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Press Release



Consul Ryan Gener (9th from left), Cultural Officer Fritz de Jesus (left), Protocol Officer Noly Dulay (right), and Mr. Joey Erandio (2nd from left) pose with Knights of Rizal Central USA Area Commander Mariano Santos (10th from left) and other Knights of Rizal and Filipino community members after the floral offering ceremony at the Rizal Monument at Margate Park, Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: Holly Ann Santarinala)

Chicago, 20 June 2023 – As part of its commemoration of the 162nd birth anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago, in cooperation with the Order of the Knights of Rizal (KOR) USA Central Region, Ladies of Rizal, and members of the Filipino community, held a floral offering ceremony at the Rizal Monument located at Margate Park, Chicago on 19 June 2022.

On behalf of Consul General J. Susana V. Paez, Consul Ryan Francis Gener led the floral offering in coordination with KOR Central USA Area Commander Mariano Santos and KOR chapter commanders and members. Consul Gener, the outgoing Commander of the KOR Maynilad Chapter that was founded by Philippine Consulate officials, urged the Filipino and Filipino-American communities in the Midwest – which now number close to 320,000, with about 150,000 residing and working in Illinois – to continue to honor and be proud of the legacy of Dr. Rizal as a globally recognized Philippine hero. He noted that the community was also marking the 135th anniversary of Rizal’s fourteen (14) hour visit to Chicago on 11 May 1888, a day after passing by the State of Nebraska on his transcontinental train ride across the United States. He thanked the Knights of Rizal and Ladies of Rizal Central USA for their leadership in honoring the memory of Dr. Rizal and educating Filipinos in the Midwest on his life and works.

Mr. Santos and other community leaders also shared the history of the Rizal Monument in Chicago, which was unveiled in June 1999 in a ceremony led by then President Fidel V. Ramos as part of the centennial celebrations of Philippine independence. They looked forward to commemorating the 25th anniversary of its unveiling next year.

After the floral offering, Cultural Officer de Jesus was elevated to the position of Knight Commander of Rizal (KCR) of the Maynilad Chapter, succeeding Consul Gener, in a simple ceremony at the Margate Fieldhouse. New KOR members of the Malaya and Maynilad Chapters also took their oath. END

Philippine Consulate officials and Filipino community members sing the “Lupang Hinirang” during the floral offering

Officers and members of the Knights of Rizal and Ladies of Rizal pose with other community members after the installation and elevation ceremonies at the Margate Fieldhouse on 19 June 2023. Cultural Officer Fritz de Jesus (5th from right) was named new Maynilad Chapter Commander, while Mr. Rene Olivares Turija (4th from right) of the Maynilad Chapter and Messrs. Frank Alvarez (3rd from left), Don Santarinala (8th from left), Emilio Nicolasin (2nd from right) and Gerardo Dean (right) of the Malaya Chapter were installed as new Knights of Rizal (Photo: c/o Don Santarinala)