Before dawn on Sunday, a funeral procession made its way from the old Rizal home in Binondo, Manila, reenacting Rizal's burial for the first time, 116 years after his martyrdom.
Dressed in 1920s attire, members of the Order of the Knights of Rizal reenacted the transfer of the remains of Rizal from Binondo to the site of the Rizal Monument in commemoration of Rizal’s 116th death anniversary.
Rizal was only given a state funeral 16 years after he was executed in Bagumbayan in 1896. "Matagal ring hindi siya nabigyan ng isang official and state funeral. Napakamakabuluhan para sa atin, kung 'di sa sambayanang Pilipino," Gemma Cruz-Araneta, great-granddaughter of Rizal's sister Maria, said in a report on Balitanghali on Sunday.
A replica of the urn containing Rizal's mortal remains was borne on a military caisson, trooped by six black horses, and accompanied by Knights of Rizal and Members of the Grand Lodge of Masonry.
Rizal family members, soldiers, government employees and officials converged from three assembly points, Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz in Binondo; Fort Santiago; and the Manila Hotel.
"This is the centennial commemoration of the transfer of the urn containing the mortal remains of Dr. Rizal. It is a special event not only for the Knights of Rizal who took the lead of leading the transfer but also for all the Filipino people who were there,” Knights of Rizal Supreme Commander Reghis Romero II said in a previous report.
The urn was brought to the Rizal monument in Luneta Park, where a symbolic interment was held.President Benigno Aquino III led the flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies shortly after 7 a.m. The rites included a 21-gun salute in tribute to the national hero.
Victor Reyes, a great-grandson of Rizal's sister Saturnina, said dying is not necessary to become a hero.
"Hindi na kailangang mamatay para maging bayani ngayon. Sumunod sa mga...