In celebration of Mother’s Day, Kababaihang Rizalista Inc. (KRI) – Sydney Chapter gave honour to the late Teodora Alonso, mother of the Philippine revolutionary and hero Dr Jose Rizal with its reading program via video conferencing. Josephine “JOPEN” Quintero, great grand niece of Dr Jose Rizal graced the event as its special guest.
“Gender inequity is still very much an issue today as it was in the time of our great hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. However, I believe that being conscious that the inequity exists and actively playing a role in breaking the proverbial glass ceiling by working and collaborating with equally passionate and determined women, as well as being a mentor to the youth, can help narrow this inequity. That is what the women of KRI Sydney strives to do as a women organisation and counterpart of Knights of Rizal”, KRI Sydney Chapter President, Michelle Baltazar said.
“It is also important that as women – and mothers – KRI women can, like the late Teodora Alonso – raise their sons and educate the men around us to understand that inequity is something we created as a society so we can dismantle it as well. Rizal wrote a letter to the women of Malolos because, I imagine, he was raised by a woman who had a lot of integrity, strength and fortitude. Dona Alonso was a devoted mother but she was also, to some extent, an entrepreneur – with a big role in the agricultural interests of her family,” Baltazar added.
The 4-part program included a discussion on the life of Teodora Alonso, her influence as a mother to the upbringing of Dr Jose Rizal, reading of the story of the Moth and the Flame and interactive reflections of the KRI members and guest of honour Jopen Quintero.
The program was attended by KRI Ladies Michelle Baltazar, Marilie Bomediano, Violi Calvert, Advisor/Councilor Linda Geronimo, Jinky Marsh, Emily Rudd and Nenita Weekes. Each shared her insights on Teodora Alonso as a woman and mother, her personal experiences about raising children and her hopes for future generation of Filipinos and modern-day heroes. This reading session on Teodora Alonzo was the first of many more for KRI Sydney Chapter. Each attendee also reflected on the Moth and Flame story and application of its message to today’s world. Teodora Alonso’s ways of nurturing, disciplining and inculcating deeply rooted positive values among her 11 children were highly commended and put emphasis on the discussion.
“Teodora Alonso, an ideal mother, gave all the love and guidance to her children, until her last breath which reflected on our great Filipino hero, Dr Jose Rizal. Because of this, her descendants followed her example. I am sure that my relatives will be pleased that joining KRI will continue the legacy of our Lolo Jose. The more I speak to Knights of Rizal and KRI, the more I am learning about my own history. I have spoken to researchers and historians who do deep studies on Rizal and they really know more than I do. I really appreciate that for further information. If my relatives will know about this, they will be overjoyed,” Quintero commented.
KRI was founded in 1958 by Dr Severina Luna Orosa in the Philippines. It is a counterpart organisation of the KoR, a civic organisation incorporated under the Corporation Law of the Philippines in the year 1916 (Republic Act 646) with the sole purpose of promoting the teachings and ideals of Dr Jose Rizal and exhort Filipinos to follow suit. It expanded to Australia with the establishment of its Sydney Chapter in 2018. It hopes to form its Melbourne Chapter with the assistance of Dr Jose Rizal’s great grand niece Jopen Quintero and guidance of the Knights of Rizal Australia-New Zealand-Oceana Regional Commander Cesar Bartolome. Its activities include educational initiatives, civic actions and inter-relational events in collaboration with local and foreign chapters to ensure that the teachings of Dr Jose Rizal are propagated and put into practice.
KRI has chapters in Asia (Hong Kong); Europe (Germany – Bonn, Berlin-Brandenburg, Cologne, Hamburg and Wilhelmsfeld-Heicielbera, France – Beausoleil and Paris, Belgium – Brussels, Italy – Modena and Cagliari and Monaco – Cote d’ Azur); and North America (Canada – Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and USA – Arizona, Chicago, Florida, Hawaii, New Jersey, Texas, Houston and Las Vegas).
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