HomeLEAPS: Miriam College Faculty Research Journalvol. 24 no. 1 (2004)

Rizal's Stand on Women and the Youth

Roland A. De Jesus

Discipline: Women’s Studies



Women, not the youth, are the true hope of the native land. That is what Rizal really believed. That is what he has been saying. That is what we are going to prove.

Against the widely accepted belief, Rizal never claimed that the youth is the hope of the country, no! But he clearly asserted that the “child grows on the lap of its mother.” Like mother like youth. Like youth like country. Once, however, someone ingeniously assigned a different meaning on the passage, “the youth is the fairest promise (or hope) of the native land.”

The intention, perhaps, was to inspire the lethargic youth to productive activities and lead the country to development. And because the assigned meaning—even if it was out of context—sounded good as much as romantic, the real meaning was lost as an appealing one was found. The wrong became the right in the midst of congratulations. It was accepted without a question; taken without a doubt.