In Her Image: The Manileña Suffragist and Her Story in Early Twentieth-Century Periodicals

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American colonization of the Philippines brought modern Western ideas and systems and inculcated this sensibility into society through education and the entrance of a dizzying array of cultural products ready for public consumption that were disseminated through various media; the periodical being the most powerful one. These changes opened up various opportunities for the Filipina. As the years progressed; more and more Filipinas gained access to higher education and entered public life through work in various establishments in the community. It was only a matter of time before the increasing visibility of women in public life would usher in the demand for the right to vote. Manila was the center of the battle for suffrage; and the Manileña suffragists became the leaders of this fight for the right to enfranchisement. Utilizing the power of the periodicals; this chapter will relate the story of the Manileña as she fought for her right to gain the ballot. The various networks and issues faced through each epoch will be discussed. The different visual representations in the periodicals of the Manileña suffragist; as she eventually became the inadvertent pinup image of the Filipina suffragist in the process; will be examined.