Carson marks Rizal Day

Prance officials lay wreath before the Rizal Monument in Carson

CARSON — Leaders of the Filipino-American community gathered at the Rizal Monument in the International Sculpture Garden in front of the Carson City Hall to commemorate the 121st anniversary of the martyrdom of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal last Friday, Dec. 29.

Representatives of the City of Carson, the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, the Dr. Jose P. Rizal Monument Movement (JPRMM), Kalayaan Incorporated, and the Knights of Rizal, laid wreaths at the foot of the massive Rizal monument to honor the national hero, who was executed on Dec. 30, 1896 at the Luneta, now known as Rizal Park.

Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez of Parañaque, Philippines and other officials of the Paranaque city government, joined the celebration and later joined Carson officials for the signing of the Sister Cities agreement between the cities of Carson and Paranaque.

“On behalf of the one million people of Parañaque City, we would like to convey our sincerest thanks for giving us the opportunity to be with you today in the celebration of the 121st anniversary of the martyrdom of our beloved hero, Dr. Jose Rizal,” said Olivarez.

The 7-foot bronze statue was erected in 2012 and was sculpted by Philippine sculptor Toym de Leon Imao.  
Consul General Adelio Angelito Cruz described Rizal as being a “true Renaissance man” through his ability to influence progress through thought, even after his death on December 30, 1896 at the age of 35.

“My dear fellow Filipinos in Southern California, in whatever you do, be like Rizal and strive for excellence.  Thirst for knowledge and use your abilities and your skills for the betterment of the community and for the betterment of our beloved motherland,” he added.

The signing of the sister city agreement sister was led by Carson Mayor Albert Robles, who also graced the Rizal Day ceremonies, and Parañaque mayor Olivarez.

Olivarez said it was a great opportunity for the people of Paranaque “in exchange of heritage, culture, tradition, and practice that we could apply in our city to be more progressive and developed just like Carson City.”
Robles also expressed joy over the signing, “I am absolutely ecstatic that our cities are forming this partnership.”

Carson is celebrating this year its 50th city hood anniversary while Parañaque will be marking its  20th. The agreement was also signed by Carson Councilmember Lito Santarina and Paranaque Councilor Marvin Santos.