PHILIPPINE MASTERPIECE EL FILIBUSTERISMO OF JOSE RIZAL CELEBRATED IN BELGIUM AFTER 125 YEARS
By Dominiek Segaert & Danny Vandenbogaerde
August 31, 2016
A whole day will be filled with activities, lectures, expositions to commemorate this great event at the historic place of Ghent. The main part of the program is scheduled at the beautiful Pacification Room at the City Hall of Ghent.
Dr. Jose Rizal
The El Filibusterismo is dedicated to the priests Don Marciano Gomez, Don Jose Burgos and Don Jacinto Zamora who were executed in Bagumbayan Field on the 28th of February 1872. In his dedication we read the following words: “I have the right to dedicate my work to you as victims of the evil which I undertake to combat. Your complicity in the Cavite mutiny has never been proved.” End of citation. Never in the annals of mankind has a hero, as is Rizal, written such a touching tribute to other Philippine heroes. The title page of the original El Filibusterismo contains an inscription written by Ferdinand Blumentritt, his supporter and everlasting friend. Blumentritt writes: “A rebel, a filibusterismo, has to convince every Filipino that there is no salvation except through separation from the Mother Country.”
The hero of El Filibusterismo is a rich jeweller named Simoun. He was Crisostomo Ibarra of the Noli Me Tangere, who with the help of Elias, escaped from brutal soldiers at Laguna the Bay, dug up his buried treasure and fled to Cuba. There he became rich and made friends with Spanish officials. After many years he returns to the Philippines, where he freely moved around. Simoun is a powerful character and makes the El Filibusterismo brilliant.
Simoun is powerful, not only because he is a rich jeweller, but also because he is a very close friend and adviser of the governor general. In the beginning he is a strong friend of Spain. But deeply in his heart, according to writer Dr. Gregorio Zaide, in his book ”Jose Rizal: life, works and writings”, in secret he is wishing that the Spanish authorities will fall and he wants to form a revolution against the hated Spanish masters. In this he has two obsessions, which in the El Filibusterismo are two master stories.
The Order of the Knights of Rizal
On 30th December 1911 (exactly 15 years after the execution of Jose Rizal), Colonel Antonio Torres organized a group of 9 men, with the purpose of commemorating in a fitting manner their foremost national hero and his martyrdom. Five years later the “Orden de Caballeros de Rizal” (Order of the Knights of Rizal) arose and still 35 years later, this order got the legal recognition and the necessary support to reach its corporate purpose. The Order of the Knights of Rizal is a cultural, non-sectarian, non-partisan, non-racial, civic and patriotic organization, with the purpose of propagating the ideals and teachings of their foremost national hero, Doctor Jose Rizal, among the Filipino people.
The organization, of Philippine origin, experiences in the meantime worldwide a growing number of orders and enthusiasts.
As a matter of fact, orders exist in the United States, Canada, Europe (Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain and The Netherlands), the Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arabic Emirates and Oman).
The Headquarters of this tree structure based organization is in Manila.
Program of the celebration on 10th of September 2016:
- Registration at 10 am in Restaurant De Abt – Lange Kruisstraat 4 – 9000 Gent
- Flower offering at 11 am by Sir Peter Van Bogaert, Honorary Consul General at the Rizal marker – Henegouwenstraat 27 – 9000 Gent
- Exposition, starting at 11.15 am, of books, stamps, paper money related to Jose Rizal, (concluded with a bread lunch) in Restaurant De Abt.
- Speeches and lectures, alternated with songs of the Philippine Pag-Ibig choir, in the City Hall of Ghent, starting at 2 pm and concluded with a reception from 5.30 till 6.30 pm
- Touristic walk in Ghent, from 6.30 pm till about 8 pm, concluded with a dinner in Restaurant De Abt at 8 pm
Everyone can participate in the celebration. The program is free of charge. Light lunch is at 12 EURO and dinner at 35 EURO (kids till 12, 17 EURO). Payment can be done before Sep. 6 on account BE86 9796 0951 3750 – BIC: ARSPBE22 of DIAMOND CHAPTER RIZAL.
The organizers request all interested (press) people explicitly to confirm their presence in the celebration. For this matter, you can contact one of the three following persons:
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