By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
The Department of Education (DepEd) enjoined all schools – both public and private – to participate in the 123rd anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose P. Rizal.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones, in DepEd memorandum 187 s. of 2019, noted that the agency – as a member of the National Steering Committee on National Observances, enjoins the attendance, participation and support of the regional, schools division, and school officials, teachers, and learners to the different programs, events, and commemorative activities related to this year’s commemoration of Rizal’s martyrdom.
In particular, schools and learners were encouraged to participate in the “Huling Paalam” last December 12 at the Museo ni Jose Rizal in Fort Santiago, Intramuros which was a lecture that highlighted a painting of Rody Herrerra and discussed the sociological impact of trials to the immediate family and relatives of the persecuted; “Martyrdom of Dr. Jose P. Rizal: A light and Sound Presentation and Guided Tour” on December 28-30 at the Rizal Park in Manila; Short Prayer and Floral Offering on December 29 in Fort Santiago in Manila, Reenactment of Rizal’s Walk from Fort Santiago to Luneta and Commemorative Rites on December 29 in Fort Santiago to Luneta and the Culmination of 2019 Flag Distribution of Ayala Foundation in Rizal Park, Manila.
Briones noted that the celebration aims to “give the youth a chance to fully recognize the value of historical events” especially the martyrdom of Rizal “which shaped the nation and constituted the soul of the people, giving meaning to their collective life and aspirations.”
The celebration, Briones added, also aims to “inspire the Filipino people to keep the lofty ideals and teaching of the national hero to stay alive in their hearts and minds.”
Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 126 s. 2001 entitle “Declaring the Month of December Every Year as Rizal Month,” Briones said that DepEd and National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NCHP), in collaboration with other government agencies, local government units (LGUs) and the private sector shall conduct the simultaneous Rizal Day Flag Raising ad Wreath Laying Rites on December 30, 2019 at 7:00 am in celebration of this year’s Rizal Day.
Among the venues for the simultaneous activity include the Rizal National Monument in Rizal Park, Manila (National Capital Region); Rizal Shrine in Calamba (Region IV-A); Rizal Shrine in Dapitan City (Region IX) and other various cities and municipalities organized by respective local government units (LGUs).
Briones noted that participation to the celebration will also “teach the significance of Rizal’s life and the lessons of nationalism, civic consciousness, and the importance of education for Filipino youth of today.” The event, she added, also aims to “utilize artistic and cultural activity to promote and educate the learners on the essence of Filipino literacy classics in their lives.”
In an effort to make this commemoration “more meaningful,” Briones also encouraged all public and private schools to “carry out activities integrated in related subject areas” such as Araling Panlipunan; Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao; Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health (MAPEH), Filipino, and English – among others. These related activities, she said, may take place “during classroom discussions.”