The Philippines on Wednesday celebrated the 119th death anniversary of national hero Jose Rizal with various events throughout the country.
The commemoration began early morning at 5:00 a.m by a re-enactment of Rizal’s walk from Fort Santiago to Luneta, led by the Order of Knights of Rizal (OKOR).
There were also fun and games for the young and old alike at the Burnham Green Rizal Park in Manila at an activity called “Palaro Para kay Rizal.”
This was followed by the simultaneous commemorative rites at 7:00 a.m. in three locations in the country: the Rizal Park in Manila with President Benigno S.C Aquino III; the Rizal Shrine in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte with Regional Trial Court Judge Jose Rene Dondoyano; and the Rizal Shrine in Calamba City, Laguna with Laguna Second District Rep. Joaquin Chipeco Jr.
There was also a commemorative ceremony at the Quezon City Hall with Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista at 9:00 a.m.
This was the last Rizal Day commemoration the Aquino headed in his term. “Over the course of his administration, the President has never missed this ceremony,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin S. Lacierda said in a statement through the government’s official website. The ceremony is “tradition of recognizing Rizal’s achievements, which serve as inspiration to all Filipinos to aspire for excellence driven by love for country,” he said. Aquino was joined by former President and current Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. Under Proclamation No. 931, Aquino declared December 30 as a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of Rizal Day, pursuant of Executive Order No. 292 or Administrative Code of 1987. The Aquino administration is set to end June 2016. “[T]he President—By highlighting the lives of Filipinos repected and admired by so many of our countrymen—wishes to remind the Filipino people of the values that tie us together, and of the work that needs to be done to continue our nation’s progress along the straight path,” Lacierda said. Art and culture Meanwhile, there were also lectures conducted at the Museo ni Jose Rizal in Fort Santiago which discussed trends of poetry during Rizal’s time and the present time, titled “Ang Pagtula(y) ni Juan sa Panahon.” Keeping in line with the celebration, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) also gave out free Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) rides throughout the day. There will also be a fireworks display at Rizal Park at 7:00 p.m.. Tonight will also be the last night of the three-night light and sound presentation at the Rizal Park. Under Proclamation No. 931, Aquino declared December 30 as a regular holiday throughout the country in observance of Rizal Day, pursuant of Executive Order No. 292 or Administrative Code of 1987. — Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/BM, GMA News – See more at: