Knights of Rizal lead Rizal Day Celebrations in New York

27 December 2013, New York – The Filipino community, led by the members of the Knights of Rizal (KOR) New York Chapter, commemorated the 117th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal at the Philippine Center in Manhattan, New York last 19 December 2013.

Consul General Mario De Leon (seated, 3rd from right) and Knights of Rizal New York Chapter led by President Joe Ramos (standing, far left) celebrate Rizal Day at the Philippine Center in New York (Photo by Paeng Mendoza)

The evening started with a ceremonial flower offering by the Knights at the bust of the national hero at the Gallery lobby followed by a program commemorating the life of the Philippines’ national hero.

Consul General Mario L. De Leon, Jr., himself a KOR member, welcomed the guests to the celebration. He expressed his admiration for Dr. Rizal as not only a patriot, but a man with a myriad of talents, all of which he offered for the love of his country and fellowmen. He highlighted Dr. Rizal’s incarceration period in the then sleepy town of Dapitan, where Rizal’s urban planning and town development projects may provide valuable lessons in rebuilding the villages and restoration of communities devastated by typhoon Yolanda. He likewise encouraged his fellow Knights to promote the education of the life of Rizal to the younger generations, especially to the second-generation Filipino-Americans who may not be well-taught about the life and teachings of the great hero.

Clockwise from Top Left: Sir Ferdinand Suba presenting his reflections on the Criminal Trial of Dr. Jose Rizal; KOR President Joe Ramos, Consul General De Leon and Sir Roger Alama offers flowers to the bust of Dr. Jose Rizal; Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ed De Vega performs “Mi Ultimo Adios” in Spanish; Sir Michael Dadap and soprano singer perform a cheerful rendition of “Ang Maya”. (Photos by Paeng Mendoza)

Atty. Ferdinand Suba presented a thought-provoking reflection on the criminal trial of Dr. Rizal. Drawing from his legal expertise, Sir Suba argued several flaws on the prosecution and eventual execution of Dr. Rizal during the Spanish Revolutionary era.

Some entertainment of the patriotic kind followed after the intriguing discourse. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Sir Eduardo De Vega delivered an impassioned “Mi Ultimo Adios” in its original Spanish version. Sir Michael Dadap and a soprano singer performed “Ang Maya” and “Dulces Las Oras”. The program culminated with a community singing of “Ang Bayan Ko” and “Si Gat Jose Rizal”.

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