As we commemorate the 114th death anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, let us remember his life and what he stood for. He believed in truth, justice, love for fellowmen and love for God. He lived his life based on those beliefs and he died without seeing his beloved “Filipinas” free from tyranny and oppression and his fellowmen live their lives as free and prosperous people. Dr. Rizal dreamt of a nation where there is peace, unity and prosperity. On this day therefore, let us reaffirm our faith in his ideals and renew our solemn pledge that never shall we desert his legacy nor shall we discard our traditions and cultures, which are the strongest links to our glorious past! As Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. has said, “Rizal’s legacy serves as an inspiration for young people everywhere as they confront different challenges in today’s world.” The legacy of Dr. Rizal should inspire different generations of Filipino-Americans to do more not just for their local communities but also for the Philippines.[box type=”default” size=”large”] Message by Honorary Consul JOSE EVANGELISTA [/box]Having lived in our adopted country, the United States of America, for so many years, we have enjoyed prosperity while 26 – 33% of our countrymen, especially those living in the rural areas, live below the poverty line. It falls upon our shoulders therefore to lead the way in supporting our Philippine President Benigno Aquino’s fight against poverty. I believe that this fight begins with the election of honest people to government. We can all participate in this by becoming dual citizens and voting during national elections. Secondly, let us continue our involvement by going home to the Philippines at least on a yearly basis. Every year, around the second week in July, we have the Ambassadors’ and Consul General’s Tour prepared especially for the global Filipinos. Let us join those tours and rekindle our love of the Philippines. Lastly, let us become partners in the development of the Philippines. Join the D2D ( Diaspora to Development) 2nd Global Summit sponsored by the Commission of Filipinos Overseas (CFO) this February 25 – 27, 2013 – with discussions on philanthropy to technology transfer, cultural and educational exchanges, legal assistance for distressed Filipinos overseas, medical surgical mission and tourism initiatives. Join in the discussion and participate in the actions resulting from this summit.
Let me close my message by using Rizal’s own words, “A life that is not dedicated to any ideal, is like a stone wasted in the field without becoming a part of any edifice”.