Teodora was the second child of Lorenzo Alonso and Brijida de Quintos. Lorenzo was a capitan-municipal of Biñan, Laguna, a representative in the Spanish Cortes, a Knight of the Order of Isabela the Catholic and a surveyor by profession. Brijida de Quintos was an educated housewife who attended to her family's needs. In accordance to the decree issued by Governor-General Narciso Claveria in 1849, their family adopted the surname "Realonda." Coming from an able family, Teodora had her formal education at the Colegio de Santa Rosa in Manila. Just like her mother, she was well-educated and highly cultured, and had knowledge in literature and mathematics.
When Teodora turned 20 years old, she married Francisco Mercado who was a native of Biñan, Laguna. The two resided in Calamba where they engaged in agriculture. They achieved prosperity because of their industry, not to mention Teodora's efficiency at managing both the farm and the family's finances. She even set up her own textile business, a sugar and flour mill, and a small store at the ground floor of their house.
Teodora and Francisco had eleven children: Saturnina, Paciano, Narcisa, Olympia, Lucia, Maria, Jose, Concepcion, Josefa, Trinidad and Soledad. It was said that she suffered the most when she gave birth to Jose. All their children were sent to respected colleges in Manila, but Jose was the only child sent to Europe. He was inspired to take up medicine - specifically opthalmology - in order to treat Teodora's failing eyesight.
As the mother of a perceived enemy of the Spanish authorities, Teodora was... [continues]
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