Letter: To the young Women of Malolos
London, 22 February 1889
TO MY COUNTRYWOMEN:
When I wrote the Noli me tangere I pondered long on whether or not courage was a common virtue of the young women of the country. Though I searched my memory diligently, though I recalled one by one all the young women I have known since childhood, only a few conformed to the ideal I longed for. It is true that many were endowed with sweet disposition, beautiful habits, gentle manners, modesty but withal were mingled complete deference and obedience to every work and request of the so-called fathers of the soul – as if the soul had any other father but God – due to excessive goodness, humility, or perhaps ignorance. They are like withered plants, sowed and grown in darkness. Though they may bloom, their flowers are without fragrance; though they may bear fruit, their fruit has no juice. However, now that news arrived here of what occurred in your town Malolos. I realized that I was wrong, and my joy was beyond bounds. I should not be blamed, for I did not know the town of Malolos nor its young women, except one Emilia and this one only by name. Now that you have responded to our vehement clamor for public welfare; now that you have shown a good example to you fellow young women who, like you, desire to have their eyes opened and to be lifted from their prostration, our hope is roused, now we are confident of victory. The Filipino woman 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 educates 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 tear. You have found out that God’s command is different from that of the priest, that piety does not consist in prolonged kneeling, long prayers, large rosaries, soiled scapulars,...