The Sarabia Story

HISTORY

Dr. Federico Sarabia Sr., who is considered to be the very first Filipino Optometrist, founded one of the first optical shops in the Philippines, Sarabia Optical in 1906. 

Dr. Sarabia graduated from the University of Northern Illinois College of Optometry, and briefly practiced optometry at the Eye Infirmary in New York City. Not long after his stint in New York, he came back to the Philippines and established a clinic in Iloilo.

He would later move to Escolta and establish his clinic there, marking the first Sarabia Optical in Manila. From there, his business flourished. His list of distinguished clients includes former Presidents Manuel L. Quezon, Elpidio Quirino, Manuel Roxas, and Sergio Osmeña. Dr. Sarabia was also the doctor of Doña Trining, the sister of Jose Rizal. Doña Trining’s glasses, which can be found in Fort Santiago as part of the Rizal Memorabilia, are labeled “anteojos de Federico Sarabia.”

In 1928, President Quezon appointed Dr. Sarabia as Chairman of the Board of Examiners in Optometry. Dr. Sarabia also became the first President of the Philippine College of Optometry. 

Sarabia Optical met many challenges when it comes to the brand’s growth. It has been around during countless important historical events, including World War II. The brand, as well as the people behind it, remained resilient while going through years of unrest and change. After the war, the company picked up the pieces to move forward. They reopened their clinics, then established new ones across different cities. Their expertise and practice over the years have cemented their reputation as the trusted choice for eye care. 

 

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Although Dr. Sarabia eventually engaged in other businesses, such as having a hacienda and a sugar farm, he never lost sight of his true passion — providing excellent eye care. 

Today, Sarabia Optical has grown into a trusted and recognized retail clinic operation. Although Dr. Federico Sarabia Sr. passed away on September 14, 1954, his legacy lives on. Five of his children have followed his path as eye care professionals. Four of them are optometrists and one is an ophthalmologist. 

This was the start of the four generations pursuing his legacy, and now they have over 40 optometrists and eye care practitioners in the family. This shows the family’s dedication to continue their tradition of caring for the Filipino vision.

The brand has over 30 conveniently located optical shops in the Philippines at world-class malls and shopping centers. Each Sarabia clinic carries complete and carefully curated luxury and fashion brands, as well as tailor-fit product lines available in a wide range of prices. Sarabia has high regard for quality, and only provides its customers with the best options. 

Sarabia provides only the best in services, from comprehensive examinations to professional eye care consultations of the utmost quality. The brand is dedicated to providing high-quality products and personalized services for all Filipinos, as well as continuing to uphold the esteemed Sarabia name.

With Sarabia, you choose the go-to eye care expert to help you see life clearly.