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Asuncion, Don Jerod B.

January 31, 2016


General Academics Strand Ms. Elizabeth Sabado

Reading #1: To the young women of Malolos

1. What type of document is this?


It is a famous essay that acts as a letter to the young women of Malolos.

2. Who wrote the document?


Jos Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, popularly known as Jos Rizal, wrote
the document.

3. Who is the intended audience of the document?


The Filipino women was Rizals intended audience of the document. He emphasized to
the said audience the responsibilities of Filipino Mothers to their children. Rizal also
enumerated 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. Jose Rizal
points out to unmarried women that they should not be easily taken by appearances and
looks, because these can be very deceiving. Instead, they should take heed of mens
firmness of character and lofty ideas.

4. What is the historical context behind the document?


Written in Tagalog, Jose Rizal wrote this letter upon the request of Marcelo H. del Pilar
on 17 February 1889 in London while annotating Morga's book. The letter praises the
young women of Malolos for their perseverance to pursue the establishment of a night
school where they can study Spanish. Based on accounts, on 12 December 1888, 20
young women from Malolos petitioned Governor-General Weyler for the establishment
of a night school to study Spanish under Teodoro Sandiko, a professor of Latin.
However, Fr. Felipe Garcia, the Spanish parish priest, objected to the petition, prompting
the governor-general to dismiss the petition. Unperturbed, the young women continued
with their clamor (for the establishment of the school) and eventually succeeded. Seora
Guadalupe Reyes became the teacher of the women. The school remained open for three
months.
5. Why was the document written?
Jose Rizal wrote a letter to the young women of Malolos not only because M. H. del Pilar
personally requested him to but because he might also feel the need to express his
appreciation and great pride in the abrupt change of heart of these said Filipinas.
His ultimate desire was for women to be offered the same opportunities as those received
by men in terms of education.
In his letter to the young women of Malolos, Jose Rizal pays homage to the 20
courageous women of the town for their desire to educate themselves, truly, a liberating
action at that time. Rizal sees in these women a ray of hope in restoring the Filipino
woman's dignity and worth, which are being denigrated at that time.
Rizal also wrote the document to emphasize the importance of Filipino Mothers, as it is
in their nurturing hands where the childrens future lies whether they be free or
enslaved.
Rizal ends his letter exhorting the women to "open your children's eyes so they may
jealously guard their honor, love their fellowmen and their native land and do their duty".
Rizal advices the Filipino women to use reason, to know what a good mother is, and how
to become one. He reiterates that a good mother teaches honor, honesty, love of
fellowmen, and respect for God. He urges them to ponder on his words and use reason to
determine what is just from unjust.

6. What does the document tell you about the condition of Filipino society during the time
that it was produced?
During those days, young girls were not sent to school because of the universal notion
that they would soon only be taken as wives and stay at home with their children.
The Filipino woman's dignity and worth are being criticized unfairly at that time; that
women are only an accessory to a family following her mothers decisions and whims,
that women are just mere followers and are only capable to be fragile and silent not even
trying to voice out their ideas
Gender inequality was present at that given time. It goes to show that women were seen
as people who are incapable to do hardwork. Hence Rizal wrote this letter for those
women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so
terrified, because they are taught to respect fear more than themselves. They've been
taught that silence would save them, but it won't.