30 December 2014 – The Philippine Embassy in Ottawa led members of the Filipino community in paying tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal on the occasion of the 118th anniversary of his martyrdom on 30 December 2014.
Chargé d’Affaires Uriel Norman R. Garibay presided over the simple rites at the Chancery with the Knights of Rizal and Kababaihang Rizalista in Ottawa as special guests. In his welcome remarks, CDA Garibay recalled the history of Rizal day as a national day of mourning not only for the fallen hero but also for other victims of colonial rule.
Reflecting on the anniversary theme “Dunong at Pusong Pilipino”, Mr. Garibay extolled Filipinos abroad for their world-class capabilities and outstanding work ethic. Citing love for country as central to Rizal’s legacy, he enjoined members of the Filipino community in Ottawa to honor Rizal’s martyrdom with selfless acts for country such as extending humanitarian relief in times of disaster, performing civic duties including registering for Overseas Voting and projecting a positive image of our people.
Following the wreath offering by the Knights of Rizal, the Embassy endeavored to sustain the national hero’s relevance and connection to Filipino youth through timeless stories about the young Rizal. Shine Tejada and Gian Paolo Bragais, children of Embassy staff, read the stories of the moth and Rizal the Poet, respectively.
The Embassy program ended with an acoustic rendition of Florante’s Ako’y Isang Pinoy by the newly-arrived Cultural Attaché Maria Teresa Bragais.
“We take pride in joining Filipino communities around the world in commemorating the martyrdom of our beloved national hero. Let us continue to immortalize Dr. Jose Rizal with altruistic deeds that bare our dunong at pusong Pinoy,” CDA Garibay stated.