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Press Release

Photos show the participants, organizers, speakers and sponsors of the Rizaliana Education and Leadership Seminar on 18-19 June 2016 at the University of Hawaii Leeward Community College. (Photo from Dr. Raymund Liongson)

As part of the month-long celebration of the 118th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence and the 115th Birth Anniversary of Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine Consulate General, Honolulu, Hawaii, participated in the Rizalian Education and Leadership Seminar on 18 and 19 June 2016 at the University of Hawaii-Leeward Community College (LCC).

Around seventy (70) Filipino American students who were between the ages of 13 and 25 years old participated in the two-day seminar which was designed to educate the youth in Hawaii about Dr. Rizal’s life, works and legacy, and instill in them the principles of Rizalian leadership.

The said seminar was jointly organized by the Philippine Consulate General, the Knights of Rizal-Hawaii Chapter, the Rizalian Youth Council (Kabataang Pangarap ni Rizal or KAPARIZ), with the support the Philippine Studies Program of UH-Leeward Community College, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Philippine Airlines and Unite Here Local 5.

Philippine Consul General Gina A. Jamoralin, in her opening remarks, conveyed to the young participants that Dr. Jose Rizal had a great influence on her as she was growing up and encouraged them to emulate the Rizalian ideals of leadership, love for learning and patriotism. “Dr. Rizal was just like you, young and had great plans for the future. However, his childhood during his time, unlike yours, was not easy or convenient. However, despite the challenges, because he truly loved the Philippines, he used his education and his intelligence to fight for freedom for his country,” she addressed the audience.

Invited speakers included Dr. Belinda Aquino, Professor Emeritus and Founder of the Center for Philippine Studies (CPS) at the UH Manoa; Dr. Patricio Abinales, Director of the CPS; Filipino Youth Leadership Program alumni Kit Zulueta and Randy Cortez; Filipino community leaders Geminiano Arre and Rose Churma, and Knights of Rizal members Dr. Raymund Liongson, Dr. Serafin Colmenares and Mr. Clement Bautista.

The seminar also provided an opportunity for the participants to interact with students from other schools in Honolulu through engaging and dynamic teambuilding activities such as “Who Wants to Be A Rizalian?” patterned after the “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?” game show, the “Caterpillar”, “Spider Web” and “Spaghetti Bridge” which taught them teamwork, resourcefulness, goal-setting, initiative and problem-solving.

On 19 June 2016, Consul General Jamoralin also served as the Installation Officer for the new set of officers of the Kabataang Pangarap ni Rizal (KAPARIZ), or the Rizalian Youth Council, which was formed in 2015 to promote among the youth the ideals, principles and virtues of Dr. Jose Rizal and to instill among the youth the appreciation of Philippine history, heritage, culture and arts.

An Ecumenical Prayer and Floral Offering, led by Reverend Alex Vergara, President of the Oahu Filipino Community Council and a KOR member, was also held on 19 June 2016 to commemorate the national hero’s 115th Birth Anniversary.

Aside from conference materials, t-shirt, and a certificate of participation, the participants were also given books on the life and works by Dr. Rizal, provided by the International Affairs Office of the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts. A roundtrip ticket to the Philippines was also awarded by Philippine Airlines to one lucky participant.

For the first time in three (3) years, the Rizal Education and Leadership Seminar was held for two days, instead of holding it for just a day, to ensure a holistic, engaging, fun-filled and educational activity combining lectures, discussions, film showing and interactive games to pique the interest and address the clamor for information of the youth in Hawaii about their national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. (END).