Parc Mackenzie-King, Montreal -- Saturday, 18 May 20016. The Filipino community of Montreal flock to Côte-des-Neiges to celebrate José Rizal's Birthday.
Who is Rizal? José Rizal was born on June 19, 1861, in Calamba, Philippines. While living in Europe, Rizal wrote about the discrimination that accompanied Spain's colonial rule of his country. He returned to the Philippines in 1892, but was exiled due to his desire for reform. Although he supported peaceful change, Rizal was convicted of sedition and executed on December 30, 1896, at age 35.
It was a wonderful Saturday and the weather was perfect for celebrations. Warm and sunny. Everyone greeted everyone with smiles. Everyone in the community was invited including local Quebecoise too. Yes, we celebrated his birthday in advance but the organizers wanted to accommodate the working attendees. It was like a one big family reunion.
Newly arrived immigrants from the mainland Philippines, enjoying the festivities. Rizal's day was celebrated with fun games, dancing, and of course with the famous lechon. Unfortunately these guys here did not make it in time and all was left is the lechon paksiw -- which was still good eats.
The organizers dressed up fancy with traditional Filipina costumes. Hopefully these guys can wear costumes too -- next year?
For Quepinos who are now in Montreal. Good news. If you missed Saturdays festivities don't fret. Next week on 25 May 2016 the Knights of Rizal together with other Filipino organizations (like FAMAS) will be preparing for the biggest Filipino party of the year -- the Philippine Independence. Book your calendar now and join in next week's festivities.
If you want to join the Order of the Knights of Rizal (Montreal Chapter) you can visit their Facebook Page here for more information.
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