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Philippine Consulate General commemorates Rizal Day in Airdrie

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Being the first city in Alberta and western Canada to have a Dr. Jose Rizal monument, Airdrie was the site of the ceremony celebrating Rizal Day, a national holiday in the Philippines in honor of the national hero each year. December 30.

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Philippine Consul General Zaldy Patron, Mayor Peter Brown and President of the Philippine Airdrie Association Jun Martin led the wreath laying ceremony outside the Jose Rizal Memorial in Nose Creek Park which opened in October.

Cold weather and public health restrictions resulted in a relatively small in-person ceremony, but nearly 3,000 people from across Alberta and Saskatchewan tune in to a live stream of the event on Facebook.

Victorio Dimagiba Jr., career minister at the Philippine Consulate General, said the Airdrie ceremony was one of many held around the world.

“In the Philippines, we always commemorate Rizal Day with a flag raising ceremony at its national monument in Manila, as well as in various cities across the country, and at our embassies and consulates around the world,” Dimagiba said.

“This is the first commemoration that we are doing at Airdire, as it is also the first Rizal monument in western Canada,” he said.

“It is important for the Consulate General to commemorate this activity in Airdrie. “

Dr Jose Rizal was a writer who strongly encouraged reform when the Philippines was under Spanish colonial rule.

His writings helped inspire the Philippine Revolution, a rebellion that broke out in August 1896. Although Rizal was not directly involved in the planning or leading of the revolution, he was executed by the Spanish colonial government in December. of the same year for the crime of rebellion.

About 40 people attended in person, but Dimagiba said being able to commemorate the date in front of a monument dedicated to the hero was a lesson in humility.

“We felt blessed because it was an opportunity for us to commemorate our national hero. As the Consulate General, we are very happy and honored that Mayor Brown and Councilor Tina Petrow were able to be present personally, ”said Dimagiba.

“It was very heartwarming and shows the deep connection between the Philippine Consulate General and the city of Airdrie,” he said.