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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Leading Filipino Women Introduction

     There is more truth than poetry in the saying that the hand that rocks the cradle moulds the lives of men and, hence, the destiny of nations. Indeed, the role of women in the building of a nation can hardly be underestimated. Someone rightly said that behind every man’s efforts to achieve a goal are the tender inspiration, the unfailing encouragement, and the unstinted support of some women. Rizal’s ambition to become an eye specialist was prompted by his desire to restore the failing eyesight of his mother. Mabini’s habits of thrift can be traced to the sacrifices his poor parents went through to give him an education. Bonifacio’s ability to evade government agents while he was organizing the K.K.K. was partly due to his wife, who took careful charge of important papers of the secret society.

     The Philippines has a long list of women pioneers and leaders about whom, unfortunately, little has been written. The history of our country, though short, is replete with the names of worthy women who took an active and self-sacrificing part in the building of our nation to what it is today. In the fields of poetry and drama, in education and social work, in philanthropy and business – in fact in almost all lines of human endeavor there have been Filipino women who, by natural ability and training, have excelled and attained heights of achievement of which young boys and girls of today should be justly proud.
      For many years the necessity of using the biographies of Filipino women nation-builders as material for instruction in our schools has been keenly felt; but for various reasons such material has not been widely used. One reason, perhaps the principal one, is the fact that there is not readily available for classroom work any collection of biographical stories that can be profitably employed. For this reason, most schoolchildren and, for that matter, most adults, although familiar with the names of many of our great men, have never heard of our women, who, just as well, deserve a place in the history of our country.
      The biographical sketches it contains should prove helpful because the incidents chosen are linked with important events in the history of our country and because the lives of the subjects exemplify the civic virtues embodied in the social studies course.
       I hope that the biographies told here will make a distinct contribution in bringing to the attention of school children the lives of worthy women whose examples should be helpful in the molding of their lives.

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