Early in the 1970’s, a group of women decided to put into action the words of Saint Josemaria Escriva that love – for family, fellowmen and God – “ is deeds not sweet words”: the poor must receive effective and efficient help so that they can, in turn, help themselves and their families live and progress in accord with their dignity as productive citizens free from any form of social or economic discrimination. As Saint Josemaria said, “there is only one race to which all people belong: the race of the children of God.”
To sum up this part of history, Punlaan was born to reach out, above all, to poor young women and give them the chance to study and earn for themselves and their family a good living and the dignity that have been buried under ignorance and, often, under sub-human living conditions.
The following are words of Saint Josemaria on women. These words planted the seeds for the birth of Punlaan School.
“Development, maturity, emancipation of women should not mean a pretension to equality, to uniformity with men, a servile imitation of a man’s way of doing things … women should turn out losers, not because they are better than men or worse, but because they are different.”
“…In this sense, a woman’s emancipation means that she should have a real possibility of developing her own potentialities to the fullest extent – those which she has personally and those which she shares with other women.”
“…A woman’s femininity is genuine only if she is aware of the beauty of this contribution for which there is no substitute – and if she incorporates it into her own life.”
After 40 years since Punlaan was officially recognized, Saint Josemaria’s words continue to be the strong and steady hand that helps Punlaan sow the seeds of help and development in hundreds of poor young women.