GROUP 2 :RIZAL’S ESSAYS
To the young women of Malolos (London, February 22, 1889)
This famous letter was written by Rizal in Tagalog, while he was reading in London, upon the request of M.H. del Pilar. The story behind this letter is this; On December 12, 1888, a group of twenty young women of Malolos petitioned Goveror-General Weyler for permission to open a “night school” so that they might study Spanish under Teodoro Sandiko. The Spanish priest, Fr. Felipe Garcia, objected so that the governor-general turned down the petition. However, the young women, in defiance of the friar’s wrath, bravely continued their agitation of the school --- a thing unheard of in the Philippines in those times. They finally succeeded in obtaining government approval to their project on condition that Senorita Guadalupe Reyes should be their teacher. The incident caused a great stir in the Philippines and in far away Spain. Del Pilar, writing in Barcelona on February 17, 1889, requested Rizal to send a letter in Tagalog to the brave women of Malolos. Accordingly, Rizal although busy in London annotating Morga’s book , penned this famous letter and sent in to Del Pilar on February 22, 1889 for transmittal to Malolos. For full text of this letter in original Tagalog and in English and Spanish translations, see A Letter to the Young Women of Malolos by Jose Rizal, edited by Teodoro M. Kalaw and published by the National Lobrary, Manila, 1932.
Rizal expressed hope for the future after hearing about their courage and their desire to learn. He then asked the women to carefully ponder on these seven points which are still relevant and could apply not only to women but to everyone. 1st: the tyranny of some is possible only through the cowardice and negligence of others. 2nd: what makes a man contemptible is his lack of dignity and his abject fear of the contemner 3rd: ignorance is servitude, because as a man thinks,...
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