Facing new challenges of Philippine society in a globalized world, Sociedad Española de Beneficencia, a Philippine NGO, has designed a “road map” for the complete restoration of the Hospital Español de Santiago. To be included in this plan is the Antipolo Project, the construction of a residential development for the aged. It is our intention that the Philippines shall enjoy the same rights to health and healthcare as in the modern European Union. This is precisely the ultimate goal of Sociedad Española de Beneficencia.
The change in political sovereignty in the early twentieth century confronted the Spanish community in the Philippines with a scenario of social vulnerability. It became necessary for the Spanish colony to form an association that could ensure mechanisms for mutual protection. Thus the creation in 1906 of Hospital Español de Santiago under the chairmanship of Don Trinidad Jurado y Sarmiento, in order to raise funds for the construction of a hospital.
The figure of Don Antonio Melián would be significant in restructuring the Spanish community in the Philippines.It was under his leadership that the following events took place: the reorganization of the Casino Español de Manila, the construction of the Casa de España, and the foundation in 1913 of the Fondo de Beneficencia Española. To help subsidize the Hospital Español de Santiago which was already fully operational in Makati, the Casino Español de Manila hosted annual events, theater and dinners. The hospital would soon become one of the best healthcare facilities in the country. The Spanish community was fully involved in the fundraising effort. Of worthy mention was the work of Doña Carmen Díaz Moreau de Elizalde, who would eventually consolidate the Spanish charitable trust.
The Sociedad Española de Beneficencia was incorporated In the midst of the hostile environment during the difficult years of World War II. This was a definite step taken in 1948 by Messrs. Carmelo Lizárraga, Federico Pérez, Eugenio Jordán, Vidal Yraeta and José M. de Maldonado. From then on the Sociedad Española de Beneficencia would become the institution primarily involved in the welfare of the Spanish community in the Philippines, while the Spanish Hospital de Santiago continued as a medical center.
Hospital Español de Santiago stopped operating in Makati in the 60s due to some speculation regarding the new urban development in the city. Its corporate existence however did not cease despite the physical closure. In the meantime, the establishment of the Hogar de San Joaquin on Maytubig Street in Malate was able to provide shelter to the aged, Spanish society’s most vulnerable members in Manila. The construction of Santa Ana Residence was another big help. Now well into the XXI century, the site was acquired by the Congregation of the Siervas de Jesus, which built the Santa Maria Josefa Residence, a modern residence for the elderly.