Kababaihang Rizalista Inc. (KRI) Sydney Chapter celebrated the legacy of the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal at its inaugural fund-raising event on the 28th October 2023 at Rydges Parramatta. The event was graced by dignitaries including our Charge d’affaires and Canberra Consul General Sir Aian Caringal, Sydney Consul General Charmaine Aviquivil, Sydney Vice Consul Frances Cleofas, Philippine Tourism Attache Ms Pura Molintas, and Mr Enrique “Iking” Reyes, great grandson of Dr Jose Rizal’s eldest sister, Saturnina Realonda Rizal.
The sell-out dinner event was a Noli Me Tangere-themed fundraising dinner for the benefit of a children’s feeding program in the Philippines, an educational scholarship and a social media competition on raising youth awareness on the instrumental role of Rizal played during the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines.
Salu-salo sa Anloague also inducted its six new members including Lady Lauriz Tenorio Buitizon, Lady Maria Elena Puzon, Lady Kaila Erma Cruz, Lady Josefina Cervantes Musa, Lady Churlya Wurfel and Lady Vice Consul Frances Cleofas as KRI Sydney Chapter Adviser.
The event received support from KRI’s sister chapters in Canberra and Melbourne, the counterpart organization Knights of Rizal (KOR), and various community service groups, including the Filipino Women’s Support Group, NARRA Cooperative, FLAGCOM and the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations, enhancing the communal spirit
A welcome parade started the program to introduce all sponsors, media and organisation partners, members, family and guests. It was officially opened with the welcome remarks of KRI Sydney Chapter President, Lady Michelle Baltazar. Messages from our Charge d’affaires and Consul General Sir Aian Caringal, Consul General Charmaine Aviquivil, KOR Supreme Auditor Sir Danilo Peralta, KGOR and KOR ANZO Regional Commander Sir Ralph Posadas, KGOR followed suit. KRI Sydney Chapter Secretary Lady Violi Calvert informed the attendees with the goals of the event. Funds raised from the event will be apportioned to the Child Dreamers in Tondo, Manila, Rizal Central School in Tacloban, KRI National Council project and KRI Sydney Chapter future projects.
“The vision of KRI – Sydney is enshrined in our constitution as an organisation and that is primarily to continue the legacy of our revered hero Dr. Jose Rizal through our words and actions. In the Philippines, Rizal’s life and legacy are ever present in school curricula, in statues erected everywhere and in many academic and socio-political debates.
Unfortunately, as immigrants, we lose that immediate and almost day-to-day connection. That’s why it’s even more important to reconnect and rediscover his legacy through local projects such as wreath-laying ceremonies, fundraising (such as the fundraising for the statue of Rizal in Australia’s capital, Canberra) and many more.
In our first fundraiser, we continue Rizal’s nation-building aspirations by helping the youth through charities that help them in the Philippines and through an upcoming social media awareness campaign here in Australia.”, Lady Baltazar explained.
KRI Canberra and Melbourne Chapter Presidents Lady Marlene Tucker and Lady Atty. Imelda McLean, respectively, also gave their messages and insights on the female characters depicted in Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and relevance of Rizal’s novels in today’s age and society of Filipino-Australian migrants. The newly-inducted members of KRI Sydney Chapter made their oaths and were welcomed to the organisation by the former ANZO Regional Commander Sir Cesar Bartolome, KGOR. The key message of the President of KRI National Council Lady Bernie Lizardo was relayed via a pre-recorded video presentation.
The event had an allocated dining area circa 1800 as well roaming actors playing Maria Clara and Crisostomo Ibara for photo opportunities. They were played by Rachel Bernabe and Inaki Arrieta, respectively. Filipino inspired paintings of Lady Daisy Ann Gonzales Cumming were also exhibited during the event. The attendees were entertained by artists Mr Marcus Rivera, Lady Jinky Marsh, Lady Marilyn Mendez and youth group including Zaebrielle Orayenza, Alyas Twenty Two and Lexus (Lakandiwa). Ms Josephine de los Reyes and Mr Ronald Precilla were named Lakandiwa and Lakan of the night.
A raffle promotion was also conducted with prizes courtesy of the Philippine Department of Tourism and generous donors. Sponsors of the event included the Immico Consultancy, Megaworld, Invocare, Heart Care Health Services Pty Ltd, Saladmaster Sydney-Good News Cooking, San Miguel Yamamura Australia, Villoni Boutique, Mr Gino-o, J & J Express Remittance, Wellness Mobile Dental Care, The Filipino Club, High and Loud Coaching Studio, XMS Property, Naz Legal, Roder Lawyers, Megaward and Meredith Cakes.
The event was concluded with the closing remarks of KRI Sydney Chapter Vice President Lady Judith del Prado. The ceremony was mastered by Ms Edinel Magtibay Dearden.