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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Australia’s first Rizal Park to host a united community gathering for Rizal Day

The Filipino Australian community is celebrating Rizal Day at Australia’s first Rizal Park, located in Invermay Park, Ballarat, Victoria. All welcome.

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The Commemoration of the Execution of Dr. Jose Rizal will be held on Sunday, 29th December 2019 from 10 am to 3 pm at Rizal Park in Ballarat. This special occasion marks the 20th anniversary since the park’s inauguration in December 1999. 

Mr. Arlan Fajardo of 97.4FM with the help of Dr. Allan Terret (Knights of Rizal) is spearheading this project of Pinoy Ako, Pinoy Tayo, Filipinos For Unity. This event is organised with an aim to create peace and unity in the Filipino community. 

There will be a flag-raising and a wreath-offering ceremony, as well as food for sale. 

The park was opened with the help of Dr. Allan Terrett (Knights of Rizal) and the Filipino Association in Ballarat (FAABI). Dignitaries, including the Philippine Ambassador to Australia Delia Domingo Albert, Honorary Consul to Victoria Maina Walkley, attended the inauguration 20 years ago. The Ballarat City Council is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the park. 

Josephine Quintero with Dr. Allan Terret
Josephine Quintero with Dr. Allan Terret

Meet Jose Rizal’s great-grandniece from Melbourne!

Josephine Quintero, also known as ‘Jopen’ is the great-grandniece of the Philippine’s National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Josephine’s paternal grandfather, Trinitario Rizal Quintero, was the only son of Dr. Jose Rizal’s youngest sister, Soledad Rizal.  

The Family Tree of Dr. Jose Rizal is displayed at Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila. Soledad Rizal was married to Don Pantaleon Quintero of Laguna who bore three children, a son, Trinitario Rizal Quintero, and two daughters, Teresita Rizal Quintero and Amelia Rizal Quintero. 

Rizal Park Playground (Source: MelbournePlaygrounds)
Rizal Park Playground (Source: MelbournePlaygrounds)

“I am very proud to be part of the Family Tree of our national hero,” said Josephine.

She reflects on Jose Rizal’s work to unite the Filipinos, and hopes for unity and strength for Filipinos around the world.

“It makes me sad to see the Filipinos breaking apart in foreign countries when they should look after one another rather than feuding,” she said. 

Commemorating Rizal Day might help Filipinos rethink why he was executed on December 30, 1896, at Bagumbayan (Rizal Park). 

Josephine states, “Rizal was executed because of his writings to wake up the Filipino people from all the unfairness and cruelty that they suffered from Spanish colonial rule. And this led to the Philippine Revolution by Andes Bonifacio.”

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Josephine is hoping for a united turn out of Filipinos at this event. “We want to see our kababayans and all the Filipino Association leaders making amends and unite and be reminded of what our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, did to achieve our independence,” she said.

One of the organisers of the upcoming event in Ballarat, Arlan Pineda Fajardo, looks forward to the occasion and plans to hold the Rizal Day celebration year after year.

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