On Thursday, December 30, on the 126th anniversary of the death of Dr. José Rizal, the local Filipino community gathered in Nose Creek Park to commemorate the day.

The Philippine Consulate General (PCG), Zaldy Patron, led the wreath-laying ceremony at the Dr. José Rizal Monument. In the Philippines, December 30 is regarded as a National holiday.

Other local dignitaries who were in attendance included Member of Parliament for Airdrie-Banff Blake Richards, MLA for Airdrie-East Angela Pitt and city councillor Ron Chapman, along with members of the Filipino community from Airdrie and Calgary.

Dr. Rizal was born on June 19, 1861. During his lifetime, he would become a key figure in demanding political reforms when his country would be under the colonial power of Spain. It is believed his writings in part inspired the Philippine Revolution and ultimately led to the independence of his country. Rizal was executed on December 30, 1896, by the Spanish colonial government.

The Dr. José Rizal Monument, a joint project of the PCG, the city council of Airdrie, as well as the Filipino Airdrie Association (FAA), and the Rizal Monument Project Team, was unveiled on 23 October 2021. It is the first such monument of the Philippines’ national hero in the province of Alberta.

A historical marker from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines was unveiled on June 19, 2022, designating the monument as a Philippine historical site.

The monument’s three-foot Rizal bust, atop the seven-foot pedestal, was made by noted Filipino sculptor Toym Imao and was shipped from the Philippines. Based on the 2021 Census, Alberta is home to 216,710 Filipinos, making it the second-largest Filipino community in Canada.

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