VIGAN CITY — “Has the Philippines gained redemption? Last June 12, we have screamed of our independence. But in all honesty, are all Filipinos independent? Are we literally free? Are we financially capable? Are we liberally expressive of our sentiments? Are we redeemed?”
These issues were raised by former Order of the Knights of Rizal (OKOR) Supreme Commander and incumbent Ilocos Sur Vice Governor Jeremias “Jerry” Singson during the 158th birth anniversary celebration of Dr. Jose Rizal held in front of the hero’s bronze statue at Plaza Salcedo here, June 21, as delivered by OKOR Regional Commander for Northern Luzon Rogelio Magpali.
Singson was in Manila to attend this celebration as a member of OKOR’s Council of Elders.
“Rizal in all his romantic dalliances taught us his true and abiding love for the Motherland. He said, ‘I have always loved my poor motherland and I am sure I shall love her to the last moment… all have been sacrificed for her. I shall die blessing her and long for the day of her redemption.’ We only achieve this if we have the goodness of our hearts. History tells us how Rizal possesses the goodness of his heart. As our idol, let us, too, have that goodness. Rizal gave us our story. Let us not walk out of it,” he said.
Singson also capitalized on this year’s Rizalian theme, “Buhay ni Rizal, Buhay na Rizal” by rallying everyone to live by the ideals of the national hero.
“Let the buhay ni Rizal therefore be our guiding torch towards our shared objectives for sustainable development. Let each one of us here be the buhay na Rizal, therefore, to remind our community folks, leaders and children that Rizal never died – he was born, reborn and has perpetual ashes to teach us what we should be doing. Let Rizal and us be at all times working towards what is right, what is just and what is beneficial to the general populace,” he said.
He said that if Filipinos really love the country, they should do nothing but for her goodness, the goodness of the people and the goodness of the system.
“We only achieve this if we have the goodness of our hearts. History tells us how Rizal possesses the goodness of his heart. As our idol, let us, too, have that goodness. Rizal gave us our story. Let us not walk out of it and in doing so, we substantiate that not everything in Rizal perished. We are here as the ashes of Rizal proving that we got Rizal as our light bearer and Rizal has each one of us as the leader of the walk, leader of the path, and leader of the Heritage Province of Ilocos Sur,” he said.
The occasion was attended by agency heads and employees, government officials, Knights of Rizal from the different chapters and their female counterparts – the members of the Las Damas de Rizal, the PNP and other concerned individuals.