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Filipinos remember national hero Dr. Jose Rizal

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Representatives of the different Filipino organizations are joined by Kauai County Councilmembers JoAnn Yukimura and Derek Kawakami as they gather at the statue of Dr. Jose Rizal Saturday to observe Rizal Day ceremonies on the lawn of the Historic County Building.

LIHUE — Representatives of the different Filipino groups on Kauai took time to observe Rizal Day at the statue of Dr. Jose Rizal Saturday afternoon at the lawn of the Historic County Building.

“We can go from here straight to the Christmas party at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall,” quipped Angel Acorda of the Kauai Filipino Chamber of Commerce.

The group was also visited by Lenny Rapozo, representing Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.; Kauai County Council Chair Mel Rapozo; and Councilmembers JoAnn Yukimura and Derek Kawakami.

Rizal is considered one of the greatest heroes in Filipino history, being credited as starting a revolution in the Philippines against the Spanish colonisers.

Born on June 19, 1861, Rizal was a man of many talents, most notably as an ophthalmologist and a novelist. His two novels, “Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not)” and “El Filibusterismo (The Filibustering, or Reign of Greed)” exposed the injustices brought on by the Spanish in the Philippines. There are many scholars and historians who would agree that it was ideas in these two books that influenced the already discontented Filipinos to act against the Spanish.

Rizal was arrested for treason and convicted on the grounds of rebellion and conspiring against the government. He was sentenced to execution by firing squad on Dec. 30, 1896, at the age of 35.

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