Alberta Uitangcoy-Santos

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Alberta Uitangcoy
Born(1865-11-20)November 20, 1865
DiedJune 1, 1953(1953-06-01) (aged 87)
OrganizationThe Women of Malolos
Philippine Red Cross
Asociacion Feminista de Filipinas
Known forLeading The Women of Malolos in the fight for women's education during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines
Spouse(s)Don Paulino R. Santos
ChildrenAlfredo Uitangcoy Santos
Luis Uitangcoy Santos
Salome Uitangcoy Santos
Josefa Uitangcoy Santos
Gonzalo Uitangcoy Santos
Trinidad Uitangcoy Santos
Jose Uitangcoy Santos
Luisa Uitangcoy Santos
Elisa Uitangcoy Santos
Parent(s)Jose Uitangcoy
Antonia Leuterio Santos

Alberta Uitangcoy-Santos (November 20, 1865 – June 1, 1953) was the leader of The Women of Malolos, and is revered for her contributions to Philippine women’s rights, the fight for Philippine independence, and a large part of the traditional cuisine of the city of Malolos, Bulacan, in the Philippines during the Spanish and American colonial periods. She is known as the matriarch of the Uitangcoy-Santos House, which has been declared a national heritage house by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, and currently houses the Museum of the Women of Malolos[1] which is now curated by her fifth-generation grandson, Carlo Herrera.[1]

The Women of Malolos[edit]

On December 12, 1888, Uitangcoy and a group of young and affluent Mestiza-Sangley women from the Kamistisuhan District of Malolos signed and presented a petition written by notable reformist Teodoro Sandico to Governor General Valeriano Weyler, asking for his permission to allow them to establish a night school for women where they can learn Spanish and other academic subjects. It was Uitangcoy who handed the petition to the Governor General while the other women fended off the Spanish Friars who were furious and wanted to know what was in the letter. Ultimately, the women won the lengthy battle for approval despite staunch opposition from the friar curate.[2]

After hearing of the women's victory, reformist leaders Marcelo H. del Pilar and Graciano Lopez Jaena wrote about the women in the Filipino liberal publication, La Solidaridad.

Dr. Jose Rizal followed suit in his famous letter "Sulat sa mga Kadalagahang Taga-Malolos" to the group in February 22, 1889, wherein he lauded their brave efforts towards reform.[3]

Philippine Revolutions[edit]

During the Philippine revolution against Spain and as the hostilities between Filipinos and Americans broke out, Uitangcoy and a number of the women aided revolutionaries who fought against both the Spanish and American colonizers through their roles in establishing the Cruz Roja (Philippine Red Cross) and passing letters and communications hidden in their dresses.

During the American colonization, Uitangcoy and nine others of the twenty women participated in establishing the Pariancillo chapter (one of the five barrio committees that comprised the local Malolos, Bulacan committee) of the Asociacion Feminista de Filipinas, which aimed to tackle several women’s rights issues of the day.

Culinary Legacy[edit]

Uitangcoy is also known for her great contributions to traditional Malolos cuisine. She crafted and taught several of the town's now heralded recipes to the younger women of Malolos, specfiically her niece Socorro and town bakers like Salome Ramos, who later popularized them throughout Malolos via her establishment, La Concepcion Bakery.

Uitangcoy is credited for crafting the ensaymada that does not use water but lard instead, pastillas de leche made from carabao milk, empanada de kaliskis (an empanada with an outer-cover that is molded to resemble fish scales), suspiros de pili, mazapan de pili, and gurgurya.51

Uitangcoy and the women were also popular for crafting intricate wrappers for their pastillas de leche, using papel de japon (Japanese paper) and a very small pair of scissors. Her surviving works can be found in the dining exhibit hall of the Museum of the Women of Malolos, which also hosts an interactive food-tasting exhibit of her recipes prepared by Malolos locals for the museum's VIP patrons.


  1. ^ a b Herrera, Joseph Carlo N. "Rediscovering Ancestry: A Curated Tour of the Museo ng mga Kababaihan ng Malolos in the Uitangcoy-Santos Ancestral Residence as a Historical and Lifestyle Museum for Contemporary Times." Undergraduate diss., Ateneo de Manila University, 2017.
  2. ^ Tiongson, Nicanor (2004). The Women of Malolos. Quezon City, Philippines: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-04-07.[permanent dead link]