The Provincial Government of Bulacan, through the Provincial History, Arts, Culture and Tourism Office (PHACTO), and the Malolos City Government, commemorated the 133rd anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s letter to the women of Malolos on Tuesday, Feb. 22.
A wreath-laying ceremony was held at the Malolos Ladies Bahay Paaralan led by the Women of Malolos Foundation Inc., with representatives from PHACTO and the City Government of Malolos.
According to history, National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal wrote a letter to a group of young women of Malolos on Feb. 22, 1889, in support of their plan of putting up a night school.
The Women of Malolos, which consisted of 20 women from prominent Chinese-Filipino families, signed and came out with a letter to Governor-General Valeriano Weyler on December 12, 1888.
A committee of 20 young ladies of Malolos presented to General Weyler a memorial petitioning for authority to open a night school for Spanish language.
This greatly impressed Rizal, who expressed his joy and satisfaction through his letters and works.
Rizal’s letter to the women of Malolos emphasized reason and supported the education of women so that they may be enlightened.
“I do not pretend to be looked upon as an idol and to be believed and listened to with the eyes closed, the head bowed, and the arms crossed over the breast; what I ask of all is to reflect on what I tell them, think it over and sift it carefully through the sieve of reason,” Rizal wrote.
He shared with the young women these lessons: First, the tyranny of some is possible only through cowardice and negligence on the part of others; Second, what makes one contemptible is lack of dignity and abject fear of him who holds one in contempt; Third, ignorance is servitude, because as a man thinks, so he is; a man who does not think for himself lacks personality; the blind man who allows himself to be guided by the thought of another is like the beast led by a halter;
Fourth, he who loves his independence must first aid his fellow man, because he who refuses protection to others will find himself without it; the isolated rib of the buri palm is easily broken, but not so the broom made of the ribs of the palm bound together; Fifth, if the Filipino will not change her mode of being, let her rear no more children, let her merely give birth to them. She must cease to be the mistress of the home, otherwise she will unconsciously betray husband, child, native land, and all;
Sixth, all men are born equal, naked, without bonds. God did not create man to be a slave; nor did he endow him with intelligence to have him hoodwinked, or adorn him with reason to have him deceived by others; and Seventh, consider well what kind of religion they are teaching you. See whether it is the will of God or according to the teachings of Christ that the poor be succored and those who suffer alleviated.