NEWS: Calamba commemorates Rizal’s 151st birth anniversary

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by Grace Bondad Nicolas

On June 19, the city of Calamba celebrated the 151st birth anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal. President Aquino declared June 19 a non-working holiday in Calamba under Proclamation No. 299. Mayor Joaquin Chipeco Jr., together with the rest of the city, prepared a big celebration for the most famous Calambeño at the Rizal Shrine. According to Peter Capitan of the Information, Investment and Promotion Service Office (IIPESO), the theme of this year’s event is, “Buhay at Obra ni Rizal: Huwaran ng Kabayanihan, Gabay tungo sa Tuwid na Daan.”

Rizal remains a hero in the hearts of Filipinos, and the annual celebration marks the city’s desire to continue emulating his values. Capitan emphasizes this ideal, citing how Rizal pushed Filipinos to action with Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

Among the invited special guests to the celebration were National Historical Commission Chair Maria Serena Diokno, Congressman Justine Chipeco, Laguna Governor ER Ejercito, Metrobank Foundation Inc. President Mr. Aniceto Sobrepena, Rizal descendant Emmanuelle Herbosa, and the whole city government of Calamba. In the afternoon, a Noli Me Tangere/El Filibusterismo-themed float parade was conducted, with more than 12 participating floats from a variety of establishments and schools in Calamba, such as the Yazaki Torres Manufacturing Company.

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