by Romy Sabaldan
Davao City (20 June) — “147 years ago today, our country produced what would become one of the most revered heroes in Philippine history.” Thus, started the closing speech commemorating almost 15 decades of celebrating the birth anniversary of the country’s national hero – Dr. Jose Rizal.
Just like most of the country’s major cities, Davao City conducts its own celebration commemorating two of the most important calendars of the country which is the June 19, 1861 birth anniversary and the December 30, 1896 (aged 35) death anniversary of Dr. Jose Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda. Of the two hero’s rites only the December 30 anniversary is being observed as a national holiday dubbed as Rizal Day.
Representing the Davao City government as consultant of the office of Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, lawyer and former city councilor Emmanuel D. Galicia delivered the short speech capping this year’s simple rites of wreath-laying and a 21-gun salute in remembrance of the 147th birth anniversary of the Filipino nationalist.
Galicia extolled Rizal’s heroism as “most evident in his resoluteness and boldness of spirit in pursuing what he believed is right for Filipinos and the country we live in.”
“Today, that brave display of valor and gallantry by Dr. Jose Rizal still resounds in the hearts and minds of Filipinos who have taken to heart the idealism that gives us the identity as a patriotic people and men and women who love family, people, God and country despite all the odds”, Galicia said in his speech.
Speaking in behalf of the city government, Galicia thanked and commended the multi-sectoral presentation at the Rizal Park spearheaded by the Knights of Rizal, Department of Education (DepEd) and a host of foreign officials representing their consular offices in Davao City.
The Philippine National Police (PNP), Boys and Girl Scouts of the Philippines and the Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai also participated in the commemoration rites in remembrance of the Filipino polymath, who is also regarded as the most prominent advocate for reforms in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. (PIA XI)