Capiz) graduated from University of Michigan with a degree in agriculture
  • Segundo Hipolito – Manila
  • Esteban Ibalio – Ilocos Norte
  • Eustacio Ilustre – Batangas
  • Delfín Jaranilla – Iloilo
  • Mariano H. de Joya (Batangas) graduated from Indiana University's Maurer School of Law in 1906
  • Marcial Kasilag – Batangas
  • Tarhata Kiram
  • Fidel Larracas – Tayabas
  • José P. Laurel (Batangas) graduated from the Yale University where he obtained the degree of Civil Law in 1920
  • Pacífico Laygo (Batangas) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in medicine.
  • Brig. Gen. Vicente Lim (Laguna) graduated from the US Military Academy in 1914; is the first Filipino to do so
  • Francisco Llamado – Cavite
  • Roque Lomibao – Pangasinan
  • Carlos Lopez – Iloilo
  • Saturnino Lopez – Nueva Ecija
  • Rufino Macagba graduated from the University of Nebraska with a doctorate of medicine in 1927
  • Juan Macaraeg attended University of Nebraska–Lincoln and Lewis Institute in Chicago (later Illinois Institute of Technology); graduated at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with the degree of B.A. in Engineering in 1912.
  • 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.
  • Tomás Mapúa - Manila
  • Juanito Maramara - attended the University of Washington, University of Denver and Columbia University, and graduated from Bachelor of Arts in 1921, Master of Education in 1922, and Doctor of Education in 1923, all at Harvard University.
  • Cenon Monasterial – Nueva Ecija
  • Mariano Mondonedo – Isabela
  • Rafael Montenegro – Negros Oriental
  • Ciriaco Morada – Batangas
  • Jose Muñoz – Pangasinan
  • Pablo Nacion – Albay
  • Ramón 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
  • Fernando Ocampo (Pampanga) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, B.S. in Architecture, 1921
  • Ramón Ochoa – Manila
  • Florentino Oliver – Camarines
  • Lorenzo R. Onrubia (Pampanga) graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in engineering; strictly speaking, he was sent over by the American colonial government before the pensionado program formally began in 1903
  • Pedro Orata (Pangasinan) graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor's degree in education, and from the Ohio State University with master's and doctorate degrees
  • Vicente Ylagan Orosa
  • Camilo Osías – La Union
  • Balbino Palmares – Iloilo
  • Gregorio Paredes – Cavite
  • Ildefonso Patdu (Pangasinan) graduated from Purdue University with a degree in agriculture.
  • Alfonso Ponce Enrile – Bulacan
  • 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
  • Ciriaco Raval graduated from the University of Chicago with a Ph.B.
  • Francisco Reyes – Manila
  • Jose Sesbreño Reyes – Sorsogon
  • Jose Reyna – Ilocos Sur
  • Jose Rivera – Laguna
  • Emeterio C. Roa graduated from University of Michigan with a degree in actuarial science
  • Manuel A. Roa – Cebu
  • 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.
  • Carlos P. Romulo – Tarlac
  • 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.
  • Luis Salvosa (Quezon) graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master's Degree in mathematical statistics and a doctorate in actuarial mathematics
  • Domingo San Jose – Camarines
  • Alejandro Santos – Manila
  • Bienvenido Santos – Manila
  • José Sanvictores – Pampanga
  • Aresenio Formoso Sebastian – Ilocos Sur
  • Pedro Serrano – Sorsogon
  • Andres Sevilla – Leyte
  • Exequiel S. Sevilla (Manila) graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master's degree in actuarial mathematics
  • Antonio Sison (Pangasinan) graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in medicine.
  • Ruben Songco – Pampanga
  • Benito Sunga – Bulacan
  • Ángel Suntay enrolled at Georgetown University Law Center.
  • Jorge Sunico (Manila) sent to train under the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in Washington, DC.
  • Vidal Tan (Pampanga) graduated from Cornell University with a degree in civil engineering.
  • Juan Tecson graduated from the University of Michigan in 1904 with a degree in engineering; strictly speaking, he was sent over by the American colonial government before the pensionado program formally began in 1903.
  • Antonio Mañalac Toledo
  • Fermín Torralba (Bohol) graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Law.
  • Cirilo Torrefranca (Iloilo) graduated from McComb Normal Institute with a degree in education.
  • Venancio Trinidad (Batangas) graduated from the Iowa State teachers College with an A.B. degree in 1922, and Columbia University with an M.A. degree in 1928.
  • Alfonso Tuason – Manila
  • Pedro Tuason (Bataan) graduated from the Georgetown University Law School with Bachelor of Laws degree in 1908.
  • 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
  • Martín de Veyra – Manila
  • Emilio Villanueva – Negros Occidental
  • Francisco R. Ycasiano (Caloocan) graduated from Cornell University with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1907.
  • Gregorio Zamuco (Pangasinan) graduated from the University of Washington with BS Forestry in 1927, and at Yale University with MS Forestry in 1929.

References