Dr. José Aguilera Losada: Lipa’s first medical doctor and diplomat

Dr. José Losada is a name that may have been forgotten by the Lipeños, but his legacy and the impact he made can still be retold to the new generation.

José Losada y Aguilera was born on October 8, 1855, in Binondo, Manila, to Don Domingo Losada, a Spanish ship captain, and Doña Segunda Aguilera. Although not a Batangueño by birth, Losada’s 35 years of distinguished service in health, agriculture, and trade in Batangas earned him the honor of being adopted as a son of the province.

José Losada’s very distinguished physician title

Due to the rising need for physicians in the Philippines during the late 19th century, Losada pursued a career in medicine. According to the late Filipiniana scholar Dr. Luciano P.R. Santiago, Losada was one of the first seven Filipino medicos titulares (provincial medical officers), who obtained their licentiate from the University of Santo Tomas’ Faculty of Medicine. Amplifying his studies in the medical field, Losada enrolled at the Universidad Central de Madrid and obtained the academic title of Doctor en Medicina y Cirugía (Doctor in Medicine and Surgery) in 1878.

A medical certificate issued by Dr. José Losada in 1879

In May 1879, the Spanish government appointed Losada as the medico titular of Batangas and resident physician of Lipa. One of the biggest challenges he faced was the morbid Asiatic Cholera of 1882 where 10,000 Batangueños were afflicted and 4,630 died. He not only provided medical aid to the sick, regardless of social class, but also supplied the necessary medicines to fight the disease free of charge. For this meritorious conduct, the Spanish government awarded him the Cruz de Epidemias (Cross of Epidemics) in 1888.

Not only was Dr. Losada a physician, but he was also a successful businessman who ventured into the booming coffee enterprise in Lipa. He was among the Lipeños who pushed for the conferment of the honorific title of Villa to Lipa in 1887, and he was awarded the Spanish Civil Order of the Encomienda Ordinaria de la Real Orden de Isabel la Catolica for his distinguished conduct in the development of trade and agriculture in the province.

Dr. José Losada (standing right) with his wife Doña Germana Solis (seated left) and daughter Consuelo (seated center)
Photo Courtesy of the Solis-Lopez Family Collection

Losada married the wealthy heiress Doña Germana Solis y Metra of Lipa in 1879. They had one daughter Consuelo, who married Reynaldo Medina Lardizabal of Marinduque. When the Luna brothers came to Lipa in the 1890s to solicit funds for La Solidaridad’s patriotic campaign, the Losada family accommodated them in a nipa hut guesthouse set in an orchard at the back of their main house. It was luxuriously decorated with crystal chandeliers, gilded mirrors, Persian carpets, and blackamoors. The following day, a string orchestra awakened the guests for breakfast. In gratitude for the couple’s financial contribution and hospitality, the Lunas gifted the Losadas with a fine pair of large gilded Satsuma vases that still exist today.

One of the Satsuma vase gifts of the Luna brothers to the Losada couple, displayed at Museo de Lipa

Dr. Losada’s legacy extends beyond his professional life, as he also played a role in the Philippine revolution against Spain as a member of the Primer Comite Revolucionario Filipino en Hong Kong. In the heat of the Filipino-American War of 1899, General Emilio Aguinaldo sent him and Sixto Lopez as envoys to Washington D.C. to lobby for Philippine sovereignty. Although the mission failed, Dr. Losada remained well-loved by the Batangueños for his dedication to his patriotic duties and practice of medicine, which led to his election as Governor of the province in 1907.

Dr. José Losada (seated second from left ) with the members of the Philippine Revolutionary Committee in Hongkong of 1899, photo displayed at the Gregorio Agoncillo Heritage House in Taal Batangas.
Photo Courtesy of the Society of History Facebook Page

Dr. Losada’s commitment to public health services continued until his tragic death on June 27, 1915 when he was struck by lightning at his Lipa home. Despite the passage of time, his contributions to Lipa and Batangas remain an important part of the province’s history and should be celebrated and remembered.


Report of the Philippine Health Service. Manila: Philippine Health Service, 1915.

Tinio, Martin. Angkan. Batangas forged in fire. Makati City : Ayala Foundation, 2002.

Pellicena y López, Joaquín. La Verdad Sobre Filipinas. Manila: Tip. Amigos del Pais, 1900.

Santiago, Luciano P.R. “THE FIRST FILIPINO DOCTORS OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY (1878-97).” Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society, vol. 22, no. 2, 1994, pp. 103–140. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/29792151. Accessed 18 Apr 2020.

Sastrón, Manuel, d 1919. Filipinas: Pequeños Estudios; Batangas Y Su Provincia. Malabong: [Estab. tipo-lit. del Asilo de huérfanos], 1895.

Defunciones 1912-1916, Registros parroquiales de San Sebastián (Lipa City), 1778-1958

National Archives of Spain:

Expediente académico de José Losada Aguilera, alumno de la Facultad de Farmacia de la Universidad Central. Natural de Binondo (Luzón, Filipinas) UNIVERSIDADES,1095, Exp.53. 1877  –  1878

Minuta del título expedido a favor de José Losada y Aguilera como médico titular de Batangas, en las islas Filipinas. ES.28079.AHN/16//ULTRAMAR,2409,N.172. 1881

Concedida cruz de epidemias al médico de Batangas J. Losada. ES.28079.AHN/16//ULTRAMAR,5274,Exp.16. 1888