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NEVER AGAIN !!!

Friday, March 30, 2007

EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES CALL FOR EXTRAORDINARY SOLUTIONS!

To Everyone Concerned,

Esteemed Sir Don Brennock,

Thanks for the info.

The 24 Mar 07 event was a meeting that was not! It was a farce, judging from e-mails and minutes circulating around!

a. Not many attended,
b. No substance,
c. Ended where it just was about to begin discussing the "meat" of the problems Europe has!

It was not Europe as most from Germany (even quite a number from Belgium!) refused to show up, if not intentionally misled (Sir Peter P-Bonn?). We can shout to high heaven above, but it's really in our hands to solve this problem. Let the majority cast their votes in a free election.

One could play-act in mediocrity, and IHQ (still) advises us to be sober and calm. Where is the ending?

I'm taking positive action, as a freeman! as the only solution is for all KOR Knights, who adhere to Dr Jose Rizal's undying ideas and ideals for which he stood and died for, to gather together at a central place.

My recommendation is to call all Knights in good standing as of 2006 (the year of infamy!), so that they, and even those who tendered their resignations could have a platform to hear and be heard.

Without much ado: Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

1. ALL KOR Knights (freemen, Rizalists, about to resign or not) in good standing as of Rizalian year 2006
(Please bring PROOF of payment of Membership, 2006, to be able to vote, or be voted!)
(On-the-spot verification to be done by: Sir Werner Filsinger, Exchequer and Sir Ulrich Freytag, Deputy
Chapter Commander)

2. General Meeting to Elect the rightful European Regional Commander of our own free choice and will

3. Tentative dates:
3a. 16 June 2007, Saturday, 1400 hrs
3b. 17 June 2007, Sunday, 0900 hrs (Wilhelmsfeld/Heidelberg Chapter celebrates its June event from 1300 hrs on!)

4. Rizal (Freedom) Park, Wilhelmsfeld, Germany

This is quite spontaneous and not planned so I haven't even looked for a covered place yet, nor talked to some people named here! This is one way to course frustration into a positive solution of the European dilemma. The weather should be good, so that we can gather ourselves right at the Rizal (Freedom?) Park, discuss and vote. In case of inclement weather, we can go to Gasthof Adler and vote there.

Election Rules will follow the standard correct procedures (secret ballot or simple raising of the hand) plus the following:

A. No proxy voting. In case of absence or incapacity to attend, a sealed envelope could be mailed to the Wilhelmsfeld/Heidelberg Chapter (address in the web or obtainable thru e-mail. Pls ask.). It must contain the name of person voted to be KOR European Regional Commander, with the proof of payment of membership fee for 2006.

B. The Election Committee will be headed by the Wilhelmsfeld/Heidelberg Chapter Commander, Sir Rainer Weber and/or Sir Dr. Kilian Schwarz, assisted by Sir Juergen Sprenger and 3 other officers/members of this chapter, in good standing, to be picked on that day.

C. Each person nominated/duly seconded, will have 15 minutes to speak to the assembly and explain why he will be the better European Regional Commander.

D. As a freeman and the one calling this noble gathering, I am not a candidate and will decline, even if voted. I give my word and this will not change.

Whoever is voted European Regional Commander should be a WIN for Europe in particular and for the KOR, in general!

For planning purposes, please RSVP on or before 20 April 2007, so we can finalize date (please pick either 16 June or 17 June) and venue.

Pls submit your name/s to Sir Rainer Weber, Chapter Commander, Wilhelmsfeld/Heidelberg Chapter, or to any other Officer of this Chapter, through e-mail, letter, courier, fax or phone. If you wish, you can also give me the info.

Kindly PASS THE WORD AROUND, so we could reach all Knights in Europe!

For a Democratic Order
For Pride in the Order
For the Good of the Order

Yours sincerely,

V/R,
Sir Rizal P. Victoria, KR
Wilhelmsfeld-Heidelberg Chapter

The arrogant one is he who wants to be worshipped, who misleads others, and who wants his will to prevail over reason and justice." - Dr Jose P. Rizal - Message to the Women of Malolos, February 1889

"My ambition is not to win honors or hold positions, but to see what is just, exact and suitable, is done in political matters." - Dr Jose P. Rizal


NO ONE REMAINS CORRUPT IF WE DON'T ALLOW IT...

"The Filipino Spirit is Rising"
Antonio Meloto
2007 Commencement Exercises
Ateneo de Davao University

Today, I feel intelligent. Not only am I addressing some of the brightest minds in Mindanao , but I am also being honored by this prestigious university with a Doctorate in Humanities, Honoris Causa. This is the first doctorate that I have received and I am accepting it in all humility and pride as a recognition of the nobility of the cause and the heroism of the thousands of Gawad Kalinga workers that I represent. Thank you Fr. Ting Samson and Ateneo de Davao for bestowing the highest academic degree on a man who was born without a pedigree- the "askal" (asong kalye) who went to Ateneo and came back to the slums to help those he left behind.

To a person like myself who did not excel in Ateneo in my pursuit of a college degree, receiving this Ph. D. is extremely flattering being fully conscious that my principal role in this movement is to be the storyteller of the many who put in the sacrifice and the hard work and yet have remained mostly unrecognized. It is also exhilarating because it builds on the growing global awareness, triggered by Gawad Kalinga and other movements that have not given up on our country, that the Filipinos can and will build a squatter-free, slum- free and hunger-free Philippines by committing their collective genius, passion and strength towards restoring the dignity and the potential for excellence of the poor, the weak and the powerless.

The Filipino spirit today is rising wherever he is in the world. He is starting to discover that he has the power to liberate himself from being a slave of the past; that he can remove the label stuck to his soul as a second class people from a third world country; that he can correct the scandal of history of being the most corrupt in Asia despite being the only Christian nation, until East Timor, in the region.

In the right setting the Filipino has proven that he can be law- abiding, hardworking, honest and excellent.

Over the years, I have not met a Filipino beggar in my travel to the US, Canada and Australia; not a single beggar that I have seen or have heard of out of more than 2 million Filipinos in the US; many Caucasians, Afro- Americans and Latinos- yes- but no Filipinos. Clearly, it is not the nature of Filipinos to beg if he is in the right home and community environment. The mendicant culture in his native land is man- made and artificial and can therefore be unmade and corrected if we give him back his dignity which is his birthright as a son of God.

In the same vein, we know that the Filipino is not lazy. Time Magazine in its 2006 article on Happiness identifies the Filipino as one of the ethnic groups in America least likely to go on welfare. How many of us know of friends and relatives who would take on two or even three jobs in pursuit of their dreams for a better life. Hardworking when motivated, resilient when tested- that is the Filipino…that is us. It is no surprise therefore that the average income of the Filipino- Americans is higher that the US national average; the former slave is now richer than the master in his master's home country.

We must believe that we were designed for excellence. World-class Filipino doctors and nurses are healing the sick of America and Europe . Our sailors dominate the seas in every mode of marine transport for commerce and pleasure providing every imaginable form of service- and often always, they are the best navigators, the best chefs, the best entertainers. Thriving economies in Asia carry the mark of Filipino managerial expertise in their start-up stage. Filipino CEOs, CFOs, COOs captain top multinational corporations carrying on the proud expat tradition of SGV's Washington Sycip, PLDT-SMART's Manny Pagnilinan, P&G's Manny Pacis and many others.

Sadly, we are top of the line, creme de la creme, the best of the best elsewhere in the world except in our homeland. While the Jews and the Arabs were busy building abundance out of their desert, we were busy creating a desert out of our abundance.

Let us put a stop to our inanity and hypocrisy. Let us stop cracking jokes about our shame and misery. Instead let us celebrate with our hard work and integrity the return of our honor and pride as a gifted people, blessed by God with this beautiful land. Let us honor every great deed, every sacrifice, and every kindness that we extend to our disadvantaged and needy countrymen.

Let us put an end to our lamentation. We have suffered long enough. For 400 years, we have been gnashing our teeth, blaming one another, stepping on each other and yet have the temerity at the end of the day to ask God why this is happening as if it was His fault. It is now time to hope, to care, to work together and to rejoice.

Yes, we will rise as a nation if we nurture this emerging beautiful spirit of the Filipino and cultivate an intelligent heart. How? When we show our love for God by being our brother's keeper- giving land to the landless, homes to the homeless and food to the hungry. This is about love and justice in a country where the majority of our people are landless, millions of them living in shanties and slums and 17% of them experiencing hunger in a rich and fertile land. This is not about charity but about authentic Christian stewardship and nation- building.

We will rise as a nation when rich Filipinos will consider the poor as an heir, like our youngest child, equal in worth and dignity with our own children, deserving an equal share in our children's inheritance. A beautiful spirit and an intelligent heart consider the poor as family, see the face of Christ in them, and see the paradise that every slum community can become. That is why every GK home is beautifully painted and the standard of landscaping of every GK village is Ayala Alabang or Ladislawa in the case of Davao .

When we build first world communities for the poorest Filipino, we give them dignity and first world aspirations that will motivate them to dream bigger and work harder with support and nurturing. A recent study of GK Brookside, Payatas conducted by the UP Diliman College of Economics revealed an amazing result – the confidence and self- respect of the residents, many of them former scavengers, rose from 17% before GK to 99% after GK; 93% consider themselves better off in terms of quality of life and 96% believe that their economic situation will improve in the future. Clearly the spirit of the poor is rising because those with the most share their best with the least.

This nation will rise if her sons and daughters abroad will see wisdom in helping not just their relatives, which is an admirable Filipino trait, but also the poor they do not know who need help the most.

Last night, I arrived from a 1- week trip to the U.S. for the world premiere in Chicago of "Paraiso", the Gawad Kalinga movie, and to attend GK events in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The movie was a big hit but the bigger hit for me was the phenomenal response of our patriots in America to help the motherland by building self-reliant and sustainable GK communities. The UST Medical Alumni Association of America Board was planning not just building more houses but also hospitals and community health programs through Gawad Kalusugan. USTMAA president Dr. Primo Andres is building a beautiful GK Village for his wife, Sylvia in Panabo, Davao where she comes from as an expression of his deep affection for her. Another Davaoeno, former Cabinet Secretary Cito Lorenzo, joined me in booming Las Vegas to honor Filipino entertainers and realtors who are investing in the rebuilding of their home country.

Passion for the Philippines was evident everywhere I went. From successful young San Diego businessman Tony Olaes who spoke about sleepless nights in his excitement to help fund 20 new GK villages with his Filipino business partners to the SouthCal Ancop Sikad Bikers pedaling to build Sibol Schools and the Bayanihan Builders who are retired professionals in Los Angeles repairing homes of neighbors to raise resources to build homes in Bicol, to the 8 nurses in NorCal working extra shifts to fund their individual GK villages. The Filipino exile is waking up and starting to unleash a stream of Patriot Funds that will augment the OFW flow in fuelling the Philippine economy.

Today, I am here to salute the beautiful spirit and the intelligent heart of the people of Mindanao . Many of our volunteers here, like many in other parts of the country, build homes for the poor when they themselves do not own land or home. Christians here starting with caretakers from Couples for Christ set aside fear and comfort to serve our fellow Filipinos in Camp Abubakar and other Moslem GK communities. Your students are going out of the classrooms to learn about life and love of God and country by serving in poor communities. The LGU of Davao led by Mayor Duterte and many throughout Mindanao are doing massive land banking in solidarity with our conviction that no Filipino deserves to be a squatter in his own country. And many families here are starting to understand that giving a part of their land to give dignity and security to the landless and homeless poor is not only right with God but also builds peace, triggers economic activity, improves land values- creates a win- win situation for all.

And to you my dear graduates, what can I say? Congratulations of course for finishing what you began and for joining the ranks of the elite few of the Filipinos with a college degree. I thank your parents for their sacrifice and for giving us sons and daughters who will steward this country better than us.

You are entering adult life equipped with a degree from a respected university at an auspicious time in the life of our country. It is your destiny to reach maturity during this great season of hope, this exciting time of awakening, this period of great challenge and heroism.

You have the choice and the opportunity to correct the mistakes of our generation and build a future full of hope in this country. You can be the new breed of political leaders who will gain your mandate through visible and quantifiable performance, rather than mastery of the art of winning elections through cheating and corruption. You can be the new captains of business and industry who will work for profit with a conscience, expanding the market base by wisely investing in developing the potential of the poor for productivity. You can be the new elite of this country who will not be happy to send your children to exclusive schools and live in exclusive subdivisions if out of school street children are ignored and Lazarus continues to live as a squatter outside your gates.

Who can stop us from claiming our Promised Land? Spain is not our master anymore. America is not our master anymore. Japan is not our master anymore. Our enemies are not the corrupt politicians, the greedy rich, the lazy poor, the religious hypocrites and other convenient scapegoats. Our enemies are not out there anymore. Our enemies are now within us.

We have compromised our values and tolerated corruption. We have lowered our standard and tolerated poverty. We have sacrificed the truth for hypocrisy. We have chosen convenience for vision, popularity for leadership…and have chosen despair over hope.

Do we fight or do we run? Is there a King Leonides among you who will fight for honor and freedom? Are there 300 Spartans among you who will confront our enemies with extraordinary courage and love? Can you be the army who will lead our people to victory following the path of peace? Are you the generation of patriots who can shout to the world that no Filipino will remain poor because you will not allow it; that no Filipino will remain a squatter because you will not allow it; that no politician will remain corrupt because you will not allow it?

If you are, then join us in Gawad Kalinga. Together, we can build a great nation, first world in the eyes of God and respected by other great nations.

Godspeed to you our patriots and heroes. God bless our beloved Philippines .

==============================

Tony Meloto, the visionary and driving force behind the Gawad Kalinga movement, is gifted with a Doctorate of Humanities, Honoris Causa, by the Ateneo de Davao. He then delivers a speech to the graduates of the university, a challenge actually, for patriotism and heroism. The same message will be given to eight other colleges and universities who have asked Tony Meloto to be their commencement speaker for 2007.

Gawad Kalinga (GK) is a self-help project building homes for the poor in the Philippines, in over 900 communities in the Philippines! It was the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Community Leadership! Now, this same crusade or movement is picking up tempo and even other countries in other continents are copying it! I submitted this organization's name to some German MdBs (Members of Parliament-Bundestag) to recommend Gawad Kalinga for the Nobel Peace Prize 2007 or 2008! You can look for more info in Google.

forwarding please...

V/R,
Rizal P. Victoria
Heidelberg

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

TIME TO CORRECT THE WRONG...

Illustrious and esteemed Sir Barry,

What you're doing is noble indeed, kind Sir. It helps the members, it redounds to the benefit and welfare of the entire KOR! You are truly Rizalian: in thoughts, in words, in deeds!

As I've said before, it is in the character of the man himself that shows what he is made of! It's not the number of nor the types of metal pieces hanging on his neck, decorating his uniform that makes one noble and illustrious. For the eyes of many Knights here in Europe, you've served this area well, with distinction, dignity and honor. We never met yet, but I am proud to have been under your "command". I can't bestow medals upon your person, but having served Europe honorably, I can profess my sincere words upon one man who did and still does his job! Carry on Sir Knight, for you've served well!

Sad to say, it's IHQ complacency that brings some "up the barricades"! I am sober and calm. Fact is, I don't need a memo to calm down. I was born amidst a raging typhoon! (joke)

It would be wrong though for the IHQ to assume that letters and appeals for calm will stop Knights from writing e-mails, letters, complaints, grievances, comments, editorials, etc. No Sir. We are freemen, not slaves! Our dues go to Manila, not the other way around.

What is perplexing to me is that IHQ simply keeps promising things, but action? Nothing. Nothing but empty promises. The words we read/hear now, were re-cycled from last year!

Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary actions/solutions!

Europe can't bleed while IHQ just keeps sending promises, or changing the "guards", or appealing for sobriety! A torniquet could (perhaps) stop the hemorrhage, but not an appeal! And those who left, resigned are not interested in the IHQ pronouncements ("recent resignations won't be acted upon"). So what if the IHQ won't act upon their resignations! Manila expects them to return? How the IHQ is run, who makes decisions (for Europe)... these things made them leave in anger, in haste, on purpose!

It would help if the "thorn in the flesh" Paras appointment is revoked, in addition to a European Knights meeting electing our own RC. These are steps in the right direction. This is the strong signal Europe is waiting for, in "correcting the wrong". Without that, how can others here be sober and calm?

Please take it easy with your health, Sir Barry. The least we would like to hear is health complications arising from stress and strenuous home-IHQ-home trips! I know how it is communiting in the capital. We want you around the next 50 years more!

May your tribe increase!

For a Democratic Order
For Pride in the Order
For the Good of the Order

Yours sincerely,

NOM(ore money to Manila!)

V/R,
Rizal P. Victoria
Wilhelmsfeld-Heidelberg Chapter

"The arrogant one is he who wants to be worshipped, who misleads others, and who wants his will to prevail over reason and justice." - Dr Jose P. Rizal (Message to the Women of Malolos, February 1889)

"My ambition is not to win honors or hold positions, but to see what is just, exact and suitable, is done in political matters." - Dr Jose P. Rizal


-----Original Message-----
From: Barry Bowman
Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 2:09 AM
To: VICTORIA, RIZAL Mr. (LN) HQ USAREUR/7A, G8
Subject: RE: 2007.03.23 Knights of Rizal_2_ .pdf

Dear Sir Rizal

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your endearing words of confidence and I appreciate this greatly.

However as you are aware I am now domiciled in the Philippines and still have to fully gain my strength from last years heart problem. I am getting stronger everyday and for the first time in 30 years I can play golf again and walk without any medicational support. I feel like a new man.

However I would like to ask you if I can be excused from travelling just now as I am a little bit nervous of travelling until I really have to.

But I am here for you all. I will do what I can if requested by my fellow knights. I will support everything that is good for he order by all means at my disposal.

Sir Ver Esquerra and I are talking everyday now and he is listening to all the problems which have accumulated over the last year. I believe he is a good and honourable man and will do his best for everyone in the Order and bring I hope a proper ending to what has been a tragedy of events all over the world.

Once again I thank you for your sincerity and confidence. You have made me feel wanted once again and I thank you .

May God bless all of us at this time and bring peace and happiness to all who are dedicated to follow in the National Heroes footsteps.

Yours in Rizal

Sir Barry Bowman KGOR.

Non Omnis Moriar. (NOT EVERYTHING IN ME WILL DIE.)


"VICTORIA, RIZAL Mr. (LN) HQ USAREUR/7A, G8"
<rizal.ln.victoria@EUR.ARMY.MIL> wrote:

Dear Brothers in Dr Jose Rizal,

My recommendation is for either you, kind Sir Barry, as immediate past RC to call the meeting, if not Sir Don Brennock, one named on the recommendation list for RC, to be the one to call a European Assembly meeting of all Knights (in good standing?). I believe you both are respected enough and many will abide by your call. I will.

Perhaps to be held in Germany, the seat of most of the European members, if I'm not mistaken.

Proposed Agenda could have, in addition to what others submit:

1. Designation by the body in attendance of a suitable Chairman to call the meeting into order and run the deliberations of the same.
2. Election in a democratic process by those in attendance of an RC and provide the info later to IHQ.

This will bring Europe back to normalcy.

For a Democratic Order
For Pride in the Order
For the Good of the Order

Yours sincerely,

V/R,
Sir Rizal P. Victoria
Wilhelmsfeld-Heidelberg Chapter


-----Original Message-----
From: Barry Bowman
Sent: Sunday, March 25, 2007 7:18 AM
To: Peter Plückebaum
Subject: Re: 2007.03.23 Knights of Rizal_2_ .pdf

Dear Sir Peter

The Rizalian way of penning ink to paper is still the strongest method yet. I am hopeful that all those interested enough in the survival without disintegration will all help to bring reconciliation to the tables and that a full agreement will eventually be reached to the full satisfaction of everyone.

However I was wondering how a meeting to discuss the serious problems can be called without an agenda drawn up or a satisfactory mutually arranged venue to suit all those who would like to be in attendance.

I would also like to suggest that you request those who cannot manage to travel any distance that a second meeting be held at a venue that would be compatible to everyone and that the Officers who have been appointed travel meet the chapters and their members as at this time everyone should be involved and it is encumbant on the RC to make his appearance where other chapters who could not travel to the first meet arrange the next meeting and venue for him to attend in person.

I hope I have read your mail properly and that is one of the reasons you could not be there.

Yours in Rizal

Sir Barry Bowman KGOR

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

THE PHILIPPINES THROUGH THE EYES OF A FOREIGNER

The Philippines Through the Eyes of a Foreigner/Prescription For Poverty
Sun, 18 Mar 2007 17:28:17-0800

This is a very interesting, eloquent article written by an American, Barth Suretsky. His observations are interesting and his comments about our culture and his respect and love of the Philippines are nicely written. Due to the worsening situation in our country, let's hope this will make an impact on other Filipinos who read it.


My decision to move to Manila was not a precipitous one. I used to work in New York as an outside agent for PAL, and have been coming to the Philippines since August, 1982. I was so impressed with the country, and with the interesting people I met, some of whom have become very close friends to this day, that I asked for and was granted a year's sabbatical from my teaching job in order to live in the Philippines.

I arrived here on August 21, 1983, several hours after Ninoy Aquino was shot, and remained here until June of 1984. During that year I visited many parts of the country, from as far north as Laoag to as far south as Zamboanga, and including Palawan. I became deeply immersed in the history and culture of the archipelago, and an avid collector of tribal antiquities from both northern Luzon and Mindanao.

In subsequent years I visited the Philippines in 1985, 1987, and 1991, before deciding to move here permanently in 1998. I love this country, but not uncritically, and that is the purpose of this article.

First, however, I will say that I would not consider living anywhere else in Asia, no matter how attractive certain aspects of other neighboring countries may be. To begin with, and this is most important, with all its faults, the Philippines is still a democracy, more so than any other nation in Southeast Asia. Despite gross corruption, the legal system generally works, and if ever confronted with having to employ it, I would feel much more safe trusting the courts here than in any other place in the surrounding area. The press here is unquestionably the most unfettered and freewheeling in Asia, and I do not believe that is hyperbole in any way! And if any one thing can be used as a yardstick to measure the extent of the democratic process in any given country in the world, it is the extent to which the press is free.

Nevertheless, the Philippines is a flawed democracy, and the flaws are deeply rooted in the Philippine psyche. I will elaborate. The basic problem seems to me, after many years of observation, to be a national inferiority complex, a disturbing lack of pride in being Filipino.

Toward the end of April I spent eight days in Vietnam, visiting Hanoi, Hue, and Ho Chi Minh City. I am certainly no expert on Vietnam, but what I saw could not be denied: I saw a country ravaged as no other country has been in this century by thirty years of continuous and incredibly barbaric warfare. When the Vietnam War ended in April, 1975, the country was totally devastated. Yet in the past twenty-five years the nation has healed and rebuilt itself almost miraculously! The countryside has been replanted and reforested. Hanoi and HCMC have been beautifully restored. The opera house in Hanoi is a splendid restoration of the original, modeled after the Opera in Paris , and the gorgeous Second Empire theater, on the main square of HCMC is as it was when built by the French a century ago. The streets are tree-lined, clean, and conducive for strolling. Cafes in the French style proliferate on the wide boulevards of HCMC. I am not praising the government of Vietnam, which still has a long way to travel on the road to democracy, but I do praise, and praise unstintingly, the pride of the Vietnamese people. It is due to this pride in being Vietnamese that has enabled its citizenry to undertake the miracle of restoration that I have described above.

When I returned to Manila I became so depressed that I was actually physically ill for days thereafter. Why? Well, let's go back to a period when the Philippines resembled the Vietnam of 1975. It was 1945, the end of World War II, and Manila, as well as many other cities, lay in ruins. (As a matter of fact, it may not be generally known, but Manila was the second most destroyed city in the entire war; only Warsaw was more demolished!)

But to compare Manila in 1970, twenty-five years after the end of the war, with HCMC, twenty-five years after the end of its war, is a sad exercise indeed. Far from restoring the city to its former glory, by 1970 Manila was well on its way to being the most tawdry city in Southeast Asia. And since that time the situation has deteriorated alarmingly. We have a city full of street people, beggars, and squatters. We have a city that floods sections whenever there is a rainstorm, and that loses electricity with every clap of thunder. We have a city full of potholes, and on these unrepaired roads we have a traffic situation second to none in the world for sheer unmanageability. We have rude drivers, taxis that routinely refuse to take passengers because of "many traffic!" The roads are also cursed with pollution-spewing buses in disreputable states of repair, and that ultimate anachronism, the jeepney! We have an educational system that allows children to attend schools without desks or books to accommodate them. Teachers, even college professors, are paid salaries so disgracefully low that it's a wonder that anyone would want to go into the teaching profession in the first place. We have a war in Mindanao that nobody seems to have a clue how to settle. The only policy to deal with the war seems to be to react to what happens daily, with no long range plan whatever. I could go on and on, but it is an endeavor so filled with futility that it hurts me to go on. It hurts me because, in spite of everything, I love the Philippines.

Maybe it will sound simplistic, but to go back to what I said above, it is my unshakable belief that the fundamental thing wrong with this country is a lack of pride in being Filipino. A friend once remarked to me, laconically: "All Filipinos want to be something else. The poor ones want to be American, and the rich ones all want to be Spaniards. Nobody wants to be Filipino." That statement would appear to be a rather simplistic one, and perhaps it is. However, I know one Filipino who refuses to enter a theater until the national anthem has stopped being played because he doesn't want to honor his own country, and I know another one who thinks that history stopped dead in 1898 when the Spaniards departed! While it is certainly true that these represent extreme examples of national denial, the truth is not a pretty picture. Filipinos tend to worship, almost slavishly, everything foreign. If it comes from Italy or France it has to be better than anything made here. If the idea is American or German it has to be superior to anything that Filipinos can think up for themselves. Foreigners are looked up to and idolized. Foreigners can go anywhere without question. In my own personal experience, I remember attending recently an affair at a major museum here. I had forgotten to bring my invitation. But while Filipinos entering the museum were checked for invitations, I was simply waived through. This sort of thing happens so often here that it's just accepted routine. All of these things, the illogical respect given to foreigners simply because they are not Filipinos, the distrust and even disrespect shown to any homegrown merchandise, the neglect of anything Philippine, the rudeness of taxi drivers, the ill-manners shown by many Filipinos are all symptomatic of a lack of self-love, of respect for and love of the country in which they were born, and worst of all, a static mind-set in regard to finding ways to improve the situation.

Most Filipinos, when confronted with evidence of governmental corruption, political chicanery, or gross exploitation on the part of the business community, simply shrug their shoulders, mutter "bahala na," and let it go at that. It is an oversimplification to say this, but it is not without a grain of truth to say that Filipinos feel downtrodden because they allow themselves to feel downtrodden. No pride. One of the most egregious examples of this lack of pride, this uncaring attitude to their own past or past culture, is the wretched state of surviving architectural landmarks in Manila and elsewhere. During the American period, many beautiful and imposing buildings were built, in what we now call the "art deco" style (although incidentally, that was not a contemporary term; it was coined only in the 1960s). These were beautiful edifices, mostly erected during, or just before, the Commonwealth period. Three, which are still standing, are the Jai Alai Building, the Metropolitan Theater, and the Rizal Stadium. Fortunately, due to the truly noble efforts of my friend John Silva, the Jai Alai Building will now be saved. But unless something is done to the most beautiful and original of these three masterpieces of pre-war Philippine architecture, the Metropolitan Theater, it will disintegrate. The Rizal Stadium is in equally wretched shape. When the wreckers' ball destroyed Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, and New York City 's most magnificent building, Pennsylvania Station, both in 1963, Ada Louise Huxtable, then the architectural critic of The New York Times, wrote: "A disposable culture loses the right to call itself a civilization at all!" How right she was! (Fortunately, the destruction of Pennsylvania Station proved to the sacrificial catalyst that resulted in the creation of New York 's Landmark Commission. Would that such a commission be created for Manila ...)

Are there historical reasons for this lack of national pride? We can say that until the arrival of the Spaniards there was no sense of a unified archipelago constituted as one country. True. We can also say that the high cultures of other nations in the region seemed, unfortunately, to have bypassed the Philippines; there are no Angkors, no Ayuttayas, no Borobudurs. True. Centuries of contact with the high cultures" of the Khmers and the Chinese had, except for the proliferation of Song dynasty pottery found throughout the archipelago, no noticeable effect. True. But all that aside, what was here? To begin with, the ancient rice terraces, now threatened with disintegration, incidentally, was an incredible feat of engineering for so-called "primitive" people. As a matter of fact, when I first saw them in 1984, I was almost as awe-stricken as I was when I first laid eyes on the astonishing Inca city of Machu Picchu, high in the Peruvian Andes . The degree of artistry exhibited by the various tribes of the Cordillera of Luzon is testimony to a remarkable culture, second to none in the Southeast Asian region. As for Mindanao, at the other end of the archipelago, an equally high degree of artistry has been manifest for centuries in woodcarving, weaving and metalwork.

However, the most shocking aspect of this lack of national pride, even identity, endemic in the average Filipino, is the appalling ignorance of the history of the archipelago since unified by Spain and named Filipinas. The remarkable stories concerning the Galleon de Manila, the courageous repulsion of Dutch and British invaders from the 16th through the 18th centuries, even the origins of the Independence of the late 19th century, are hardly known by the average Filipino in any meaningful way. And thanks to fifty years of American brainwashing, it is few far between the number of Filipinos who really know - or even care - about the duplicity employed by the Americans and Spaniards to sell out and make meaningless the very independent state that Aguinaldo declared on June 12, 1898.

A people without a sense of history is a people doomed to be unaware of their own identity. It is sad to say, but true, that the vast majority of Filipinos fall category. Without a sense of who you are how can you possibly take any pride in who you are?

These are not oversimplifications. On the contrary, these are the root problems of the Philippine inferiority complex referred to above. Until the Filipino takes pride in being Filipino these ills of the soul will never be cured. If what I have written here can help, even in the smallest way, to make the Filipino aware of just who he is, who he was, and who he can be, I will be one happy expat indeed!

DR. REPOTENTE ON RIZAL AND PATRIOTISM

A few years back, in a discourse on idealism of the youth, a former activist lamented the exodus of Filipinos. He said, “nineteen percent of our population has given up on this country and wants to live abroad. This is a startling statistic. Fully one fifth of our population wanting to abandon their land of birth, which owes to many things. Not least of them is the way we keep bungling even our most glorious achievements.”

Nineteen percent must have been correct. You don’t tell an inaccurate statistic and get away with it. And it doesn’t require much insight to admit that we do bungle even our most glorious achievements. Look at “people power.” But to say that we who left have given up on our country, to conclude that we have abandoned our land of birth is ignorant and unfair. By leaving, we have, in fact, become closer to our country.

We love the Philippines, and oh, how we miss her! We miss her resplendent countryside, her crowded cities, even her monsoon rains. We miss the busy Sunday mornings, the jeepney rides on rugged streets. We miss the children.

We miss the music. We miss our families, our neighbors, our friends. We miss the way a sister’s face closes, the way a brother’s eyes watch, the way, when a son’s face opens, a light seems to go on everywhere. We miss our connections. In short, we miss the life that had produced us, and nourished us, and paid for us.

We left our country for reasons that were valid then. Many of us will go back, but many can’t go back, and others won’t go back for reasons that are valid now.

“How does one show patriotism at a distance (from one’s own country)?” and “what does Dr. Jose P. Rizal mean to you?” These are two of ten questions that a friend of mine, a charter and life member of our chapter, wanted me to answer in an interview of sorts about five years ago. To the second question I had a ready reply, for I had asked myself the same question many times before. Without hesitation I said, “Dr. Jose P. Rizal means more to me than his own assessment of himself. He was guilty. He was guilty of the crime he was accused of: sparking the Filipino revolution of 1896. But, more importantly, he is guilty. He is guilty of making me dream of a Philippines – not a country brought down to her knees and willing to sell her body and soul for a fistful of rice but a country who takes her rightful place among the League of Nations with her head and her honor unblemished and held high.”

I was not prepared for the first question…. “How does one show patriotism at a distance from one’s own country?” The first thing that came to my mind was revolution. And like any contemporary Filipino, I thought of the “people power” of 1986. I felt extremely guilty then for my absence. What gave me the right to be lying on a soft bed, in a heated room, in a comfortable dwelling, in a rich foreign land, when my people back home were defying the tanks with nothing but their worn-out bodies? Everybody else was paying their dues; I felt it was time I went home and paid mine.

But, if I knew my friend, this was not the answer she wanted. It was too predictable. Before I could stop myself, I started recounting an incident that until that moment I had not perceived as having to do with patriotism. It was too personal and intimate to be patriotic. In fact, I had labeled it “trivial” and banished it to the subconscious. But, if it was really that unimportant, why did it continue to haunt me?

It was in the autumn of 1999. My husband and I were invited to a cruise on the Mexican Riviera. On the penultimate evening, a Filipino steward requested me to join the glittering ladies in a queue, awaiting their turn to be photographed pouring champagne over a giant pyramid of glasses, a ceremony that always followed the final captain’s dinner. Of course I refused to oblige because I found the affair too pompous. He did not give up and I started getting annoyed.

I turned to snap at him with all the arrogance I could muster. Then I realized that he was begging me to do it, as though his life depended on it. I understood. I felt a lump in my throat, my heart went out to him, and my eyes stung from the tears that threatened to flow, but I managed to smile. I gave him my hand and he led me up there, with his head held high. His eyes, gleaming with pride, swept the suddenly curious throng below and told them silently: “behold, you brightly painted, overdressed and bejeweled rich country nationals – this GUEST is a Filipina.” There were murmurs of approval from the periphery. Then happy Filipino faces stepped from behind the shadows. Applauding, cheering! More than half of the crew were Filipinos.

This story happens everyday to Filipinos everywhere. The plot is so simple, yet so poignant. The crew are lucky. They are relatively well-paid. Still they feel inferior… rather they are treated like inferiors.

Perhaps we can’t help it. We are poor. It takes a Filipino one whole year of hard labor to earn what a Swiss or an American earns in a few days doing the same labor. Therefore, we export ourselves to the Swiss, or Americans, or other rich country nationals, and if we are unskilled, end up cleaning their toilets or minding their children while they are out earning their opulent lifestyles.

Perhaps we can’t help it. We are a people who are used to being told what to do. We are pliable, subjugated and used to fighting for meager hand-outs, suffering natural and man-made calamities.

But aren’t these the Filipinos that Dr. Jose P. Rizal wrote about in his novels? Aren’t these the Filipino traits and conditions he urged our forefathers to get rid of? Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Don’t we know our history?

On that cruise ship, that evening, in the autumn of 1999, even if only for a few fleeting moments, the Filipinos were at par with the rest of the world. That mundane task of removing myself from the crowd, walking proudly to join the glittering ladies in the queue, mounting that makeshift stairs and pouring champagne over a giant pyramid of glasses became a patriotic act. The Filipino crew were not watching me; they were watching a dream come true. They were watching their beloved Philippines take her rightful place among the League of Nations, with her head and her honor unblemished and held high.

The good thing about dreams is that they are unlimited. And the only thing between a dream and reality is will.

My dear Ladies for Rizal and Knights of Rizal, our HERO lives in us. Let us not just dream; let us help make the dream a reality. Let us continue to acquire knowledge and expertise. Let us look around and comprehend. Let us do noble deeds. Let us bear ourselves nobly. Let us remind our fellow expatriates that we can and should have the best of two worlds…. by keeping our Filipino gems and polishing them, by ridding ourselves of our undesirable Filipino attributes and by identifying the virtues of our host countries and making them our own.

Let us persuade our fellow expatriates to want this change in themselves, to strive for it and to welcome it. Because this is the Filipino that Dr. Jose Rizal envisioned: the able and respectable human being who is at par with the rest of the world, not just a commodity that ranks with the banana, copra, sugar and fish, that is the most desired export material of our country. For only when this Filipino emerges can our beloved Philippines take her rightful place among the League of Nations with her head and her honor unblemished and held high.

This is what Dr. Jose Rizal lived and died for. This is what he meant when he said, “non omnis moriar” not everything in me shall die.

Resurreccion O. Repotente, MD
President Kababaihang Rizalista, Inc. Hamburg Chapter

Sunday, March 25, 2007

THE BITTER REALITY...

Dear Editor,

As the election campaign heats up when people in power worry about the threat to their tenuous hold on it, they will use the seemingly vast reservoir of resources of the government at their disposal to assure the victory of those whose support is essential if they wish to strengthen or prolong their stay at the helm.

A great number of Filipinos have been suffering from hunger for years now caused by unemployment, underemployment and the government's inability to provide for its citizens. Surveys after surveys through the years have been finding the number of those suffering from hunger grow but those who have been in control of the highest offices of this land do not seem to see the hungry nor hear the the rumblings of millions of empty stomachs from their insulated and secure mansions and cornucopic tables and pantries.

They are in denial. They do not want to admit that millions of poor people in this country barely have two meals a daily or a budget of about 50 pesos for food per person per day but believe rather the doubtful accounts of some selected barangay folks who testify that food is so cheap in their community that people even eat four times some days.

Testimonies such as that only the lazy are hungry jibes well with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's admonition that the poor should spend less on luxury like cell phone loads and use the money instead on basic needs.

Macapagal-Arroyo listens only to what she wants to hear, even at the sound of her own lies and denials. Until lately when she finally admitted the Social Weather Station survey that one in five families suffer from hunger.

All of a sudden there is money to fund her food-for-school and food-for-work programs which aim to encourage children to go to school where free food is given and the jobless to work by sweeping the streets when there are already enough Metro Manila aides doing the job.

In a country close to China and where millions of Chinese live, she should have learned about the Chinese wisdom that "giving a man fish to eat will make him eat once while teaching him how to catch fish will make him eat all his life."

Now she is cracking the whip on her "Yes Ma'am" cabinet members who dare not court her terrifying tongue lashing public by telling her like it is like the way hapless Education Undersecretary Fe Hidalgo was subjected to.

The glaring reality of widespread poverty that causes hunger and malnutrition can no longer be denied by a leadership which praises itself for what it believes as its successful economic policies which Macapagal-Arroyo daydreams would help make the Philippines a "first world" country in the future.

The tragedy for the Filipinos is that she seems to believe in her fantasy.

Several months have passed since the two destructive typhoons devastated the Bicol region but it is only when relief funds are suddenly available to alleviate the misery of the victims of those catastrophes.

Funds for them will be released just in time before the elections when the "humanitarian" aid, courtesy of the Arroyo administration will be fresh in the recipients' mind by the time they cast their votes.

How long will she keep on fooling the Filipinos including herself?

That one-billion-peso fund to wage war against hunger launch right before the elections is a naked attempt to buy the votes ofthe hungry millions who may enjoy short a term solution to a very long term problem which a great number of the poor have been suffering from cradle to casket.

Poor people have short life expectancy.

Ramon Mayuga
Essen, Germany

Saturday, March 24, 2007

JOHN LENNON - IMAGINE (Karaoke Song Track)

MY IMAGINE

Imagine there's no order
It's easy if you try
No more ranks around us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living like Rizal...

Imagine there's no boundaries
and no supremos too
and Jose Rizal to strive for
It isn't hard to do
Imagine all the people
Living for Rizal ...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no obsessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed for medals
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing the same ideas...

You may say I'm a dreamer

By Peter Eisele

Friday, March 23, 2007

Where There's No Will, There's NO WAY!

Sir Horace,

Thank you for relaying the IHQ reply to our grievances. It's a response... but short our expectations. I can assure you, even if IHQ doesn't accept the resignations, those Knights who quit won't be swayed back. Rather, they would even go farther away!

For the large house that is on fire, where roof in some areas have collapsed (case in Europe), you bring only 5 (empty?) pails. That can't smother the roaring flames Sir! Between your lines, we read "back to normal", and more (patient) waiting. Did that since year 2000! Others for much longer!

I promised 1 week moratorium. But IHQ lack of will to act (bending to the dictates of one?) is a strong signal that needs an even stronger signal and a quicker response than 1 week! May we ask how the Council of Elders voted? Any minutes?

Sir Barry did a lot, still does his best for the KOR, threw his noble and illustrious name on the line. His take home is another promise of "immediate" address of concerns. We heard the same, if not similar words last year. A problem needing a stroke of a pen, takes months, years. But substituting Paras' name with that of Sir Don Brennock took perhaps just a day or two.

So much for the "respect and admiration" from IHQ when we requested revocation of the Paras appointment or IHQ cancellation of the 24 March 2007 meeting. IHQ didn't even mention it. You admitted "our situation is worrisome" but IHQ said/did nothing! The patient suffers from a bleeding arm. Yet, all we give him is tiger balm. Result? Bleeding continues!

IHQ need no webpage to cancell the 24 March 2007 meeting...neither will a webpage serve an "immediate" need!

If I could write an e-mail, IHQ could have "clarified" and "explained" its stand during/after the meeting. Did IHQ want the date 24 March 2007 to come and go? Apparently yes.

The Paras appointment can't be from a "family of Rizal advocates". No Sir, Dr Jose Rizal never advocated lying, cheating, grabbing power. Yet Quiambao pushed for Paras' promotion to Regional Commander! No Sir, I do not accuse a fellow Knight of misdemeanor. I see a spade and I merely called it so. These two shamed themselves, not me for parading naked! Plus what is chivalrous about pushing a square peg into a round hole by hook or by crook? And he who cheats, lies and steals, is not a Knight by any definition as what both did has not an iota of dignity nor honor in there.

No Sir, my words are not strong. They are truthful and direct to the point.

Through INACTION, it is IHQ speaking with STRONG words ("Action speaks louder than words."). Had it aptly acted on the request to revoke the Paras appointment, there would be relief in Europe. Forbidding freemen from speaking their mind is tantamount to a gag. Freemen shouldn't be gagged, moreso if they are right and IHQ is wrong. Rizalism is for freedom of expression.

IHQ should:
1. correct the wrong it did/does,
2. be transparent,
3. subscribe to what it preaches!

Gripes will slowly go away, if quickly acted upon. Complaints left unchecked breeds discontent. When IHQ demands dues from members, it has a responsibility towards them.

As a younger KOR member, IHQ should show me 10 RIGHT arguments for every one of mine. It's sad, but it seems to be the other way around!?

Still NOM(ore money to Manila!)!

Rizal P. Victoria
Wilhelmsfeld/Heidelberg Chapter

"My ambition is not to win honors or hold positions, but to see what is just, exact and suitable, is done in political matters." - Dr Jose P. Rizal

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dear Brother Knights,

I write to you more as a Brother Knight who have so much respect and admiration for your past contributions to perpetuate the memory of our Dr. Jose Rizal than as your Supreme Pursuivant who wish all of us to remain intact as members of one family of Rizal advocates regardless of race and creed.

It is so heartwarming to read a refereshing and inspiring letter such as the one written hereunder by Sir Barry Bowman, KGOR, a kind of letter which I have not read for quite a time now. I hope more of such letters will be circulated by our Brother Knights.

Some members of the Supreme Council and the Council of Elders met today, Tuesday, 20 Mar 2007 at lunch time, Philippine time, and agreed on the following:

1. Our situation is worrisome regarding the discontentment, complaints and resignations of our overseas Knights.

2. A written clarification and explanation will be drafted immediately addressing all the concerns that have circulated in our emails, especially those that remain unanswered or unresolved.

3. It will be our single goal to preserve our membership. All recent resignations will remain unacted. The Order will exert all efforts to dissuade anyone from resigning or in urging others to resign at this point or in the future.

4. Meantime, everyone is urged to refrain from issuing very strongly worded communications, ie, accusations of misdemeanor against fellow Knights.

5. To meet the email requirements of the Order, an official Knights of Rizal website will be identified or constructed to serve as its Bulletin Board. It is hoped that this will be done in time for the publication of the explanation as mentioned in #2 above.

You should be reassured that many Knights are indeed concerned with our present situation and would like to be part of any group which would reconcile our recent disagreements and inaquacy in communications so we can continue to improve on our past performances.

There is more to say but I now like to only greet you

"NON OMNIS MORIAR!"

Horacio T. Templo, KGOR
Supreme Pursuivant

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

LET'S TAKE A BREAK FOR EASTER!

B A G E T S

Back in 1990, when my brother, Manong Oscar, was the secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), I also introduced myself as the Secretary of Transformation and Communion!

Come to think of it, the whole Lenten Season is simply the call toward real conversion and transformation of one’s heart and character, and, toward a deeper, more personal communion with God and others, especially the less fortunate in our midst. It’s the time to be renewed and vibrant, to be BAGETS (not bakets - Ilocano word for old woman) in our spiritual life once again.

So, let’s go B - A - G - E - T - S for Lent!

B – Balik Panginoon (Back to God)

Let us bring back God into our hearts by making a good confession. When was the last time you really humbled yourself and asked to be forgiven by your God? Right away, the evil one will tell you that you have no real sins (denial), that it’s really not that bad so there’s no need to go to confession (rationalization) and that you go to confession “tsaka na lang" (postponement).

A – Alis Galit (Away with anger)

Look into your heart and dispose all the useless junk you’ve been carrying in your heart all these years. You are not obliged to be miserable in this life! Forgive and you are free. Continue to be angry and resentful and you are miserable. You have been forgiven much. Be grateful. Be forgiving. End your private wars and battles. In the end, nobody wins if nobody forgives. Forget your favorite refrain that says "Me and me against the world." And stop being calculating and exacting in your relationships. Dapat give na give ka, huwag lang one-give, two gives, three gives!

G – Gawa Mabuti (Go for good actions)

Share naman. You who have much in life, please help the many people suffering around. I raise again the question: How much money do you really need in this life to be happy? How much of that money you are accumulating and holding on so can you take along with you when you leave this world? Remember, to whom much is given, much is also required. Again, be reminded that the riches (time, talent, and treasure) that you give away are the only riches you bring with you to eternity. Use your money for your salvation, not for your condemnation.

E – Express Your Love

Slow down and take time for God and people, and also for yourself. A very good practice is to kneel down as soon as you wake up and before you sleep to express your adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, supplication (ACTS) to your God. Another doable and very renewing practice is to drop by a church just to spend some moments of quiet and prayer — the candle glow once more! On the human level, it is amazing how we can starve" other people of our love. We give only the comfortable installment, as it were, with a plan to give the lump sum when the person is dead or dying already. When it comes to loving, regular daily shower is better than a long drought with a final big downpour. Little things mean a lot, and it takes very little to make our loved ones happy. A phone call. A smile. A pat on the back. A hug. Very doable. Just do it now.

T – Tanggal Bisyo (Take away vice)

Someone once told me that he had no temptations. Why? Because as soon as temptation comes, he’d give in right away! We must not give up fighting our vices and weaknesses. We must continue to try and avoid the occasions and persons that lead us to sin. It would be a good idea to chart once the stages and steps that led you to a particular sinful moment. Once you know that road, avoid it. That’s right: take the "road less traveled." It leads to peace. It leads to Heaven.

S – Smile

Whatever sacrifice or good deeds you do, do it with a smile. God loves a cheerful giver, and God blesses a generous grateful (not resentful) heart. Take away that "Good Friday look" from your face and that "far-away look" in your eyes.

S – Secret

If you want to experience real joy, do all of the above in secret.

Let it be something just between you and your God, and you’ll experience a joy which the world cannot give or take away. Come to think of it, maybe this is the reason I started this with a note about being a secretary — a reminder to keep our Lenten project of transformation and communion a secret.


A Moment with the Lord

Lord, you are calling me again

towards deeper conversion.

Today, this moment, I hear your voice.

Help me not to harden my heart.


Amen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES!


Dear Brothers in Dr Jose Rizal,

I beg to disagree that I have shamed any Knight publicly. May I clarify.

He who is dishonest, cheats, lies, is no (noble) Knight! It's not the number nor the size of the metal pieces hanging on one's neck or uniform! It's the character of the man himself!

I would bow to a lowly Manila streetsweeper, to a taxi driver, to an office messenger, who honestly performs his job and duty, despite the low pay!

The disgusted European Knights who resigned, couldn't stomach the corruption emanating from IHQ. Ignored, their grievances finding no outlet, they chose resignation, the quick way out... to express their indignation! As one of them said, a "rabbit" NGO that doesn't talk about rabbits for years, is not a "rabbit" NGO! The right word is FAKE!

Our KOR has Rizalism for its purpose, yet IHQ decision makers dispense power, positions, titles forgetting the KOR's avowed purpose, thinking only about themselves, their lust and greed for power!

Quiambao might have surrounded himself with "YES" men all these years. The penultimate insult that drove/drives noble European Knights to resignation was his choice of Paras for European Commander... never mind if the By-Laws were violated. But Quiambao, Paras and their gang forgot that not all lie, cheat, steal in a manner they approve of. By pushing for this insulting appointment of Paras, Quiambao got exposed in Europe!

Through e-mails, I merely point out that "the Emperor has no clothes!"

But like the child in the fairy tale, it is not the child who should be blamed for truthfully saying that the Emperor's "robe is the finest there is" for the Emperor is naked. His "YES" men and the Emperor himself put themselves all into that predicament, for their shameful acts indeed!

If Quiambao could tell us that if we're unhappy in the KOR, we should resign or leave, we freemen can also challenge him to leave the KOR if he can't accept our criticisms!

The 2 e-mails below that reached me, speak volumes for themselves. I speak for myself when I announce publicly that the post of European Commander since the illustrious Sir Barry Bowman left, is
V A C A N T!

NOM(ore money to Manila!)

Yours sincerely,

Rizal Victoria
Wilhelmsfeld/Heidelberg Chapter

"My ambition is not to win honors or hold positions, but to see what is just, exact and suitable, is done in political matters." - Dr Jose P. Rizal

(Aptly quoted from the resignation letter of a truly noble, illustrious and very able Knight, Sir Christoph Eberle, despite his leaving the KOR, Hamburg, Germany Chapter) - Heidelberg, 19 Mar 07

Monday, March 19, 2007

AN OPEN LETTER

March 16th, 2007

Dear Fellow Rizalists:

In the last few weeks, my inbox had been flooded with letters of resignations from notable KOR members from Europe. Reading each letter from them day in and day out was so painful. It sometimes made me cried. Again today we received 2 of them, including the one from Sir Peter Eisele himself. I wonder who’ll be sending those letters to us now? I know there are lots of other good members not only in Europe but also in other parts of the world like Canada and even the Philippines, who resigned for the same reason. We may not have read all their letters of resignation. I myself tendered one to Canada Region last 21st December 2006. Frustrations, sense of betrayal from the very top to the ideals of Rizalism are just unbearable.

“Utang na loob”, “padrino system,” personal interest and other practices of the like really exist in the KOR organization. Do they think those practices are virtues? Over a year ago, I received an e-mail from a young and very promising knight from Manila. He said the system in the IHQ is exactly the mirror of how the government works in the Philippines. Now we know why the Philippine economy is in such a state of stagnancy! Where do we go from here?

Is an independent International Knights of Rizal the answer to our woes? Will it change the attitudes and the shameful practices in Manila? If it will, you can count on me. But honestly I don’t think it will. Most likely it will make them do more of the same. Of course, there will be no more white and black knights charging and hounding them. Perhaps this flood of resignation letters from well intentioned knights should be followed by letters or personal confrontation of high ranking officers in Foreign Chapters and some honorable officers in Manila. But wait, I see another obstacle. Regional commanders and their deputies, the high ranking officers are appointed by the Supreme Commander. Can we honestly expect them to question the one who gave them their positions? The controllers controlling themselves? I heard it before. Now we see the problem here. Alas, I’m running out of ideas! Will somebody please help me out?

Meanwhile, please allow me to pray fervently as Father Florentino did when he witnessed that Simoun was about to die. May the ideals of Dr. Jose Rizal and his martyrdom in the field of Bagumbayan inspire and guide us all in our undertakings, including those we all very much criticize.

NOM,

Lino Reyes, ex-KCR
Lifetime Member # 347
Ex-Chair – Education and Fundraising Committee

Canada Region

MORE RESIGNATIONS FROM OKOR. WHO'S NEXT?

March 16th, 2007

Dear Ladies and Sirs,

much to me regret, I had to learn within the last years, that the Order of the Knights of Rizal has changed. Looking upon the last developments in the Order in Europe, Canada and Middle East, I have lost all my hope, that the OKOR will find back to its original roots.

The order has failed, and – to quote Sir Christoph – “its titles, ranks and decorations, which are purely fraternal, have become absurd. Deprived of their genuine sense, misused for an entirely different purpose, they are now practiced to satisfy vanity; to award imagined merits; and to compensate gaps of ability and achievements.”

Dr. Jose Rizal and Rizalism stands for democracy, anticolonialism, antinationalism, antiracism, freedom of thoughts and speech, solidarity with the poor and absolute integrity. A majority of these principles has been neglected nay jeopardised by the order as within the highest ranks a morbid nationalistic ideology (Filipino Muna) especially in Europe is about to succeed, whose vicinity to racism and fascism is not so far away. Where are the ideals and teachings of Rizal within the OKOR gone?

I cannot stay and accept the trends in an organisation that tolerates and supports continued breach of law and perversion of justice; an organisation, that has adopted a policy, that is nothing less but the betrayal of the fundamental ideals and stepping upon the very goals, José Rizal died for.

As I do not foresee, that the Order will be able to govern itself in the near future in a truly democratic manner, this letter of resignation terminates my membership as Knight of Rizal - but not as Rizalist – and as such I will continue to work for the ideas and the memory of Dr. Jose Rizal.

Though my decision makes me feel sad, I consequently hereby declare my resignation from the Order of Knights of Rizal valid this March 16th 2007.

Respectfully yours !
Peter Eisele


March, 17th 2007

Dear Ladies and Sirs,

I hereby declare my resignation from membership within the order of the Knights of Rizal. The morally and ethically sinister development within the order of the Knights of Rizal is the reason for this decision.

Equality of mankind – one of the most important ideas of Rizal – is replaced by „Filipino First/Only“ thinking and decisions.

I too cannot and will not be part of an organisation that tolerates continued breach of law by high ranked officers and perversion of its own bylaws and that has adopted a policy, which is nothing less than a sellout of the ideals and goals José Rizal died for.

I did not take this decision easily. I now will find another way to live and propagate the ideals of Rizal and to keep the ideas of Rizal in honoring memory.

Yours
Norbert Pischka


March 16th, 2007

Dear Ladies and Sirs,

I hereby declare my resignation from membership as I do not see any other chance anymore but to leave the order. The morally and ethically unsavory conditions and incidents within the order of the Knights of Rizal are forcing me to this decision.

Equality of mankind – one of the fundamental ideas of Rizal – is replaced by „Filipino Muna“ thinking and decisions.

I too cannot and will not be part of an organisation that tolerates continued breach of law and perversion of justice and that has adopted a policy, which is nothing less than a treason to the fundamental ideals and trampling upon the very goals José Rizal died for.

I very well did not take this decision easily. I now will have to find other ways to keep the ideas of Rizal in honoring memory and to live and propagate the ideals of Rizal.

Yours
Lutz Ruhloff


March 16, 2007

Dear Ladies and Sirs,

When I entered the Order about 3 years ago, I had the hope and expectation to learn about the personality and goals of José Rizal. I was just discovering Rizal and somehow he became my idol. I was hungry to read his books and was hoping to get more impulses in order to develop my personality and knowledge about his humanistic ideals, taking all people in this world equal, regardless their skin colour, religion or political orientation.

During those 3 years I got sorely disappointed. During all meetings of our order discussions were hold about who is holding which position why and when. It was more a vanity fair than any kind of deal with Rizal. The Order was administrating itself and even that was not of success. That is deeply frustrating for a new member like me, who did not experience “good old times” of the Order, who thought to enter an honourable Order with honourable members talking about honourable high ideals. Imagine, for example, you are member in a rabbit association and for 3 years in the meetings you will not discuss about rabbits! What you call this?

That is now too much. I am not willing to spend more gasoline, time, energy and membership fee to visit the OKR meetings as there is no content at all to find. As I cannot see that something will change in the near future I consequently hereby declare my resignation from membership in the Order.

I have lost the interest to be member of this Order, but certainly I did not loose the interest in José Rizal.

Respectfully
Thomas Schüle