Paz Marquez-Benitez for Google Doodle: An Iconic Filipina Writer

Some of us may have probably noticed on the Google website that the doodle has changed into that of Filipino writer Paz Marquez-Benitez with a starry background. Paying tribute to her most beloved story Dead Stars, Google celebrates Women’s month with a modern Filipino short-story female writer. Get to know her below!

Paz Marquez-Benitez is now the face of a Google doodle this March.

1. She was one of the very first to be trained in the American Education System.

Because of this, Paz Marquez-Benitez taught as an English professor at the University of the Philippines. Her short story, Dead Stars, was also written in English because of her training.

2. She was a beauty queen!

Before Miss Universe became a thing, there was a contest known as the Manila Carnival Queen. Paz Marquez-Benitez was crowned the Manila Carnival Queen in 1912, and also became the cover for the Spanish-Tagalog newspaper, Renacimiento Filipino.

3. Her writings are honored at different universities.

While the University of the Philippines has its mentions, Ateneo de Manila also honors Paz by holding her namesake lectures. Moreover, the Paz Marquez-Benitez Lectures honor the many female Filipino writers whose works have been influenced by her.

She is most especially honored at Philippine Women’s University (PWU) as one of the founders, alongside Clara Aragon, Concepcion Aragon, Francisca Tirona Benitez, Carolina Ocampo Palma, Mercedes Rivera, and her older sister, Socorro Marquez Zaballero.

4. Paz Marquez-Benitez is a mom of four!

Paz Marquez-Benitez eventually married UP College of Education Dean Francisco Benítez and had four children. Unfortunately, Francisco died of a heart attack in 1951.

5. She’s the founder of the first women’s journal.

When Francisco passed away, she took over their original work: an educational and editorial magazine for teachers. However, in 1919, Paz Marquez-Benitez eventually started the Women’s Home Journal — the first Filipino women’s magazine in the country.

6. Quality education was a must in her family.

Being born into an elite family, Paz grew up knowing that quality education and high academic performance were a must. She grew up learning English at 6 before eventually discovering her love for writing, leading her to graduate from the University of the Philippines with a BA in Liberal Arts.

7. It’s also her 129th birthday!

Paz was born on March 3, 1894, making her 129 years old today.

Paz Marquez-Benitez

Writers in the Philippines: “She was a mother to us all!”

Paz Marquez-Benitez was not only a mother to her own children but to the many literary giants in Philippine culture. Many Filipina writers still look to her works as an inspiration for their own, especially in writing in the English language. It’s a great honor to see her now as the face of the Google Doodle this March, especially when she’s the one who became the pivoting point for the development of women’s careers back in the day.

More inspirational women:

Remembering Sylvia La Torre: The First Lady of Philippine Television
Remembering Susan Roces: Queen of Philippine Movies
Lydia de Vega-Mercado: Remembering a Mother and the Philippines’ Sprint Queen

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