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Celebrating Rizal, more than a century later

LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i Filipino Community Council President Nancy Apalla led the group of more than four dozen people in the annual Rizal Day Celebration on Saturday that preceded the KFCC annual Christmas party.

Spearheaded by the Kaua‘i Filipino Women’s Club, one of the many Filipino community clubs falling under the umbrella of the KFCC, the gathering served as a time to remember the Philippines National Hero who was executed by the Spaniards more than a century ago.

Saturday’s gathering was also the first time in more than three years the ceremony was held on the lawn of the historic County Building because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Apalla said.

Kaleo Carvalho, representing Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, described Dr. Jose Rizal as not only a national hero, but an individual who serves as a role model for everyone.

Rizal, born in 1861, attained a level of excellence in a number of fields, and it was his political writings that inspired the Filipino Revolution and was the cause leading to his execution.

Mario Trinidad, the presentor of Rizal’s history, said the lesson taught by Rizal include patriotism and love for one’s country, and pride in one’s heritage.

The gathering served as a platform for honoring the life of Rizal through the offering of floral tributes by representatives of the different Filipino community organizations, as well as a demonstration of the Filipino culture through the presentation of cultural dances performed by Steven Iban Domingo and Arlene Tita Tacub.

The reigning Miss Kaua‘i Filipina, Victoria Perreira, under the sponsorship of the KFCC, offered a poem penned by Rizal.

“I wish more young people were here,” said Barbara Green, president of the Kaua‘i Filipino Women’s Club. “Young people can learn a lot about the Filipino culture here. I don’t want to see the culture disappear.”
Source: The Garden Island

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