Valenzuela City joined the nation in commemorating the 151st Birth Anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal through simple rites held today at the old town square of Polo, now called Liwasang Rizal.
City government officials and employees, Order of the Knights of Rizal brothers,Kabataang Pangarap ni Rizal, DepEd-Valenzuela, civic leaders and youth sectors took part in the celebrating the life and works of Rizal which started with a wreath laying ceremony at his monument located at the park.
Members of different sectors reflected on how the different aspects of the life of Rizal can be an inspiration for today’s people. Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines awardee, Floramante Sir Don King Howard Ponce spoke of Rizal as an exceptional student; Knights of Rizal, Sir Roderick Alo, as a champion of our own language and culture; Dr. Pio Valenzuela Scholarship grantee, Robert Martin, as a good son; City Health Officer, Dr. Jaime Exconde, as represented by Dr. Ernesto Guevara, as a physician; SK Federation President, Councilor Cristina Feliciano, as a member of the youth sector; and DepEd Valenzuela Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Flordeliza R. Mayari, represented by Dr. Lailanie Mendoza, described Rizal in the eyes of a teacher and mother.
Although, many Filipinos regard Rizal as the country’s National Hero, according to the National Heroes Committee, the sole body which studies, evaluates and recommends Filipino national personages in due recognition of their sterling character and remarkable achievements for the country; no law, executive order or proclamation has been enacted or issued officially.
He was executed on December 30, 1896 after the Spanish regime attributed to him the outbreak of the Revolution. It is because he was the founder of the La Liga Filipina, an organization which, during his exile in Dapitan in 1892, gave birth to the secret society, the Katipunan.
Valenzuela City’s local hero, Dr. Pio Valenzuela, was his compatriot and became the Fiscal General of the Supreme Council of the Katipunan. Scholars believe that Dr. Rizal’s town of San Diego in his celebrated novel “Noli Me Tangere” was actually the old town of Polo.
“Rizal probably roamed around the town of Polo with Dr. Pio; he treaded its pathways, fished in its rivers and mingled with the local residents. For that, he deserves to be honored like a true Valenzuelano,” City Cultural and Tourism Affairs Officer Barcelito De Sotto said.