“I wish to show those who deny us patriotism that we know how to die for our country and convictions.” – Jose P. Rizal (inscribed at Fort Santiago Walls)
Jose P. Rizal was a person of great learning in several fields of study. A Filipino nationalist, writer, doctor and a hero of our country. And this year marks the 150th anniversary of Jose Rizal’s birth on June 19, 1861.
I recently had the pleasure to be part of the “My Rizal 150” bloggers’ & media launch last June 2, 2011 at the Rizal Shrine in Fort Santiago. The 2-hour event was an intimate merienda cena gathering that filled our minds as well as our tummies. It was a sneak peek of the year-long MY RIZAL 150 campaign. The festivities and events are for Filipinos and foreigners alike – To know more about our National Hero and to inspire the youth.
Rizal is “larger-than-life”… the very reason why most of us cannot immediately relate to him. What we know of him, most of the time, are the ones we usually read or hear about in books and documentaries. My Rizal 150 will help us know the man behind the myth, so to speak… what his regular day was like, how he adored his siblings, what kind of breakfast he’d eat in the morning, and so much more.
The bloggers’ & media launch was graced by notable individuals. To name a few – Ms. Liza Bayot, great granddaughter of Saturnina Rizal, Jose’s eldest sister, Arch. Michael Liwanag of Liwanag & Liwanag Architecture & Interior Design, Arch. Miko Manalo of Escuela Taller, Ms. Maite Gallego – relative of Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo and Maximo Viola, Ms. Ria Limjap – My Rizal 150 committee member, film producer, writer and event organizer, Ms. Marga Deona – My Rizal 150’s publicity officer and General Manager of Forefoot Productions, as well as media and blogging personalities such as Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (@momblogger), Dean Jorge Bocobo, Joey Alarilla of Yahoo Philippines, Jonver David and Chuckie Dreyfus (@chuckiedreyfus). Representatives from Vibal Foundation, the leading educational publisher in the Philippines, were seen at the event as well. Incidentally, Vibal Foundation also launched their Rizal online site: http://www.vibalfoundation.org/2011/05/vibal-foundation-launches-interactive-rizaliana-e-books/
Our merienda cena was hosted by Adarna Food and Culture. Each dish was carefully selected to represent what a typical meal Rizal would have during his time, Chef Giney Villar explained. The carefully planned menu was composed of the following:
Empanada de Kaliskis of Malolos, Pansit 1913, Grilled Kesong Puti wrapped in banana leaves, Jamon, Authentic Malolos Pandesal and Tsokolate de Baterol of Batangas.
“Maligayang Bati Jose Rizal” – Rizal’s birthday party will be on June 19, 6pm at Fort Santiago. An entrance fee of Php100.00 for adults and Php50.00 for kids will be collected. But if you arrive in a Rizal-era attire, you will be able to enter for free (not a bad deal, right?). You may also bring your “banigs”, bottle of wine, chips or anything for your picnic. For those who won’t be bringing snacks, do not fret… Adarna Food and Culture will be selling food during the celebration as well. Yippee!
Visit My Rizal 150’s official website at http://www.myrizal150.c0m to know more about the upcoming June 19 celebration as well as other events lined up. The site also features interesting Rizal factoids and a calendar of selected Rizal activities.
Visit the My Rizal 150 Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/myrizal150
Join us on June 19 as we all together greet Dr. Jose Rizal a very happy birthday and know more about our national hero. See you there!