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Rizal's Legacy to the Young Filipino Women
Transcript of Rizal's Legacy to the Young Filipino Women
Dec. 12, 1888
"Return with it or on it"
Rizal's Legacy to the Young Filipino Women
Petition for Education
A group of 20 women of Malolos petitioned Gov. Gen. Weyler for permission to open a night school under Teodoro Sandiko but Fr. Felipe Garcia objected resulting into the turning down of this petition. Because of this opposition of the friars, these young women courageously sustained their agitation for the establishment of the school.
They triumphed in the end and were granted permission to their project with Senorita Guadalupe Reyes as their teacher.
Because of this triumph, Marcelo del Pilar requested Rizal to write a letter commending this women for their extraordinary courage.
On Feb. 22, 1889, Rizal sent del Pilar the letter for transmittal to the young women of Malolos.
The Letter: Summary
“To the Women of Malolos” was originally written in Tagalog. Rizal penned this writing when he was in London, in response to the request of Marcelo H. del Pilar. The notable points contained in this letter are as follows:
1. The rejection of the spiritual authority of the friars
2. Qualities Filipino mothers need to possess
3. Duties and Responsibilities of Filipino mothers to their children
4. Duties and Responsibilities of a wife to her husband
5. Counsel to young women on their choice of a lifetime parter
Rizal's Message to Filipino Women
The Filipino women no longer bows her head and bends her knees; her hope in the future is revived; gone is the mother who helps to keep her daughter in the dark, who educate her in self contempt and moral annihilation. It is no longer the highest wisdom to bow the head to every unjust order, the highest goodness to smile at an insult, to seek solace in humble tears, etc....etc.
Responsibilities of Filipino Mothers to their Children
Remember that a good mother does not resemble the mother that the friar has created. She must bring up her child to be the image of the true God...
The people cannot expect honor nor prosperity as long as they will educate children in the wrong way, so long as the women who guides the child in his steps is lavish and ignorant...
love their fellowmen and their native land, and do their duty. Always impress upon them that they must prefer dying with honor to living in dishonor.
Qualities Mother have to Possess
Rizal enumerates the qualities Filipino mothers have to possess:
1. Be a noble wife.
2. Rear her children in the service of the state – here Rizal gives reference to the women of Sparta who embody this quality
3. Set standards of behavior for men around her.
Advice to Unmarried Men and Women
Three things that a young woman must look for a man she intends to be her husband:
1. A noble and honored name
2. A manly heart
3. A high spirit incapable of being satisfied with engendering slaves.
Message to Filipino Women
It appears that Rizal's ultimate desire was to afford Filipino women with the same opportunities enjoyed by men in education, an education that will liberate women.
He urged women to be vigilant over their rights and not to be obedient and inactive towards the many injustices forced upon them.
Duties of a Filipino Mother
1. Too raise their children close to the image of God
2. To awaken and prepare the mind of the child for every good and desirable idea
3. To teach children to prefer death with honor than to live with dishonor
love for honor
sincere and firm character
clear mind and clear conduct
noble action and love for one's fellowmen
respect for God
To the Young Women of Malolos Analysis (Zaide & Zaide, 1999)
1. Filipino mothers should teach their children love of God, country and fellowmen.
2. Filipino mothers should be glad and honored, like Spartan mothers, to offer their sons in defense of their country.
3. Filipino women should know how to protect their dignity and honor.
4. Filipino women should educate themselves aside from retaining their good racial values.
5. Faith is not merely reciting prayers and wearing religious pictures. It is living the real Christian way with good morals and manners