Filipinos in Saudi remember Rizal's martyrdom

By Florante Catanus, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau

Posted at Jan 01 2013 10:36 AM | Updated as of Jan 02 2013 03:03 AM

AL-KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia – The Order of the Knights of Rizal (OKOR) Eastern Province Community Chapter, Saudi Arabia led the celebrations in commemorating the 116th anniversary of the death of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

The celebrations commenced with a flower offering at the International Philippine School in Al-Khobar (IPSA) Multi-purpose Hall on Dec. 30, 2012.

Sir Glicerio “Boy” Tuazon, Chapter Commander, OKOR-EPCC, asked everyone to remember the sacrifices of Rizal for the country and his martyrdom for the sake of liberating the Filipinos from the bondage of colonialism.

He said that this year’s commemoration has become even more significant as the country marks the first centenary of the transfer of remains of Rizal from his sister Narcisa’s house in San Fernando, Binondo to Bagumbayan (Rizal Park) on December 30, 1912. 

He thanked the teachers who are inculcating in the minds of children the love of country, the sense of patriotism and the need to acquire good education, which was and had been the hallmark of advocacy of Rizal.

“Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng ating bayan. Our national hero sacrificed himself for the sake of our children, for the sake of all Filipinos to enable us to get our long-sought freedom and the education that we needed to uplift all of us and free ourselves from the bondage of poverty and ignorance,” said Tuazon.

The occasion was graced by Labor Attache Adam Musa of the Philippine Embassy/Philippine Overseas Labor Office, as guest speaker, who praised OKOR-EPCC for spearheading the occasion and for their advocacy to promote the life and works of Rizal especially to the students. 

He asked the group to continue their services to fellow OFWs and to promote peace and unity among the OFWs.

The event was further boosted by the presence of Sir Zane Thirlwall, OKOR Regional Commander, Middle East and Africa Region. Thirlwall, a British national married to a Filipina, believes that following Rizal’s footsteps, there would be unity among Filipinos which will result to a progressive Philippines.

He urged everyone to think Rizal and act like Rizal. Leave behind the personal interest and work for the betterment of everybody.

He said if the Indians have Gandhi then the Filipinos should be proud that they have Rizal.

The martyrdom of Rizal was re-enacted during the program. Young Knight Albert Ephrain Agatep, a 2nd year student at IPSA played the role of Rizal. The Civil guards were played by the cadets of IPSA.

The event also showcased the talents of selected students from the three Pinoy schools in Eastern Province namely the AlAndalus International School (AAIS), AlJazeera International School Dammam (AJISD) and International Phil. School AlKhobar (IPSA).