Today in Philippine History, July 20, 1826, Margarita Roxas de Ayala was born in San Miguel, Manila

Thursday July 19, 2012 ()

On July 20, 1826, Margarita Roxas de Ayala, one of the Philippines' greatest businesswomen, and founder of La Concordia College, was born in San Miguel, Manila.

She was the eldest child of Domingo Roxas founder of Casa Roxas, and Maria Saturnina Ubaldo, a Spaniard. During her early life she suffered great indignity and injustice when her father was incarcerated three times. The Spanish colonial authorities suspected that her father was a sympathizer of the Filipino cause.

(Margarita Roxas de Ayala)  

Don Domingo one of the earliest industrialists of the Philippines, was an advocate for liberal reforms. He died in prison in 1843.

Assuming control of her father's company, Margarita acquired her vast wealth as she diversified into real estate, mining, and alcohol production.

She was married to her father's partner Don Antonio de Ayala, a Spaniard from the Basque region of Alava de Ayala, Spain. Don Antonio de Ayala was one of the first directors of Banco Español-Filipino de Isabel II currently known as Bank of the Philippine Islands.

Margarita Roxas de Ayala became the foremost philanthropist of her time, donating her own summer residence called La Concordia in Santa Ana, Manila in 1868 to the Colegio de la Concordia which survives to this day as La Concordia College.

The school upon her instruction was staffed by a Spanish order of nuns, the Sisters of Charity, and dedicated to educating and giving scholarships to marginalized women.

She died on November 1, 1869 at age 43 leaving Don Antonio to run the company until his death in 1876. They had three daughters. The first daughter Carmen Roxas de Ayala would marry her cousin Don Pedro Pablo Roxas and their daughter Margarita Roxas de Ayala y Roxas would later marry Eduardo Soriano. They would become the parents of San Miguel Corporation industrialist Andres Soriano.

Philippines News Agency
Photo: Wikipedia Commons


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