Zambo marks Rizal Day PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 January 2014 16:46

Zamboanga City residents joined the entire nation yesterday in paying tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero, whose death 117 years ago yesterday sparked freedom and independence in the country.

The activity was marked by flag raising and wreath laying rites simultaneously held in all cities, municipalities and provinces in the country and even some parts of the world.

An add-on to the City’s observance was the 21-gun salute at the Rizal Park, fronting City Hall, through the courtesy of Philippine Marines and facilitated by Task Force Zamboanga. It was done right after the prayer and the flag raising event symbolizing the martyrdom of Dr. Rizal at exactly 7:03 in the morning of December 30.

Mayor Beng Climaco together with Cong. Celso Lobregat (represented by Councilor Luis Biel) and Cong. Lilia Nuno led the short but meaningful program and gave their individual messages to the people of Zamboanga.

Mayor Climaco said the Rizal Day message is intended for the children, “that there is so much hope in our country in the presence of men, women and people from the barangays even the civilian volunteers, the police and the military, the teachers and families that have contributed to bring out the unity of the city of Zamboanga amidst the crisis”.

She said the September armed conflict has brought out a lot of heroes among Zamboanguenos. “Visiting Limpapa to Licomo these past few days, we hear stories of heroic persons—women and men who were there to guard their own community, their own puroks and barangays just to prevent further killings and further atrocities during the siege and that to me is a symbol of heroism.”

She continued “in the presence of our men in uniform, the Air Force, Police and Military-women and men who continue to serve the city of Zamboanga, we are filled with much gratitude for their presence to defend our city”.

She stressed that Zamboanguenos should continue to contribute and live up to the examples of Dr. Jose Rizal and to realize that indeed the children are the hope of tomorrow and hope of our motherland. “Together with them let us build back a better Zamboanga.”

The event was also graced by Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, Western Mindanao Command Chief LGen. Rustico Guerrero, Councilors Roel Natividad, Biel and Rudy Bayot and City Schools OIC Superintendent Pete Natividad and representatives from various agencies.

In their individual messages both Congresspersons Lobregat and Nuno exhorted the residents to also adhere to the ideals and values of Dr. Jose Rizal in order to obtain peace, solidarity and prosperity in the city and country, in line with the Rizal Day theme “Rizalism: the Key to Global Peace, Solidarity and Prosperity”.

Knights of Rizal Western Mindanao area commander Domingo Falcasantos marveled the audience with his declamation of Rizal’s masterpiece Mi Ultimo Adios—a task he has voluntarily performed during Rizal Day the last 20 years.

In his closing statement, Falcasantos thanked the City Government for co-organizing the yearly event and the participants coming from all sectors of society –for their attendance and participation despite it being a holiday and New Year’s break.

Participants to the commemoration of the 117th death anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal yesterday morning came from the cross section of society that included representatives from the police and Armed Forces of the Philippines, students, teachers, city and national government officials and employees, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and other groups. — Sheila Covarrubias