|Rizal Day Commemoration Event|
31 December 2012. The Embassy of the Philippines hosted the 116th Rizal Day Celebration of the Order of the Knights of Rizal (Belgium) held on 30 December 2012. Serving as the Knights of Rizal's culminating event of the year, this year's Rizal Day was organized by Sir Albert Arevalo of Knights of Rizal Brussels Chapter and attended by all the Chapters and Regional Masters of the KOR. The event also included the participation of several Filipino community organizations in Brussels.
The Rizal Day celebration commenced with a flower offering at the bust of Dr Jose Rizal, followed by the singing of the National Anthem and the Knights of Rizal Hymn. Mr. Albert Arevalo delivered the Welcome Remarks and extended his appreciation to the Embassy for its valuable support on all the activities of the Knights of Rizal in 2012. The KOR has an on-going project of establishing a Rizal Library at the Embassy and both the KOR and the Embassy are actively making efforts to enrich the Library's inventory.
As the main part of program, the Masters of the various Chapters of Knights of Rizal delivered inspiring messages that recounted aspects Dr. Jose Rizal's life, his accomplishments and his enduring legacy to the Filipino people. These Masters are Aalst Chapter Mr. Generoso Rebong, Brussels Chapter Mr. Jose Peres, Charleroi Chapter Mr. Mario Fajardo, and Diamond Chapter Mr. Paul Verloo. The final Message was delivered by Mr. Lino Paras, KGOR, while Mr. Rudy Nollas delivered the Closing Remarks.
CDA Lolita Capco delivered the Keynote Message of the Rizal Day where she highlighted the national theme of Rizal Day. Noting the attendance of a number of Filipino youth who came with their parents to the event, she encouraged the Knights of Rizal to consider establishing a Rizal Youth Chapter in Belgium.
The Kababaihang Rizalista Brussels Chapter Head, Lady Mary Ann Ballesteros delivered her message and led the Rizalistas in a rendition of a medley of well-loved Filipino folk songs. Also, members of the Iloilo Association of Belgium performed an Ilongo folk dance while the Charleroi Chapter sang and led in the community singing of "Ako ay Pilipino" and "Pilipinas Kong Mahal."The leaders of the Knights of Rizal looked back on the year 2012 that was marked by the successful hosting of Rizal-related events and the very positive support these events received from the community. The KOR was one of the main organizations who lent support during the visit to Belgium of Vice President Jejomar Binay in September 2012. This Rizal Day was a successful way to close 2012 as it looks forward to a more productive year of cooperation.