Pacita Madrigal - Gonzales
Senator Pacita Madrigal was born in San Miguel district, Manila to Senator Vicente Madrigal and the late Susana Paterno. She studied at the Philippine Women’s University, where she graduated as high school valedictorian in three years; was medalist in Sorbonne University, Paris and graduated magna cum laude in business administration at the University of Santo Tomas.
She also attended the finishing school Le College Feminine de Bouffemont on Seine, Paris; Dale Carnegie Course and Powers School of New York.
In New York when World War II broke out on December 8, 1941. Pacita Madrigal took up Red Cross work and also served as apprentier at the Walter Reed Hospital.
After the war, she married Herman Warns; Manila Gas Corporation vice-president and general manager and established her ballet school. Getting interested in politics in 1952, she joined the League of Women Voters and represented it, in the Triennial Congress of International Allience of Women, Naples, Italy. She went next to Geneva and Paris as counselor of the Philippine delegation to the UNESCO Seventh General Conference.
In 1953, she organized the Womens Magsaysay for President Movement that helped elect Ramon Magsaysay to the Presidency of the Philippines. In 1954, she was appointed Social Welfare Administrator and she converted the WMPM into a civic organization for social welfare. She also organized the Samahang Manang Pacita for community development through women’s efforts.
She resigned as SWA administrator, ran as Nacionalista senatorial candidate and won. In the Senate, she was chairman of the Committee on Social Justice. Community Development and Welfare, and member of other senate committees. She was senator from 1955 to 1961.
As cabinet member when she was SWA administrator, she had been chairman of member at various times of some 40 committees, councils, commissions, boards and institutes; member of the Council of State, Community Development Council, Slum Clearance Committee, Community Chest, UNICEP, Peace and Amelioration Fund Commission, American-Philippine Guardian Association and Philippine National Red Cross, Roxas Memorial Commission, Institution de Mujeres, Pan Pacific Women’s Association, Philippine Committee of United Nations Appeal for Children.
Widowed, she married Atty. Gonzalo Gonzales in 1956.