Pinoys in Italy remember Jose Rizal's martyrdom

by Jocelyn Ruiz, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Jan 05 2010 01:23 PM | Updated as of Jan 05 2010 09:23 PM

ROME, Italy – Around 50 Filipinos in Rome attended the 113th year commemoration of the martyrdom of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.

The Philippine Embassy in Rome, in coordination with the Philippine Democratic Guardians International (PDGI), celebrated Rizal’s anniversary at the Piazzale de Manila, a big square near the affluent Parioli area where a small monument with Rizal’s bust is located.

The celebration was held on January 3, 2010, instead of December 30, 2009 due to work commitments of most of the leaders of the Guardians, a Filipino association with several branches around Italy.

“Ginagawa namin ito every year bilang bahagi na sa programa naming mga Guardians at pagbibigay pugay na rin sa ating bayaning si Dr. Jose Rizal,” said PDGI founder, Norberto Fabros.

The program started with Philippine embassy officers offering a bouquet of flowers at the Rizal monument. It was followed immediately with a flag ceremony.

Consul General Danilo Ibayan delivered a short message and led the reciting of Rizal’s “Last Farewell”.

“Dr. Rizal was here in Rome from June 27-30, 1887. During his first day in Rome, Rizal walked all day and went to see the Capitoline, Tarpeian Rock, Palatine, Roman Forum, Colosseo, Capitoline Museum, and the Basilica of St. Mary Major,” said Ibayan.

Other short messages extolling the heroism and virtues of the national hero were delivered by Guardians officers and other Filipino community leaders. With Marie Lamie of the Philippine Embassy in Rome