Dr. Jose Rizal ( 1861 - 1896 )

                           National Hero - Republic of the Philippines


Physician, Poet, Novelist, Artist, Scientist, Historian, Educator, Nationalist, and Internationalist. The multi-faceted Jose Rizal was recognized as the leading Filipino of his time.

Ferdinand Blumentritt " Rizal was the greatest product of the Philippines and that his coming to the world was like the appearance of a rare comet, whose rare brilliance appears only every other century "

Napoleon M. Kheil " Admiro en ud. A un noble representante de la Espana Colonial "

 Dr. Reinhold Rost  " Una Perla de Hombre "

 and Vicente Barrantes "The first among the Filipinos" .

Rizal was the first person in all of Asia to advocate and introduce ideas that can be called modern democracy and Western liberalism. As early as 1880, years before Gandhi or Sun Yat-Sen began their fight for freedom, Jose Rizal through his essays, letters and novels was already espousing such principles as the worth and dignity of the individual, the inviolability of human rights, the innate equality of all men and races, the necessity for constitutional government and due process of law, popular sovereignty as the basis of all political authority, faith in human reason and enlightenment, the right of the masses to public education, and belief in social progress through freedom.

Rizal learned twenty-two foreign languages, using five effectively : his mother tongue Tagalog, Spanish, French German and English. He traveled extensively, winning new friends of different races, creeds, social classes and vocations. He fraternized with statesmen, scholars, writers and scientists. He was made a member of both the Anthropological Society and Geographical Society of Berlin. An avid student of world affairs, Rizal predicted the emergence of the United States of America as a Pacific power and the rise of the Philippine Republic.

Rizal believed in the brotherhood of men irrespective of creed and nationalities, in universal peace and justice, and in the happiness and welfare of humanity. He envisioned a new world order in which men are free of tyranny, bigotry, and slavery, where justice reigns and all nations live together in fraternal harmony.

A hundred years after his death, Jose Rizal is recognized not only as a great Filipino hero but also a universal man, an inspiration wherever people cherish freedom and resist oppression in all its forms.      ( Reprinted from the Souvenir Program of  the 10th Annual International Assembly of the Order of the Knights of  Rizal. )

The history of the Order of the Knights of Rizal goes back to December 30, 1911 when Colonel Antonio C. Torres organized a nine group of men from different walks of life for the purpose of commemorating in a fitting manner the execution and martyrdom of our foremost national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. Thereafter, year after year, the same group would gather to celebrate the birth and commemorate the death of Dr. Jose Rizal. During Rizal Day celebrations, this group would be seen conspicuously on horseback reminiscent of the knights of old known for their chivalry and exemplary life.

To provide a continuing entity and to encourage others to join tem, these admirers of Dr. Rizal on November 16, 1916, organized a private non-stock corporation and named it the “Orden de Caballeros de Rizal.” The incorporators of the corporation were: Antonio C. Torres, Juan Flameño, Martin P. de Veyra, Jose A. del Barrio and Jose S. Galvez.

Colonel Antonio C. Torres, who before the last war was Chief of Police of Manila, was the first Supreme Commander. The following have since then been Supreme Commanders of the Order: Martin P. de Veyra, Manuel Lim, Juan F. Nakpil, Herminio Velarde, Teodoro Evangelista, Hernenegildo B. Reyes, Santiago F. de la Cruz, Jesus E. Perpiñan, Vitaliano Bernardino, Jose Ma. Paredes Claudio Teehankee, Jose S. Laurel III and the incumbent, Justo P. Torres, Jr.

In 1951 the Supreme e Council of the Order created a Committee on Legislation for the purpose of studying the feasibility of filing a bill in the Congress of the Philippines to be enacted into law to enable the Order to secure a legislative charter. Justice Roman Ozaeta was the Chairman of the Committee with Sirs Carlos Hilado and Pedro Sabido as members.

The bill seeking to give the Order of the Knights of Rizal a legislative charter was docketed as Senate Bill No. 251, with then Senators Enrique Magalona, Lorenzo Sumulong, Esteban Abada, Emiliano Tria Tirona, Camilo Osias, Geronima Pecson, Jose Avelino and Ramon Torres as sponsors. In the lowerhouse, Congressman Manuel Zosa of Cebu was the principal sponsor of the measure. The explanatory note of the Bill read as follows:

“The purpose of the attached bill is to accord to’ the civic and patriotic organization known as “Orden’ de Caballeros de Rizal” (Order of the Knights of Rizal) the same kind of official recognition and encourage-ment as that accorded to the Boy Scouts of the Philippines by Commonwealth Act No. 111, by grant-ing to it a legislative Charier and investing ‘it with the necessary powers to enable it more fully and more effectively to accomplish the laudable purposes for which it was organized.”

” This Bill if enacted into law will also serve as a historical monument to Rizal; it will constitute an official recognition by the Republic of the Philippines of the inestimable value to the nation of his teachings and examples and of the wisdom and necessity of inculcating them in the minds and -hearts of our people so they may strive to follow and practice them. The authors and proponents of this Bill believe that if the purposes thereof are faithfully and effectively carried out, social discipline, civic virtues, and love of justice will be fostered, promoted, ‘and enhanced in this country, and that the Knights of Rizal as chartered entity is the most convenient instrumentality by which these desirable ends can be attained’. Let Rizal’s life and martyrdom influence and guide the destiny of the nation. Let this and future generations live the Rizal Way. ”

Recommended for approval on May 15, 1951, the measure was, signed into law by the President of the Philippines on June 14, 1951, becoming Republic Act 646.

Click here for a synopsis of the Winnipeg Chapter year 2006 to 2010 

by Sir Rev. Dr. Neil Parado--  (deceased) is the past Area Commander for Western Canada.


Chapter Annual Reports