By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, SEOUL

23 June 2024, Seoul. The Philippine Embassy in Seoul, in partnership with the Knights of Rizal (KOR) - Korea Chapter, commemorated the 163rd Birth Anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal on 23 June 2024. The event, held at the 2F Sentro Rizal Hall, brought together Filipino community members including multicultural families and Embassy personnel in South Korea to honor the life and legacy of the Philippines' national hero.

In his welcome remarks, Sir Consul General Romulo Victor M. Israel, Jr., Commander of the KOR-Korea Chapter and KOR Regional Commander for Asia, pointed out that a throughline existed between 12 June 1898 and 19 June 1861 in the life of the Filipino nation. Rizal's fervent patriotism, works and writings, such as his famous novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo which served as powerful instruments of social change, as well as his martyrdom in Bagumbayan, ultimately led to the country's liberation. His life and legacy reminds Filipinos today that freedom has a price and comes with responsibility.

Supreme Commander Sir Raymundo A. del Rosario, KGCR, of the Knights of Rizal, through a message read by Sir Apolonio Alvarez of the KOR Chapter, said that the commemoration is about "remembering Dr. Rizal's] immense contributions - his writings that awakened our national consciousness, his pursuit of reform through education, and his unwavering love for the country." He encouraged everyone to be a "role model like Rizal" and honor his memory by "continuing the fight for a just, equitable, and progressive Philippines."

In her special message, Ambassador Theresa Dizon-De Vega also highlighted how Dr. Rizal's teachings and values can be applied to modern challenges such as on climate change and the rule of law. She said that by using Dr. Rizal's teaching as guiding principles to contemporary issues, we embody the spirit of his famous phrase, "[a]ng hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan." Ambassador Dizon-De Vega emphasized that despite being a reluctant revolutionary, Dr. Rizal's enduring legacy continues to inspire countless Filipinos and the generations to respond with courage to the myriad challenges today.

The ceremony included a wreath-laying ceremony and flower offering, honoring Dr. Rizal's memory. The formal program was closed by Sir Anthony Rafael Gil Z. Cornista of the KOR-Korea Chapter, who expressed gratitude to all participants and invited everyone to a fellowship session meant to deepen the attendees' understanding of Dr. Rizal's legacy.

Knights of Rizal postulants led by Mr. Agapito Bulabos, Jr., and members of the Filipino Community in South Korea shared personal reflections on Dr. Rizal's significance in their lives. The event concluded with a fun pop quiz to enhance the attendees', especially young Filipino-Koreans' knowledge of the national hero's life.

Immediately after the program, the Philippine Embassy screened the documentary "Ang Buhay ng Isang Bayani" (The Life of a Hero) presented by Bookmark Inc. and the Department of History of the Ateneo de Manila University at the Consular Section. The documentary may also be viewed at

In light of recent Philippine Independence Day celebrations, the commemoration provided another meaningful opportunity for the Filipino community in South Korea to come together, reaffirm their national identity and shared heritage, and draw pride and inspiration from the exemplary life of Dr. Jose Rizal. END