NJ Graduating Class 2005 and Rizal
Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines,
was a poet, doctor, novelist and nationalist who championed Philippine
independence. For years, the Jersey City Chapter of the Knight of Rizal, an
international organization dedicated to preserving his legacy, sought to find a
place for a monument to honor him in this city where 20,000 Filipino-American
live. Each year then since then the
Knight has held ceremonies at the park on June 19 to mark Rizal birth. The city
provided the small lot the might become a monumental mistake as it was
discovered that the city has no clean title to the land. The issue was
interesting enough that New York Times
reported this controversy on their NJ Sunday edition May 1 2005...
Long time ago I worked for Jersey City
Finance Department. I remember trying to initiate a project that never got
started because of other priority. It was the real estate list of City owned
property. The list is mainly used for selling real estate that could be sold
and tax purposes. There were occasion when the city sold lot that was not owned
by the city. I guess there is still no current inventory as it was revealed
that the tiny lot provided by the City for the Rizal Park was on private property. Rizal might be illegally parked or worst a
squatter. I heard a speaker saying that
our hero might be homeless soon.
Last Sunday Morning (June 19) the Knight of Rizal led the residents of
Jersey City in celebrating the 144th birth anniversary. The small crowd listened to City Hall’s representatives promising
resolution on the ground they were standing to celebrate. The program included cultural dance presentation by the
youth. Rizal Park is located at the corner of Columbus Drive and Brunswick Street. It is almost direct above the Path underground railroad.
The youth are the hope of the country great according to Rizal.
June is also the commencement month, The Filipino-American community
has graduated a lot of valedictorian but let me bring a couple I found in the area newspapers.
value of hard work was also instilled in Patrick Pangan, the 17-year-old Dunellen High School
valedictorian. At an early age, he was already manning the cash register at his
parents’ Filipino store.
mom and dad always taught me to work hard and be disciplined,” Pangan said. “Don’t rest on your laurels, they would always
will be majoring in mathematics at Brown
University in Rhode
Island in September.
always been fascinated by numbers and equations,” he said. “So I would like to
apply that in a future career.”
experience of working in his parents’ store has fueled his desire to work in
business or finance, and to also help out his parents, who sacrificed so much
for his education.
was hard at first for my parents when they started the store,” Pangan said. “When I was one year old, my parents had to
leave me with relatives in the Philippines
for a year so they could start their business.”
For him and many of the others, becoming
valedictorian is a way to start paying their parents back. (as
reported by Star Ledger)
Snyder High School
valedictorian Salome Rances, 19, who immigrated to the United
States four years ago from the Philippines,
attributes her academic success to the many opportunities she didn’t take for
opportunity knocks on your door, you have to open it,” she said.
advice would she give to graduating seniors?
Rances, who will be attending Rutgers
University in New
Brunswick this fall, advises her younger classmates: “Apply
yourself. You have a responsibility to yourself and to
society.” (Jersey Journal last week)
It is very interesting that the two
valedictorians were born outside the US
and Salome herself came in Jersey City
just four years ago. This really speaks well of our schools in the Philippines
and parents emphasis on education.
Graduating on top of the class doesn’t
always make the child high success in the future but it is a good
commencement... As in life there is never a guarantee. It is really seldom when
our kids turn to the dark side as the Anakin of StarWar III.
We also expect our anakin
of them to turn into Jedi Masters.
It is probably redundant for me to mention
our high achievers from private parochial schools. I will just end that I just
found out this year 450 graduates of the Bayonne High School
is another Filipina youth. Valedictorian
who will study accounting next year at Calvin
College in Michigan,
exhorted her fellow graduates to appreciate the guidance of family
administrators, teachers and staff as reported by Jersey Journal.
USA TODAY Names 2005 All-USA High School Academic Team
May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- USA
TODAY named 20 students to its 19th annual All-USA High School
Academic First Team. The students will each receive a trophy and $2,500 cash
award. One of the students is Rachel Elise Rizal
from the large Filipino Community of Cerritos. Gretchen Whitney High, Cerritos, Calif. Age: 18. GPA: 4.0. Accomplishments: A student government
leader at the highest-rated public school in California, Rachel organized a
foreign exchange program with James Ruse High, the highest-achieving school in
Australia, as a model for other top international schools; two-time National
Junior Olympics tae kwon do gold medalist; piano awards at Bach and Chopin
festivals; Intel Science Talent Search semifinalist for research on p53 cancer
mutants; founded Music From the Heart group performing at nursing homes;
Western Association of Schools and Colleges visiting team member for high
school accreditation; varsity soccer team; founded student chronicle section of
Los Cerritos Community News. Parents: Renato & Emerly Rizal. College: Princeton.
Family line indicates that his great grandparents might be the brother of Jose
It is interesting that the Jersey City
Rizal monument is not the only statue in the State of New Jersey. Located at the Cooper River Park’s Dr. Jose P. Rizal Memorial Road, an older Rizal monument was unveiled. Filipinos in
the adjacent City of Philadelphia have contributed to the economic and cultural vibrancy of our area.
It is in Cherry Hill, NJ where another JR came to town. Jennifer Rosales
and Dorothy Delasin
competed in the world richest Ladies Golf tournament (HSBC Match play) with
total purse of 2 million dollars. JR success in the early round was abruptly
terminated by Marissa Baena who came from nowhere to capture the top prize. It
was the week of the underdogs as I think that JR and Marissa Baena match was
the closest one. I wonder if Jennifer or
you visited or even knew that there is a Jose Rizal monument in Cherry Hill.
To The Philippine Youth
oh timid flower !
Lift up your radiant brow,
This day, Youth of my native strand !
Your abounding talents show
Resplendently and grand,
Fair hope of my Motherland !
Soar high, oh genius great,
And with noble thoughts fill their mind;
The honor’s glorious seat,
May their virgin mind fly and find
More rapidly than the wind.