|150th Birth Anniversary of Rizal|
Brussels, 19 June 2011 - The Philippine Embassy in Brussels, in cooperation with the Knights of Rizal Area Council of Belgium under the leadership of Mr. Dominiek Segaert, organized a program to commemorate the 150th birthday anniversary of our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, on 19 June 2011.
The program started off with offering of flowers, invocations and singing of the Philippine national anthem in places where Dr. Rizal stayed in Belgium such as in Henegouwenstraat in Ghent and at Rue Philippe de Champagne in Brussels. First Secretary and Consul Robespierre L. Bolivar led the Embassy team in the ceremonies conducted in these places which included inspirational messages from the officials of the Knights of Rizal (KOR) in Belgium. At Rue Philippe de Champagne, the commemoration was made more meaningfully when Madame Mariel Renier, owner of the house where Dr. Rizal stayed to finish the book El Filibusterismo, graced the event. In her brief message delivered during the occasion, she informed everyone that she likewise believes in the ideals fought hard by Dr. Rizal and that it was an honor for her to be part of the celebration. The morning activities was sealed by a Thanksgiving Mass officiated by Reverend Father Raymond Gaspar in Saint Remy Church in Brussels.
The celebration culminated at the Embassy grounds where a bust of Dr. Rizal stood at the garden. Chargé d' Affaires, a.i. Marichu B. Mauro welcomed the officials, members and guests from the various chapters of the Knights of Rizal in Belgium and conveyed the message of Philippine Ambassador to Belgium, H.E. Enrique A. Manalo on the occasion. CDA Mauro emphasized the good traits and astounding accomplishments of the Philippine national hero which she said should stand today as a measure of what leaders, whether in government, business or society in general should emulate. She also reminded them not to forget the important role that Belgium played in the life of Dr. Rizal. She said that it was in Belgium that his novel El Filibusterismo was completed and published in 1891. Together with Noli Me Tangere, these two novels were instrumental in creating a unified national identity and consciousness for the Filipino people.
In the name of the Knights of Rizal Area Council of Belgium, Mr. Dominiek Segaert presented to CDA Mauro a special framed original banknote of Dr. Rizal that was issued and circulated for use in 1948. Together with the chapter heads of the Knights of Rizal all over Belgium, they proceeded to the Rizal Room of the Embassy and hanged the frame at the Rizal Library for appreciation and information of everyone. Afterwards Mr. Segaert and CDA Mauro led the audience to a momentous toasting ceremony to celebrate the occasion, followed by the traditional fraternal salu-salo.
The program continued later at the Embassy Conference Room where each Knights of Rizal Chapter rendered a10-minute evocation on Dr. Rizal. There were those who rendered a group poem while others sang patriotic songs. The program closed with the recitation of Non Omnis Moriar by the members of the Knights of Rizal, which was also uttered when the programs in Ghent and at Rue Philippe De Champagne in the morning ended.
The Knights of Rizal (KOR) chapters who participated in this year's celebration were the KOR Aalst, KOR Brussels, KOR Charleroi and KOR Diamond Antwerp. The Kababaihang Rizalista also joined in the celebration.