María Orosa

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María Orosa
Born María Ylagan Orosa
November 29, 1893
Taal, Batangas, Captaincy General of the Philippines
Died February 13, 1945(1945-02-13) (aged 51)
Malate, Manila, Commonwealth of the Philippines
Education University of the Philippines
University of Washington, Seattle
Maria Orosa (Historical Park and Laurel Park, Batangas Provincial Capitol Complex).

María Orosa e Ylagan[1] (1893–1945) was a Filipino food technologist, pharmaceutical chemist, humanitarian and war heroine.[2] She experimented with foods native to the Philippines and formulated food products like calamansi nip, a desiccated and powdered form of calamansi that could be used to make calamansi juice, banana ketchup, and a powdered preparation of soybeans called Soyalac, a "magic food" preparation which helped save the lives of thousands of Filipinos, Americans, and other nationals who were held prisoner in different Japanese concentration camps during World War II.

With her knowledge of local food properties, Orosa also made contributions in the culinary realm and taught proper preservation methods for native dishes such as adobo, dinuguan, kilawin and escabeche.


Born on November 29, 1893 in Taal, Batangas and died on February 13, 1945, Maria Orosa was the fourth child among eight of Simplicio A. Orosa and Juliana L. Ylanan-Orosa. She is brother of Engr. Vicente Ylagan Orosa Sr., a secretary of Public Works, Transportations and Communication during Elipidio Quirino Administration. Also the sister of pioneer Dr. Sixto Y. Orosa Sr. and aunt to famous Filipino banker Sixto L. Orosa, Jr.), Philippine National Artist in Dance, Leonor Orosa Goquiñgco, successful businessman José R. L. Orosa and celebrated cultural journalist Rosalinda L. Orosa.


In commemoration, a street in Ermita, Manila (where the Philippine Court of Appeals is located), as well as a building in the Bureau of Plants and Industry has been named after her. As part of celebrations marking the 65th anniversary of the Institute of Science and Technology, she was one of the 19 scientists conferred an award. On November 29, 1983, the National Historical Institute installed a marker in her honor at the Bureau of Plant Industry in San Andrés, Manila. In commemoration of her centennial anniversary, a postage stamp was issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation.

Works by Maria Y. Orosa[edit]

  • The history and chemistry of neoarsphenamine (1921)
  • Preservation of Philippine foods (1926)
  • Rice bran: a health food and how to cook it (1932)
  • Roselle recipes (1931)
  • Soy beans as a component of a balanced diet and how to prepare them (1932)


  1. ^ Y is replaced by e before maternal surnames that begin with /i/ immediately followed by a consonant.
  2. ^ MARIA Y. OROSA (1893–1945). Pioneering Food Technologist and Inventor Archived July 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved October 11, 2010

Further reading[edit]