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Matronas Titulares the arrabales of Manila had their share of traditional midwives. We came across a listing in 1874! of midwives who were referred to as parteras, comadronas and matronas. The terms partera, comadre and comadrona were used interchangeably to refer to a woman who assist in child delivery. However, the term matrona was reserved for a licensed practitioner or one recognized to have some medical knowledge as regards child delivery. While the terms matrona, pariera and comadrona were used interchangeably, the establishment of a school of midwives in 1879 differentiated the graduates of this school from the unschooled midwives by the title matrona titular. The terms matrona and partera referring to the unlicensed midwives persisted until the end of Spanish rule as evidenced in the vecindarios of the arvabales of Manila. In the listing of 1874 in Tondo, Quiapo, San Fernando de Dilao, Sampaloc, Hermita and Malate, the term partera was used to refer to the midwife. (See Appendix E) Binondo was the only district which used the term matronas to refer to its midwives while San Miguel, Santa Cruz and Sampaloc called its midwives comadronas. Bravo and Buzeta differentiated the partera from the comadrona in this light. A partera was defined as one who 82 + Working Women of Manila in the Nineteenth Conssoy is consulted during the early months of pregnancy in order to determine the sex of the baby? as well as one who assists in normal deliveries. The comadrona, on the other hand, was identified as one who handles the difficult cases of childbirth In this particular chapter we shall focus our attention on the beginnings of the licensed midwives or matronas titulares. The listing of comadronas, matronas ot parteras in the different arrabales of Manila in 1847 was patt of a petition? of Don Jose Maria Birotteau to the President of the Junta Suprema de Sanidad requesting the establishment of a School of Medicine. This listing provides valuable information about the traditional midwives, ‘The arrabales of Manila had in 1847, 53 traditional midwives—32 of them were referred to as parteras who came from Tondo while the rest who were called matronasall hailed from Binondo. What is striking is the mature age of the women engaged in thi at of the matrona, 41.12 years old. Evidently, a plus factor in this particular profession. The “professional” credibility of the traditional midwife was enchanced by her age. Also noticeable was the length of time these women had dedicated themselves to the profession. A partera on the average had been practicing her profession for 19.75 years, the comadrona for 16.3 years and the matrona for 11 years. Again, like age, length of service played a crucial role in establishing the credibility of these women practitioners. The length of time they were engaged in this profession meant a longer period of having honed one’s skills. Hence, Matronas Tivwlares © 85 the longer they stayed in the profession, the more skilled these practitioners were. ‘All the matronas, parteras ot comadronas included in he list were either married or widowed with the exception 0 Dionicia Santos, a partera of Quiapo. Widowed women outnumbered the married women in this profession. ‘There is one noticeable trend with regards to the place rigin of these traditional midwives. Majority were born n the arrabales where they were practicing their profession making them “insiders” in the community unlike the nsed midwives or matronas titulares who were not from the locality Apart from the es Don Jose Mar improve the ser ment of a School of Medicine, Biroweau recommended some measures to s of the yal mid asures was that the colonial aut give accreditation to parteras who have had less Years of practice and that the practice of assisting in childbirth be confined to the female sex. The latter recommendation was in response to the presence of four arterosin the arrabal of Ermita. In the absence of a School for Midwives then, there was official recognition of the services of these traditional midwives and at the same time a move to regulate their a is. Ih 1879, a school for midwives as part of the School of Medicine and Pharmacy was established. ‘This school was under the management of the University of Santos Tomas According to Fr. Gregorio Echavaria, Rector of U.S.T. in 1886, the school for midwives was created out of a strong desire to save the lives of mothers and the newborns. In his letter petitioning for the creation of 22 Positions of