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(© 2017 Journal GlobaLinks)



CHICAGO (JGL) –  Dr. Ramon G. Lopez, the great grandnephew of Dr. Jose Rizal, urged Filipinos everywhere to remember the gintong aral (words of wisdom) that Dr. Jose Rizal wanted

them to live by.


Bagama’t siya (Rizal) ay nabuhay sa ibang panahon, ang kanyang dakilang gintong aral ay walang kamatayan. Lalo na ngayong kailangan nating matutuhan ang pagmamamahal hindi lang sa Inang Bayan (kundi) sa kapwa Filipino na nilikha sa diwa ng ating panginoon.” (Although he (Rizal) lived in another time, his words of wisdom live forever. Specially now that we need to learn to love not only our Motherland but also our fellow Filipinos, who were created in the image of God.).



ED LOPEZ, the great, great grandnephew (apo sa talampakan?) of Dr. Jose Rizal, has suggested that if his Lolo Jose, a pioneering proponent of non-violence, were given enough press coverage in response to suppressive government, “our international community, the world might be a little bit better place” during the wreath-laying ceremonies on the 156th birth anniversary last June 19 at the foot of the Rizal Monument in the north side of Chicago, Illinois. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)

Dr. Lopez’s relationship to Rizal runs thru the Paciano and Narcisa branches of the Rizal family tree. His father, Edmundo Rizal Lopez, is a grandson of General Paciano Rizal, and Severina Decena, and of Narcisa Rizal and Antonino Lopez. Two separate branches of Rizal tree bore his father’s parents – Emiliana Rizal from General Paciano, and Antonio Lopez from Narcisa Rizal. His father’s parents were first cousins. He is the fifth generation Rizal kin.


At the annual wreath laying at the foot of Dr. Jose Rizal monument at Margate Park at the north side of Chicago, Illinois, last June 19 at the 156th birthday of Rizal, Dr. Lopez said Rizal was also a father, who had a son with Josephine Bracken named Francisco, who died after birth. Francisco was named after Rizal’s father. Rizal is also the “father of our nation” and whose golden teachings are to “love our nation and our fellowmen.”


Members of the Knights and Ladies of Rizal and the Filipino community gather in front of the Rizal Monument in the north side of Chicago, Illinois during the annual wreath-laying ceremonies at the 156th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal on June 19. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)

Doctor Lopez’ son, Ed Lopez, a third year law student and embarking on a legal career next year, said the most important characteristics that he learned from his great great grand uncle “first of all is integrity, the most important thing. He never compromised his  principle. He stood up for whatever he believed is right. It took a lot of courage, lots of perseverance, took special individual to do what he did I think he was a pioneer  of non-violence in response to suppressive government.


“I think today’s current leaders nationally and domestically should all follow Lolo (grand uncle) Jose’s example. Maybe if his story has gotten a lot around a little bit more, our international community, the world might be a little bit better place.”



DR. RAMON G. LOPEZ (extreme right), great grandnephew of Dr. Jose Rizal, joins the photo op with his son, Ed Lopez (extreme left) and journalist Joseph G. Lariosa during the wreath-laying ceremonies at the 156th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal last June 19. (JGL Photo by MARLON L. PECSON)



Born in Chicago, Ed Lopez said, even if he and older and younger siblings were all born in the United States,  “I will make sure to know our (Filipino) culture, (and be) proud where we came from (and) experience growing qualities the country has to offer. I want to be a dual citizen, (my) father is dual citizen, so I can vote in Philippine elections.”


At the reception that followed the wreath laying, the knighting ceremony had to be cancelled when the keeper of the “ritual,” Sir Felix Gonzalez, was hospitalized and when  Sir Eleodore Faypon did not have with him the sword to dab the new members.



CONSUL GENERAL GENERODO D. G. Calonge (extreme left), Commander of the Knights of Rizal-Maynilad Chapter, poses with Morton Grove, Illinois Village Trustee Sir Ed Ramos (extreme right), a Knight of Rizal, Malaya Chapter member, Sir Ruben Salazar (third from right) of the Maynilad Chapter, a Knight of Rizal nominee, Thomas Choi (second from right), a South Korean American and Public Engagement Manager of the Office of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, and Marlon L. Pecson of Journal GlobaLinks during the wreath-laying ceremonies at the Rizal Monument in the north side of Chicago, Illinois at the 156th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)

For the new knights, who need a more well-rounded education about the thoughts, ideas and works of Rizal, the postponement would be a blessing in disguise as the postponement will give them an opportunity to learn more about the Rizalian virtues of patriotism and internationalism that will engage them Rizal’s spirit of education, civic, social and cultural endeavors.


Sir Faypon will elevate at a later date Deputy Consul General Romulo Victor M. Israel, Jr. as Commander of the Maynilad Chapter to replace outgoing Consul General Generoso D. G. Calonge, the first consul general to organize a Knight of Rizal chapter in the Midwest. Sir Calonge ends his tour of duty as Consul General next August.



NEW NOMINEES for Knights of Rizal donning the Santana uniform include James Choi (extreme right), South Korean American from the office Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, for the Maynila Chapter, Everett Icao, a paralegal, for the Malaya Chapter, and photojournalist Edna Pavel, also a nominee for Lady of Rizal. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA) 

Sir Faypon will also initiate the knighthood of new members of different chapters under the KOR’s Central USA Chapter.


New KOR members include Sirs Edward Brotonel, KR, (Maynilad), Sir James Choi, KR, (Maynilad) and Sir Everett Icao, KR (Malaya).




A RECEPTION in the Filipino community does not end without a group photo as in this sequence inside the Margate Fieldhouse after a brief program that followed the wreath-laying ceremonies at the foot of the Rizal Monument nearby in the north side of Chicago, Illinois by the Knights and Ladies of Rizal and members of the Filipino community. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)

Meanwhile Consul Melchor P. Lalunio, Jr., KOR, has transferred his membership to the Maynilad and Sir Rey Elazegui, KR, to the Malaya Chapter.


 Leaders of the KOR Chapters Chicago, Magiting, Malaya and Maynilad and Ladies for Rizal led by Lady Carmen Estacio provided brief remarks during the reception at the Margate Fieldhouse.



DR. RAMON G. LOPEZ (right) and his son, Ed Lopez, the great grandnephew and the great great grandnephew respectively of Dr. Jose Rizal, stand in front of the monument of their Lolo Jose during the wreath-laying ceremonies at the foot of the monument on June 19, the 156th birth anniversary of the Philippine national hero. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)

Sir Allan Capati, KCR, of Peoria gave the report for Magiting while Sir Randy Famacion, KCR, for Malaya. Nominations for service awards were also announced. Nominees were led by outgoing Consul General Calonge who was cited for his outstanding performance as the top representative of the Philippine government in the area.



Also nominated were Sir Ruben Salazar, KOR, for his leadership in the annual "Piyesta Pinoy;" Sir Herminio de Guia, KOR, for his leadership in "Gawad Kalinga;" Sir Gerry Crisostomo, KOR, for his service for the seniors and founding of the Jose Rizal Lions Club; Sir Jimmy Alban, KCR, for his community service and Lady Dr. Cleofe G. Casambre for her cultural leadership in Filipino Music and her composition of the music for "Ultimo Adios."



LADY OF RIZAL Nellie Lequin-Dy poses with journalist Joseph G. Lariosa, who suggested that part of the $2,000 she donated to the Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago (FACC) in memory of her late husband, Knight of Rizal Luis Dy, to replace the missing Rizal bust be diverted instead as reward money for the two witnesses who led the Chicago Police for the recovery of the stolen bust. When the Seafood City donated a replacement bust, the purpose of her donation was already twice over fulfilled when the missing bust was returned. (JGL Photo by MARLON L. PECSON)

Consul General Calonge in his remarks expressed his hope that Filipinos would continue to be guided by the life and teachings of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, saying, “For as long as there are Filipinos who honor and commemorate Rizal and his works, his legacy will live on and will always be remembered.”


The Order has presently in its roll around “10,000.00” members (http://bit.ly/2s6S0nW) listed in its website in 131 active chapters in the Philippines and 61 active chapters in the USA, Europe, Canada, Austria, Japan, Middle East and Southeast Asia.



LADY OF RIZAL COMMANDER Carmen Estacio makes a report during the reception at the Margate Fieldhouse following the wreath-laying ceremonies at the foot of the nearby Rizal Monument during the 156th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal at the north side of Chicago, Illinois. (JGL Photo by JOSEPH G. LARIOSA)

At the reception, Sir Mariano “Anong” Santos, charter founder of Malaya chapter and Commander of the Central U.S.A., light-heartedly told other knights and Ladies of Rizal and guests that if they will make a presentation on Rizalism, they should make the presentation more compatible with the celebration.


Sir Santos recalled that in one of Rizal’s birth anniversary celebrations, one of the knights of his Malaya chapter, Sir Van Gallardo volunteered to recite the first three verses in Spanish of Rizal’s “Mi Ultimo Adios” (My Last Farewell). Although, other knights were excited to hear the Spanish verses they might have last heard when they were complying with the Rizal course (subject) requirements in college back in the Philippines, others were taken aback by it as a bit out of place.


Sir Anong told Sir Van tongue-in-cheek, “Are you saying good bye to us?” True enough, the following day Sir Felix Gonzales and Van’s wife, Brenda Gallardo, called Anong to say that Van passed away in his sleep. 


Sir Anong also appealed to the administrators of the Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago (FACC), housing the Rizal Center, to reconsider its decision to keep the $2,000 donated by the widow of KOR Sir Luis Dy to replace the missing bust of Dr. Rizal two years ago. 

Sir Anong said when the owners of Seafood City donated a new Rizal bust, the purpose of Lady of Rizal Nellie Lequin-Dy’s donation has been satisfied without spending a cent. The FACC should have asked the widow if it can keep the $2,000 that was meant to replace the missing Rizal bust after the Seafood City donated a new bust and after the missing bust was recovered by the Chicago Police. 

Lady Nellie Lequin-Dy told this reporter that she is willing to change the purpose of her $2,000 donation if the FACC will let her. She said she is amenable to the suggestion to donate part of money to become reward money for those witnesses, who helped the Chicago Police recover the Rizal bust. 

But Lady Lequin-Dy said she was told that it is now too late because her $2,000 donation was diverted to FACC’s general fund. She said, “Ask (Lady of Rizal) Carmen Estacio,” who received the donation from her. Lady Carmen Estacio is also an FACC director. 

Dr. Ramon G. Lopez had earlier pledged $500 as seed money for the reward money for information leading to the recovery of the Rizal bust. But the semi-retired obstetrician and gynecologist and inventor wants to find out first if there was no “conspiracy” of some sort that transpired on the theft of the bust. Dr. Rufino Crisostomo, president of the FACC and a Knight of Rizal commander, also pledged $100 for the reward money but has yet to make good his pledge. 

While Mr. Carlos A. Cortez pledged another $100 but said he is not honoring his pledge. Please see the video on the pledges here.

Sir Anong Santos said, “I hope it ($2,000 donation) would be put to a good use in that (Rizal) Center. Another reason we should take back that Center.” (Contact reporter: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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