Mercedes Verdote de Jesus Joaquin (b. 24 Sept. 1911/d. 11 January 1966) was born on the Feast of Ntra. Snra. De la Merced to Gavina Verdote, the daughter of a Spaniard, and Mariano de Jesus, a landowner from Batangas. She was educated by Spanish nuns in Manila
At the age of 17, she was named to represent Marinduque in the 2nd National Beauty Contest in Manila, won by Luisa Marasigan of Manila. The year after, at age 18, she married Francisco G. Joaquin, and engineer with Kapampangan roots. They settled in Baguio after their wedding where Francisco worked in the gold mines of Itogon, Benguet.
In the City of Pines, Francisco built for his family, the stately ‘Casa Blanca’ mansion in the 1930s. The Joaquins were to have 5 children: Francisco Jr. Sonny, Buddy, Patricia, Mary Anne,. They lost a premature baby at the height of the war, named Merceditas. For building bomb shelters that saved lives during the carpet bombing of Baguio, Francisco would be knighted by the Pope (Knight of St. Sylvester)
After the War, the couple brought their children back to Marinduque to wait for things to normalize, away from the devastation of Baguio and Manila. But once the worst was over, Mercedes and Joaquin went back to tending their family, running Hacienda Mercedes and Cresta Ola, a popular resort in La Union. She succumbed to cancer at age 55.