The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, together with the Riyadh Chapter of the Order of the Knights of Rizal (OKOR), ended 2011 with a commemoration of the 115th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine National Hero.
In Riyadh, Ambassador Ezzedin Tago led the Philippine Embassy staff and family in joining the officers of the Order of the Knights of Rizal with simple program to commemorate the event starting with a wreath laying to honor the Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Ambassador Tago and OKOR President Jun Nacion led the ceremony, with the Embassy staff and OKOR member paying respect to Dr. Rizal who was shot on 30 December 1896 in Bagumbayan, now known as Luneta, Manila.
In his remarks, Ambassador Tago expressed hope that the Philippine community in Saudi Arabia could emulate Dr. Rizal and put into action his teachings and ideals. Calling Filipinos overseas and in the Kingdom as the true ambassadors, he stated that the patriotism showed by Dr. Rizal should inspire everyone to act for the good of the nation. Ambassador Tago also exhorted the OKOR to work with the Philippine schools in the Kingdom to instill the Rizal’s teachings in the hearts of the next generation to ensure that the legacy he left behind would not be forgotten.
The program included a screening of Pluma, a documentary by the Philippine network GMA on the life of Dr. Jose Rizal.
The Filipino community in the Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia also commemorated Dr. Rizal’s martyrdom. Labor Attaché Adam Musa represented the Philippine Embassy in the commemoration organized by the Eastern Region Chapter of the Order of the Knights of Rizal held at the International Philippine School in Al-Khobar (IPSA). The program featured a wreath-laying, a reenactment of the death of Dr. Rizal by students from IPSA, and a recital of Mi Ultimo Adios (Last Farewell), Rizal’s farewell poem penned before he was executed.