Awesome Schoolteachers of Corregidor Is. in the 30s

November 27, 2015

I interviewed Ms. Simeona Fragante in 2003 for my historical docu on prewar Corregidor Island. 89 years old at the time, she was one of my sibling’s teacher that included my brother, Prof. Isagani Medina, a historian. Given the lead when he recounted about their school life back then, I started to look for the teacher, starting from the Municipal Hall of Cavite City. It was Willie Pangilinan however, a local historian who finally introduced me to Ms. Fragante.

Ms Fragante 2003

Interview with Ms. Simeona Fragante, Corregidor Elementary Schoolteacher from 1931-1938

Coming from a teacher during the 30s, I was so delighted and awestruck when I heard her say: “We are comfortable with the earnings that we make. We are living comfortably with our expenses, with our needs, we don’t miss the help of a husband. We are women of independent needs. We don’t bother anybody. We don’t need anybody.”


Grabbed frame from my historical docu on prewar Corregidor, “Tiga-Isla.” Take note of the “planted bullets” — now in vogue at NAIA!

It was surprising because during the prewar years, Filipino women were largely dependent on their husbands. Women were usually left to take care of the house and the children. Working women were uncommon unlike today.

I last saw Ms. Fragante when she watched the film in Cavite City in 2004.



  1. Outstanding woman. Did you ever hear of a Baptist Missionary named Harvey Espland?

  2. A remarkable woman indeed! Re the Baptist Missionary, no! I have not heard anything about him. But there is an interesting story by my other interviewee about a revolving altar used both by Protestants and Catholics. They would just turn it around who so ever would use it for their service. Quite interesting!

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